Speech Acts

Main constituents of a speech act:
- Utterance ( typically a sentence): the spaker utters a certain expression in a
certain context
- Locutionary act: the speaker says to the hearer that so-and-so
- Illocutionary act: the speaker intends to do such-and-such in that context
- Perlocutionary act: the speaker affects the hearer in a certain way
Accordin! to the illocutionary point" speech acts can #e classified as follow:
$ Asserti%es ( the illocutionary point is to co&&it the speaker to the truth of the
- infor&ati%es: express a #elief
- descriptions: contain the link %er# to #e
- preditions: contain a future for& of the %er#
- reportin!: contain a past for& of the %er#
- dissenti%es: a dis#elief" so&ethin! contrary to what was clai&ed
- 'ustifications: !enerally contrain con'unctions like #ecause" since or as
( )irecti%es: the illocutionary point is to !et the hearer to do so&ethin!
- instructions: express the desire that the hearer should do so&ethin!
- co&&ands" re*uire&ents" perfor&ed #y a speaker ha%in! a certain authority o%er
the hearer
- su!!estions
- reco&&endations
- per&issi%es
- prohi#itions
+ ,xpressi%es: the illocutionary point is to express a psycholo!ical state a#out a
certain situation
- !reetin!s
- thanks
- con!radulations and whishes
- con%eyin! e&otions
- .o&&issi%es: the illocutionary point is to co&&it the speaker to so&e future
course of action
- pro&ises
- offers
/ )eclarations: the illocutionary point is to #rin! a state of affairs into existence #y
declarin! it to exist
- con%ertional speech acts which are !enerally specific to certain institutions0 they
affect the institutional status of persons and thin!s" create institutional ri!hts and
o#li!ations" or are parts of so&e institutional practice
- A special type: declarations concernin! lan!ua!e itself
.oherence and cohesion
.oherence: the discourse property which connects the &eanin! units of a text in a
lo!ical structure
.ohesion: the lexico-se&antic de%ices used in order to ensure unity at the le%el of the
lin!uistic context
1alliday and 1anson discuss %arious types of cohesi%e de%ices:
- de%ices which link to!ether &essa!e co&ponents: !ra&&atical cohesion
(reference" su#stitution" ellipsis) and lexical cohesion (reiteration" colloca#ility)
- de%ices &eant to link whole &essa!es: con'unctions ite&s
$ 2ra&&atical cohesion
a) 3eference: the relationship of identity which holds #etween two lin!uistic
expressions occurrin! in a particular text It &ay #e:
4 personal ( personal or possessi%e pronouns)
4 de&onstrati%e ( de&onstrati%e pronouns and ad%er#ials" the definite article"
the deter&iner with de&onstrati%e %alue 4 such" ad'ecti%e like 4 said"
#) Su#stitutions ( e! one" the sa&e" so" not)
c) ,llipsis: the o&ission of a word or words fro& a sentence only as far as they
are retrie%a#le fro& the text
- no&inal
- %er#al
- clausal
() Lexical cohesion
a) 3eiteration: the repetition of an earlier lexical ite&" as well as its reference #y a
synony&" antony& or hypony&
#) .olloca#ility: the use of words and expressions which #elon! to the sa&e se&antic
+ .on'unctions ite&s
5hey specify the &anner in which what is a#out to #e said &ust #e interpreted in
relation to the pre%ious &essa!e 5his type of cohesi%e de%ice is reali6ed #y a wide
ran!e of lexical ite&s" so&e of which #elon! to the !ra&&atical cate!ory of
con'unction" while others are represented #y ad%er#s which are actually outside the
syntactic structure of the sentence
1alliday and 1asan su!!est a classification of con'unctions ite&s into:
a) Additi%e: also" &oreo%er" in addition" and" #esides
#) Ad%ersati%e: howe%er" ne%ertheless" yet" #ut" althou!h
c) .ausal: conse*uently" therefore" accordin!ly" so" #ecause" as" as lon! as
d) 5e&poral: afterwards" in the &eanti&e" #efore" after

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