Speech Act Theory

Speech Act Theory - o Some might get to this level 5 types...

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Speech Act Theory (Searle, based on Austin and Wittgenstein) Based on the idea that when we say something, we are also doing something (performing an act) (ex) Professor Miller gives back the quizzes yells at us we didn't do well enough She is not just spitting out words at us, but performing the act of scolding. Speech Act Basic unit of language that is used to express meaning Utterance that expresses intention (ex) you go to the bus stop with a bunch of people standing around someone asks do you have a watch? o You do not respond > Yes I do o You would say > It's 2:30 (You are performing all 3 acts at the same time in this example) People perform at least 3 acts when making a statement 1.) Utterance Act (Pronunciation of meaningful sounds.) 2.) Propositional Act) referring; stating belief)
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3.) Illocutionary Act (communicating intention; making someone understand something) 4.) Perlocutionary Act (attempting to affect others' behavior)
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Unformatted text preview: o Some might get to this level 5 types of Illocutionary Acts • Assertives o Convey the belief that a proposition is true "Max owns a green car" • Directives o Attempt to get the listener to do something "Can you tell me what time it is?" "Go away!" o (ie) commanding, ordering, requesting, instructing, inviting • Commisives o Commit the speaker to a future course of action "I promise I'll pay you back tomorrow " o (ie) guarantee, vow , pledge, contract • Expressives o Convey the speakers psychological state "Thanks for the ride ", "I'm really glad you came" o (ie) acknowledging, complementing, appreciating, apologizing, congratulating • Declarations • Make themselves true * o Bring about a new state "I sentence you to five year in prison" (ie) I hereby pronounce you husband and wife, to declare war, appointing someone to a particular position, firing someone...
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2009 for the course GEOL 002 taught by Professor Brown during the Spring '09 term at GWU.

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Speech Act Theory - o Some might get to this level 5 types...

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