It is a great pleasure for Intercultural Pragmatics to introduce our first “Thematic Issue: Pragmatics and Philosophy” (TIPP). We sincerely hope that many more TIPP issues will come. The journal has always tried to do something new, unusual, or unique. TIPP is the result of these endeavors. Given the popularity of the journal and the growing number of submissions in philosophical and linguistic pragmatics, the publisher De Gruyter Mouton, by the recommendation of the Editor-in-Chief, has agreed to regularly publish “Thematic Issue: Pragmatics and Philosophy” (TIPP).
The journal has always encouraged the publication of theoretical papers including linguistic and philosophical pragmatics, considered very important for research in intercultural pragmatics, a relatively new field of inquiry within the Gricean paradigm. It is important to emphasize that research in intercultural pragmatics has never aimed at dismantling Gricean pragmatics. Rather, its main goal is to offer an alternative way of thinking about the main questions of pragmatics while keeping and enhancing the Gricean framework.
The main driving force of this alternative way of thinking is an intercultural perspective that differs from the first language (L1) and monolingual perspective on which intention and cooperation-based pragmatics is built. What standard pragmatics assumes about how things work in communication, depending on there being commonalities, conventions, and norms between speakers and hearers, can hardly be counted on cross-culturally in the same way as in intracultural, first language communication. Commonalities, conventions, common beliefs, shared knowledge create a core common ground, a kind of collective salience. But when this core common ground appears to be missing or limited, as is the case in intercultural communication, interlocutors cannot take it for granted; rather they need to co-construct it, creating their own norms at least temporarily. So there appears to be a shift in emphasis from the communal to the individual. It is not that the individual becomes more important than the societal. Rather, since there is limited common ground, it should be created in the interactional context in which the interlocutors function as core common ground creators rather than just common ground seekers and activators, as is mostly the case in L1 communication.
Consequently, there seems to be a reason to take up the question of how people go about formulating utterances and interpreting them when they can’t count on, or have limited access to, those commonalities, conventions, standards, and norms; and in a sense, they are expected to create or co-construct them in the communicative process. What people depend on that makes pragmatic meaning reliable within a speech community–the focus of standard pragmatic theories–becomes more visible when we see the troubles, misunderstandings, and different routes to success that may arise when those commonalities and/or conventions are missing or limited cross-culturally. This means that while working on intercultural pragmatics and analyzing language use in intercultural communication we may be able to see and notice things that standard theories of pragmatics may miss or just take for granted. But if researchers want to pursue this kind of inquiry in intercultural pragmatics, they must be up-to-date in new developments in theoretical pragmatics. This is where TIPP can be an invaluable resource. It will collect the very best submissions on linguistic and philosophical pragmatics each year under the editorship of Professor Alessandro Capone (University of Messina, Italy) who will work together with the Editor-in-Chief to make sure that “Thematic Issue: Pragmatics and Philosophy” will publish innovative and intriguing scholarship in the field.
However, our targeted audience is not just researchers in intercultural pragmatics who need to be well-informed in developments in theoretical pragmatics. We hope that TIPP will be a forum for anybody who is interested in new and exciting scholarship in pragmatics in general. We have certainly done our best to present our audience with some innovative research in this first issue.
© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston