What is Pragmatics Wastebasket?

 Q: What is Pragmatics Wastebasket?

Q: Significance of Yehoshua Bar-Hillel’s note on the field of pragmatics?

Ans: Pragmatics wastebasket means when you consider things that are just pragmatics, but not real linguistics. Some linguists say that pragmatics studies only those things which are not worthy of scientific study. In other words, they consider pragmatics as meaningless stuff. In modern terms, the meaning of pragmatics wastebasket is taken differently. For example, if someone says, ‘I am tossing that question in pragmatics wastebasket’, the meaning it seems to carry is that ‘that question is just pragmatics and therefore not worthy of scientific study. But what it really means is that ‘that question is worthy of scientific study but too hard to deal with right now, or it would take us too far afield’. The term ‘Pragmatics Wastebasket’ was used for the first time in 1970 by Yehoshua Bar-Hillel. He argued that someone needed to ‘clean the basket’. He comes up with a serious study of pragmatics. His study resulted in a book known as Pragmatics of Natural Languages.



I Dewa Putu Wijana

Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada



This paper deals with Javanese riddles which are very popular among  the Javanese speakers who exploit them for achieving various communicative purposes. From the data collected from web sites and Javanese lesson books, it is found that there are three types of riddles, namely analogous riddles, pun riddle, and pragmatic riddle. The first type is created on the basis of cognitive cultural  similarities existing between the riddle’s questions and the answers. The second type is constructed by various kinds of verbal plays, such as ambiguities, synonymy, acronyms, etc. The third type is created by violations of pragmatic presumptions which are unconsciously considered by the addressee. Finally, Rhyming and complicated syllabic patterning also play  important parts that make the riddles interesting and easy to recollect.

Politeness and Camaraderie: Finding a Seat within Pragmatics Academia


 This brief account is a synthesis on how politeness and camaraderie within my pragmatics social verbal project is verified by recent theories on politeness, impoliteness, and interaction strategies. The account starts with the core issue on politeness and camaraderie, and then it continues with face, face-work, face-threat within politeness and impoliteness researches, face-threat within interaction, and it finally concludes with politeness and camaraderie: finding a seat within pragmatics academia. The account ends with my bothering thought concerning Brown & Gilman’s theory of power and solidarity (1968) as a pragmatic unit of context. This thought is something, as pragmaticians may have missed this pragmatic unit of context, they may have ignored this with some reason(s), or they may have regarded this as a pragmatic trivia.

Full text Download: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/358497716_Politeness_and_Camaraderie_Finding_a_Seat_within_Pragmatics_Academia

Kompilasi Video PDF Online Discussion Series

Berikut daftar video PDF online discussion series yang telah terselenggara dan diupload di PDF Official Youtube Channel:

1. Pragmatics Discussion Forum Online Discussion Series #1

2. Pragmatics Discussion Forum Online Discussion Series #2

3. Pragmatics Discussion Forum Online Discussion Series #3