Semantics and Pragmatics in Mathematical Events: A Linguistics View

Semantics and Pragmatics in Mathematical Events: A Linguistics View

Vinod Kumar Kanvaria (University of Delhi, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9634-1.ch038


The current chapter throws light on mathematical semantics and pragmatics. Believing that the mathematics has its own language and hence linguistics principles, the chapter tries to have an in-depth insight on how learner makes a meaning from an even simple event, while it takes place, and how these finally are assimilated by the learner. As learning is also experiential in nature, the contextual values, relationship, rapport, trust, confidence, in addition to simple interaction and plain interaction between learners and facilitators, play a vital and significant role in conceptual semantics and pragmatics of events and understanding of underlying mathematics. Context and situation are capable enough of changing perception-based mathematical meaning and meaning-making process, based on linguistics, associated with even the similar simple events. Hence, the context and situations must be created, associated and exploited up to the optimum level for enhanced conceptual teaching and learning of mathematics at par the daily life experiences for a better meaning-making process.
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Linguistics inherits simplicity in complexity and complexity in simplicity, and so is the mathematics. This common nature of linguistics and mathematics, by and large, results into a bridge between the two. Semantics and pragmatics are at the core of the two, and hence, the semantics and pragmatics associated with mathematical concepts are affected. Semantics, basically, is study of meaning associated with a language (Syafrinaldi, 2012, p. 88). Pragmatics deals with the rules guiding the implications of things (Rubinstein, 2012, p. 189), while semantics with the meaning associated with the things. Pragmatics sees the world with an image, not merely a text (Doam, 2001). Pragmatics deals with the intent of communication or speaker meaning (Leech, 1983; Sperber & Wilson, 1986a; Sperber & Wilson, 1986b).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Semantics: Semantics is study of meaning associated with a language. This meaning may be conceptual meaning, connotative meaning, social/contextual meaning, emotive meaning, reflected meaning, collative meaning and thematic meaning.

Mathematics Learning: Learning of mathematics following its rules, axioms, postulates, principles and theorems.

Maxims of Pragmatics: Key rules or guiding principles for pragmatics.

Pragmatics: Pragmatics deals with the rules guiding the implications of things.

Linguistics: Science of language.

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