Pragmatics For ESP Purposes

Mounir Triki


The central claim of the paper is that Pragmatics is inherently constitutive of English for Specific Purposes and that this inextricable affinity should be made explicit and theory-informed. The first part of the paper develops this argument on a number of theoretical grounds. Then, in the applications section, the argument will be tested from the following analytic angles. First, ESP will be shown to be deeply rooted in Speech Acts. Then, its indebtedness to the Gricean Maxims will be illustrated. Third comes the interdependence between ESP and Politeness. The fourth point to be discussed is the connection between ESP and Relevance Theory. This will involve notions from Discourse Analysis and Text Linguistics, such as the Least Effort Hypothesis, Schema Theory and the Stylistics of Orality and Literacy. Finally, some rhetorical tools are employed in the analysis of ESP documents. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations.

Full Text:



Adaskou, K, D. Britten and B. Fahsi (1990) Design decisions on the cultural content of a secondary English course for Morocco, ELT, 44:1,pp. 3-10

Alptekin, Cem (1993) Target-language culture in EFL materials, ELT , 47:2, pp. 136-143 Askehave, I. And J.

Swales (2001) Genre identification and communicative purpose: a problem and a possible solution, English for Specific Purposes , 22/2: 195-212

Atari, O. and M. Triki (2000) The Formal Features of Oral and Literate Strategies of Communication: Their Implications for EFL Writing Revision, IRAL 38:2, pp. 95-108

Austin, J. L (1962) How to Do Things with Words, Oxford University Press Bahloul,

Mongi (1994) The Need for a Cross-Cultural Approach to Teaching EFL, TESOL Journal , pp. 4-6

Bates, Elizabeth (1976) Language and Context: the Acquisition of Pragmatics, Academic Press Bhatia, V.K. (1993) Analysing genre: Language use in professional settings, London and New York: Longman

Bhatia, V.K. (1997) Genre Mixing in Academic introductions, English for Specific Purposes , 16/3: 181-195

Brown, Gillian (1990) cultural values: the interpretation of discourse, ELT , 44:1

Brown, Gillian and George Yule (1983) Discourse Analysis, Cambridge University PressChafe, W. (1976) Fragmentation vs. integration and involvement and detachment in speaking, writing and oral literature in (ed) D. Tannen, Spoken and Written language, pp. 35-53, New York: AblexFalter, Paola G. (1991) Gearing Language teaching to the requirements of Industry, Forum , 29: 3, pp. 11-15

Fowler, R., R. Hodge, G. Kress & A. Trew (1979) Language and Control, London : Routledge and Kegan Paul

Kress G. and R. Hodge (1979) Language as Ideology, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul

Graham, Janet G. and Roberts S. Beardsley (1986) English for Specific Purposes: Content, Language, and Communication in a Pharmacy Course Model, TESOL Quarterly , 20:2, pp. 227-239

Green, Georgia (1989), Pragmatics and Natural Language Understanding, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Halliday, M. (1985) An Introduction to Functional Grammar, London: Edward Arnold Halliday, M.A.K., A. McIntosh and P.D. Strevens (1964) The linguistic sciences and language teaching, London: Longman

Hyde, Martin (1994) The teaching of English in Morocco: the place of culture, ELT , 48:4, pp. 295-305

Johns, Ann M. (1995) An Excellent Match: Literacy Portfolios and ESP, Forum 33:4, pp. 16-21

Labov, W. (1972) The Transformation of Experience in Narrative Syntax in Lavo, W. Language in the Inner City, pp. 355-396, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press

Lakoff, George and M. Johson (1980) Metaphors we Live by, Chicago University Press

Lakoff, R. (1973) The logic of politeness; or minding your Ps and Qs in (eds) C. Corum et al. Papers from the Ninth Regional Meeting, Chicago Linguistic Society

Lakoff, R. (1977) Politeness, pragmatics and performatives, in (eds) Rogers, A. , B. Wall & J.P.

Murphy Proceedings of the Texas Conference on Performatives, Presuppositions and Implicatures, Washington: Center for Applied Linguistics

Leech, Geoffrey (1980) Language and tact, Pragmatics and Beyond Series, Amsterdam: Benjamins Leech, Geoffrey (1983) Principles of Pragmatics, London: Longman

Leung, Peggy (1994) How Students Work Experience Contributes to Course Development: English Courses for Hotel and Tourist-Industry Personnel, Forum 32:3, pp. 42-45

Levinson, Stephen C. (1983) Pragmatics, Cambridge University Press Ochs, S. (1980) English in Parallels: Study in Arabia Prose, Paper presented at TESOL convention, San Francisco, USA.

Parret, H. (1983) Lenonciation en tant que deictisation et modalisation, Langages , 70 Petrey, Sandy (1990) Speech Acts and Literary Theory, London: Routledge

Philps, Dennis (1991) Linguistic Security in the Syntactic Structures of Air Traffic Control English, English World- Wide , 12:1, pp. 103-124

Pinto da Sieve, Christina (1993) ESP: Back to Methodology, Forum 31:2, pp. 40-41

Prodromou, Luke (1992) What culture? Which culture? Cross-cultural factors in language learning, ELT , 46:1, pp. 39-50

Riesbeck, C. K & R. C. Schank (1978) Comprehension by computer:expectation-based analysis of sentences in context in (eds) W. J. M. Levelt &G. B. Flores dArcais, Studies in the Perception of Language, New York: Wiley

Rudnai, Mary and Gyula Ferenczy (1992) Teaching Students of Medical English to Give a Prepared Talk, Forum 30:2, pp. 43-45

Searle (1969) Speech Acts, Cambridge University Press

Searle (1975) Indirect speech acts in (eds.) P. Cole & J. L. Morgan Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts, New York: Academic Press

Searle (1979) Expression and Meaning, Cambridge University Press

Sperber, D. and D. Wilson (1986) Relevance, Oxford: Basil Blackwell

Swales, J. (1980) The educational environment and its relevance to ESP programme design, ELT Documents special projects in materials design , 61-70

Swales, J. (1981) Aspects of article introductions, Birmingham, UK: The University of Aston, Language Studies Unit

Swales, J. (1984) Research into the introductions to journal articles and its application to the teaching of academic writing, in (eds.) Williams, Swales and Kirkman: 77-86

Swales, J. (1986) ESP in the big world of reprint requests, English for Specific Purposes, 5/8: 1-5

Swales, J. (1990) Genre Analysis, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press

Tannen, D. (1980) Implications of the Oral/literate continuum for cross-cultural communication, in (ed) - J. Alatis, George Town University Round Table: Current Issues in Bilingual Education, pp. 326- 347, George Town University Press

Triki, M. & H. Taman (1994) The Processes of Mystification: An Exercise in Cognitive Stylistics, Journal of Literary Semantics , 23:3, pp. 200-219


  • There are currently no refbacks.




eISSN : 2550-2131

ISSN : 1675-8021