Angewandte Sprachwissenschaft / Anglistik



The concept of context has undergone some fundamental rethinking in the scientific community, where it is no longer seen as an analytic prime. Rather than being looked upon as an external constraint on linguistic performance, context is analysed as a product of language use, as interactionally construed, co-constructed and negotiated, and as imported and invoked. Context is also considered as a psychological construct, and as a set of antecedent premises which are required for a communicative act to be felicitous.

Context is further conceptualized along the distinction between context as type and context as token, differentiating between more generalized and more particularized variants, and context is conceived of as dynamic and relational, more or less (un)bounded, subjective and individual, and social and institutional.


  • Fetzer, Anita. 2017. Context. In Huang, Yan (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 259-276.
  • Fetzer, Anita. 2017. Appropriateness, communicative activity and context. In Pandolfi, Elena Maria, Miecznikowski, Johanna, Christopher, Sabine & Kamber, Alain (eds.). Studies on language norms in context. Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main, 173-196.
  • Fetzer, Anita. 2012. Contexts in interaction: relating pragmatic wastebaskets. In Finkbeiner, Rita, Meibauer, Jörg & Schumacher, Petra (eds.). What is a Context? Linguistic Approaches and Challenges. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 105-127.
  • Fetzer, Anita & Oishi, Etsuko (eds.). 2011. Fetzer, Anita and Oishi, Etsuko. eds. Context and contexts: parts meet whole? Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Fetzer, Anita. 2010. Contexts in context: micro meets macro. In Tanskanen, Sanna-Kaisa et al. (eds.). Discourses in Interaction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 13-31.