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SPEECH ACTS “Action speak louder than words” is a well-known proverb. However, it is not completely correct because speech is action and language can actually.

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Presentation on theme: "SPEECH ACTS “Action speak louder than words” is a well-known proverb. However, it is not completely correct because speech is action and language can actually."— Presentation transcript:

1 SPEECH ACTS “Action speak louder than words” is a well-known proverb. However, it is not completely correct because speech is action and language can actually be used to do things. When a speaker makes an utterance containing referring expression, he carries out a certain act, an act of referring. Referring is a linguistic act, but we shall see that it is possible to carry out all sorts of other acts using language.we will start with another linguistic act which is the act of assertion.

2 ACT of ASSERTION An act of assertion is carried out when a speaker utters a declarative sentence (can be true or false), and undertakes a certain responsibility, to the hearer, that a particular situation exists in the world. If I say, “Simon is in the kitchen”, I assert to my hearer that in the real world a situation exists in which a person named Simon is in a room identified by the referring expression the kitchen.

3 DESCRIPTIVE FALLACY DESCRIPTIVE FALLACY is the view that the sole purpose of making assertion is to describe some state of affairs. According to the Descriptive Fallacy view, my only purpose in uttering “Simon is in the kitchen” would be to describe a particular state of affairs, and nothing more. The Descriptive Fallacy view is not wholly wrong. An element of description is involved in many utterances. But it is not the only purpose behind an utterance. Page 140.

4 Would the main purpose of making the following assertion normally be simply to describe some existing state of affairs in the world? If not, what is the main purpose? 1- “There is a wasp in your left ear”. Yes / No 2- “This gun is loaded”. Yes / No “You are a fool”. Yes / No 3-

5 Quite contrary to the popular belief that actions and words are entirely different, many actions can actually be performed with words. A lot of actions can be performed either by physical means, such as a gesture, or by making an appropriate utterance. 1- Can you congratulate someone by a pat on the back, or a hug? Yes / No 2- Can you congratulate someone by uttering “Well done”? Yes / No

6 PERFORMATIVE UTTERANCE A PERFORMATIVE utterance describes the act that it performs, i.e. it performs some act and simultaneously describes that act. “I promise to repay you tomorrow” is performative because in saying it the speaker actually does what the utterance describes, i.e. he promises to repay the hearer the next day. That is, the utterance both describes and is a promise. Page 143.

7 Opposed to Perfomative Utterances are Constative Utterances which can be defined very simply.

8 CONSTATIVE UTTERANCE CONSTATIVE utterance is one which makes an assertion (i.e. it is often the utterance of a declarative sentence) but is not performative. “I’m trying to get this box open with a screwdriver” is a constative utterance, because it makes an assertion about a particular state of affairs, but is not performative, i.e. the utterance doesn’t simultaneously describe and perform the same act. Page 143. Page 144.

9 PERFORMATIVE VERB It is one which, when used in a simple positive present tense sentence, with a 1 st person singular subject, can make the utterance of that sentence performative. Sentence is performative verb because, for example, “I sentence you to be hanged by the neck” is a performative utterance. Punish is not a performative verb because, for example, “I punish you” is not a performative utterance. Are the following performative verbs, or not? 1-apologize Yes / No 2-authorize Yes / No 3-argue Yes / No 4-condemn Yes / No 5-squeal Yes / No

10 Many good examples of performative verbs occur in standardized and stereotyped formulae used in public ceremonies, such as pronounce in “I pronounce you man and wife” in a marriage ceremony. Think of three or more examples of performative verbs used in the formulae of conventionalized public and social occasions. 1- “I object” in the court. 2- “I name this ship Titanic”. 3- “I declare this bridge open”.

11 Performative utterances contain a performative verb, and many have 1 st person singular subjects(I) and are in the present tense. But there exceptions to this pattern. Some of the following utterances are exceptions to the statement that all performative utterances have 1 st person singular subjects. Which utterances are the exceptions? (Indicate your answer by underlining the exception.) 1- “You are hereby forbidden to leave this room” 2- “All passengers on flight number forty-seven are requested to proceed to gate ten”. 3- “I suggest that you see a psychiatrist as soon as possible”. 4- “This ship is called Titanic”. 5- “We thank you for the compliment you have paid us”.

12 The most reliable test to determine whether an utterance is performative is to insert the word hereby and see if the modified utterance is acceptable. Page 145. If a sentence can be accompanied by hereby without seeming odd, then the utterance of that sentence (in normal circumstances) constitutes a performative utterance. Page 146.

13 Words and sentences when uttered are used to do things, to carry out socially significant acts. In addition to merely describing aspects of the world. The notion of a performative illustrates this point in some rather special cases.

14 Made by byEman Al-Sadhan Al-SadhanAnd ليلى القاضي, فريدة العنزي, هديل الفارس, عبير النزهة, سارة البقمي, رقية العيدي


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