Outline

Speech Act Theory
Introduction to Semantics November 4, 2004 Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader
http://www.odur.let.rug.nl/spenader/

Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory

http://www.odur.let.rug.nl/spenader/

Outline

Outline
Speech has functions Motivations for Speech Act Theory Beyond truth Performatives Constraints on performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Politeness is indirect Face
Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.odur.let.rug.nl/spenader/

Speech has functions

Beyond truth

Performatives

Parts of Speech Acts

Indirect speech acts

Face

How to be a good host in Japan

(1)

Nanika nomi ni narimasu ka? Something drink become Question marker. What would you like to drink? Koohii ka koocha wo nomi ni narimasu Coffee or black tea object-marker drink become ka? Question marker. Are you drinking coffee or black tea?

(2)

Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory

http://www.odur.let.rug.nl/spenader/

Speech has functions

Beyond truth

Performatives

Parts of Speech Acts

Indirect speech acts

Face

Motivations for Speech Act Theory

Exceptions to the rule
Speaker’s contribute more information than just “what is said”
To account for additional information Grice and others developed the idea of conversational implicatures Gricean Maxims can give a principled account of additional meaning

We now assume that hearers interpret utterances based on the assumption that speakers are following Gricean Maxim’s when they form their utterances
Yet many utterances don’t seem to follow Gricean Maxim’s! In particular speakers seem to communicate many things in an indirect way, without obvious additional meaning

Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory

http://www.odur.let.rug.nl/spenader/

Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Motivations for Speech Act Theory Utterances that break maxims The following utterances break Gricean Maxims (3) (4) (5) Do you have a watch? Mag ik jou iets vragen? Wilt u misschien de deur openlaten? Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.rug.let.nl/spenader/ .odur.

Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Motivations for Speech Act Theory What is speech act theory Crystal A theory where the effect of an utterance is analyzed in relationship to the speaker and listener’s behavior Speech Act Theory can help us analyze utterances that seem to break Gricean maxims Speech Act Theory can also help us examine utterances from the perspective of their function.rug.let. rather than their form Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.odur.nl/spenader/ .

Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Motivations for Speech Act Theory Austin: How to do things with words Sentence types have conventional relationships to certain types of speech acts: declarative: The class finishes at 6 pm → assertions (statements) interrogative: Does this class finish at 6 pm? → questions imperatives: Stop teaching immediately! → orders optative: I wish this class would be over! → wishes Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.rug.odur.nl/spenader/ .let.

a statement or an assertion) 2.e. that the basic sentence type in language is declarative (i.let.rug.Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Motivations for Speech Act Theory Austin was a response to earlier views of language 1. that the principal uses of language is to describe states of affairs (by using statements) 3.odur.nl/spenader/ . that the meaning of utterances can be described in terms of their truth or falsity (from Searle : 223) Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.

odur. Sorry! Wat raar! Je zal maar de lotto winnen! Zeker weten! These sentences cannot be said to be true or false. De woonkamer moet gestofzuigd worden.let. Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.rug.Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Austins first observation: Utterances have many functions (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) We zouden vanavond pizza kunnen eten.nl/spenader/ .

.

odur.let.rug. but it isn’t being used to say anything about the truth-value of some statement Austin called this type of speech act type a performative Only certain people have the ability to declare war Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www. Declarative sentence-type.nl/spenader/ .Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Austin’s second observation: Certain sentences with declarative form are not used to make statements (12) Bij deze verklaar ik Noorwegen de oorlog.

etc. i.e you can’t marry people unless you are a minister.let.odur.rug.nl/spenader/ . Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www. they can only be felicitous or infelicitous.Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Words can do things Performatives change the way the world is Performatives can’t be true or false.

let. pause exorcism Universities conferring degrees Court sentencing. marrying. confirming. funerals.rug. swearing oaths to tell the truth Gambling placing a bet.odur. balls. raising stakes in poker Sports cautioning or sending of players.nl/spenader/ . calling strikes. outs (in baseball) (Modified from Andrew Moore’s Website) Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face In what domains are performatives common? Church baptizing.

let. the procedure must be executed correctly by all participants and completely (from Saeed : 224) Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.nl/spenader/ .odur. with certain words or certain people having the right The particular persons (speakers) and circumstance must be appropriate for the particular procedure.rug...Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Constraints on performatives Felicity conditions Need a known procedure with conventional effects.

Fails in terms of felicity conditions Does it fail in terms of sincerity conditions? Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Constraints on performatives Right context Ronald Reagan.rug. We begin bombing in five minutes.odur. 11 August 1984 My fellow Americans.nl/spenader/ .let. I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever.

odur.let.rug.nl/spenader/ .Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Constraints on performatives Explicit and implicit performatives Sometimes the use of specific words signals the speech act Searle: IFID’s “Illocutionary Force Indicating Devices” Words such as declare name hereby Hereby test (Bij deze test?) Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.

I graded your homework Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.odur.Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Constraints on performatives Performative hypothesis (Gazdar 1979) Extended notion of performatives every time you say something you perform a speech act even banal sentences are speech acts (13) (14) I hereby inform you that I have graded your homework.let.nl/spenader/ .rug.

Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Constraints on performatives Other types of speech acts Representatives speaker asserts a proposition to be true using verbs such as affirm. promiss. appreciate. pledge. regret. ask.let.rug. deny. report Directives speaker tries to make the hearer do something. challenge. request Commissives speaker commits themselves to a future course of action.nl/spenader/ . dare. vow. guarantee Expressives speaker expresses an attitude to or about a state of affairs apologize. invite. believe. detest. insist. commmand. conclude. swear. congratulate.odur. deplore. thank. beg. welcom Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.

Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Three parts of a speech act 1. Locutionary act -communicative act 2. Illocutionary act -speakers intention 3.nl/spenader/ .rug.let.odur. Perlocutionary act -the effect that the speech act has on the context participants world Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.

.odur. http://www..nl/spenader/ Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory .let.rug.Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Mona Verwenyoghurt (15) Tims vriendin: Meisjes: Willen jullie fruit of verwenyoghurt van Tim? (allebei) Fruit! Ben je doof of zo? Dat is toch.

Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Politeness: avoid the wrong perlocutionary effect (16) Nanika nomi ni narimasu ka? Something drink become Question marker.nl/spenader/ (17) .let. What would you like to drink? Koohii ka koocha wo nomi ni narimasu Coffee or black tea object-marker drink become ka? Question marker.odur. Are you drinking coffee or black tea? The first form has the perlocutionary effect of the guest refusing a drink Cultures may differ as to the perlocutionary effect that otherwise translation equivalents may have Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.rug.

Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.let.Speech has functions Politeness is indirect Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Indirect speech acts for politeness Indirect speech acts have intended meanings that are different from their literal meanings Hearers recognize their real meaning based on the context (18) (19) It’s cold in here I want you to turn up the heat or close the door.nl/spenader/ . Would you mind helping me carry some of my stuff? Help me carry some of my stuff.rug.odur.

Negative face individuals desire to be independent.odur.Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face The concept of face Brown and Levinson (face is) the public self image that every member of society wants to claim for himself (1978:66) Positive face individuals desire to be liked.nl/spenader/ . etc. approved of. avoid having others tell them what to do Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.let. admired.rug.

odur. interruptions Threats to negative face orders.rug. disagreements.Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face The concept of face Threats to positive face expressions of disapproval.let.nl/spenader/ . suggestions. advice Self threats to positive face apologies or confessions Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www. accusations. requests.

Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Threats (20) Jan. addressee is not master of his own actions Je weet niet waar je het over hebt. threatens positive face.odur. threatens negative face. Kom ’ns. request. individual looks bad in front of others Individuals try to avoid threatening each other’s face in social interaction this is seen as the root cause of politeness strategies orders. Order. a correction.let.nl/spenader/ (21) .rug. etc. are all expressed more indirectly Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www. disapprovals.. Expression of disapproval.

and politeness strategies depend on acknowledging or showing one’s role in a given group Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.odur.rug.Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Face and Politeness Phenomena in Japanese Matsumoto claims that Brown and Levinson’s definition isn’t able to account for Politeness in Japanese The concept of face is oriented to the individual Japanese society is more group oriented.nl/spenader/ .let.

odur.let. Shujin o doozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu Husband OBJ please be good ask Please treat my husband well. Musume o doozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu Daughter OBJ please be good ask Please treat my daughter well.Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Matsumoto: interdependence (22) Doozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu Please be good ask I ask you to please treat me well.nl/spenader/ (23) (24) . in Japanese culture interdependence is a positive thing respectful impositions (demands for help) enhances the image of the addressee Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.rug.

I thought maybe you could use it. humble self (25) (26) (27) Annoo. it’s just a little thing I picked up for a song in a bargain basement sale in Macy’s last week.. .Speech has functions Beyond truth Performatives Parts of Speech Acts Indirect speech acts Face Deference: exalt addressee.nl/spenader/ . Okuchi ni awanai kamoshiremasen ga.... You probably won’t like it but. Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www. It’s not much.rug. tsumaranai mono desu ga This is nothing much. but please accept it.odur.let.

rug.let.nl/spenader/ .odur.Operationalizing Speech Act Theory Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Part II Dialogue Coding in NLP Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.

odur.nl/spenader/ .let.rug.Operationalizing Speech Act Theory Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Outline Operationalizing Speech Act Theory Applications of Speech Act Theory HCRC Map Task Verbmobile Machine Translation Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.

odur. IFID:er (i.nl/spenader/ .e.rug. Illocutionary (read:intention) Force Indicating Device) these are the surface cues as to what speech act is being performed Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.let. Definition from Searle: Illocutionary Act “the speakerintention”.Operationalizing Speech Act Theory Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Speech Act Theory has many practical applications 1.e. i. Performative hypothesis Speech acts f¨r Alle!! All utterances are speech acts u 3. intention think of speech acts as mini-intentions! 2.

rug.odur.Operationalizing Speech Act Theory Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation How to make a code linguistically motivated functioning. useable! test it by tagging a lot of corpora with it Need to find recognizable patterns Find expression internal and external signs of a certain speech act Handcoded.nl/spenader/ .let. reliable. or automatically generated (Samuel et al 1996) or a combination Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.

rug.let.Operationalizing Speech Act Theory HCRC Map Task Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Giver map Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory Figure: Norway http://www.nl/spenader/ .odur.

let.rug.odur.Operationalizing Speech Act Theory HCRC Map Task Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Follower map Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory Figure: Norway http://www.nl/spenader/ .

let.rug.nl/spenader/ .Operationalizing Speech Act Theory HCRC Map Task Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Map Task (28) G: F: Where the dead tree is on the other side of the stream theres farmed land. I have to jump a stream. Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.odur.

rug. Do you have the west lake. not at the moment.Operationalizing Speech Act Theory HCRC Map Task Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Another Map Task Example (29) F: G: F: G: F: Im in between the remote village and the pyramid.:Reply-No So youre at a point thats probably two or three inches away from both the top edge.let. Is that correct?: Query-YesNo No.nl/spenader/ .odur. and the left-hand side edge.: Reply-No Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www. down to your left?:Query-YesNo No.

at this point there is often a repetition of what has been decided. Dialogue Phases HELLO greetings OPENING theme is introduced (determining a date to meet) NEGOTIATION discussion of possible dates until one that works for both participants is found CLOSING task finished. (1997).odur.rug.nl/spenader/ .Operationalizing Speech Act Theory Verbmobile Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Verbmobile project Alexandersson et al.let. GOODBYE goodbyes Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.

let.Operationalizing Speech Act Theory Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Machine Translation (1) We want to translate intentions.rug. ALL of them : suggestions for a time to meet Schmitz and Quantz:This is our translation goal! Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.odur. not words (30) (31) (32) Would Thursday at 4 pm be good for you? I suggest 4 pm Thursday 4 pm Thursday would be good for me.nl/spenader/ .

nl/spenader/ . (34) K¨nnen Sie Bitte leiser sprechen? o Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www. Verbmobile recognition of speech acts helps solve some of these problems (33) A: B: Danke sch¨n! o Bitte.Operationalizing Speech Act Theory Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Machine Translation (2) Same word gets different translations in different speech acts This despite the fact that the domain (topic) is limited in e.rug.g.let.odur.

let. but in a speech act of request or a suggestion it should not be translated because it doesn’t not contribute modal meaning Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.odur.nl/spenader/ (36) (37) .de) And television might make people aggressive. o Could you make a suggestion? Passt Ihnen vielleicht Dienstag oder Mittwoch vormittag? Do Tuesday or Wednesday morning suit you? vielleicht should be translated as possibly in most cases.Operationalizing Speech Act Theory Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Machine Translation (3) (35) Und Fernsehen macht vielliecht doch aggressiv (www.heise.rug. K¨nnen Sie veilleicht einen Vorschlage machen.

Machine Translation.Operationalizing Speech Act Theory Applications of Speech Act Theory Machine Translation Summary Actual language use doesn’t always choose the most efficient form (despite what Gricean Pragmatics would predict) Social conventions such as politeness play a role in how we choose to express ourselves Speech Act Theory gives us the tools to analyze a wider range of functions of language than theories based on truth-conditional content.nl/spenader/ .e.let. Speech Act Theory has practical applications in work done in i. Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Spenader Speech Act Theory http://www.odur.rug.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful