Pragmatic Failure of Homonyms in EFL Iraqi Learners

Abstract

Pragmatic failure is, as Jenny Thomas defines it, the inability to understand and comprehend what is meant by the virtue of what is said. Pragmatic failure is of two types: pragma-linguistic and socio-pragmatic failure. The first of those failures, namely pragma-linguistic failure, is the one which means the pragmatic failure that can be solved by the explanation of grammar. The second type, socio-pragmatic failure, is that failure which happens by the difference of the norms and the conventions of the mother tongue and that of the second/target language which thereby is very difficult to explain. However, students of English as a foreign language may misuse the linguistic term ‘homonyms’, where homonymy means the kind of words that may have the same spelling words and pronunciation, but are different in meaning which in this case requires the knowledge of the context and this would be very difficult to the students to understand. The present study seeks to identify the errors (or failure) of EFL Iraqi students in using homonymy, and to find the solution or strengthen the students’ pragmatic competence.