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Define speech acts and speech events.

Actions performed via utterances are generally called speech actsand, in English, are commonly given more specific labels, such as apology, complaint, compliment, invitation, promise, or request.

These descriptive terms for different kinds of speech acts apply to the speaker's communicative intention in producing an utter­ance. The speaker normally expects that his or her communica­tive intention will be recognized by the hearer. Both speaker and hearer are usually helped in this process by the circumstances surrounding the utterance. These circumstances, including other utterances, are called the speech event.In many ways, it is the nature of the speech event that determines the interpretation of an utterance as performing a particular speech act. On a wintry day, the speaker reaches for a cup of tea, believing that it has been freshly made, takes a sip, and produces the utterance in [3]. It is likely to be interpreted as a complaint.

[3] This tea is really cold!

Changing the circumstances to a really hot summer's day with the speaker being given a glass of iced tea by the hearer, taking a sip and producing the utterance in [3], it is likely to be interpreted as praise. If the same utterance can be interpreted as two different kinds of speech act, then obviously no simple one utterance to one action correspondence will be possible. It also means that there is more to the interpretation of a speech act than can be found in the utterance alone.

Speech acts

On any occasion, the action performed by producing an utterance will consist of three related acts. There is first a locutionary act,which is the basic act of utterance, or producing a meaningful lin­guistic expression. If you have difficulty with actually forming the sounds and words to create a meaningful utterance in a language (for example, because it's foreign or you're tongue-tied), then you might fail to produce a locutionary act. Producing 'Aha mokofa' in English will not normally count as a locutionary act, whereas [4] will.

[4] I've just made some coffee.

Mostly we don't just produce well-formed utterances with no purpose. We form an utterance with some kind of function in mind. This is the second dimension, or the illocutionary act.The illocutionary act is performed via the communicative force of an utterance. We might utter [4] to make a statement, an offer, an explanation, or for some other communicative purpose. This is also generally known as the illocutionary forceof the utterance.

We do not, of course, simply create an utterance with a func­tion without intending it to have an effect. This is the third dimen­sion, the perlocutionary act.Depending on the circumstances, you

n\\ utter [4] on the assumption that the hearer will recognize the effect you intended (for example, to account for a wonderful

mell or to get the hearer to drink some coffee). This is also gener­ally known as the perlocutionary effect.

Of these three dimensions, the most discussed is illocutionary force. Indeed, the term 'speech act' is generally interpreted quite larrowly to mean only the illocutionary force of an utterance. The illocutionary force of an utterance is what it 'counts as'. The same locutionary act, as shown in [5a.], can count as a prediction kb.], a promise [5c], or a warning [56..]. These different analyses kb.-d.] of the utterance in [5a.] represent different illocutionary forces.



[5] a. I'll see you later. (= A)

b. [I predict that] A.

c. [I promise you that] A.

d. [I warn you that] A.

One problem with the examples in [5] is that the same utterance can potentially have quite different illocutionary forces (for ex­ample, promise versus warning). How can speakers assume that the intended illocutionary force will be recognized by the hearer? That question has been addressed by considering two things: Illocutionary Force Indicating Devices and felicity conditions.

We can look at the set of utterances produced in this kind of situ­ation as a speech event.A speech event is an activity in which par­ticipants interact via language in some conventional way to arrive at some outcome. It may include an obvious central speech act, such as 'I don't really like this', as in a speech event of 'complain­ing', but it will also include other utterances leading up to and sub­sequently reacting to that central action. In most cases, a 'request' is not made by means of a single speech act suddenly uttered.

According to this trichotomy, a speech act is, first of all, a locutionary act, that is, an act of saying something. Saying something can also be viewed from three different perspectives: (i) as a phonetic act: uttering certain noises; (ii) as a phatic act: uttering words “belonging to and as belonging to, a certain vocabulary, conforming to and as conforming to a certain grammar”; and (iii) as a rhetic act: uttering words “with a certain more-or-less definite sense and reference” (Austin).

Speech Event

can be defined by aunified set of

components through out:same purpose of communication

same participantssame language variety (generally).

For example

: exchanging greetings, telling jokes, giving speeches.

Speech Acts

Speech Acts are group of utterances with a single interactional function.For example: a request, a command,

a greating, a promise, an apology.

BASIC CONCEPTS

Speakers can perform actions while making utterances

Situation: At work, boss has great deal of power

You're fired

􀀾 more than just a statement, actually ends your employment

Other examples:

You're so fantastic (compliment)

You're welcome (acknowledgement of thanks)

You're crazy! (expression of surprise)

Actions performed via utterances are called speech acts(e.g., apology, complaint,

compliment, invitation, promise, request)

The speaker normally expects that his or her communicative intention will be recognized by the hearer -

both speaker and hearer are helped by the circumstances surrounding the utterance.

These circumstances (including other utterances) are called the speech event

The tea is really cold!

Situation A: On a wintry day, the speaker reaches for a cup of tea, believing that it has been freshly

made, takes a sip, and produces the utterance 􀀾 complaint

Situation B: On a really hot summer's day the speaker is being given a glass of iced tea, takes a sip,

and produces the utterance 􀀾 praise

No simple utterance-to-action correspondence is possible!!!

According to this trichotomy, a speech act is, first of all, a locutionary act, that is, an act of saying something. Saying something can also be viewed from three different perspectives: (i) as a phonetic act: uttering certain noises; (ii) as a phatic act: uttering words “belonging to and as belonging to, a certain vocabulary, conforming to and as conforming to a certain grammar”; and (iii) as a rhetic act: uttering words “with a certain more-or-less definite sense and reference” (Austin).

Speech Event

can be defined by a unified set of components through out: same purpose of communication

same participants ó÷àñíèê same language variety (generally).

For example

: exchanging greetings, telling jokes, giving speeches.

A speech eventis an activity in which participants interact via language in some conventional way to arrive at some outcome.

- may include one obvious central speech act

- may include other utterances leading up to and subsequently reacting to that central action

A: Oh, Mary, I'm glad you're here.

B: What's up?

A: I can't get my computer to work. 􀀾 the request is the whole speech event,

B: Is it broken? not a single speech act.

A: I don't think so.

B: What's it doing? 􀀾 no actual request is made

A: I don't know. I'm useless with computers.

B: What kind is it?

A: It's a Mac. Do you use them?

B: Yeah.

A: Do you have a minute?

B: Sure.

A: Oh, great

- the question 'Do you have a minute?' could be characterized as a pre-request, allowing the hearer to

say that she's busy or that she has to be somewhere else.

- the response 'Sure' is taken to be an acknowledgement not only of having time available, but a

willingness to perform the unstated action.

Speech Acts

Speech Acts are group of utterances with a single interactional function.For example: a request, a command,

a greating, a promise, an apology.


Date: 2015-12-18; view: 1774


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