Historicity in metapragmatics – A study on ‘discernment’ in Italian metadiscourse

Dániel Z. Kádár, Annick Paternoster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The present paper contributes to metapragmatics, by examining the question of how historicity influences the validity of certain modern metaterms that are accepted as ‘neutral’ and ‘scientific’ in pragmatics. We argue that it is fundamental to explore the history and development of such metaterms, and also to study their historically situated meanings, in order to increase the self-reflexivity and rigour of analyses. We analyse the notion of ‘discernment’ as a case study, and we will show that the way in which the Italian equivalent of this term (discernere) – which supposedly influenced historical English understandings of ‘discernment’ as well – is used in historical Italian metadiscourses contradicts the modern application of this metaterm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-391
Number of pages23
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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