Pragmatics as the study of how the meaning of spoken and written discourse is related to the context in which that speech and writing occurs. Pragmatics is specifically concerned with how speakers' shared interests and purposes shapes discourse. The role of Pragmatics and Discourse is central to the research of various faculty in the department, from a variety of perspectives, including syntax, semantics, typology and sociolinguistics.
Jürgen Bohnemeyer, PhD specializes in semantic typology, conceptual and formal semantics, the syntax-semantics interface, the semantics-pragmatics interface, linguistic anthropology and Mesoamerican languages.
Abigaël Candelas de la Ossa works at the interfaces of pragmatics, semantics, and sociolinguistics. By examining variation in pragmatic/semantic features such as pronouns and modal auxiliaries, and lexicosyntactic variation, Candelas de la Ossa looks at how semantic and pragmatic features can be used as stancetaking resources.
Matthew S. Dryer, PhD's research includes the relation between syntax and discourse.
Jean-Pierre Koenig, PhD studies how discourse structure helps inferring temporal structure or filling in underspecified semantic representations.
Madeleine Mathiot, PhD and Professor Emeritus studies conversation and has produced a detailed study, Talk in Interactive Events.