'In my father’s house’: Conceptualising the Pragmatics of Cognitions

  • Papaa Bunmi


In this research, I adapt the Oyeleyian sense of “my father’s house” thoroughly to a pragmatic axis, using as a springboard the basic cognitive pragmatic content of the structure and lexical preference of biblical authors and translators. I situate words of English in single ‘nature’ cognition of all categories of speakers (native, non-native, educated and uneducated) and locate the processing of their meaning within ‘nurture’, which operationally presupposes nature in the first language speaker sense. I argue that what is said and what is understood may or may not jibe, which does not necessarily imply communicative incompetence on the part of any of the interactants, but rather is a function of either party’s exposure to the language and the degree of influence of the exposure in the environment of cultivation. I conclude that a ‘pragmatics of cognitions’, based on the non-native speaker processing of English words is possible, and that this, of necessity, in large measure, neutralises the concept of lexical errors.

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