Indirect Speech Acts In English

Topics: Speech act, John Searle, Pragmatics Pages: 13 (4320 words) Published: December 20, 2014

CONTENTS

Introduction……………………………………………………....................3 Chapter 1: Speech Act Theory…………………………………...................5 Chapter 2: Indirect Speech Acts in English………………........................10 Conclusion…………………………………………..………................…..15 References……………………………………………..………...................17

INTRODUCTION

Language is an inseparable part of our everyday lives. It is the main tool used to transmit messages, to communicate ideas, thoughts and opinions. It situates us in the society we live in; it is a social affair which creates and further determines our position in all kinds of various social networks and institutions. In certain circumstances we are literally dependent on its appropriate usage and there are moments when we need to be understood quite correctly. Language is involved in nearly all fields of human activity and maybe that is why language and linguistic communication have become a widely discussed topic among linguists, lawyers, psychologists and philosophers. Basically, we have carried out the present paper based on the works of J. R. Searle, J. L. Austin, P. W. Culicover, S. C. Levinson, G. U. Yule. The problem of speech acts was pioneered by another American language philosopher J.L. Austin. His observations were delivered at Harvard University in 1955 as the William James Lectures which were posthumously published in his famous book How to Do Things with Words. It is Austin who introduces basic terms and areas to study and distinguishes locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary acts. In general, speech acts are acts of communication. To communicate is to express a certain attitude, and the type of speech act that is performed corresponds to the type of attitude being expressed. For example, a statement expresses a belief, a request expresses a desire, and an apology expresses regret. As an act of communication, a speech act succeeds if the hearer identifies, in accordance with the speaker’s intention, the attitude being expressed. In indirect speech acts the speaker communicates to the hearer more than he actually says by way of relying on their mutual shared background information, together with the general powers of rationality and inference on the part of the hearer. Imperatives can function as indirect speech acts performing advice, offer, suggestion, invitation, gratitude, warning, threat, resentment, persuasion, prohibition. These we’ll observe in the following paper. In accordance with the tasks and goals, the present paper consists of introduction, two chapters, conclusion and references. Chapter 1 (Speech Act Theory) deals with the discussion of the three related acts – locutionary, illocutionary, perlocutionary. It is worth mentioning, that the classification of speech acts varies from linguist to linguist. Chapter 2 (Indirect Speech Acts in English) is concerned with the discussion of indirect speech acts and reveals the cases when imperative sentences function as indirect speech acts. Conclusion sums up the results of our analysis.

Referances lists all the used sources.

CHAPTER 1
SPEECH ACT THEORY

This opening chapter is concerned with the study of the theory of speech acts in Modern English. It is believed that pragmatics is concerned with how people use language within a context, in real-life situations. While semantics was concerned with words, phrases and sentences, the unit of analysis in pragmatics is the utterance. In pragmatics we study how factors such as time, place and the social relationship between speaker and hearer affect the ways in which language is used to perform different functions. Language is action, in the words of J. L. Austin, and much of the interaction between human beings is based on verbal action, for example when we request, promise, swear, apologize etc. Pragmatics is primarily based on the theory of speech acts. According to an American language philosopher J.R....
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