speech_acts

speech_acts - SPEECH ACTS:DOING THINGS WITH WORDS The...

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SPEECH ACTS:DOING THINGS WITH WORDS
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The so-called ‘Speech Act’ is a fundamental unit of study for linguistic anthropologists. The ‘speech act’ may be the minimal unit of organization of language use (that is, it is a dimension of practice/pragmatics ) .
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Bronislaw Malinowski Theory of “speech acts” begins with work of an anthropologist, Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1932)
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Trobriand Islands, Site of Malinowski’s field work 1914-18
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In "Meaning in primitive languages“ (1921)*, Malinowski argued that for speakers of "primitive languages," such as the Trobriand Islanders, "doing things" with language (such as uttering magical spells to make plants grow or fish be plentiful) was more important than conveying truth. In Coral Gardens and their Magic (1935) Malinowski amended this idea to point out that all languages included utterances where force or action was more important than meaning as traditionally understood. That is, this was not a distinguishing feature of “primitive languages”. Malinowski used many examples from advertising to make this point. * Published as an appendix to C. K. Ogden & I. A. Richards The Meaning of Meaning
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J. L. Austin Malinowski's ideas were taken up by the British philosopher of language, J. L. Austin. In his book How to Do Things with Words (originally the 1955 William James Lectures at Harvard U), Austin developed "Speech Act Theory“, a framework for analyzing how utterances function as compelling “acts”.
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Austin’s Speech Act Theory In Austin’s theory of speech acts, every utterance has three types of FORCE 1. Locutionary force ” – those aspects of which we can say, is it true or false? 2. Illocutionary force ” – those aspects of which we can say, was an act successfully accomplished? 3. Perlocutionary force ” – those aspects of which we can say, what impact did the utterance have on the interlocutor? (This last type is considered to be vague and problematic and not much has been done with the idea)
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Austin’s Speech Act Theory To illustrate “illocutionary force,” Austin focussed on the
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speech_acts - SPEECH ACTS:DOING THINGS WITH WORDS The...

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