The current proliferation of hermeneutic resources with a linguistic base--pragmatics, speech act theory, classical rhetoric theory, Burkean analysis, conversational analysis, Habermasian communicative action--is an embarras de richesse. Surely, at this point, we need, not another theory, but rather an attempt at synthesis, an attempt to turn this hermeneutic plentitude into a single theory. In this paper, we propose to take an initial step in this direction, to attempt to marry pragmatics and rhetoric. But given the theoretical exfoliation that has marked these areas, such a marriage can be managed only by imposing very strict limitations on the scope of our enterprise. We believe, however, that we can take a step in our preferred direction by addressing the more specific problem of whether the theory of Paul Grice, the father of pragmatics, is compatible with the theory of Aristotle, the father of rhetoric. We intend to do so by reconstructing Aritotelian rhetoric as a pragmatics.
A. L. Becker’s 'modern philology' is an approach to discourse rooted in multifaceted explorations of particular texts: a line from Emerson, a Southeast Asian proverb, a Javanese shadow play. He explains 'autopoiesis' this way: 'One of the tenets of the gaggle of ideas calle ‘autopoiesis’ is that languaging is orientational, mostly. A says something to B -- and no ‘message’ is ‘transmitted’ -- rather what A says orients B (and him/herself, of course). But the orientation of A is not the orientation of B, except to the extent they have the same reactions to prior texts (lingual memories).
Starting with the development of Caterpillar Fundamental English in the 1970's, industry has made several attempts to formalize and standardize the writing process, both to promote consistency and quality for the reader and to improve the possibilities for automatic text processing (e.g. translation to other languages). In this presentation, I will review the work we have done at the Language Technologies Institute on a software environment for automatic document checking, specifically to address the issue of how such environments can be productive (and hence useful) for the technical writer.
A qualitative glance at how people in contemporary, heterogeneous communications environments--especially those involved in collaborative enterprises--were handling multiple communication events and the incoming and outgoing products of their communications, for example, texts, files, e-texts parked on shared file servers, e-texts parked on a user's hard-disk, web pages and useful http addresses, all of those sorts of things.