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Abstract

Game theoretic pragmatics is a small but growing part of formal pragmatics, the linguistic subfield studying language use. The general logic of a game theoretic explanation of a pragmatic phenomenon is this: (i) the conversational context is modelled as a game between speaker and hearer; (ii) an adequate solution concept then selects the to-be-explained behavior in the game model. For such an explanation to be convincing, both components, game model and solution concept, should be formulated and scrutinized as explicitly as possible. The article demonstrates this by a concise overview of both evolutionary and non-evolutionary approaches to game theoretic pragmatics, arguing for the use of agent-based micro-dynamics within evolutionary, and for the use of epistemic game theory within non-evolutionary approaches.