speech act theory.docx - Speech Act:Definition and importance The speech act is usually studied under the rubric of pragmatics in turn it can be defined

speech act theory.docx - Speech Act:Definition and...

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Speech Act :Definition and importance The speech act is usually studied under the rubric of pragmatics, in turn, it can be defined as “ the study of the ability of language users to pair sentences with the contexts in which they would be appropriate” (Levinson, 1983:24) . According to Lyons (1977:730) a speech act is “an act performed in saying something .” Consequently, the speech acts theory acquires its importance in the area of linguistics for the following reasons. Speech acts reveals a greatdeal of information about language users and their societies. In this regard, Byon (2006:137) claims that “speechacts reflect the fundamental values and social norms of target language and demonstrate the rules of language use in a speech community”. Speech acts cover a wide spectrum of functions that are most aptly and efficiently carried out linguistically. Wierzbicka (1987:3) clarifies this point when she says “it would not be an exaggeration to say that public life can be conceived as a gigantic network of speech acts. History itself seems to consist largely in acts of speech (e.g. threats, condemnations, offers, demands, negotiations, and agreements .”( Speech Act and Speech Situation Yule (1996) explained that while people produce utterances for the purpose of communicatin , they sometimes perform actions via those utterances. Therefore "Those actions performed via utterances are called Speech Acts, in English , they are given more specific labels such as apology, complaint, compliment , invitation , promise ,or request."(p47 ( Yule (1996) added that both the addressor and the addressee are helped to understand each other by the surrounding circumstances or events of the utterances which are called Speech events . So , the nature of the speech situation determines the appropriate interpretation of the utterance as performing a specific speech act (p48 ( There are certain certain or appropriate circumstances for the performance of speech act to be recognized as intended .those appropriate circumstances are technically called Felicity Condition Yule(50 ( .
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Speech Act and performatives in English 1.1 . H istorical Theoretical Background Historically speaking, the German philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is the first to say that the meaning of language depends on its actual use. For him, in ordinary life, language is used like a game because it consists of rules which, when followed, result in “doing” things. Like ordinary games, such as chess, each language game has its own rules the application of which leads to a different result (Littlejohn, 2003: pp. 77-78) . In other words,SATE has been seeded by the hands of philosophers, not linguists, the opinion which Levinson (1983: p. 227) asserts . In spite of the fact that the speech act theory has been foreshadowed by Wittgenstein, it is usually attributed to the Oxford philosopher Austin in 1962. His ideas, then, have been refined, systematized and advanced by his stuedent, the American philosopher, Searle (1969, 1975, 1977) . It follows that SATE will be discussed by its two principal advocators: Austin and Searle .
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