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This chapter presents theoretical bases underlying this study. This chapter
explains how the notions of speech acts, discourse analysis, language function,
communication in classroom, and politeness are theorized by experts. This is the
underlying concept from which this study emerges. The notion of instructional
speech acts also outlined in this chapter to explain the power of speech acts in
classroom interaction. Finally, this chapter also reviews some previous researches
covered speech acts are also sketched out to draw on the sense of relevance with
other research.
2.1 Theory of Speech Act
Speech act theory provides a view of language as social action; language
use has a force as well as an abstract content. However, the actions people
perform with speech acts also have interpersonal implications. And people cannot
simply perform speech acts without any concern for those interpersonal
implications. For example, to request, apologize, and criticize involves not only
the performance of a directives, commissives, and assertives, respectively, but
also the performance of actions with clear implications for the identities of the
interlocutors. How people talk must be responsive to those concerns. This is why
the verbal interactions with others are not always quick, clear, and maximally
efficient. Instead, we hedge, hesitate, speak indirectly, and gently negotiate topic


changes. All of these occur in large part as a result of interpersonal considerations

(Cruse, 2000).
When people learn about people set out to accomplish when they choose
to speak, we come to the range of speech act theory. People do things with their
words. They use the language to perform an action. The term of speech act theory
is first developed by John Austin and later on, is elaborated by John Searle.
In his book How To Do Things With Words, Austin (1962) states his idea
that people do not just use language to say thing, but to do things by performing
actions. According to him, speech act refers to the actual phenomenon only that
in the last resort we are engaged in elucidating. When people say something,
there are some actions that people do.
So, understanding language use as social action requires a consideration of
the speech act performed with an utterance, as well as the interpersonal
implications of performing the speech act in this way in this particular context.
Language use is sensitive business; one cant just blindly issue directives, make
offers, engage in disagreements, and so on. One can, of course, but in so doing
one is communicating a lack of concern for the others face and thereby
relinquishing all rights to civil treatment from the other person.
To use language is to engage in a meaningful activity, with meaning
existing at multiple levels. According to Austin (1962), there are three kinds of
action in speech act. First, a locutionary act is an act to say something. By saying
means that people perform a locutionary act which is by uttering a certain
sentence with a certain sense and reference. Second, an illocutionary act is an act

to do something. Illocutionary act is an act that commits a speaker to perform

what he said before by force. Third, perlocutionary act is an act that has a
psychological effect to the hearer. The effect may be agreement, grudge, and cry.
In addition, there is the sense and reference of an utterance. But there is also the
speakers intention in uttering a particular string of words. And then there are the
perlocutionary effects, the number of which can be quite large and include, among
other things, judgments of the speakers personality and motives. Perlocutionary
effects also include the manner in which the recipients behavior is altered,
including a subsequent utterance, a remark that now has its own layers of
The example of locutionary, illocutionary, and perlocutionary act are cited
as follows (Austin, 1962):
Act (A) or Locution
He said to me Shoot her! meaning by shoot shoot and referring by her
to her.
Act (B) or Illocution
He urged (or advised, ordered, &c) me to shoot her.
Act (C. a) or Perlocution
He persuaded me to shoot her.
Act (C. b)
He got me to (or made me &c.) shoot her.
There are a multitude of meanings, in large part because language is a
social action. Language users are doing things with their wordsthey are
requesting, promising, apologizing, and so on. In doing this they will have varying
degrees of awareness of the interpersonal concerns that may be simmering on the
back burner. Moreover, they must monitor the reactions of their interlocutors so as
to coordinate the management of these multiple layers of meaning. These layers of

meaning are not always separate and distinct; they mutually influence one another.
All of these meanings are only partly in the words themselves; words
influence these meanings but do not fully determine them. Referents can be
ambiguous, the number of potential interpretations of an utterance can be quite
large, and the perlocutionary effects can be infinite in number. So, sense and
reference must be interpreted, speech acts inferred, perlocutionary effects
estimated, and so on. Language use can involve a multitude of inferences. But talk
happens very quickly. Thus some aspects of meaning are only potential.
They may sometimes play an on-line role in language use; other times they
may operate off-line, as when we rehash the meaning of a previous conversation.
But the meaning potentials are always there and must be considered in explaining
how people use language.
Then Austin made his own speech acts classification based on the
illocutionary force. First, verdictives are typified by the giving of a verdict
(Austin, 1962). A verdictive is like a judicial act where the truth and falsity are
taken into account through a reason as a fact. Some examples are measure,
analyze, and describe. Second, exercitives are type of speech act that used to exert
something or someone. This is an act of giving a decision in favor or against a
certain course of action. Examples are advising, warning and urging.
Third, commissives are the type of speech act that commit the speaker to
do something by undertaking or showing the speakers intention. Examples are
promise, purpose, and agree. Fourth, behabitives are speech act that something to
do with attitude and social behavior. Austin in his book notes that these speech

acts are a very miscellaneous group because these are the result of the reaction to
other peoples behavior and expression of attitude to someone else. Examples are
apology, thanks, and criticize. Fifth, expositives are used to make how the
speakers utterances fit into the direction of an argument or conversation. To make
it simpler this speech act is only a matter of how people are using words.
Examples are inform, state, and believe.
However Austins speech acts classifications have some weaknesses inside
the theories. Searle (1979) in his book Expression and Meaning reveals some
weaknesses in Austins speech act theories. First, Searle notes that not all of the
verbs that are listed on Austins speech act theories are illocutionary verbs. For
example, announce, an announcement might be an order, statement, or promise,
but announcing does not belong to a type of illocutionary act because
announcing is just the way illocutionary act is performed as well as intend
which is not performative. According to Searle, intending is never belong to the
speech act but expressing an intention might be a speech act (Searle, 1979).
Second, Searle notes this weakness as the most important and simply
weakness in Austins speech act theories. Austin does not have a clear or
consistent principle for the basis in what way the speech act is constructed. Austin
did not seem to be able to give a clear definition in the speech act classification
that he made for example in behabitives and expositives. Searle noted that two
speech act classifications sometimes overlap.
As a result of the confusion between illocutionary acts and illocutionary
verbs, moreover, the unclear principle that Austin made in his theory, these caused

some speech act overlap in the classification and too much illocutionary verbs that
he put in the classification. For example, in verdictive and expositives, the verb
describe is located in verdictives and expositives. In addition, Austin put too
many verbs into the classification which are not even names of illocutionary acts
such as begin by, turn to, and neglect.
Fourth, the definition in each classification that Austin made does not have
a clear explanation in most of the verbs listed within classification (Searle, 1979).
According to Austin (1962), an exercitive is the giving of a decision in favor of
or against a certain course of action, or advocacy of it. For example, in appoint,
when the speaker appoints the hearer to be a chairman, it does not mean the
speaker orders the hearer to become a chairman, but the speaker makes the hearer
a chairman.
Based on the analysis of the weaknesses on Austins speech act theory,
Searle argues that speech act is the smallest unit of linguistic communication. He
The unit of linguistic communication is not, as generally been
supposed, the symbol, word or sentence, or even the token of the
symbol, word or sentence, but rather the production or issuance of
the symbol or word or sentence in the performance of the speech act.
To take the token as a message is to take it as a produced or issued
token. More precisely, the production or issuance of a sentence token
under certain conditions is a speech act, and speech acts.. are the
basic or minimal units of linguistic communication (Searle,
Searle (1969: 16) states that speaking a language is performing speech
acts.[which] are in general made possible by and are performed in accordance
with certain rules for the use of linguistics elements. Anything that can be

expressed and meaningful can be uttered. Searle also asserts that certain
expressions will not always effects o right reception to hearers. Speech acts is the
basic unit of communication (p.20). This means that speech acts can be associated
with the study of language.
According to Searle, Austins theory will have a great clarity and force
after Searle himself made an alternative classification based on Austins
classification (Searle, 1979). Searle made his own speech acts classification by
considering the weaknesses of Austins theories, such as the illocutionary point
and its corollaries, direction of fit and the sincerity condition as the basis for
constructing a classification.
Beginning with his dissertation, Searle (1969) systematized and extended
speech act theory in several directions. His most important contributions include
his specification of illocutionary force via the felicity conditions, his taxonomy of
speech acts, and the notion of indirect speech acts.
Maintaining a view of language is used as action, Searle (1969) argues
that the conditions for the felicitous performance (in Austins sense) of a speech
act can be viewed as constituting the performance of that speech act. That is, the
felicity conditions for a particular speech act must be met for that act to be
performed successfully, and the meeting of these conditions constitutes the
performance of that speech act. Moreover, speech acts differ in terms of the
specifics of the conditions underlying their performance, and hence these
conditions serve as a framework for comparing different speech acts.


The original felicity conditions explained by Searle (1969) are important

components of illocutionary force. These four conditions are positioned as central,
to understanding the nature of what it means to perform a particular speech act.
Moreover, Searle reminded us that there are other conditions that are not unique to
speech act performance that must be met also that are both speaker and hearer
must speak the same language.
1) Prepositional Content: A fundamental feature of speech act theory is the
conceptualization of an utterance as having both a propositional meaning and an
illocutionary force (Austins locutionary and illocutionary acts). Logically, speech
acts are often represented as having the form F(p), where F is the illocutionary
force and p the propositional content. Although it is possible for two utterances to
have the same force yet different propositional meaning, or the same meaning but
different forces, force and propositional content are not completely independent.
The propositional content condition states that certain illocutionary forces specify
what is acceptable in terms of propositional content. For example, promises and
requests require the specification of future courses of action, and hence I promise
to study hard last night and Please, study hard last night make little sense.
2) Preparatory Condition: For any particular speech act, there are one or more
conditions, usually concerning the beliefs and desires of the interlocutors, that are
presupposed in the (felicitous) performance of the act. To felicitously perform a
request, a speaker must believe that the hearer has the ability to perform the
requested act and that the hearer would not perform the act unless requested to do
so. The felicitous performance of an assertion requires the speaker to believe the

truth of the proposition and that the hearer is not aware of the proposition. An
apology requires the belief that the act for which one is apologizing is bad. And so
on. In some instances the preparatory conditions specify the nature of the social
relations existing between interlocutors. For example, to order someone to do
something requires the speaker to have power over the hearer.
3) Sincerity Condition: In performing a particular speech act, the speaker
expresses a certain psychological attitude regarding the propositional content of
the utterance. For example, in performing a promise a speaker expresses an
intention to do the act that is being promised. A person can make a promise with
no intention of keeping it, of course, but such an utterance would not be felicitous.
The sincerity condition, then, is a requisite psychological state the speaker must
have in order to perform a particular speech act; it is the specification of a
particular relationship between the speakers mental state and the prepositional
content of his words.
4) Essential Condition: The uttering of a particular expression in a specific
context counts as the performance of a specifiable act; the essential condition
specifies the particular illocutionary In relation to the hearers receptions, there
are a number of linguistic communications aspects such as speaker meaning,
linguistic meaning, speaker intent, speaker understanding, and also the rules of the
linguistic elements (Searle, 1962: 21).
Searle (1969: 36) views that speech act consists in a system of rules in
which language is viewed as rule-governed. He further states that speaking a
language is performing acts according to rules. Searle sets that the semantic

structure of a language may be regard as a conventional realization of underlying

constitutive rules.
Now, the essential condition states that an utterance in context will have a
conventionally recognized illocutionary point, and according to Searle (1979),
there are five basic, primitive illocutionary points. These five points are
exhaustive, and mutually exclusive, and they are derived from a consideration of
the possible relations between ones words and the world (as it is or could be).
This represents an important attempt to classify, in a systematic manner, actions
that speakers can perform with their utterances. Although other taxonomies have
been stated (e.g., Bach & Harnish, 1979), Searles is probably the most well
known. His taxonomy discusses an alternative speech act theory which consists
of five general classifications namely directives, assertives, commissives,
declarations, and expressives.
Directives count as an attempt to get the hearer to perform some future
action. Prototypes include requesting, ordering, and questioning. With these
speech acts, a speaker is attempting to alter the world in some way with words.
Therefore, directives represent a world-to-words fit; the speaker is attempting to
bring the world in line with words. In other words, the purpose of this
illocutionary is to produce an effect through some actions done by the hearer. In
relation to this study this types of speech acts are frequently appear in the
classroom interaction. Directions impose some kind of actions in the hearer. The
speaker wants to get the hearer to perform some kind of actions.


An assertives counts as an attempt to represent an actual state of affairs, to

commit the speaker to something being the case. Prototypes include asserting,
concluding, informing, predicting, and reporting. With assertives a speaker is
attempting to depict the nature of the world. Therefore, rather than attempting to
get the world to match ones words (the world-towards fit of directives), one is
attempting to get ones words to match the world; assertives represent a words-toworld fit. The example is as follows:
The new schedule is on the notification board
The above utterance means that the speaker wants to inform the hearer that
there is a new schedule on the notification board. The speaker also wants the
hearer to believe that the new schedule is on the notification board. In other
words, assertives is the speech acts that states what the speaker believes to be the
case or not. In addition, Searle gave a note that the simplest test of an assertives is
the verb can be literally characterize as true or false (Searle, 1979).
Commissives: A commissives counts as an attempt to commit the speaker
to a future course of action. Prototypes include warning, promising, threatening,
and guaranteeing. As with directives, the speaker of a commissives is attempting
to alter the world in some way; commissives thus reflect a world-to-words fit.
Unlike directives, however, it is the speakers (rather than the hearers) subsequent
actions that will alter the world. The example is I promise to invite you
Declarations: A declarative counts as an attempt to bring about a change
in some institutional state of affairs. Prototypes include declaring war, performing

a marriage, and calling a base runner out. For a declarative, the relationship
between the world and a speakers words is bidirectional; declaratives have a
double direction of fit (both words-to-world and world-towords). The point of a
declarative is to alter the state of the world (world-to-words) by stating that the
prepositional content matches the state of the world (words-toworld). Searle
viewed this speech act as the special one because the action only can be made by
people who have an authority to do this action.
Expressives: Expressives count as attempts to express a psychological
state. Prototypes include thanking, complaining, greeting, and apologizing. For
expressives, there is no fit between words and the world. Instead, the point of an
expressives is simply to express the speakers inner psychological state or to
express a particular attitude that is represented by the propositional content of the
utterance. In other words, this type expresses the speakers feeling or emotional
responses. The example is Congratulation.
Although there are only five illocutionary points, there are far more than
five different speech acts that one can perform. The illocutionary point, then, is
only one component determining illocutionary force. Distinctions between speech
acts with the same illocutionary point can be made in fairly principled ways
(Searle, 1979).
One such way is in terms of the felicity conditions. For example, a request
and a command have the same illocutionary point; they are both directives and
attempts to get the hearer to do something. But they differ in terms of their felicity
conditions; a command requires (as one of its preparatory conditions) the speaker

to be in a position of authority over the hearer, a condition not required of a

Other components associated with differences in illocutionary force
include degree of strength and mode of achievement (Searle & Vanderveken,
1985). Degree of strength involves the sincerity condition of the speech act and
refers to the strength of the speakers belief or desire. For example, to claim and to
guess are both assertives, but the degree of strength is stronger for the former than
for the latter. Mode of achievement refers to differences in the specific means
used for achieving a particular illocutionary point. For example, requests and
commands are both directives, but they have different modes of achievement;
with a request the speaker leaves open the option of refusing, but with a command
the speaker must raise a position of authority over the speaker. And compare both
of these with the act of begging, a speech act that is also a directives, but for
which the mode of achievement is to get another to do something by being
Searles taxonomy and specification of illocutionary force are attempts to
systematize the observations of Austin and hence are important contributions to
the development of speech act theory. Searle provided a framework for specifying
more precisely the actions that can be accomplished with language, as well as the
relationship between those actions, ones words, and the mental states of the
Searle made his speech act classification with clear definition and
consistent principles in each speech act classifications than Austin made before.

There is no doubt that Searle has contributed greatly to the development of an

action-oriented view of language use. Hence, this is the reason why the researcher
chose Searles speech act theory particularly in directives speech act as one of the
frame works applied in this study.
2.2 Instructional Speech Act
Instructional function of speech acts are taken based on Johnson and
Coulthard (1983) theory. Educational discourse has a didactic aim. The teacher is
responsible for educating the students and has powerful communicative privilege
due to expertise in the subject and the teachers responsibility for attaining the
aims of a given subject (Trosborg, 1994: 159). Furthermore Trosborg states that
by virtue of the teachers social roles, they are responsible for topic selection and
topic development just as it is the teacher privilege to regulate the interaction and
provide evaluative feedback.
Therefore, turn taking mechanism in classroom interaction is likely differ
from those of free conversations occurs outside classroom. In teacher-directed
classroom interaction, the teacher typically asks a question, after having been
nominated by the teacher, the students provide the answers, and finally the teacher
evaluates the students answer. These classic IRF exchanges (Sinclair and
Coulthard, 1975) with the teachers Initiation and it is followed by a Response
from the students, evoking in turn Feedback from the teacher.

The structure of classroom discourse must be seen within the didactic

purpose of educational discourse. In the classroom, much time is spent on the

transfer of information from the teacher to the students. when asking questions the
teacher tends to have particular answer in mind, the correct answer. F-moves in
the classroom discourse are often realized by thats right, thats true, thats it,
thats good (Soerensen, 1985, see Trosborg, 1994: 159), which support the claim
that the tacher often expects a particular answer. The teachers view serves as a
yardsticks for what is right and wrong, or for what is acceptable or unacceptable.
A student must bid for a turn by raising his/her hand. By a response from the
students, evoking in turn feedback from the teacher.
Interpersonal aspect of classroom discourse is divided into three modes:
control, organization, and motivation (Johnson, 1997: 274). Control and
organization functions are realized in such utterances as Stand up!, Sit down,
and Why are you late?
There were three instructional functions of speech acts produced in the
teaching and learning namely control, organizational and motivational or
evaluative functions. All instructional functions of speech acts are produced by the
teachers. In this case the teacher controls and organizes the students in classroom
activities during the teaching and learning process. The teachers also control,
organize and motivate or evaluate the students in order to run the teaching and
learning process properly. Motivational functions are realized by such utterances
as well done thats good

2.3 Directives Speech Act


According to Searle (1969:22), directives is frequent kind of speech acts in

classroom interaction. Directives imposes some kind of action in the hearer.
Instances of such speech acts are command, order, advice, request, warning, etc.
the speaker state question to the hearer, demanding information from the hearer.
The theory of directives function used in this research is Ervin Trip theory
(1976). The types and functions of directives are mentioned below.
2.3.1 Types of Directives
1) Need statement
Directives is a form of declarative statement. Need statement type is used in
transactional work setting, including a family. It means that the listener or the
addressee will do whatever the request of the speaker. Below are the examples of
need statement:
a) I need a spoon of sugar
b) I want a kilo of lamb
In the first example, the utterance is spoken by a father to his wife while in the
second example the situation happen in a shop between a customer and a clerk.
The utterances express some request to the addressee.
2) Bald Imperative
The utterance that can be categorized into bald imperative is in the form of
imperative statement. This type of directives can be used in work setting and
between peer or in group setting. the use of it in work setting usually occurs from
prson who has higher status in working area or superior to a person who has lower
status in working area or subordinate. The use of bald imperative also has some

variants, such as, the additional of please, tag question and also the omission of
verb. Below are the example of bald imperative:
a) Please pass me the paperwork
b) Pass me that paperwork, will you?
c) One strawberry with honey
Additional please and tag question are used in the first two examples which
strengthen he imperative statement themselves. The last is other variant without
the verb from the context while the action is clear. If we use that utterance in a
caf situation, the waiter will understand what we order instead of saying we
want to buy one strawberry with honey in details. The message is clear and
understandable because the utterance is used in related context.
3) Embedded Imperative
Embedded imperative is indicated by use of interrogative form and the use
of modals. Embedded imperatives are mostly used in work setting and in
transactional or personal setting between strangers. The use of please and formal
language are some variants of this type. The examples of embedded imperative
are as follows:
a) Could you please submit the report tomorrow?
b) Can you show me the way to train station?
c) Would you kindly enter the classroom immediately?
d) If it isnt too much trouble, would you like to bring this luggage?
The first imperative is used mostly in work setting while the second one is
used in personal setting. They used in different situation and setting. In the third

and fourth examples used formal language. While in third and fourth examples are
normally counted as a request to do something. Indirect speech acts are generally
associated with greater politeness than direct speech acts. There is definite
difference between asking someone to do something and asking someone if the
precondition for doing it is in place (Yule, 1996). A request is considered as an
imposition by the speaker on the hearer, therefore it is better to avoid a direct
imposition through a direct request. It is important to make use of speech act
without being aggressive or direct to the hearer since indirect speech act is
associated with politeness within the environment.
4) Permission Directives
The form of permission directives is also in interrogative sentence. The
difference of this type from embedded imperative is on the subject. Permission
directives is mostly used by the children and subordinate. It is seen from the
choice of words being used. Below are the examples of permission directives:
a) Can I go now?
b) Could I leave now?
The use of I in the examples above indicates that permission directives is used
by children and subordinate in general while in embedded imperative, you is
mostly used. Both types have different intention that is on the speaker or on the
addressee. In permission directives, the speaker which is indicated by I becomes


5) Question Directives
The structure of question directives is in interrogative form. In the same
time, it has the same form as an ordinary information question. however, there is
no use of please in question directives. This type of directives is used in a
situation whenever there is unspecified definition to whom that work is addressed.
When the speaker has equivalent relationship or when there is unspecified power
relationship, question directives can be used. The use of this type of directives can
be seen when the speaker makes a request indirectly. Below is the example of
question directives: Have you got any raincoat here?
The questions above expressed that the speaker makes a request indirectly. It is
raining; he wants the listener lends him a raincoat. Indirect speeh acts are
generally associated with greater politeness than direct speech acts (Brown and
Levinson, 1978)
6) Hint Directives
The structure of hint directives is in the form of declarative statement; it is
the same as need statement. However, the meaning of this type of directives
differs from need statement; in hint directives, the meaning is the opposite of the
truth statement used by the speaker. In other word, hint directives is used in any
situation when the speaker makes the request implicitly. Below is the example of
hint directives:
It is a cold night
By using this utterance, the speaker wants the listener to close the window.


2.3.2 Functions of Directives

According to Krish (1983) and Ervin Tripp as cited in Tantra (1992:16) the
primary function of directives are to guide behavior, to get somebody to do
something. Directives are uttered on the expectation that the person or the person
to whom they are addressed will perform the acts mentioned in them. The purpose
of directives is to move the addressee to act. However, there is some case when
the directives intention may be unfulfilled or disobeyed.
On one side, utterances like you have to do this assignment or this is
your duty had a pushing element or explicit intention. It is used to tell someone
what do. On the other side, some utterances may have a weak element or implicit
intention, for instance You may submit it tomorrow or it would be wise if you
do you task now. When it has implicit intention, it may direct someone to some
available or preferred choices of other actions available in them. This kind of
implicit directives may fail to get a response from the addressee or the hearer
because he or she fails to reveal the underlying intention of utterance.
Additionally, directives relate to actions in three connected ways. First, the
pushing aspect of directives cannot be cancelled. Thus, when a speaker utters a
directives with explicit intention, the hearer has to obey by doing certain action.
Secondly, directives are used in several possible manners, such as to make
assertion about actions or objects, to formulate assumptions and to present for
consideration. Thirdly, directives can only be used assertively when there is an
effect of the actualization of intended behavior.


2.4 Discourse Analysis

Classroom speech act/interaction involves all verbal utterances as a
medium to communicate. Therefore, the study on speech act produced in teaching
and learning in classroom context has been named as discourse studies or
discourse analysis. In other word, discourse analysis is concerned with the study
of the relationship between language or utterances and the contexts in which it is
used (McCarthy, 1991:5, Seken, 2004:61)
McCarthy (1991: 5) states that development of discourse analysis study
grew out of work in different disciplines, including linguistics, semiotics,
psychology, anthropology and sociology, in the 1960s and early 1970s. According
to McCarthy, discourse analysis analyzes the language in use whether in written
texts or and spoken data.
Zellig Harris, in 1952 produced a paper which entitled 'Discourse
analysis', was interested in the distribution of linguistic elements-in extended
texts, and the links between the text and its social situation. But the concept of
discourse analysis given by Harris is not so relevant from the discourse analysis
we are used to nowadays. The significant theory on discourse analysis was
postulated by Dell Hymes in the 1960s. This argument views the study of speech
in its social setting from the sociological perspective (Hymes, 1964 in Seken,
2004: 62).
The other philosophers such as Austin (1962), Searle (1969) and Grice
(1975) reflected in speech-act theory and the formulation of conversational
maxims, alongside the emergence of pragmatics, which is the study of meaning in

context. These philosophers were also influential in the study of language as

social action (Levinson 1983).
Relates to function of language, M. A. K. Halliday's (1977), with his
functional approach to language, emphasizes the social functions of language and
the thematic and informational structure of speech and writing. In terms of teacher
talk in classroom Sinclair and Coulthard (1975) had developed a model for the
description of teacher-pupil talk, based on a hierarchy of discourse units (see
McCarthy, 1991).
Discourse analysis has been dominated by work which emphasizes the
research method of close observation of groups of people communicating in
natural setting. It examines types of speech event such as storytelling, greeting
rituals and verbal duels in different cultural and social settings (Gumperz and
Hymes 1972, see McCarthy 1991). This study is often called conversation
analysis. This analysis emphasizes on the close observation of the behavior of
participants in talk and on patterns which distributes over natural data.
The development of discourse analysis further focuses on working with
written language. Halliday and Hasan (1976) have made a significant impact in
the area of discourse analysis especially in written text. Its base of analysis tries to
show the links between grammar and discourse.
The growing of discourse analysis reaches a development that its area
covers the heterogeneous discipline such as the description of language above the
sentence and an interest in the contexts and cultural influences which affect
language in use (McCarthy, 1991:6).

2.5 Language Function

In discussing the function of language, we will remember how Halliday
and Hasan (1985. see Chaer, 2003: 33) guide us by showing what is meant by the
word function of language. They state that we can say function equals use; the
concept of function of language is that language is social interactional means, in
the meaning of a tool to convey thought, idea, concept or also feeling. Wardaugh
(1986) also states that the function of language is a tool of communication both in
written and spoken form. But this function covers five functions of language
namely expression, informational, exploration, persuasion, and entertainment.
These five functions of language cover the concept that language is a tool to
convey the expression that will be expressed by speaker. To express certain
feeling, language might be used. Informational function is the use of language to
explain a thing or condition. Persuasion function is use the language to ask
another person to do or not to do something. The last, entertainment function is
the use of language to entertain or to please our feeling. It is a fact that human
beings always use language as a main means of communication. Every member of
society involved in communication, he or she can be sender or receiver. In smooth
communication the process of changing from sender or receiver is too fast. This
process seems to be unimportant and uninteresting, especially for most of us. But
for a linguist, it is an interesting and important phenomenon to be observed and
In our daily activity we communicate with each other mostly use means of
communication: language. In this case we realize that how important the function

of the language as a tool of communication is. We can view communication as a

set of intention and with a certain intention or goal.
Communication has function, purposive, it has intention and a certain
goal, and it is designed to make some effects on listener and speaker, although it is
undeniable that some soft changes nearly unobservable.

Widely stated by

Fishman (1972 in Chaer, 2004: 15) that what we have to think of in

sociolinguistics is who speak what language to whom, when and to what end.
Therefore, the function of language can be seen from the angle of speaker,
listener, topic and purpose of speech.
Analyzing the language from the speakers point of view, Halliday (1976)
language function is as personal function (emotive function). It means that
speaker conveys his or her attitude through what he or she expressed. The speaker
not only expresses his or her emotion but shows his or her emotion when
conveying the speech. The listener may guess whether the speaker is angry, sad, or
From the listeners view, language may have function as directives,
namely to control and to regulate listener. Halliday calls this function as
instrumental function. The language not only makes the listener do something, but
do an activity in line with the speakers desire.
If we look at the language from the contact between speaker and listener,
the language will function as interactional function. The function of language is
viewed as a tool to keep relationship, to maintain friendliness or social solidarity.
While, from the topic of utterance, the function of language is referential. Here the

language is used to talk about object or an event which occurs in the speakers
surrounding. If the language is seen from the code used, the language will
function as metalanguage or metalinguistic (Chaer, 2004: 16), that the language is
used to describe the language itself. It can be seen from learning processes in
which the language is used to discuss and explain the rules of the language itself.
If the language is seen from the message, so the function of language is
imaginative. In fact the language can be used to convey thoughts, ideas, and
feelings; so both factually or it is only imaginative. We can find the imaginative
function of language in art works such as poetry or a story.
Communication is a set of communicative acts or speech acts used
systematically to do a certain intention. Halliday (1977) used the term function to
show the purpose of communication and he served seven functions of language,
namely: instrumental, regulation, representational, interactional, personal,
heuristic and imaginative functions. The seven different functions of language are
not related with each other but they are interrelated. One sentence or conversation
can show some different function simultaneously. Halilidays seven function of
language tend to cover all kind and complexity of communicative acts. Hallidays
function of language is discussed below.

Instrumental function
It makes certain event occur. When the language is used by a child, he or she
becomes aware that the language is used as a means of getting things done. In
another occasion language is brought in to serve the function of I want, the

satisfaction of material needs.

b) Regulation function

It is used to control and maintain events. Sometimes it is difficult to

differentiate instrumental function and regulation function since it closely
related to the instrumental function. Regulatory function refers to the use of
language to regulate the behavior of others. If you do that again Ill smack
you. In this example the language is used to control through threat of reprisal

linked to repetition of behavior.

Representational function
It is the use of language to make statements, to convey the facts, to explain or
to report, to represent the reality as seen by someone. For example: A child

got an accident
d) Interactional function
It is used to ensure, to maintain the continuity of social communication. The
success of this social communication need enough knowledge about slang,
argon, folklore, culture and custom, politeness rule and so on. Interactional
function refer to the use of language in the interaction between the self and
others. Even the closest of the childs personal relationship, that with his

mother, is partly and in time, largely mediated through language.

Personal function
It is used to give a chance for speaker to express his or her feeling, emotion,
personal, and deep reaction. The personality of someone usually can be seen
from the use of personal function in communication.


Heuristic function
It involves the use of language to get knowledge and science, to study
environment. It is often expressed in the forms of question and needs its
answer. The question of why about nature and world surrounding us is an
example of the heuristic function of language. It refers to language as a mean
of investigating reality, a way of learning something. When a child

questioning, he is seeking not merely facts but explanation of facts, the

generalization about reality that language makes it possible to explore.
g) Imaginative function
It is to serve the imaginative and creative system of ideas. Telling a story,
writing a story are the examples of imaginative function of language. We
have to note that there is interdependency, one function will support the other
one of the seven functions of the language (Tarigan, 1986: 7).
2.6 Studies on Classroom Speech Act
In 2008 Mulyani and Subangun conducted a research on directives speech
act produced by teachers in teaching and learning at SMA Negeri/Swasta
Kabupaten Ponorogo. This qualitative research tried to find out directives speech
acts produced by male and female teachers in classroom, and directives scale and
politeness level of directives politeness of male and female teachers in teaching
and learning in classroom. The object of this research focus on spoken directives
speech acts by teachers. The technique used in collecting the data was recording,
note and participatory (passive) observation. The finding of this research
classified directives speech acts of teacher such as: formal directives and
pragmatics directives. The formal directives consist of active and passive
directives. Pragmatically, teachers directives in teaching and learning covers
pragmatic meaning such as the order command, message, request, asking, force,
invitation, warning, and expectation. The other finding in this research is the
politeness using directives speech acts by teachers which cover two things,
namely linguistics politeness and pragmatic politeness. Linguistic politeness can
be seen from the order of the speech acts, intonation, pronunciation and the use of

politeness marker. While the pragmatic politeness symbolized by the politeness

marker such as: tolong, mohon, silakan, mari, ayo, coba, harap and jangan.
Another research on speech act was conducted by Santosa (2009). He
investigated the directives and commissives speech acts of the conversation of TK
Aisyiyah Bustanul Athfal Jantrans students. The purpose of this study were to
describe type of speech acts used by the kinder garden students, to know the
strategy of the use of directives and commissives speech acts used by the students
and to know how do the students use the directives and commissives speecha acts.
This was qualitative case study research. The data collected from the speech
uttered by the students of TK Aisyiyah Bustanul Athfal Jantran in the school year
2008/2009. In collecting data, the researcher used some methods such as
recording and field notes. The findings of this research are types of directives and
commissives speech act of the students, namely: Directives speech acts used by
the students are in terms of ordering and giving advice and commissives in the
types of promising and offering. The strategy in using directives and commissives,
found in this study, is direct speech acts in the forms of statement, questions and
imperative. The indirect speech act did not find in this study. The technique used
in uttering the commissives and directives speech acts is literal speech acts.
Martaulina, in 2011, conducted a research on kindergarten students speech
act in Medan. Her research was aimed at describing kindergarten students' speech
acts, identifying the types of moods, and explaining the choices of the moods. The
research was a longitudinal study and conducted under descriptive qualitative
methods. The sources of data were 10 kindergarten students which consist of 5

boys and 5 girls which were taken under purposive sampling technique. The data
were collected through formal observation on students conversation during
school hours. The data were analyzed by using pragmatic theory. The results show
that the children's speech act is realized in three moods: declarative, interrogative,
and imperative. The speech function covers assertives, directives, expressives,
commisive. It is concluded that children's speech acts include marked and
unmarked utterances.
Arcidiacono and Gastaldi (2011) entitled their paper What do you say?
The researchers tried to analyze classroom talks from a sociocultural perspective.
They study the different situations of classroom talk through the use of a
methodology called sociocultural discourse analysis, which focuses on the use of
language as a social mode of thinking. Specifically, they intended to apply the
categories elaborated within the model which was cover on cumulative,
disputational and exploratory talk in order to analyze data collected through
ethnographic observations of 8th and 9th classroom grade interactions. They
analyzed the recorded school situations through the use of conversation and
discourse analyses in order to verify the fit of the above-mentioned sociocultural
categories. Their hypothesis was that within the Italian school context is possible
to find regularities as signs of regulations processes within the school activity of
social construction, as well discrepancies between the different forms of talk we
are referring to. The findings of this study show regularities as concern the
cumulative and disputational talks. Concerning the third category they found a
level of protoexploratory talk as hybrid category of classroom talk. They

argued that the sociocultural discourse analysis was a valid methodology that can
be used as a flexible model to analyze different levels of classroom talk.
Sastrawan (2011) conducted a study on teachers speech acts in teaching
and learning Indonesia Language at grade IX SMPN 1 Pupuan. The study
investigated the types of speech acts and illocutionary forces that covered in the
teachers speech in teaching Indonesia Language. This was a descriptive
qualitative research. It was found that there are eight types speech acts produced
by teacher, namely: direct, indirect, literal, non literal, direct literal, indirect literal,
direct non literal, indirect non literal of speech acts. Among the types of speech
act existed above, direct speech act was the most dominant type. Another finding
in this research, relate to the function of speech act, was the dominant function of
teachers speech act was representative function.
Fitria (2012) conducted a research on the speech acts used by teachers and
students in classroom. This research focused on the interaction among teacher
and learners at SDN Cisaranten Kidul II Bandung. The researcher herself was the
key instrument of data collection, aided by audio and video recorder to record all
the classroom activities during the English class. The research showed that the
numbers of declarations produced are 20 utterances: 19 utterances are produced
by the teacher and 1 utterance belongs to the students. Representatives are 86
utterances: 14 utterances by the teacher and the rest of 72 utterances belong to the
students. It was also found that the production of expressives is 30 utterances: 17
utterances produced by the teacher and 13 utterances produced by the students. It
was followed by the production of directives which is 155 utterances: 150

produced by the teacher and 5 utterances produced by the students. Meanwhile,

the production of commissives is 19 utterances: 9 produced by the teacher and 10
produced by the students. The findings show that the use of speech acts in the
teaching and learning of English as a foreign language is still very much
dominated by the teacher who has the authority in class. Overall, the teacher took
up 67% of the talking time, while the distribution of talking time in the students
favor was 33%.
Sari (2012) conducted a research on the rhetoric interpersonal pragmatic
on the teacher and students speech acts in Indonesia Language teaching and
learning in SMAN 1 Kediri. This descriptive study aimed at describing the
functions of, the forms of and the strategies in delivering rhetoric interpersonal
pragmatic of teacher and students. The data of this study was the speech produced
by the teacher and students. After analyzed the data, Sari stated the finding that
the function of rhetoric interpersonal pragmatic of teacher are as commanding,
asking, allowing, forbidding and ordering functions. Further, the forms of rhetoric
interpersonal pragmatic found were declarative speech command, allow and
forbid. And, the strategy used in delivering the rhetoric interpersonal pragmatic
were direct and indirect strategies.
Marditha (2012) identified the employment of politeness strategies
employed by teachers and students in English as Foreign Language Class in Grade
Eleven English class at SMAN 1 Giayar. As this is the sosciopragmatic study,
Marditha employed the observation, recording and interview as the approach in
gaining the data. In this study, it was found that teachers and students employed

politeness, namely: bald-on-record, positive politeness, negative politeness and off

record politeness.
Table 1: The Similarities and Difference of the Inquiries with Current Study

Mulyani and
tahun 2008

Directives speech
act produced by
teachers in
teaching and
learning at SMA


The directives and

speech acts of the
conversation of TK
Aisyiyah Bustanul
Athfal Jantrans

Similarities and Differences

- Qualitative research
- Speech acts in classroom
- In collecting the data use recording, note
and participatory (passive) observation.
- Only studies directives speech acts
produced by male and female teachers in
classroom, and directives scale and
politeness level of directives politeness
of male and female teachers in teaching
and learning in classroom.
- Focus on spoken directives speech acts by
- Qualitative research
- Spoken speech acts in classroom
- In collecting the data uses recording and
field notes.
- Speech acts used by the kinder garden
students directives and commissives
speech while this study studies on the
teachers and students speech acts.



(2011 )

students speech
act in Medan

and Gastaldi

What do you


Teachers speech
acts in teaching
and learning
Language at grade

Fitria (2012)

The speech acts

used by teachers
and students in

Sari (2012)

The rhetoric
pragmatic on the
teacher and
students speech
acts in Indonesia
Language teaching
and learning in
SMAN 1 Kediri.

Similarities and Differences

- Qualitative research
- In collecting the data was recording and
field notes.
- Using pragmatic theory.
- Kindergarten students' speech acts,
identifying the types of moods, and
explaining the choices of the moods.
- Qualitative research
- In collecting the data was recording, and
field notes.
- Conversation and discourse analyses
- Ethnographic observations
- Analyze classroom talks from a
sociocultural perspective.
- Descriptive qualitative research
- The technique used in collecting the data
was recording, and field notes.
- (also) Teachers spoken speech act.
- The teachers speech in teaching
Indonesia Language.
- Interaction among teacher and learners at
elementary school.
- Audio and video recorder to record all the
classroom activities
- Only in the English class.
- Descriptive study
- Speech produced by the teacher and
- Describing the functions of, the forms of
and the strategies in delivering rhetoric
interpersonal pragmatic of teacher and
students of a senior high school.




The employment
of politeness
employed by
teachers and
students in English
as Foreign
Language Class in
Grade Eleven
English class at
SMAN 1 Giayar.

Similarities and Differences

- Qualitative inquiry
- Employed the observation, recording and
- Teachers and students politeness.
- In English class.
- Senior high school.

2.7 Communication in Classroom

2.7.1 Patterns of Classroom Interaction
Interaction is the collaborative exchange of thoughts, feelings or ideas
between two or more people, resulting in a reciprocal effect on each other
(Comeau, 2000: 57). As stated previously that the language has interactional
function. The teaching and learning process that occurs in the classroom in which
teachers and students have reciprocal effect upon each other through which they
say and do. Classroom interaction will appear if there is an intermediary language.
Halliday (1977) explores seven functions of language and states that of
one the seven functions is interactional function. It defines as the use of language
in interaction among self and others. The teaching and learning process that
occurs in the classroom in which teachers and students have reciprocal effect upon
each other through which they say and do is called classroom interaction (Matelo,
2002: 2). Classroom interaction will appear if there is an intermediary language.


In line with Hallidays function of language, Cazden (1988) states that

three general features and function of language make communication so central in
school especially in classroom, namely:
1) Through language, teacher transmits curriculum
2) Language communicates control
3) Language reflects personal identity
The first function means that the function of language which is stated in
certain level of students can be applied in the classroom. Thus, the teacher uses
language for information in the classroom, for providing instruction and
demonstrating what have been learnt. In other word, language is used to initiate,
monitor, adjust and evaluate cognitive processes.
Secondly, language communicates control means through language teacher
has responsibility for preventing and coping with disruption as well as
encouraging and enhancing learning process. The last function, through language
both teacher and students may reflect their personal identity.
Additionally, since school is often the first place where the students are
expected to communicate independently and publicity, they may bring personal
perspectives and attitudes within the classroom setting through language. In other
word, linguistic communication in the classroom provides multiple functions. It
means that the teacher has to be aware of language pattern in the classroom as
well as the function of language pattern in educational process happening in the
Further, the language pattern and their functions can be seen from the
classroom interaction. There are three kinds of interaction happen in the

classroom, namely teacher-students interaction, students-teacher interaction and

student-student interaction. Teacher-students interaction occurs when the teacher
makes a verbal interaction with his students, such as asking a question, giving
explanation and giving a command. For example, when a teacher says Could you
tell me where the presence list is? Using the utterance, the teacher initiates the
interaction between him and the students. The students may have opportunities to
give their opinion or comment or the answer to the question. In fact, the teacher
has already given the students a good model in speech. Later, the students will be
able to ask their teacher, for example Could you tell me the meaning of this
word? In this case, students-teacher interaction occurs. Moreover, the studentsstudents interaction are clearly can be seen when the students discuss about the
teachers questions or topic that is given by their teacher and so forth.
An analysis of classroom interaction indicates the pedagogical patterns in
the learning process. Besides, the classroom interaction analysis describes the
teacher and students behaviors as they interact in the classroom.
Chamberlain and Llamzon (1982) state that the application of classroom
interaction analysis provides invaluable information for teacher, since:

The teachers are able to know the characteristics of their teaching behaviors.
It involves how they control and motivate their students and the typical

behaviors which they use extensively in communication with the students.

b) The teachers are able to know about the amount of their talks that occur in
classroom interaction and the amount of type of their students interaction.
All activities in classroom occur through communication between teachers
and students. Powell and Powell (2010) give two definitions of communication.

The first definition, considers communication as one way phenomenon in which

message were connected to the setting. And the second one is communication
considered as a linear process in which the initiation of a message at one point
(info source) and the termination of it at another (destination).
The messages sent by the source have to be received by the hearer
completely. This assumes the clarity as the key of communication. Clarity is
achieved when the message received. Any message is influenced by a number of
individual difference variables. Moreover, any communication event involves a
context in which a number of factors play roles in the way the communication
unfolds. The concept of communication is a transactional event in which
participants share in the construction and management of meanings. Relate to the
events in classroom, all of these transactional events involve the individual
symbol system (language).
The relationship of learning and language is at the core of approaches to
education. So, it can be said that communication processes play a significant role
in the way instructional processes are managed. Powel and Powell (2010) state
that the people act upon the meaning they construct. And the definition of learning
based on the definition of communication itself. In learning context language,
culture, home and community play important roles in the knowledge structure
students possess. These may come to the assumption that the quality of
communication in the classroom is one of the variables that interrelated in
learning in classroom besides students ability and motivation. But, among factors
and abilities owned by students, the linguistic intelligence entails the ability to use

words effectively in oral and written modes (Gardner, 1999 in Powell and Powell,
2010: 26-28).
The use of language in teaching and learning communication is very
central. It is discovered that both teacher and students used directives forms to
communicate verbally. The teacher used some forms of language pattern in
conducting teaching and learning process, such as assertives, directives,
commissives, expressives, and declarations. However, most of teachers
utterances were in directives forms. The teacher also use directives to initiate his
students to communicate. By using this form, the teacher became a good model
for their students. in relation to the importance language pattern and function that
occur in classroom interaction, therefore this research was emphasized on analysis
of verbal interaction used in classroom interaction, especially on types and
functions of utterance used by both the teachers and students at SDN 10
From the development of above speech act theory and the general pattern
of verbal interaction happened in the classroom, this research was using Searles
theory about five illocutionary points and Ervin Tripp theory (1976) about types
and function of directives.


2.7.2 The Quality of Classroom Communication

Communication in classroom contains many varieties. Belleck, Kliebard,
Hyman, and Smith (1966 see forward Powell and Powell, 2010: 39) state that
there are four communication moves are used in classroom. The first is structuring
moves. This type establishes the context for appropriate students behavior. For
example hari ini kita akan mempelajari tugas yang telah saya berikan (Today we
are going to study the task which I have given). By uttering this teacher tries to
create certain context that are going to be followed by students. The second type is
soliciting moves in which the teacher elicit a verbal response from the students.
For example: Apakah kamu bawa gambar untuk diskusi hari ini?(Do you bring
the picture for discussion today?). The next third type is responding moves. This
move consists of the responses to student answers. And the last move is reacting
moves. This move has purpose to modify or evaluate what students have said.
Instructional communication entails three language functions such as
directing, informing, and eliciting. In directing students, the teacher concerns
with giving students the information necessary to complete an instructional task.
While in terms of informing function, the teacher is giving students new content.
And in eliciting function the teacher is soliciting students responses; asking the
students if they understand a task (Haslett, 1987 cited in Powell and Powell, 2010:
Summing up the teachers and students interactions in classroom, Cazden
(1988) asserts a fundamental pattern of classroom interaction which is called IRE.
I constitute that the teacher initiates the communication exchange. While, the

letter R constitutes student responds, and E is teacher comment on response. The

initiation usually come in the form of questions. Teacher questioning is one of the
dominant forms of communication used in classroom. In short, the use of
question, and teacher clarity impact learning.
Questions are used by teachers to invite student participation and engage
them in learning. Frequent questions used by teacher correlates positively with
students achievement. Maximum effects are related to the clarity of the question
and the way it managed (Brophy and Good, 2000). Students achievement
enhanced when teacher asked clearly phrased questions, probe students responses
redirect questions to non participating students, wait for students responses and
provide feedback on the accuracy of students responses.
Asking and managing questions are an essential component of class
interaction. There are some varieties of ways to use questions (Powell and Powell,
2010: 217) namely:
(1) To glean unknown information
(2) To check students knowledge
(3) To check students understanding. pseudo-question to get students to recall
the fact of something.
(4) Directives; ask misbehaving students to make students back to the task / pay
Teachers seldom use question higher levels of thinking (application,
analysis, synthesis, or evaluation), but teachers tend to ask questions requiring
students to recall the fact. In terms of questioning, Cunningham (1987:69) states

some levels of questions. Factual recall recognition proposes students to recall and
recognition certain things, such as: naming, recalling, identifying, writing and
distinguishing. And the in conceptualizing question, it covers convergent and
divergent types. Low convergent is looking for right answer (more complex than
recall facts). High order convergent question requires students to demonstrate
their comprehension of a concept (provide evidence and reasons). Students are
able to differentiate facts and opinions. While, the divergent questions, gives
students to fight with a variety of issues without constraint of searching for a
correct answer/reasonable answer or information. And the last opinion is when it
is the low divergent means that students create new/different ideas. However, high
divergent will create students to creative thinking.
The other situation that impacts on teaching and learning is clarity. Clarity
occurs when teachers use certain communication strategies to enhance
understanding of instructional material. Bush (1977) conceptualizes teacher clarity
in terms of seven behaviors:
(1) Give examples and explain them;
(2) Explain the work to be done, and how to do it;
(3) Gives written examples;
(4) Uses common examples;
(5) Give explanation that students understand;
(6) Speaks so that all the students can hear;
(7) Take time when explaining (cited in Powell and Powell, 2010).


Bush (1977) states that clear teachers are: (1) explain ideas, and (2) use
ample illustration while explaining ideas and giving direction. This means that
achievement is maximized when teacher actively present material, structure it
with overviews, provide internal summaries, and signal important main ideas.
When the students are needed to understand the materials given, teacher
clarity is essential. Clarity is concerned with the message strategies used to
increase the fidelity of instructional messages. Powell and Powell (2010: 215)
state that clarity behavior consists of:
(1) Stressing important aspects of content;
(2) Explaining by the use of examples;
(3) Assessing and responding to perceived deficiencies in understanding.
The quality of communication and interaction in classroom is impacted by
teacher communication apprehension. Communication apprehension (CA) is a
construct that has been found to constrain learning in the classroom. High CA will
affect to the low academic score/grade. Low communication apprehension, vice
versa, will bring high academic grade.
Powel and Powell (2010: 47) state that there are some causes of
communication apprehension such as: an individual who receives positive
reinforcement for communication will not develop CA. The high CA commonly
occurs to students from rural areas. This condition will affect the competences of
students. So, McCroskey and McCroskey (2002) suggest some actions to reduce
students CA.


(1) Reduce oral communication demands (avoid testing through oral; grading on
participation, alphabetical seating, and random calling on students)
(2) Make communication a rewarding experiences (praise students when they
participate, try to avoid indicating that any answer is completely wrong, try
not to punish any students for talking.
(3) Be consistent about communication (try to be consistent in how you handle
students talk, be very clear about any rules you must have regarding talking).
(4) Reduce ambiguity, novelty and evaluation.
(5) Increase students control over success (give students option and be certain
that students can avoid communication)
In line with those ideas, the teacher should have good and right ability in
communicating with students in teaching and learning process in classroom.
Teacher and students commonly use directives forms to communicate verbally.
The teacher also uses some forms of language pattern - representatives,
expressives, commissives and declarations, in conducting teaching and learning
process. However, most of teachers utterances were in directives forms and also
uses directives to initiate his students to communicate. In relation to the
importance language pattern and function that occur in classroom interaction, this
study is emphasized on analysis of verbal interaction (speech act) used in
classroom interaction at SDN 10 Pringgasela. From the development of the above
speech act theory and general pattern of verbal interaction happened in the
classroom, this research also uses Searles theory as the basic foundation.


2.8 Politeness
Politeness is a branch study of pragmatic. It includes in the study of speech
act. Politeness has been an influential research topic since 1960s (Pizziconi,
2006). Goffman (1967) pioneered the pragmatic approaches to the study of
politeness. Goffman explains the concept of face work which was inspired by his
study on Chinese politeness. According to his theory, face is a self image that
sticks to peoples social attribute (Thomas, 1995).
Then the concept of face was developed by Brown and Levinson (1978,
1987) that took Goffmans face work theory as the basis of their politeness
theory. According to Brown and Levinson there are some illocutionary acts that
are responsible for damaging or threatening peoples face; these condition are
known as Face Threatening Acts (FTAs) (Thomas, 1995). Pizziconi (2006)
said that Brown and Levinsons face theory is interpreted as double want: a want
to get freedom action and freedom from imposition (this is what Pizziconi called
as negative face), and a want of freedom to get approval and appreciation (a
positive face). FTA is influenced by some factors: the parameters of power (P),
distance (D), and rating of imposition (R).
Then, another politeness theory was stated by Geoffrey Leech in 1983.
Unlike Brown and Levinson whose their theory is more concerned with face,
Leechs theory is more concerned with the reason why people are often so
indirect in conveying what they mean (1983: 80). Leechs politeness principles
contain a set of maxims.


If Grices Politeness Principles (1975) is a set of maxims that enables one

participant to communicate in the assumption that the other participant is being
cooperative (Leech, 1983), thus Leechs politeness principles (reformulated into
Grand Strategy of Politeness (GSP), 2005) is a set of maxims that has a
regulative role (1983) by maintaining social balance and responsive relation that
makes the interlocutor cooperative in the first place.
Leech put politeness principles on the basis of Interpersonal Rhetoric as
well as cooperative principle to support the bridge of communication (Bousfield,
2008). Leechs politeness principles (1983) state that Minimize (other things
being equal) the expression of impolite beliefs; Maximize (other things being
equal) the expression of polite beliefs. However, as Leech (2005) has
reformulated his theory, he added that in order to be polite the speaker express the
meaning which is put a high value on what affects to the other or put a low value
on what affects to the speaker.
2.8.1 The Classifications of the Principles of Politeness
Leech subdivides the politeness principles into six namely: Tact,
Generosity, Approbation, Modesty, Agreement, and Sympathy.
The tact states Minimize cost to other; Maximize benefit to other
(Leech, 1983). The tact maxim applies on directives and commisive speech acts.
Leech considers this maxim as the most important maxim in the English-speaking
society. Request is one of the examples of tact which is often indirect, giving more
options to accept or refuse, and also minimize the degree of imposition form the
speaker to the hearer. The example is:

A: Can I have a glass of water?

B: Yes please. Have as much as you like!
In the example above, A observes tact while B observes generosity.
Generosity states that Minimize benefit to self; Maximize cost to self (Leech,
1983). As well as in tact maxim, impositive and commissives speech act also
applied on generosity maxim. Some examples of generosity are offer, invitation,
and promise. Those examples basically are generous because they put a high value
to the others wants however they can be rude as illustrated as follows:
You must come and sit with us next time. I wont take no for the
answer (Leech, 2005)
The example above is an offer which is delivered in a direct way. The offer
above is considered as rude because the speaker maximizes the degree of
imposition to the hearer by forced the hearer to come.
Approbation states that Minimize dispraise of other; Maximize praise of
other (Leech, 1983). Expressives and assertives speech acts applies in
approbation. A compliment is one of the examples of approbation which has a
positive effect. By uttering a compliment can be an indication that the speaker is
respecting the hearer. On the other hand, a critic has a negative effect because the
requirement of politeness is lessened. Criticism often said in indirect or even
hedged and muted (Leech, 2005), for example: You could have done better. It
was not terribly good.
Modesty states that Minimize praise of self; Maximize dispraise of self
(Leech, 1983). Expressives and assertives speech act are used in modesty. In

Eastern societies particularly in Indonesia, modesty is one of the most important

aspects in communication because it can be parameters of someones politeness.
Modesty and approbation is often used together in conversation, for example:
A: I like your dress.
B: Ah, It is just something I picked up from sale.
In the example above, A gives a compliment on Bs dress and B pays the
compliment by saying a self-depreciation.
Agreement states that Minimize disagreement between self and other;
Maximize agreement between self and other (Leech, 1983). Assertives speech act
is used in agreement. In responding opinion in agreement, agreement is preferred
responses while disagreement is not preferable responses, for example:
A: This is beautiful painting, isnt it?
B: Yeah, absolutely.
In the example above, B agrees with As opinion and he adds the word
absolutely in the response that can enhance the polite effect of the agreement.
Sympathy states that Minimize antipathy between self and other;
Maximize sympathy between self and other (Leech, 1983). Assertive speech act
is used in sympathy. The notion of sympathy is put a high value on the others
feeling such as in the speech acts of thanks, apology, and congratulation.
Expressing feelings e.g. thanks also can be an indication that the speaker is
empathy to the hearer. By showing a feeling of sympathy to the other is
considered polite, but it can be more polite if there is augmentation, for example
the utterance I hope she is feeling better will be more courteous if it made like

I do hope she is feeling better.

In Leechs politeness principles (Grand Strategy of Politeness, 2005), there
are two kinds of politeness scales: absolute politeness and relative politeness.
Absolute politeness is a set of scale which has two poles: positive and
negative (Leech, 1983). By maximizing the politeness in polite illocutions, the
utterance would be considered having a positive politeness. Meanwhile, if the
utterance is maximizing the impoliteness of impolite illocutions, the utterance
considered having a negative politeness.
In absolute politeness, the utterance Could you help me? may be
considered as polite rather than only uttering Help me. Thus, whether the
utterance is direct or indirect will determine what type of politeness scales they
belong to. Absolute politeness runs in the level of lexico-grammatical forms and
semantic interpretations (Leech, 2005), thus Leech called this scale as semantic
politeness (Leech, 2005 cited in Bousfield, 2008).
In addition to politeness scale, Leech (2005) realizes that people are not
always polite in communication for example the Russians, which Leech argues
never being polite. Therefore, Leech added another scale, relative politeness scale.
This scale is relative depends on the social context where the utterance engaged in
(Leech, 2005). The relative politeness is very sensitive to the context unlike
absolute politeness for example the utterance: Could I possibly interrupt? In
relative politeness, this utterance may be too polite if spoken to friends who
monopolizing conversation, moreover the utterance might be understood as coldly
sarcastic. Because of relative politeness constitutes the politeness in appropriate

context, thus this politeness is called Pragmatic Politeness (Leech, 2005 cited in
Bousfield, 2008).
2.8.2 Positive and Negative Face
In the reformulation theory of Politeness Principles, Grand Strategy of
Politeness (GSP), Leech (2005) states that what he considered as positive
politeness is not same as Brown and Levinsons belief as positive politeness.
Leech argued that Brown and Levinsons theory is asymmetry because the
positive politeness is always having a high evaluation to hearer. As a result, Leech
made his positive politeness more narrowly than Brown and Levinsons theory.
He notes that his positive politeness acts is an effort to negative avoidance
principle. Therefore, Leechs positive politeness is a face enhancement by giving
more value to hearer.
Relate to the face threatening act, face is the public self image that every
adult tries to project. Brown and Levinson (1987) define positive face in two
ways: as "the want of every member that his wants be desirable to at least some
others executors", or alternately, "the positive consistent self-image or
'personality' (crucially including the desire that this self-image be appreciated and
approved of) claimed by interactants". Negative face was defined as "the want of
every 'competent adult member' that his actions be unimpeded by others", or "the
basic claim to territories, personal preserves, rights to non-distraction--i.e. the
freedom of action and freedom from imposition" (Brown and Levinson, 1987).


Furthermore, Brown characterized positive face by desires to be liked,

admired, ratified, and related to positively, noting that one would threaten positive
face by ignoring someone. At the same time, she characterized negative face by
the desire not to be imposed upon, noting that negative face could be impinged
upon by imposing on someone (Coates, 1998). Positive Face refers to one's selfesteem, while negative face refers to one's freedom to act (Foley, 1997). The two
aspects of face are the basic wants in any social interaction, and so during any
social interaction, cooperation is needed amongst the participants to maintain each
other's faces.
2.8.3 Face-Threatening Acts
According to Brown and Levinson, positive and negative face exists
universally in human culture. In social interactions, face-threatening acts are at
times inevitable based on the terms of the conversation. A face threatening act is
an act that inherently damages the face of the addressee or the speaker by acting in
opposition to the wants and desires of the other. Most of these acts are verbal;
however, they can also be conveyed in the characteristics of speech (such as tone,
inflection, etc.) or in non-verbal forms of communication. At minimum, there
must be at least one of the face threatening acts associated with an utterance. It is
also possible to have multiple acts working within a single utterance (Brown and
Levinson, 1987).
1) Negative Face Threatening Acts
Negative face is threatened when an individual does not avoid or intend to
avoid the obstruction of their interlocutor's freedom of action (Brown and

Levinson, 1987). It can cause damage to either the speaker or the hearer, and
makes one of the interlocutors submit their will to the other. Freedom of choice
and action are impeded when negative face is threatened. There are some types of
negative face-threatening acts namely damage to hearer and speaker.
Brown and Levinson (1987) categorize the definitions of damage to the
hearer into three areas. First, it is an act that affirms or denies a future act of the
hearer creates pressure on the hearer to either perform or not perform the act. For
examples are orders, requests, suggestions, advice, remindings, threats, or
warnings. The second is an act that expresses the speakers sentiments of the
hearer or the hearers belongings. For examples compliments, expressions of envy
or admiration, or expressions of strong negative emotion toward the hearer (e.g.
hatred, anger, lust). The third is an act that expresses some positive future act of
the speaker toward the hearer. In doing so, pressure has been put on the hearer to
accept or reject the act and possibly incur a debt. For examples: offers, and
Moreover, the second type is the damage to the speaker. It is a meaning
that an act that shows that the speaker is succumbing to the power of the hearer.
For examples expressing thanks, accepting a thank you or apology, excuses,
acceptance of offers, a response to the hearers violation of social etiquette, and
the speaker commits himself to something he or she does not want to do
2) Positive Face-Threatening Acts
Positive face is endangered when the speaker or hearer does not care about
their interactors feelings, wants, or does not want what the other wants (Brown

and Levinson, 1987). Positive face threatening acts can also cause damage to the
speaker or the hearer. When an individual is forced to be separated from others so
that their well being is treated less importantly, positive face is threatened.
In terms of damage the hearer, the politeness is considered as an act that
expresses the speakers negative assessment of the hearers positive face or an
element of his/her positive face. The speaker can display this disapproval in two
ways. The first approach is for the speaker to directly or indirectly indicate that he
dislikes some aspect of the hearers possessions, desires, or personal attributes.
The second approach is for the speaker to express disapproval by stating or
implying that the hearer is wrong, irrational, or misguided. For examples are
expressions of disapproval (e.g. insults, accusations, complaints), contradictions,
disagreements, or challenges. The second is an act that expresses the speakers
indifference toward the addressees positive face. And then the addressee might be
embarrassed for or fear the speaker. For example: excessively emotional
The speaker indicates that he doesnt have the same values or fears as the
hearer. The examples are disrespect, mention of topics which are inappropriate in
general or in the context. The speaker indicates that he is willing to disregard the
emotional well being of the hearer. Examples: belittling or boasting.
The speaker increases the possibility that a face-threatening act will occur.
This situation is created when a topic is brought up by the speaker that is a
sensitive societal subject. Examples: topics that relate to politics, race, religion.


The speaker indicates that he is indifferent to the positive face wants of the
hearer. This is most often expressed in obvious non-cooperative behavior.
Examples: interrupting, non-sequiturs.
The speaker misidentifies the hearer in an offensive or embarrassing way.
This may occur either accidentally or intentionally. Generally, this refers to the
misuse of address terms in relation to status, gender, or age.
Contrast to the above, the FTA also can be seen as the damage to the
speaker. It is an act that shows that the speaker is in some sense wrong, and
unable to control himself. Another type is apologies. In this act, speaker is
damaging his own face by admitting that he regrets one of his previous acts. The
speaker also shows an acceptance of a compliment, inability to control ones
physical and emotional self, self-humiliation, and confessions.
2.8.4 Politeness Strategies
Politeness strategies are used to formulate messages in order to save the
hearers face when face-threatening acts are inevitable or desired. Brown and
Levinson outline four main types of politeness strategies: bald on-record, negative
politeness, positive politeness, and off-record (indirect).
Bald on-record strategies usually do not attempt to minimize the threat to
the hearers face, although there are ways that bald on-record politeness can be
used in trying to minimize face-threatening acts implicitly. Often using such a
strategy will shock or embarrass the addressee, and so this strategy is most often
utilized in situations where the speaker has a close relationship with the audience,
such as family or close friends. Brown and Levinson outline various cases in

which one might use the bald on-record strategy, including: instances in which
threat minimizing does not occur, great urgency or desperation (Watch out!),
speaking as if great efficiency is necessary (Hear me out:...), task-oriented (Pass
me the hammer), little or no desire to maintain someone's face (Don't forget to
clean the blinds!), doing the face-threatening act is in the interest of the hearer
(Your headlights are on!), instances in which the threat is minimized implicitly,
welcomes (Come in), and offers (Leave it, I'll clean up later).
Positive politeness strategies seek to minimize the threat to the hearers
positive face. They are used to make the hearer feel good about himself, his
interests or possessions, and are most usually used in situations where the
audience knows each other fairly well (Foley, 1997). In addition to hedging and
attempts to avoid conflict, some strategies of positive politeness include
statements of friendship, solidarity, compliments, and the following examples
from Brown and Levinson:

Attend to Hs interests, needs,
Use solidarity in-group identity
Be optimistic
Include both speaker and hearer in
Offer or promise
Exaggerate interest in H and his
Avoid Disagreement

You look sad. Can I do anything?
Heh, mate, can you lend me a dollar?
Ill just come along, if you dont mind.
If we help each other, I guess, well both
sink or swim in this course.
If you wash the dishes, Ill vacuum the
Thats a nice haircut you got; where did
you get it?
Yes, its rather long; not short certainly.
Wow, thats a whopper!

Negative politeness strategies are oriented towards the hearers negative

face and emphasize avoidance of imposition on the hearer. These strategies

presume that the speaker will be imposing on the listener and there is a higher
potential for awkwardness or embarrassment than in bald on record strategies and
positive politeness strategies. Negative face is the desire to remain autonomous so
the speaker is more apt to include an out for the listener, through distancing styles
like apologies (Foley, 1997). Examples from Brown and Levinson (1987) include:

Be indirect
Use hedges or questions

Be pessimistic

Minimize the imposition

Use obviating structures,

like nominalizations,
passives, or statements of
general rules


Use plural pronouns

Would you know where Oxford Street is?
Perhaps, he might have taken it, maybe.
Could you please pass the rice?
You couldnt find your way to lending me a
thousand dollars, could you?
Its not too much out of your way, just a couple of
I hope offense will not be taken.
Visitors sign the ledger.
Spitting will not be tolerated.
Im sorry; its a lot to ask, but can you lend me a
thousand dollars?
We regret to inform you.

Favor seeking, or a speaker asking the hearer for a favor, is a common

example of negative politeness strategies in use. Held observes three main stages
in favor-seeking: the preparatory phase, the focal phase, and the final phase
(Carter and McCarthy, 1994).

The preparatory phase is when the favor-seeking is preceded by elaborate

precautions against loss of face to both sides. It often involves signals of
openings and markers to be used to clarify the situation (e.g. You see, or
so,). The request is often softened, made less direct, and imposing (e.g. past
continuous I was wondering; informal tag What dyou reckon?). The


speaker must also reduce his own self-importance in the matter and
exaggerate the hearers (down-scaling compliments).
b) The focal stage is subdivided into elements such as askers reasons or
constraints (e.g. Ive tried everywhere but cant get one), the others face
(e.g. Youre the only person I can turn to), and more.

The third stage is the final stage which consists of anticipatory thanks,
promises, and compliments (e.g. I knew you would say yes. Youre an
The final politeness strategy outlined by Brown and Levinson is the

indirect strategy. This strategy uses indirect language and removes the speaker
from the potential to be imposing. For example, a speaker using the indirect
strategy might merely say wow, its getting cold in here insinuating that it
would be nice if the listener would get up and turn up the thermostat without
directly asking the listener to do so.