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Speech Act. Presented by Wendi Episiasi Pratama Anindia. Speech act theory. Speech act theory was proposed by John. L. Austin and has been developed by J. R. Searle. They believe that language is not only used to inform or to describe things, it is often used to “do things”, to perform acts.

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speech act theory
Speech act theory

Speech act theory was proposed by John. L. Austin and has been developed by J. R. Searle.They believe that language is not only used to inform or to describe things, it is often used to “do things”, to perform acts.

context of speech acts
CONTEXT OF SPEECH ACTS
  • “There is a policeman at the corner.”

 This could be a warning, an assurance, a dare, a hint, or a reminder to go and take your car out of the handicapped space you are parked in.

slide4

When he was campaigning, Clinton said he would not turn away any Haitian refugees.

When he became President, Clinton turned away Haitian refugees.

Clinton said that the conditions had changed.

 Based on this, Daniel Schorr on National Public Radio said, “Campaigning is not the same as governing,” because the conditions are not the same.

(Mey 127)

speech act aspect
SPEECH ACT ASPECT
  • Locutionary aspect
  • Illocutionary aspect
  • Perlocutionary aspect
slide6

Illocutionary aspect

 five categories:

- representatives,

- directives,

- commissives,

- expressives and

- declarations.

representatives

Illocutionary Acts

Representatives

David Crystal, quoting J.R. Searle, gives five categories: representatives, directives, commissives, expressive and declarative.

  • Representative is a speech act that the speaker asserts a proposition to be true, using such verbs as: affirm, believe, conclude, deny, report.
  • Example : I went to the Affandi’s painting exhibition. There were about twenty painting on display. Some are very classic and extraordinarily awesome.
directives
Directives
  • Directive is a speech act that the speaker tries to make the hearer do something, with such words as: ask, beg, challenge, command, dare, invite, insist, request.
  • Examples : I need/ want that car, Give me your pen, Could you give me your pen, please?, May I have some soda? Is there any milk left?.
commissives
Commissives
  • Commissive is a speech act that the speaker commits himself (or herself) to a (future) course of action,with words such as: guarantee, pledge, promise, swear, vow, undertake, refuses .
  • Examples : Maybe I can do that tomorrow, Don’t worry, I’ll be there.
expressive
Expressive
  • Expressive is a speech act that expresses on the speaker\'s attitudes and emotions towards the proposition, using such words as: apologize, appreciate, congratulate, deplore, detest, regret, thank, welcome.
  • Examples : I am very disappointed, What a great day!!!, Oh … my that’s terrible.
declaratives
Declaratives
  • Declarative is a speech act that the speaker alters the external status or condition of an object or situation, solely by making the utterance.
  • Examples : Class dismissed (students get up and leave), I now pronounce you husband and wife, I name this ship...
speech act functions
Speech act functions
  • Giving factual information

ex. The plane departs at 7:10.

  • Giving intellectual information

ex. These arguments are correct.

  • Exchange emotional attitudes

ex. I’m worried about my term papers.

slide13

Exchange moral attitudes

I appreciate your help.

  • Persuasion

Hand in your assignments.

  • Socializing

Hi, Larry, how are you?

types of speech acts
TYPES OF SPEECH ACTS
  • Interrogatives (Hearer Knows Best)

example: Closed (yes-no), Loaded, Open

 Do you wear a seat belt?

  • Performatives (Affect world)

example: Agreement, Appointment, Baptism, Declaration of Independence, Dedication, Marriage

the performative hypothesis
The performative hypothesis
  • Implicit perfomatives/primary perrfomatives

ex. Clean up this mess!

The work was done by Elaine and myself

  • Explicit performatives

ex. I hereby order you that you clean up this mess.

I hereby tell you that the work was done by Elaine and myself

conditions on performatives
CONDITIONS ON PERFORMATIVES
  • Subject must be 1st person.
  • Verb must be active.
  • Verb must be non-durative.
  • Adverb must be “hereby.”
  • Sentence must be positive, not negative.
slide17

Sentence must be Imperative or Declarative.

  • Verb must perform the act.
  • Must meet felicity conditions (authority, etc.)
  • Must meet sincerity conditions (not a joke, etc.)
  • Can be larger than a sentence (e.g. The Declaration of Independence)

(Mey 107ff)

indirect speech acts
INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS
  • “Could you move over a bit?”
  • “Yes” (without moving is inappropriate)
  • Moving (without “Yes” is appropriate)
  • NOTE: “Could you move over a bit” is a precondition to the actual speech act, “Move over.”

(Mey 111)

slide19
Do you know what time it is?
  • Do you have the correct time?
  • Can you tell me how to get to the men’s room?
  • Do you see the salt anywhere?
  • It’s cold in here.
  • Why can’t you shut up?

NOTE: These are preconditions

(Mey 126-127, 135)

slide20
I strongly suggest you shut your mouth.
  • Sometimes it’s a good idea to shut up.
  • I wonder if you really should do all that talking.
  • I wouldn’t say more, if I were you.
  • Remember the proverb, “Speech is silver….?”
  • How about if you just shut up?

(Mey 136)

slide21
DURING A JOB INTERVIEW:
  • “Would you like to tell us, Mr. Khan, why you’ve applied to Middleton College?

This is known as “fishing for compliments.”

(Mey 213)

ironic speech acts
IRONIC SPEECH ACTS
  • I promise not to keep this promise.
  • Do not read this sign.
  • You did a great job, and I’m not being polite.

(Mey 129, 177)

markedness of speech acts
MARKEDNESS OF SPEECH ACTS
  • I beg your excellency to please accept these keys to the city as a token of our humble submission to your excellency (to commander of enemy troops who have captured a city)
  • *I (hereby) promise to set fire to your house.
  • *I (hereby) warn you that you will be awarded the Nobel Prize.

(Mey 130-131)

slide24

SILENCE AS A SPEECH ACT

  • MOTHER (Calling out the window to child in yard): Joshua, what are you doing?
  • JOSHUA: Nothing…
  • MOTHER: WILL YOU STOP IT IMMEDIATELY!
slide25
“What I like best is doing nothing…. It’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it. ‘What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?’ and you say, ‘Oh, nothing,’ and then you go and do it.”

(Milne, The House on Pooh Corner Chapter 10)

slide26
STUDENT: I was going to talk to you about my term paper, if it’s all right.
  • PROFESSOR: SILENCE
  • STUDENT: When do you think you’ll have it marked then?
  • PROFESSOR: Miriam, I hope you brought the book.
  • MIRIAM: SILENCE
  • PROFESSOR: Okay, but please remember it next time.

(Blum-Kulka 176)

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