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In Intercultural Pragmatics, the first book on the subject, Kecskes establishes the foundations of the field, boldly combining the pragmatic view of cooperation with the cognitive view of egocentrism in order to incorporate emerging features of communication. He argues that people cooperate by generating and formulating intention that is relevant to the given actual situational context. At the same time, however, because of their egocentrism they activate the most salient information to their attention in the construction and comprehension of utterances.
Within this approach, interlocutors are considered as social beings searching for meaning with individual minds embedded in a socio-cultural collectivity, and intention is a cooperation-directed practice that is governed by relevance which depends on actual situational experience.
Intercultural pragmatics is a rapidly-growing field, and the only subfield of pragmatics to incorporate features of intercultural interaction into mainstream pragmatics. This volume offers both a valuable synthesis of current research and a new way to think about pragmatics.
Istvan Kecskes is Professor of Linguistics and education at the State University of New York, Albany. He is the President of the American Pragmatics Association and Editor-in-Chief of the journals Intercultural Pragmatics (De Gruyter), Chinese as a Second Language Research (De Gruyter) and the Mouton Series in Pragmatics. He is the co-editor of the Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict (Benjamins).