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Pragmatics Philosopher J.L.Austin’s book How to do things with words (1962)

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1 Pragmatics Philosopher J.L.Austin’s book How to do things with words (1962)

2 John called Mary last night. It was John that called Mary last night. It was last night that John called Mary. Last night John called Mary. Appropriate in different contexts

3 Nepali: Timile bhat khayo Tapaile bhat khanubhayo. Did you eat lunch?

4 J. L. Austin—How to do things with words An utterance can be used to perform an act Please close the door I’m sorry for the way I acted. I’ll come in on Saturday to finish the project.

5 People use language to accomplish certain kinds of acts = speech acts. Speech acts: Asking for a pencil Threatening to get a pencil Promising to get a pencil Ordering someone to get a pencil.

6 Two aspects of a speech act: Locution: form of the utterance What is your name? WH-Question Illocution: the intention of the speaker—elicit information Can I have your name? Yes/No Illocution: ____________

7 You must stop smoking Locution: Subject—You Predicate--Must stop smoking Illocution: order

8 Two types of speech acts Direct and indirect speech acts Three basic types of direct speech acts. Three sentence types that correspond with these direct speech acts Most of the world’s languages seem to have these sentence types and speech acts

9 Speech Act sentence typefunction Did Mary read the book? Question Interrogativeeliciting information OrderImperativerequest for an action (affect other’s behavior) Read the book! Assertion Declarative convey information Mary read the book.

10 Indirect speech acts: No correspondence between the form and the intention of the speaker Did Mary read the book? Yes/No—answer that the speaker actual wanted Indirect question I would like to know if Mary read the book. I wonder if Mary read the book.

11 Direct request: (please) close the door. Indirect questions: Could you close the door? Would you mind closing the door?

12 I would like you to close the door. It would be nice if someone closed the door. It’s cold in here. The door is open.

13 Performatives: A subtype of direct speech act use performative verbs to accomplish their functions. I assert that Mary read the book. I ask you if Mary read the book. I order you to close the door. I advise you to pay the rent on time. I warn you not to cross the street alone. I promise you that I will take you out tonight. I now pronounce you husband and wife. I name this child Edgar.

14 No all uses of these verbs are performative. Change in person and tense –no longer performative He asserts that Mary read the book. I ordered you to close the door.

15 A test to find out if a particular sentence is a performative utterance: I hereby assert that Mary read the book. *He hereby asserts that Mary read the book. I hereby order you to close the door. *I hereby ordered you to close the door.

16 Appropriate or felicity conditions: Felicity conditions for questions and requests as speech acts: S = speaker H = hearer P = some state of affairs A = some action

17 S questions H about P 1.S does not know the truth about P 2.S wants to know the truth about P 3.S believes that H may be able to supply the information about P that S wants

18 S requests H to do A 1.S believes A has not yet been done 2.S believes that H is able to do A 3.S believes that H is willing to do A-type things for S 4.S wants A to be done

19 In classrooms, why do children resent teachers questions—the teacher already knows the answer Would you please stop this snowfall?

20 Can you take the books from the shelf?

21 Gricean Conversational maxims: to understand how “speaker’s meaning” arises from “sentence meaning”—the literal form and meaning of an utterance. The cooperative principle

22 Four subparts of this principle: The maxim of quality –-“tell the truth” The maxim of quantity— “say just as much as is necessary” The maxim of relevance—“stick to the point” The maxim of manner--“Be clear”

23 Implicatures: Inferences or conclusions made in accordance with the conversational maxims A: Smith doesn’t have any girlfriends these days. B: He has been going to Portland a lot lately. Implicature: Smith has a girlfriend in Portland

24 Implicature? Statement: You make a better door than a window. Situation: Someone is blocking your view. Statement: It’s getting late. Situation: You’re at a party and it’s 4 a.m.

25 Statement: I thought I saw a fan in the closet. Situation: It’s sweltering in the room. Jack: Did you make a doctor’s appointment? Laura: The line was busy.

26 John: Who was the man I saw you with yesterday? Mary: It was just someone. Sales Clerk: Could I have your name? Customer: It’s U-M-A-S-H-R-E-S-T-H-A What if it was Mary Smith?

27 Politeness: Positive politeness: solidarity, closeness Negative politeness: independence, personal space, privacy Be independent and be a part of the community

28 Give me five dollars. Would you mind giving me five dollars? Do you think you might be able to give me five dollars? Add the numbers first. If I were you, I would add the numbers first.

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