Pragmatics in History


‘In the late 1960s, two elderly American tourists who had been touring Scotland reported that,  in their travels, they had come to a Scottish town in which there was a great ruined cathedral. As they stood in the ruins, they saw a small boy and they asked him when the cathedral had been so badly damaged. He replied in the war. Their immediate interpretation, in the late 1960s, was that he must be referring to the Second World War which had ended only twenty years earlier. But then they thought that the ruins looked as if they had been in their dilapidated state for much longer than that, so they eventually discovered, had formally ended in 1745.

Brown (1998)’

– Yule, G. 1985. The Study of Language Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press (2010) p. 127

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