Pragmatics and Social Language

Pragmatics refers to the social constructs and rules that we apply to our interactions with people around us everyday.

Consider your “hello” to the mailman this morning as you smiled in their direction. While this may seem like a trivial greeting, it is considered a social behavior in which you appropriately greeted and initiated conversation with an unfamiliar partner. Pragmatics are important to express our thoughts and feelings to others. 

When considering pragmatics, we can classify social language into verbal communication and nonverbal communication (e.g. facial expressions, body language, tone of voice). Everyday, we use both modalities to help communicate how we feel to others. 

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