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aaaaaaasdsCHAPTER 2:

SPEECH ACT THEORY

1. Speech acts

1. Speech acts
Language is not always used to describe some state of affairs, or to state
some facts, which it must do either truly or falsely.

Language is used to do things other than just refer to the truth or falseness of
statements.

We can , just like the way we perform


physical acts.

Example:

2. Different kinds of act of an utterance


: reference to an entity and a predicate.

The speaker expresses a proposition in saying something.

Example:

John, leave the room !

Its cold in here.

Theres food in the fridge.

There are 3 kinds of act which occur with everything we say.

Example:

John, leave the room !

Its cold in here. Theres food in the fridge.


Im hungry.

How to identify the illocutionary force of an utterance?

Not always easy depends very much on .

Have to put it in a complete text rather than examining the utterance in


isolation.

One illocutionary force may be spread over more than one utterance.

One utterance can carry more than one single illocutionary force.

3. Direct and Indirect speech acts


Sentence structures:

Declarative (positive and negative)

Interrogative

Imperative

Exclamative

Language functions:

There are several cases of meaning:

When the speaker means what he says and nothing more

When the speaker means what he says, but also means something more.

When the speaker means what he says, but also means another illocution with
different propositional content.

Example:

Please pass the salt !

I want you to pass the salt.

Can you reach the salt?

Direct speech act:

Indirect speech
act:

(or one illocutionary act is performed by way of performing another)

Example:

A: Can I help you ?

B: Can I have a small fried rice with chicken?

Problem:

Apparatus to interpret indirect speech acts:

Illocutionary force indicating


devices:

Its going to charge

Its going to charge

Its going to charge

4. Performative verbs
Performative verb

Once you say it, you perform the act at the same time.

Performative sentences or performatives (explicit or implicit):

do not ,

are not

but rather

To say something is to do something.

Example:
Performative verbs are also one
of .

Speech acts that contain a performative verb are


often speech acts.

However, they are not always made explicit in conversations.

And sometimes the speech act is not always the same as the verb may
suggest.

5. Felicity conditions
For a speech act to work, there are a number of felicity conditions that must
be met:

- :

+ Appropriate

+ Appropriate

- The procedure mustbe carried out ..

- The person must have the


required , ,
and .

Searles framework of felicity conditions

1) the propositional content condition: focuses only upon


the

2) the preparatory condition: focuses upon

3) the sincerity condition: focuses upon the

4) the essential condition: focuses upon the

Conditions for PROMISING:

Propositional condition:

Preparatory conditions:

Sincerity condition:

Essential condition:

5. 5 basic types of speech act


: committing the speaker to the truth of
a particular proposition.

: attempting to get somebody to do


something.

: committing the speaker to a future


course of action.

: expressing a particular psychological


state.

: bringing about an immediate change in


a state of affairs.

6. Cross-cultural pragmatics and Cross-cultural pragmatic failure


Communication problems often arise because of different sets of
underlying norms and assumptions.

Studies which investigate this kind of cross-cultural use of speech acts


are known as cross-cultural
pragmatics:
and

: the study of speech acts in relation to


typical linguistic structure.

: where a speaker transfers the


procedure and linguistic means of realizing a speech act from L1 to L2
(a linguistic problem)

: the pragmatic performance of speech


acts in specific social and cultural contexts.

: where a speakerof L2 assesses


relevant situational factors on the basis of the sociopragmatic norms of
their L1.

7. Conclusion
Speech act theory: language can be used to perform acts.

Speaker performs different acts in uttering words.

Speech acts can be performed directly or indirectly.

How to interpret indirect speech acts ?