The ten volumes of Handbook of Pragmatics Highlights focus on the most salient topics in the field of pragmatics, thus dividing its wide interdisciplinary spectrum in a transparent and manageable way. While the other volumes select specific philosophical, cognitive, grammatical, social, cultural, variational, interactional, or discursive angles, this first volume reviews basic notions that pervade the pragmatic literature, such as deixis, implicitness, speech acts, context, and the like. It situates the field of pragmatics, broadly defined as the cognitive, social, and cultural science of language use, in relation to a general concept of communication and the discipline of semiotics. It also touches upon the non-verbal aspects of language use and even ventures a comparison with non-human forms of communication. The introductory chapter, moreover, explains why a highly diversified field of scholarship such as pragmatics can be regarded as a potentially coherent enterprise.