The study of pragmatics is something that’s quite difficult to explain: it’s the study of language at a conversational, rather than semantic or grammatical, level. For most people this is too vague to understand, and is difficult to explain.
However, the study of discourse disorders, especially schizophrenic discourse, makes the study of pragmatics make more sense.
Rochester and Martin’s ground breaking (though now dated and not politically correct) study, Crazy Talk, noted that ‘though schizophrenics use proper words and produce reasonable well-formed sentences, one is unable, after having heard a series of such sentences, to comprehend what has been said’. That is to say, there is little or no connection and a lot of vagueness. Continue reading