For example, "you're welcome" is not intended to convey the message that the hearer is welcome; it is a phatic response to being thanked, which in turn is a phatic whose function is to be polite in response to a gift.
Similarly, in the English language, the question "how are you?" is usually an automatic component of a social encounter. Although there are times when "how are you?" is asked in a sincere, concerned manner and does in fact anticipate a detailed response regarding the respondent's present state, this needs to be pragmatically inferred from context and inflection.
The utterance of a phatic expression is a kind of speech act.
Publication No. WO/2010/059402 Published on May 27, Assigned to Momentive Performance Materials for Sulfur-Containing Cycloali Phatic Compound, Filled Sulfur-Vulcanizable Elastomer Composition, Fabricated Article (German, American Inventors)
May 28, 2010; GENEVA, June 2 -- Carla Recker, Thomas Kramer and Katharina Herzog, all from Germany, and Richard W. Cruse and William Michael...