Discourse analysis and pragmatic
The definition of discourse
There are a lot of definitions of discourse: it is defined as language in use.
I.e. language used for communication purposes.
Cook (1989) defined: 'discourse as being a stretch of language perceive
(seemed) a being meaningful, unified and purposive'.
Stubs said: 'discourse is a language above the sentence or above the
Discourse form is language used by communicative purposes.
A language above the sentence means utterance, it goes outside to relate
context. Clause and sentence are part of language as a text.
A language above the clause: I am referring to grammar.
Where do you apply discourse?
A sign can be a discourse, a noise too, because it is meaningful, unified and
The idea of unity, purposefulness and meaningfulness is called 'Coherence'. So
coherence is the quality of unity, meaningfulness and purposefulness that
What is a Discourse Analysis?
It is the study or search for what it is that makes the stretch of language
meaningful, unified and purposive.
Where does the study of discourse analysis involved?
It involves the study of both: context and text.
What is a text?
Language as such that do define language in term of text and discourse' Language
as a text that idealized for the purpose of studying normal knowledge of the
language so that to see language works internally.
By text, we mean what is internal. In the system of language, we mean the study
of Grammar, lexical, phonology, cohesion, coherence, even the study of
graphology. It includes what is under the hand of text.
In other word, the study of discourse analysis involves the study of language as
Language as discourse is the actual behaviour. We want to spoke about context we
do have actual knowledge and also cultural knowledge.
Context includes knowledge of the words, culture and knowledge about participant
on the person (who, where, when,?)
this is what the study of context means (According to Schifrin course).
Another definition of discourse adopts a functionalist point view and sees it as
language in use. Fasold adopts this view, claiming that: "the study of
discourse is the study of any aspect of language use". Brown and Yule
share this view asserting that: "the analysis of discourse is necessarily, the
analysis of language is use. As such, it can not be restricted to the
description of linguistic forms independent of the purpose or functions which
these forms are designed to serve in human affaires".
Holliday and Rokayya Hassan defined text as: "a unit of
language in use".
A text form them is a semantic unit of meaning not of form, and this unit has
got to have texture.
A text is a piece of discourse that can be written or spoken; its aim is to
For the text to be meaningful, it must have a context, if it is out of context,
it will lose its meaning (value), and we call: context/gotext, all the elements
that goes with the text.
Cohesion has to do with language as a text (grammar), so what is cohesion"
Cohesion is the formal, textual realization of connexions between clauses and
Types of cohesion:
These are words whose meaning can only be discovered by referring to other words
in the text or to elements of the context. They include:
Pronouns as she, him, your
Adverbs as: here, there
Determiners as: this, that, these, those.
E.g. she is horrible. Do you who is she? Of course no!
So, you have to go outside language to know who she is, you have to look to the
à it is "exophoric"
i.e. outside the language.
E.g. I saw Jennifer this morning. She is horrible, who is she?
She is Jennifer.
So we identify and we mention the subject
it is called "Anaphoric", i.e. if you want to know who she is, you
have to go backward, but if you go forward, it is called "Cataphoric".
In discourse, pronouns can form chains, "The president Bill Clinton, he..,
he..., he..." An alternative to pronouns is simply to repeat the noun. Another
possibility is to use different words which refer to the same entity: "Clinton,
the US president, Hilary's husband, the first
president to be accused of sexual harassment".
The words "so" and "do" can stand for things that
have already been said.
"Do you like rum?"; "yes I think so".
<So refers to "like rum">
"Will you cook the meal tonight?", "yes, I'll do it when the news is over".
<Do refers to "cook the meal">
This is omitting a part of clause on the assumption that an earlier clause or
the context will make the meaning clear. Each word of an
ellipted word or phrase can be represented
with the symbol Ø.
"There's parking at the front of hotel, isn't there?", "yes, and more
Ø at the back
"Would you like a lift at home?"; "yes, I would
These make explicit the type of relationship which exists between one sentence
or clause and another. They can:
Add more information: and, furthermore, add to that
Elaborate or exemplify: for instance, thus, in other words
Contrast: or, on the other hand, however, conversely
Specify temporal relations: formerly, then, in the end, next
Indicate a new departure or summary: by the way, well, to sum up
Some problems for computers if not for people
There was a pineapple on the table. S I ate itA&a.
john went to see hisA&t travel agent because heA&j wanted
to book a holiday in spain.
HeA&t told himA&j that all the fights were booked.
The teacher sent the class dunce to the headmaster because heA&c
wanted to throw pellets.
(a man arrives at the door carrying a sack of coal and holding a pencil between
hisA&m teeth and says: "where shall I put itA&s?"
(Two people are discussing a car to which they are referring as "it" when a hand
grenade is thrown through the window and lands at their feet. One says "what
shall we do with itA&g?"
My brother drinks a bottle of gin before breakfast. ItA&factOfDri is
a real problem.
She Gotta Have It.
Cohesion and coherence
Which words make the combinations of sentences odd? And do they just make them
odd - or wrong?
I finished writing my novel last year. It will soon be finished.
Madonna walked slowly over to Michel Jackson, put her arms around his neck and
pulled his face down close to her own. Then she kisses her.
I read The Portrait of a Lady from cover to cover over Christmas. Nevertheless I
put on ten pounds in weight.
So you are Spanish. Well I do too.
How many cohesive devices are there in the following two passages? What do they
reveal about the nature of the relation between cohesion and coherence?
I remember Hannibal was determined to conquer
Rome. To do so,
he took his army across the Alps. Nevertheless,
it didn't quite work. I can't remember why. I think they all died of cold before
they got there...
I remember Hannibal was determined to conquer
Rome. To do so, he took his
grandparents across the Atlantic. Nevertheless,
it didn't quite work. I can't remember why. I think they all died of food
Could the following sentences ever make discourse?
Could the following sentences ever make discourse?
The men and women eat breakfast together. The nomads become restless in the big
Can you tell me the way to the railway station? The rain destroyed the crops.
The men and women eat breakfast together. The nomads become restless in the big
town. Can you tell me the way to the railway station? The rain destroyed the
Our aim in this first session will be to define our terms, establish the nature
and history of discourse analysis, and to discuss its general relevance to
Discourse and coherence: a working definition
A "discourse" is a stretch of language in use which is perceived as unified,
meaningful and purposeful. This quality of unity, meaningfulness and purpose is
Discourse and the sentence:
We can contrast the object of study in discourse analysis with that in grammar.
Grammar considers sentences which are perceived as "acceptable", "well formed"
or "correct". Consider these examples.
it was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking twelve.
it was a brite cold day in
april, and the clocks were striking
it were a brights cold day
on April, and
a clocks were striked
it a in the clocks were April was twelve
bright striking cold and.
it was a bright cold day in April
the clocks were striking 13.
Now consider the following? Where do they come from?
Sincerity frightens the boy. <proverb>
The philosopher pulled the lower jaw of the hen.
As I was coming back from Edinburgh
yesterday, a young man sat opposite me. I believed he got on in
Oh er yesterday as I was coming back from Edinburgh opposite me sat I think he
got on at Newcastle a man in fact a young man a man
<spoken form; speech>
Which of you people is the fish? <riddle>
That's a bit Greek pins. <intellectual person>
Don't help me. I don't like helping. I can do it by my own.
I'm very dinky.
Sometimes I start a sentence in English y termino en Espanol.
<a Spanish learning English>
Tantamount she under am were cabbage sudden how me.
Introspection, idealisation or observation
Idealisation involves three processes: decontextualisation, standardisation, and
regularisation (see Lyons 1978:585-590). What is the nature of these
processes? What is lost and what is gained? List some of the extra-linguistic
factors which will affect judgements concerning coherence. Your list will be a
description of "context". What is a definition of "text"?
The sentence combination problem
just as simple sentences can be said to have an internal structure, so too can
stories be said to have an internal structure. This is so spite of the fact that
no one has ever been able to specify a general structure that will distinguish
the string of sentences which form stories from the strings which do not.
Nevertheless, the notion of "well-formedness" is nearly as reasonable for
stories as it is for sentences.
Consider the following examples:
Margie was holding tightly to the string of her new balloon. Suddenly, a gust of
wind caught it. The wind carried it into a tree. The balloon hit a branch and
burst. Margie cried and cried.
Margie cried and cried. The balloon hit a branch and burst. The wind carried it
into a tree. Suddenly, a gust of wind caught it. Margie was holding tightly to
the string of her new balloon.
Here we find two strings of sentences. One, however, also seems form a sensible
whole, whereas the other seems to be analyzable into little more than a string
of sentences. These examples should make clear that some higher level of
organisation takes place in stories that does not take place in strings of
Grammar and discourse:
Before talking about grammar let us talking about the meaning:
Semantic meaning: is what language means by itself, it is language
in dictionaries. We take any sentence at the literal meaning.
Pragmatic meaning: it means what the speaker wanted to mean by
using language. It is related to discourse. By discourse, language is one part
in giving the utterance of meaning. So: meanings are protean in character.
The semantic meaning is invariable. However the pragmatic meaning is variable.
The semantic meaning is safe, challenge and on-record.
Why? Because semantic meaning is variable. i.e.: if I write a letter to someone
saying that u love him/her
è here, the meaning is safe
(can't say the opposite), challenge (her father will be included), and on-record
(the paper is the proof).
Let us have a look to the pragmatic meaning, which is unsafe, unchallenged and
off-record, because it is variable.
What makes a semantic meaning shift?
How will language be without a pragmatic or a semantic meaning?
The semantic meaning is necessary, language without a semantic meaning it would
be ambiguity. i.e.: if you don't know what the word means, it would be ambiguity
(meaning is provided by lexis).
On discourse, by focusing on the written one, the contextual elements are
somehow absent. Maybe we know who is speaking but we don't know how he was
during the writing of the text, because of the absence of the contextual
Language without pragmatic, it would be some how robotic, because you will have
only one meaning.
Meaning in language is provided by lexis.
Does grammar has a role in meaning? Or, is grammar meaningful?
Prefix and suffix are meaningful in grammar.
e.g. the suffix "ed": is a signal past.
e.g. the suffix "in": is a signal opposite.
So grammar is meaningful
words structure, order are meaningful.
Grammar as such has got a role in meaning. Grammar imitates meaning which is
already lexically provided.
We need semantic bearing (directed) to have pragmatic fix.
Can we use grammar to signal attitude?
Grammar helps us to express meaning of attitude.
Using pf present in the past means that the narrator agrees with the speaker.
So, grammar is meaningful and helps us in knowing the attitude meaning.
Present and past tense are used (back to documentation) to express the writer's
his subjective distribution of approval and disapproval.
Grammar, lexis and discourse: semantics and pragmatics
Linguistics meaning covers a great deal more than reports of events in the real
world. It expresses sometimes in very obvious ways, other times in ways that are
hard to ferret out, such as what? our attitudes are towards the person we are
speaking to, how we feel about the reliability of our message, how we situate
ourselves in the events we report, and many other things that make our messages
not merely a recital of facts but a complex of facts and comments. (meaning and
the verb Longman 1977:4)
1.Smith (1980) argued that
was no longer a country in which freedom of speech was seriously maintained.
Johnson (1983), though, argues that Britain remains a citadel of individual
The meanings which are provided in grammars and dictionaries are records of
conventional encodings; they are the general semantic bearings from which
language users can take their particular pragmatic fix. (Widdowson, H.G. 1994.
Language and Discourse. Pages 15/16)
Semantics and pragmatics;
national and attitudinal:
Simple form, progressive form:
Semantically the progressive form is said to describe something which is in
progress and to 'describe something that is temporary' (Leach). What effect does
the use of the progressive have in the following two examples, and how does this
link with the semantic gloss? What effect does the use of simple pas and present
form have, in contrast to the use of the progressive:
2.A group of friend s are planning a picnic together, and discussing who
will be going on the trip:
John told me he'll definitely come
Uh huh, and what about Sheila?
I'm not sure about her
Didn't you see her the other day?
Yeah, and |
she's saying she can't make it
| she said she couldn't make it
3. Well, I thought he was off side, but now | I am thinking he wasn't
Agents and patients
Very often, the grammatical subject acts as the 'agent' in the sentence, i.e.
the 'doer of the action'. The grammatical object often has the role of the
'patient' i.e. the receiver or the 'undergoer' of the agent's action. How are
these semantic idealizations elaborated in the following examples?
4.A group of friend s are planning a picnic together, and discussing who
will be going on the trip:
Marry married Bill
Bill married Mary
Mary and Bill got married
Adverbial clauses of time and place
Semantically, example 5! links two events through the location where they both
happened. Example 6! links them through a time reference. But what else is going
on with these examples?
5.The party got a bit wild at Steve's house where Mary and been living
for two months.
6.I began to feel odd after Jane arrived
English grammar provides a number of forms which encode relatively little
information: for example, the passive ('he was shot'), and nominalizations ('the
shooting') allow us to omit reference to the agent (with the passive) and both
agent and patient (which nominalizations). What reasons might the writer of the
following passage have to use reduce forms?
Mary just brought a Volvo
Christine has one
John, stop talking about Christine as if you were still going together, you
brook up 3 months ago.
The fact that we use simple present means for Ann that John is still with her.
John's uses of present tense since to be expressing a kind of psychological
closeness. He is still emotionally attached to his former girlfriend, and is
reluctant to break the psychological tie.
If he said: will not come
à will not come definitively.
If he said: I am coming
à perhaps you will come.
This attitude has been signalled by grammar, not by lexis.
How Grammar Maintained Discourse
Violence and death disfigured the release of Nelson Mandela yesterday.
Mobs of his followers ran wild and looted
shops in Capetown, where police fired on the crowds.
There was also bloodshed by white extremists
in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Mandela,
speaking to a joyful audience in Capetown,
warned that the
struggle by his African National Congress would continue. He also
said that his release and other concessions by the government did not mean that
international sanctions against the apartheid regime must be relaxed, as Mrs.
Thatcher has proposed.
Hours earlier, the 71 year old Black Nationalist leader had been released from
Victor Verster Prison outside Capetown in what an international T.V. event.
Mandela, a prisoner of the Pretoria authorities for 27 years,
kept the watching world waiting for over an hour and 14 minutes as he was
reunited with his wife Winnie. Then he walked to freedom with her at his side.
With clenched first salutes, Mandela, now a potent symbol of freedom for
millions of South African blacks walked among ecstatic well wishers at the
prison gates before travelling on to Capetown.
But on the streets of the cities tension was already boiling over. At least two
people died and more than 200 were wounded in Capetown. In one sickening scene
of savagery, Mandela supporters knifed a man
repeatedly until he was mortally wounded and then beat and kicked him to death.
In Johannesburg an ecstatic black ANC
follower was shot in the head and killed by an
unidentified white man who escaped. Four people were killed and 17
injured in Port Elizabeth
when a car ploughed into a group of people celebrating Mandela's release.
Jubilant blacks also clashed with police in
the tribal homeland of Ciskei. Three people were shot dead
with 20 wounded. In Natal,
where ANC supporters have been feuding with a more conservative black group,
police said 12 blacks were killed in factional fighting.
One black was reported dead and 5 injured at
Inanda, a black township outside
Durban, when police fired at a
The situation was highly volatile throughout the day as thousands massed in
Grand Parade in front of City Hall where Mandela was due to make his freedom
speech. Elements of the 50,000 crowd, mainly youth, began rioting, smashing
windows and looting shops. Police immediately resorted to birdshot, teargas and
baton-charges. The youths hurled bottles and rubbish at the police who responded
with more shotgun blasts and baton charges.
Which of the following statements most closely matches your own feelings about
The article tends to portray Mandel's followers as victims.
The article seems to be a fairly straightforward account of events surrounding
the release of Nelson Mandela.
The article tends to portray Mandela's followers as instigators of violence.
In this article, all events committed by whites are not mentioned directly, or
are done in a passive form, which is less strong. Contrary to the events, which
are committed by black people.
In this article we can find how grammar manipulates the discourse.
"Mobs of his followers ran wild and looted
shops in Capetown": in this first article, which is in active form,
the emphasis is in the subject "Mobs" whereas in the second action "There was also bloodshed by white extremists in
Johannesburg and Port
Elizabeth" the emphasis is in the action "bloodshed",
and the action is in the passive form.
This is only one example taken from this article, but when we read the text, we
find that the violence is done by the blacks. But after a short analysing, we
find that blacks are the victims.
All the adjectives that concerns the blacks are negatives: Mobs,
Conservatives ? they have all to do
with violence: looting shops, smashing windows, rioting ?
When concerning the whites and the police are shown as being as a reaction about
what the blacks did.
This article as such, we find it as a racist article.
We see how grammar manipulates discourse, and how discourse is manipulating by
Speech Act Theory
It investigates how human beings use their linguistic knowledge to make meaning
of it, i.e. how we do account for what we say or how we explain what we say.
How we do things with words? We have to make a distinction between what we know
about language and what we do with language. What we know about language has to
do with that abstract knowledge. What we do with language has to do with that
knowledge as the actualize behaviour. When we speak about something, we are not
only speaking but also we are doing something.
E.g. if I tell you: "please, come here". In the English knowledge, this sentence
has a dictionary meaning. But, if it is put in context, it will have another
But, how does this sentence it come to have another meaning? Because, we make
the person we are speaking to react. Every sentence has a function. This
distinction has to do with Semantics and Pragmatics.
When we talk about Speech Act Theory, we talk about the Pragmatic meaning, i.e.
we are going away from language to context.
Speech Act Theory explains the pragmatic meaning.
Every utterance has 3 aspects:
It has a reference or proposition: it tells you about
coming to certain place
It has a function: it has a force (illocutionary force)
e.g. come here: order; advise; request
It has an effect: the reaction of the hearer
Utterance has to do with the pragmatic meaning.
In any speech, we can predict the force but we can not predict the effect. (ref
Speech Act Theory: how we use language to make something effect
à culminate point.
Speech act theory is not only speech, it is speech with act.
How the speech becomes act?
What are the elements that you require?
speaker and hearer
If we want to study speech act
theory to these elements
If we want to study speech act
theory to these elements
Speech becomes utterance when it has the reference, the force, and the effect.
Context: is the key element of any sentence
Do we always saw what we mean?
Why don't we say what we mean?
Why don't imply things in order to say them?
It hasn't to do with difficulty, for example:
What is the time? The children just leave the school; and we are satisfied of
If we want to know why don't we say that we mean? We have to go through certain
concepts and understand how these concepts work.
Concept of negotiation of meaning.
à speaking to each other.
Cooperating in discourse.
concept of negotiating the meaning:
Sometimes we understand each other and sometimes we don't
à related to generalities.
à related to do with particulars.
How do we move from semantic meaning to pragmatic?
We have to take into consideration the time, the place, the knowledge, and the
"This car is old yet fashionable."
At the level of semantic we can understand it without problems. Language doesn't
know things with itself.
speaking to each other.
When two persons negotiate, each one need to know what the other knows.
Chomsky said: "communicate is based on shared
How is your father? He travels each weak.
In semantic meaning, the answer is not enough.
In pragmatic meaning, it is easily to understand the context, and we understand
it, and we understand that "he is well", because we referred to our background
knowledge. Meaning is not in the text, it is in the language
Do you see her? When we have background knowledge, we
know that she is horrible, but when we don't understand, we negotiate in order
to understand and try to have a full understanding.
Semantic knowledge: Is your knowledge about facts, about things in life?
E.g. I went to the restaurant and I have lunch there.
We don't need to give all the details because discourse will be boiling; we say
what is new, and what is essential.
cooperation in discourse:
British philosopher said that when we speak we cooperate and implicate
à without stating the meaning. He said that cooperation and
implicature are possible because in speech we cooperate because in certain
speech there is cooperation in speech, there is both addressing and address
In this principle, these are four maxims:
maxim of quality:
when you talk to someone you have to tell the truth,
Maxim of quality:
You have to be brief in your speech, to be concise and precise.
Maxim of relevant:
When you talk to someone you have to be relevant, and to be meaningful to the
Maxim of manner:
you have to be clear, not ambiguous. Avoid ambiguity in you speech.
If we follow the four maxims, we cooperate.
Speech Act Theory
We don't say words randomly, we say words at the same time, and we are doing
things with these words.
Pragmatic meaning has two aspects
The illocutionary force (the sentence has a force behind
it). The force is the function that the sentence (utterance) realizes.
There is an effect (a perlocution effect).You can predict the force but not the
We are in the field of pragmatic.
What is pragmatic? It is the studying of meaning in
relation to context. It is infixed, unsafe and variable. There is meaning
related to code, it is fixed and safe.
Cooperative principal: in every speech there is a principle of cooperation between
the speaker and the hearer. è Maxims of quality, manner, quantity,
Implicature: it came from the verb "to imply", is to mean something
without saying it directly. It is what the speaker can imply, suggest or mean,
as distinct from what literally means.
Indeed, discourse is somehow ruled, gathered by this
implicature, we often imply things rather than saying literally. In our speech,
we have some how records of metaphor.
Why we don't mean what we speak? Is the nature of human that
Implicature is a part of our daily speech, we can't
understand the speaker meaning unless we refer to the implicature to the
background knowledge, because the references are not the same.
To understand each other, we don't need only language.
Language as a code is not enough to communicate, we need lot of things.
Implicature is something that is meant but not stated, it
helps us to challenge people, to challenge sometimes what is meant.
This is one reason that when we speak we don't what we mean.
In every speech people follow the principles. In each
principle, people do refer to these elements, sometimes to be relevant (precise)
we have got to vailate the maxims of quality, we don't always
follow the maxims and sometimes we don't vailtae the maxim
debatably. We act as if we are not vailtae any maxim.
How do we signal the person, that we do not respect the
maxims? We do that by using hedges.
What are these hedges?
"It is said that …" à It is a hedge of
vailating the maxim of quality.
"To cut it short", "Let's sum up", "In brief", "Shortly" à to show
that you don't follow the maxim of quantity.
"To be clear as possible" à It is a hedge of
vailating the maxim of manenr.
The Negotiation of meaning:
It has to do with communication. It thought to be one
process, speaker ó listener by the emergence of theories, it is no
long one way process.
It is an interactive process when two persons interact (talk)
with each other, they negotiate. When we negotiate meaning, we do not simply do
so, but we also negotiate social status and position.
How we negotiate meaning?
There is a full convergence of meaning.
What do we need?
We need a code (language) and
knowledge of the code to understand each other.
We need more than that; we need what
we mean in discourse analysis, background language, knowledge of the world (i.e.
world outside language as a text, physical context).
We need the experience that one has
in his life, the culture of the language.
Knowledge of the context: we have to
share the sale background knowledge, context for a successful convergence of
meaning, there is a notion which is very important.
How is our speech regulated?
How do we know that our speech is regulated? and it is our
term of talking?
When we ask question, when the speaker make a pause, it is
your turn to talk the flow by either one of the participants make or by asking a
Negotiation in discourse
Steven: One, two, three (pause) four, five, six (pause) eleven, eight,
Susan: Eleven, eight, nine, ten?
Steven: Eleven, eight, nine, ten.
ß failure in negotiation
Nancy: Eleven? ß localisation of mistake
Steven: Seven, eight, nine, ten.
Susan: That's better.
A: You were very naughty to come down again. You just get worn out.
B: I didn't yawn
A: I said worn out.
B: I didn't yawn out.
A: I didn't say yawn out, I said worn out.
B: What's that mean?
B: I wasn't tired.
Doctor: Have you ever had a history of cardiac arrest in your family?
Patient: We never had no trouble with the police.
Doctor: No, that's not what I said.
Patient: What did you say?
Doctor: Did you have any heart trouble in your family?
Patient: Oh that. Not that I know of
A: What's the time?
B: It's five o'clock.
A: Have you got the time?
B: Standard or daylight saving?
A: What are you running on?
A: Standard, then.
B: It?s five o?clock.
A: Do you have the time?
B: Sure. It's five o'clock.
B: (Gesture) it is okay.
A: Hullo I was wondering whether you were intending to go to Popper's talk
B: Not today I'm afraid I can't really make it to this one.
A: Ah okay.
B: You wanted me to record it didn't you heh?
A: Yeah heheh.
B: Heheh no I'm sorry about that...
A: I have a fourteen year old son.
B: Well that's all right.
A: I also have a dog.
B: Oh I'm sorry.
7. (Atkinson & Drew)
M: Yes, dear.
Ch: I want a cloth to clean the windows.
8. (Atkinson & Drew)
A: Watch doin'?
A: Wanna drink?
9. (Atkinson & Drew)
A: Do you have the blackberry jam?
A: Okay. Can t have half a pint then?
B: Sure (turns to get)
A: Are you coming tonight?
B: Can I bring a friend?
A: Male or female?
B: What difference does it make?
A: An issue of balance.
A: What time is it? /There is an implicature here, which is that the
arrive of the milkman mean a time for both A and B. they share the same schema
B: The milkman has just arrived.
A: The telephone is ringing. /The answer is an excuse which mean: I can't
answer to telephone (there us an inability to answer)
B: I am in the bath
A: That's ok
]> In linguistics, hedges
are intentionally non-committal or ambiguous sentence fragments,
such as "sort of", "kind of", "like".
 Implicature In pragmatics (linguistics), implicature is the
relationship between two statements where the truth of one suggests the truth of
the other, but—distinguishing implicature from entailment—does not require it.
For example, the sentence "Mary had a baby and got married" strongly suggests
that Mary had the baby before the wedding, but the sentence would still be
strictly true if Mary had her baby after she got married. Further, if we add the
qualification "— not necessarily in that order" to the original sentence, then
the implicature is cancelled even though the meaning of the original sentence is
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