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Define and illustrate the indirect speech act

Indirect speech act= speech acts in which one illocutionary act is
performed indirectly by performing another illocutionary act.
Ex: Tom: Lets go to the movies tonight. John: I have to study for my exam.
2. What are the mechanisms described by Searle on which indirect
directives are based + examples.
To ask whether the Hearer is able to do the Act (to question the
preparatory condition): Could you pass the salt?
To state that the H is able to do the Act (to assert the preparatory
condition): you could be a little more quiet.
To state that the S wants the H to do the Act (to assert the
sincerity condition): I would like you to stop.
To ask whether the H will do the act (to question the propositional
content): are you going to eat that?
To state that the H will do the Act (to assert the propositional
content): officers will henceforth wear ties at parties.
3. What are the mechanism described by Searle on which indirect
commissives are based+ examples

To ask whether the H wants to do the act (to question

preparatory condition) Ex. Would you like some help?
To state that the S intends to do the act (to assert
sincerity condition) Ex. I plan on doing that for you.
To state that the S will do the act (to assert
propositional content) Ex. I will do that for you.
To state/ask whether it is reasonable to do the act
Wouldnt it be better if I gave you some assistance?


4. Discuss the social factors that influence indirectness: relative power,

social distance, rights&obligations, the degree of imposition.
Power (based on hierarchical settings) can be: - legitimate
(one has authority by virtue of their social, professional role,
age, status): Student to Lecturer: I would be extremely
grateful if you could approve a weeks extension to the
Lecturer to Secretary: Please make 14 copies of chapter 5 for
the course tomorrow.
- Referent power (by virtue of respect/admiration): Dear
Johnny Depp, could you give me an autograph if this is not
too much trouble?
- Expert power (by virtue of their knowledge/ expertise)
Dear Prof. X, your latest article in Cognition would be of

crucial importance in my research. Would there be any

chance for me to get a copy?
Social Distance : the greater the social distance, the greater
the indirectness is.
Degree of imposition: difficult tasks require a greater degree of
Rights&obligations: If the H has an obligation to perform the
act, the S will not resort to indirectness: ex 1: Next Stop! Vs ex
2: Do you think you could possibly let me aut just beyond the
traffic lights please?
5. Define&illustrate the concept of implicature.
Implicature= the meaning that is suggested rather than stated
through an utterance/ the inference through which the H gets from
the literal meaning to the implicit meaning of an utterance.
Implicatures are not truth-conditional. They do not condition or
change the truth of the proposition. If the implicature proves aut to
be false, the truth of the proposition is not affected. Ex: A: How did
you like your new lecturer? B: Well, he was speaking English.
6. Define the Cooperative Principle of Conversation as defined by Paul
All speakers, regardless of their social status, age, educational
background observe this principle: make your conversational
contributions such as required at the stage at which occurs by the
purpose of the talk exchange in which you are engaged.
Speakers should be as helpful to their hearers as possible. Speakers
should be mindful of what their hearers want to get aut of the
7. The maxim of quality.
It is related to truth, the S must be truthful.
8. The maxim of quantity.
One must provide as much information as needed.
9. The maxim of relation.
One must be relevant to the topic.
The maxim of manner.
One must be clear, avoid ambiguity, obscurity.
Define and exemplify: hedges.
Hedges are expressions that invoke the maxims, either by signaling
that you obey the maxims, either by signaling that you are about to
break the maxims.
Ex: As far as I know they are not engaged (quality).
Define&exemplify: violating the maxims.
The speaker has deliberately broken a maxim in order to deceive the
hearer. Ex: Mom:Did you study? Son, who has slept all day: Yes, I
Define&Exemplify: opting aut.

The speaker refuses to give any information. Ex: A: Did you see the
burglar? B: My lips are sealed.
Define&exemplify: coping with a clash
The speaker has to break one of the maxims in order to observe
another maxim. Ex: A: where does John buy these clothes from? B:
Somewhere in town.
Define&exemplify: flouting
The speaker breaks a maxim in order to make the H draw a
conversational implicature. Ex: A:Are you going to Marks party
tonight? B: My parents are in town.
Define&exemplify: infringement.
A speaker does not observe a maxim unintentionally because he
cannot help himself (foreigner, child, excitement). Ex: Arab
customer: Do you have bebsi? English Shop Assistant: What???
(arabs pronounce b instead of p)
Define&exemplify: suspending a maxim.
In certain settings, the principle of cooperation&the maxims are
legitimately broken (telegrams, text messages).
Define&exemplify: conventional implicatures.
They are drawn by H without taking context into account, they are
part of the conventional meaning of the sentence. They depend on
certain linguistic expressions (but, even, therefore, yet). If the
context changes the implicature stays the same. They are not based
on the Coop Principle of the Maxims. They dont occur because a
certain maxim has been flouted.
Ex: a) He is poor, but he is honest
b) John has not arrived yet.
c) even Sally knows that is wrong.
Define&exemplify: generalized conversational implicatures
They arrise without any particular context, but are based on the
assumption that the H is observing the maxims and the Coop
Ex: a) I walked into a house. (indef dp)
b)S1: I hear you have been invited Mat and Chris. S2: I invited Mat.
20. Define&exemplify: scalar implicatures.
They are related to scales where terms are ordered from the highest to the
lowest value. When any term of a scale is asserted, the negative of all
higher terms of the scale is implicated. They depend on the assumption
that the speakers observe Quantity.
Ex: A: Do you often see your parents? B: I see them sometimes.

Define&exemplify: particularized conversational implicatures.

They require an evaluation of the context in which the utterance is

made and background knowledge; they are also calculated starting
from the Gricean maxims, they are most common.
Ex: A: Want some fudge brownies?
B: There must be 20,000 callories in there!
Discuss the difference between generalized and particularized
conversational implicatures+ illustrate each type of implicature with
one example.
GCI arise without any particular context, while PCI arise by means a
background knowledge of the world.
Ex: a) I walked into a house (GCI)
b) S1: what happened to the roast beef? S2: The dog looks very
happy. (PCI)
23. Discuss the following property of conversational implicature:
calculability. Discuss the steps a Hearer goes through in order to reach the
intended implicature.
It is possible to spell out the steps a H goes through in order to reach
the implicature. Let s take the example: S1: I hope you brought
bread and cheese. S2: I brought bread.
S2 has said he brought bread but I had asked him about
cheese as well.
S2 is breaking Quantity.
I have no reasons to believe hei s being uncooperative.
The most obvious reason for which he did not mention cheese
ist hat he does not have it.
Discuss the following property of conversational implicature:
defeasibility/ cancellation.
Some implicatures can be cancelled, but not all. Cancelation is
usually obtained by adding an expression or sentence that denies
the implicature. Conversational implicatures cannot be cancelled.
GCI are cancellable: I saw a dog, my dog actually, running across
the street. PCI are cancellable. Since conversational implicatures
are generated within conversation, speakers can always deny that
they intended them, thus the property of defeasibility.
Discuss the following property of conversational implicatures:
Any way of phrasing the same proposition in the same context will
result in the same implicature (with the exception of Manner-based
implications). The implicature
cannot be detached from the
Ex: Perhaps he is here ( the implicature is that perhaps he is not

Maybe hei s here (the impplicature stays the same).

Define the notion of face.
Face is an image one projects in society. We are oriented to the face
of the participants in the conversation.
Why is face mutually vulnerable?
My face depends on my interlocutors face being maintaned. People
defend their faces if they are threatened and thus threaten others
What is the difference between positive and negative face?
The negative face= the need to be independent, to have freedom of
action and not to be imposed on by others.
The positive face= includes the need to be accepted, admired,
appreciated, liked, treated as a member of the same group and to
know that his needs are respected by others.
Define linguistic politeness.
The use of language in order to redress the affront to face posed by
face-threatening acts to addressees in order to minimize the threat
to face.
Why is politeness based on rationality?
The theory envisages a Model Person (MP) as a fluent speaker of a
natural language that is endowed with volition, rationality and face.
Rationality: MP has a mode of reasoning from ends to meands that
will achieve those ends (practical reasoning).
Define speech acts that threaten the negative face + 4
examples illustrated.
Acts that indicate that the Speaker intends to impede Hs freedom of
a) Acts that predicate some future act of the H and thus pressurize
the H to do/not do the act: orders, requests (Could you give me
the salt?) threats, warnings (youd better not go there).
b) Acts that predicate some positive future act of the speaker for the
H and thus pressurize the H to accept/ reject them and thus to
incur a debt: offering (S indicated that he wants H to say whether
or not he wants S to do some act for the H, with the H incurring a
debt: If you do that, Ill be forever grateful), Promise (S commits
himself to a future act for Hs benefit: If you do that, Ill do the
same for you).
Define speech acts that threaten the positive face+ 4
examples illustrated.

Acts that indicate that the S intends to harm Hs or Ss positive

public image.
a) Acts that show that the S has a negative opinion on some aspect
of Hs positive face:
- Dissaproval: I don t agree with your decision.
- Ridicule: You look like a clown in that dress.
- Complaints: Im getting tired of your being late.
- Contempt: You mean nothing tom e.

Discuss the strategy of doing face threatening acts off-record.
If we do a FTA off record we do it in such a way as to pretend to hide
what we are doing, hinting. Ex: Oh, no Ive left my money at home
(at a restaurant)
Discuss the strategy of doing face threatening acts on-record
without redress.
Redress= is an attempt to compensate for the threat posed by the
FTA in order tos ave the face. it is undertaken in the most direct,
concise, clear way: ex: Get out!
Define positive politeness. Mention & exemplify 4 positive
politeness strategies.
They are related to positive face & it seeks to soften the threat to
the hearers positive face. the S indicated that he respects the Hs
wish to have his positive face honoured. The S typically asserts that
he wants what the H wants.
Exaggerate (interest, approval with the H ): What a fantastic
garden you have!
Seek agreement: S1:I had a flat tyre on my way home. S2: Oh
God, a flat tyre.
Joking: how about lending me this old heap of junk (Hs new
Be optimistic: Im sure you wont mind if I remind you to do
the dishes.
Define negative politeness. Mention & exemplify 4 negative
politeness strategies.
It is related to negative face. it seeks to soften the threat to Hs neg
face. The S indicates that he respects the Hs wish to be free of any
imposition. The S typically tries to minimize the imposition, show
respect, use formal language.
Be conventionally indirect: Could you take me home?
Minimize the Imposition (indicate that the task is not too
difficult) : Could you lend me a single sheet of paper?


Give deverence, show respect: I think I must be absolutely

stupid but I simply cannot understand this map.
Be pessimistic: You don t have a cigarette,do you?