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Dan: Do you mind if I smoke? Anna: If you must. Dan: I don't have to. Anna: Then don't.

[Pause] Anna: I liked your book. Dan: Thanks. Anna: When's it published? Dan: Next year. How come you've read it? Anna: Your publisher sent me a manuscript. I read it last night. It kept me up till 4:00. Dan: I'm flattered. Anna: Is your heroine based on someone you know? Dan: Yes. She's someone called Alice. Anna: How does she feel about you stealing her life? Dan: Borrowing her life. I'm dedicating the book to her. She's pleased.[Pause] Dan: Do you exhibit? Anna: Sometimes. I have a thing next year. [Pause. Dan wanders around in Annas studio, looking at the portaits on the walls.] Dan: Portraits? Anna: uhum Dan: Of who? Anna: Strangers. Dan: How do your strangers feel about you stealing their lives? Anna: Borrowing. Dan: Am I a stranger? Anna: No. You're a job. And you're a sloucher. Sit up.

Introduction In this paper I am going to analyse, from the point of view of the speech act theory and, to various extends, from other pragmatic points of view, a short dialogue taken from the movie Closer. The aim of this analysis is to show what can be done by means of language, how important is the context in a social interraction and how social dinstance and social closeness can change during a conversation. Analysis It is worth bearing in mind that the excerpt chosen for this paper is taken from a bigger scene and that is why the context is very important, if not essential, in order to understand all that it is comunicated. Furthermore, one should know that a complete analisys is impossible to make only from the perspective of the speech act theory, this being in fact a transcription of an oral interraction between 2 actors playing their roles in a movie, this implying more than just speaking. In other words, there can be messages sent by other means than words, messages which can be omitted in the present analysis. First of all it must be said that in order to understand a message, the syntactical structure and lexical items are very important, but we also must take into consideration what is beyond words, the force of the utterances, the intentions of the speaker, etc. For instance, in the first line of our dialogue, which is an interrogative, Dan in not interested in wether Anna has something against him smoking or not. Hes just asking permission to smoke. Annas answer is apparently an affirmative one, but the use of the the modal must and if clause restricts the liberty of action of Dan. Consequently, Anna answers by a dirrective Then dont. The latter can be however further analysed. Being a dirrective, the speaker attempts to make the world fit the words and we may perceive it as an order or even a suggestion. Another example of intention of the speaker hidden behind the words can be found in Annas reaction to the manuscript: It kept me up till 4:00. Apparently an assertion, which, as a speech act is a representative, the utterance could be considerated an expressive, denoting pleasure, but only if taken in relation with the whole context. Isolated, it could suggest a negative content. Evenmore, this phrase can function as a compliment, especially because of Dans reaction Im flattered. That is why, this expressive is an implicit one, as opposed to a previous one, when Anna expresses explicitly her admiration related to Dans book I liked your book.

Another issue of great importance when talking about speech act theory are the conditions which are to be fulfilled so that a certain act can be performed. These conditions are called felicity conditions and they work in a different way for each and every speech act. Lets take for instance the dirrective performed by Anna at the beginning of the dialogue: Then dont. If the speakers intention was to give an order, then 4 felicity conditions should be fulfilled. First of all, the sender believes the action should be done, which is true. Anna allows Dan to smoke. However she considers that hed better not do it. Furthermore, the receiver has the ability to do the action. In our case, it is obvious that Dan has the ability to not smoke. This is underlined also by the fact that he sais that he didnt have to. In this way, the second felicity condition is fulfilled also. Next, so that the uterrance functions as an order, the receiver has the obligation to do the action. In my opinion, this condition is interpretable. Eventhough Anna allowed Dan to smoke, not in an eager manner if I must say, they are at her place after all, and although shes not too pleased with people smoking, then the utterance Then dont might have the function of an order. The last condition which must be fulfilled is that the sender has the right to tell the receiver to do the action. Here there is no need for interpretation because, indeed, Anna has the right to tell Dan not to smoke. This all suggests that the utterance made by Anna could function as an order. However, the poossibility to interpret one of the conditions makes it ambiguous and I would like to stress the fact that is imperative that all conditions are fulfilled in order to consider the utterance an order. In the case of the last line, when Anna tells Dan to sit up, this utterance is also, apparently an order. If we analyse it from the point of view of the felicity conditions, we can see that the sender believes the action should be done. Taking the utterance in relation with the previous one And youre a sloucher, it is easy to see that indeed Anna thinks that Dan should sit up. The second condition - the receiver has the ability to do the action is also fulfilled because Dan is able to sit up. The next 2 conditons are, again, interpretable. We should have in mind the fact that the relationship between the two characters is, first of all, a professional one, Anna being a photographer and Dan the model and the client. That is why, as a professional, Anna should, at all moments, tell Dan how to pose and dirrect him in order to make better photographs. Consequently, the third felicity condition is fulfilled: the receiver has the obligation to do the action. However, his obligation is a professional one, not a moral one. The last condition - the sender has the right to tell the receiver to do the action is fulfilled also, again, from a professional point of view. The speech act theory analyses discourse also from the point of view of the underlying force of an utterance. As shown by Austin, when producing an

utterance, 3 acts are being performed: a locutionary act, an illocutionary act and a perlocutionary one. The locutionary act is the basic act of an utterance, which produces a linguistic expression with a meaning. The illocutionary one is related to the intention the speaker has in mind when performing the utterance. And finally, the perlocutionary act, also called perlocutionary effect, is the effect that the speaker intend to produce on the hearer by means of his utterances. Lets take again Annas line I read it last night. It kept me up till 4:00. which is an assertion, simply stating a fact, that she was awake the night before until 4. This is the locutionary act, a mere message, telling what she has done last night. On the other hand, the illocutionary force of the utterance is beyond this simple statement. Annas intention is to make a compliment, an indirect one for that matter, to maintain a certain social distance between her and Dan, but also to express the way she feels about the book. As for the perlocutionary effect, there can be various effects intended by Anna: impressing Dan or directing the conversation to a precise point of discussion, that is the heroine of the story and thus diminishing the social distance between them. Taking the analysis further, we can see that when Anna is asking Dan: Is your heroine based on someone you know? the locutionary act is a simple question and the illocutionary one could be a simple curiosity related to the novel and its characters, while the perlocutionary effect is something more subtle if we take into consideration the context of the entire scene and even of the plot of the movie, which is not to be discussed in the present analysis. However the importance of these aspects is not dispensable and we can identify the perlocutionary effect in Annas wish to find more about Dan and his private life, without letting him notice. Dans answer in ambiguous and is omitting some information, diminishing this way evenmore the social distance between him and Anna. He uses a simple affirmation yes followed by a representative She's someone called Alice avoiding this way telling Anna what is the role of Alice in his life,that is his girlfriend. Moreover, the use of the hedge someone suggest somehow a social distance between him and Alice. With Annas next question How does she feel about you stealing her life? a certain familiarity is beginning to emerge between the two actants, closeness emphasized by the use of the verb to steal with a metaphorical function. The perlocutionary effect of this utterance might be Annas intention to tease Dan and Dans reaction is a face saving act Borrowing her life, replacing the verb stealing with another verb used in a metaphorical way borrowing and repeating a fragment of Annas utterance, lessening the force of the teasing made by her.

This type of face saving act is used by Anna too, towards the end of the dialogue,when Dan is asking her about the subjects of her photographys: Dan: How do your strangers feel about you stealing their lives? Anna: Borrowing. The social closeness is somewhat maintained with this FTA-FSA exchange but as we can see from the next 2 lines, the situation changes. Dan intends to find out more by his question Am I a stranger?, which is a dirrective. The locutionary act is the simple questioning. For the illocutionary act is easy to see that the purpose of Dans question was not just a yes/no answer. He tries to reduce as much as possible the social distance between him and Anna, distance based in fact on their professional relation rather than on Annas unwillingness to bond. Furthermore, the perlocutionary effect of Dans utterance could be related to a desire of receiving a negative answer, that he is not a stranger for Anna. However, her response creates again some sort of social barrier between them. Annas answers are monosilabic No, short phrases Youre a job. And youre a sloucher. And finally she uses a dirrective Sit up, which I already analysed. We can see that her answer coincides to a certain extend with Dans expectation, saying no, but analysed with the next assertion, the meaning changes, especially because of the use of job in a metaphorically way. According to Yule, speech acts can also be divided in direct and indirect. There can be a direct relationship between the structure (declarative, interrogative and imperrative) of an uterance and its communicative function (statement, question, command, request,etc), in which case we have direct speech acts. In the case of indirect speech acts, this relationship is indirect. Lets take for example the interrogative Do you mind if I smoke? which doesn not function as a question. The utterance is used as a request, Dan asking permission to smoke. Hence, it is an indirect speech act. Conclusion To sum up, it is necessary to say that this analysis couldn not exhaust all the topics available for a discussion from the point of view of the speech act theory, mostly because one of my intention was only to show that we can find a variety of speech acts in a simple every day conversation. Furthermore, I have to emphasize the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to discourse analysis, especially in the case of oral communication, because sometimes meaning can be found elsewhere than in words and utterances, that is in body language, intonation, etc.