Pragmatics: a hybrid innovation

Leila Najeh


My original intention is to prove that pragmatics is a ‘hybrid’ innovation. It grew out of three distinct branches of knowledge:  rhetoric, semiotics and functional linguistics. My assumption draws on three simple observations: (i) many rhetorical concepts, like topoi, inference and argumentation, are pragmatically tackled, (ii) many works document a palpable influence of Aristotelian rhetoric in pragmatic researches (Tyteca &Perlman, 1992; Anscombre, 1995; Ducrot &Anscombre, 1997),and (iii) other works, always, put pragmatics at the cross of disciplines (Eemeren et al, 1986).

The article provides a panoramic survey of pragmatics. Its main issue is to contribute to the understanding of the interface between pragmatics and surrounding disciplines, mainly rhetoric, functional linguistics and semiotics.


pragmatics, rhetoric, semiotics, functional linguistics, speech act theory.

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