Technologically mediated communication (such as Facebook, SMS, twitter and blogs), an information technology-aided conveyance or processing of messages, is a pragmatic domain with multi-faceted layers of interpretability. While its contrast, face-to-face communication, which brings speakers and hearers into physical encounters where apriori and emergent salience and common ground resources are deployed to access intended and unintended meanings, mediated communication presents complex constituents and appearances that demand different, medium-constrained poly-layered shared, unshared and accommodated knowledge, local and global conventions and culturally universal or relative conditions. These make the communication, like non-technologically mediated communication, a buoyantly interesting and challenging verbal and non-verbal output that requires not only the knowledge of the language or languages of communication but also the insight into the channel, socio-cognitive factors, historical circumstances, activity types, discourse types, constructional traditions and interactionally-grounded properties. The reality in the scholarship of mediated communication is the dominance of the interventions of computer mediated communication scholars. And the outcome of these has often been more emphasis on linguistic forms, genre conventions and the sociology of mediated communication than on strict context-deep explorations of pragmatic functions and implications of the discourse. Perhaps, the misleading impression that pragmatics theories’ tilt towards face-to-face communication blunts its ability to unpack non-natural communication accounts for the comparatively smaller interventions of pragmaticians. The truth, however, is that since as far back as 1961, with Ervin Goffman’s theory of Encounters, pragmatics has been adequately suited for the analysis of mediated communication. Over the years, exponential work in common ground, identity, metapragmatic, conversational, participation and politeness theories have more strongly demonstrated pragmatics’ capability in handling mediated communication.
Secreatory General, International Pragmatics Association, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
Dean, School of LAnguages, University of Ghana, Legion & Member,IPrA Consultation Board
Department of History & Deputy Vice Chancellor, Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue state Nigeria.
The third (international) workshop-cum conference of the Nigerian Pragmatics Association on pragmatics research has the goal to address these important theoretic and empirical issues, and, therefore, invites abstracts on the following and other related issues on the subject:
In addition to these areas, abstarcts can be submitted on all pragmatically relevant topics.