Relevant Theory Sample Essay
Here, we shall be discussing the famous Relevant theory. Even though most of us have not heard of this theory, it is a well-known one in its respective field. In fact, it quite important as well. But why? and what is it? We shall be answering these questions in this sample essay. Thus, without further adieu:
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What is a relevant theory?
The term “Relevance Theory” refers to the framework which helps us understand the utterance interpretation. This theory mainly deals with the field of cognitive linguistics and pragmatics.
Moreover, it was first proposed by Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson, It was highly inspired by H. Paul Grice’s work and thus, it was based on his ideas. However, relevant theory grew to become a pragmatic framework itself.
This theory was seen in the seminal book “Relevance” which came out in the year 1986 as well as a revised version in the year 1995. It would be an understatement to say that this theory was impactful. For the 24,000 citations of the work speak for themselves.
Relevance Theory: Overview
Sperber and Wilson argued that human verbal communication is directly demonstrative. As such, it directs attention to communicators’ willingness to deliver certain information. Naturally, theory determined that addressees are “relevant” to them.
Therefore, several conclusions can be drawn from a relevant utterance for the addressee at a low processing cost. In addition, it uses the information gained utterance as well as the expectations related to the relevance. Plus, it also uses real-world knowledge and sensory input to determine what a person wants to convey.
Furthermore, Sperber and Wilson combined the properties of verbal communication while terming it as “ostensive-inferential communication“. Consequently, the communicator’s intentions can be divided into two layers. These are, as mentioned below:
- Informative Intention
- Communicative intention
As the name implies, the former one is when the goal is to inform the other person or people. Whereas, Communicative intention concerns informing the audience that the communicator has Informative Intention.
Moving on, we shall be looking at the Principles of the same in the next section of the sample essay.
Principles of relevant theory
In the relevant theory, there are two different principles of humans concerning human communication and cognition. In this section of the sample essay. we shall be looking at these two principles.
The first principle is known as the Cognitive principle of relevance. It says that human cognition directly concerns the relevance’s maximization. Reason being that pressure from evolution caused the creation of specific cognitive systems.
Moreover, this special system helps in the recognition of stimuli that are potentially relevant. In addition, it also tries to a relevant conclusion.
The second principle of the relevance theory is known as the communication principle of relevance. It mainly states that every time an utterance occurs in a conversation, it conveys information. This information can be divided into two categories.
Firstly, The information is should hold enough worth for the audience to process it. Moving on, it should be relevant to the ability of communicators as well as their preferences.
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