Introducing ‘Pragmatic Intelligence’ as a Prerequisite for Pragmatic Competence in Communication


  • Rauf Kareem Mahmood Department of English, College of Languages, University of Human Development, Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region, Iraq



Pragmatic intelligence, pragmatic competence, intelligence, communication, pragmatic failure


There have been various approaches to the definition of the elusive term ‘intelligence’ from the perspectives of psychologists, computer language experts, natural scientists, linguists, philosophers, and others. However, no unanimous definition has so far been made for the term. On the contrary, new readings and understandings arise as the outcome of theoretical and experimental studies. This paper is an attempt to introduce the term ‘pragmatic intelligence’ as a prerequisite and a basic requirement for pragmatic competence to avoid pragmatic failure and secure a felicitous communication among interlocutors. The paper hypothesizes that ‘pragmatic intelligence’ is a prerequisite for ‘pragmatic competence’. In order to verify the hypothesis, the researcher theoretically analyzed the necessity of associating pragmatic competence with a mother concept of the same origin rather than connecting it to either Chomsky’s grammatical competence or Hymes’ communicative competence. The paper concluded that ‘pragmatic intelligence’ encompasses innate factors that human beings are born with, which could be shaped in the form of pragmatic competence depending on the quantity and quality of the obtained knowledge. Nonetheless, the paper also proposes for researchers to study the universal characteristics of ‘pragmatic intelligence’ and its pedagogical implications on first and second language acquisition


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