Sie sind auf Seite 1von 31

SPEECH ACTS

(Pragmatics)
Group 4:
Annisa Nur Fitria Riska Lestari
Dini Handayani Sofiyatul Inayah

Class 4C English Department

A. Speech Acts
When someone expresses something, he does not

only produce utterances containing grammatical


structures and words, but he also performs an action
through the utterances.
Action performed by an utterance called speech acts.
Example: Youre fired!
This utterance can be used by us as an action to fire
someone from his current job.

Performing action by producing an utterance has three

kinds of related acts. Those are:


Locutionary Act

Illocutionary
Act/Illocutionary Force

Perlocutionary
Act/Perlocutionary
Effect

An utterance that
produces literal
meaning

An utterance which has


social function in mind

An utterance that gives


an effect to do
something

For example: Its hot here.


- Locutionary act: The speaker feels hot in his place.
- Illocutionary act: The utterance has two possible meanings inside
An indirect request for someone to open the window.
An indirect refusal to close the window because someone is cold
- Perlocutionary act: The hearer will open/close the window

B. Illocutionary Act
Illocutionary act is the main focus of speech acts.
Illocutionary force from an utterance is what it

count as.
Example: Ill see you later. We could find three
different assumptions of its meaning.
(I predict that) Ill see you later => a prediction
(I promise you that) Ill see you later => a promise
(I warn you that) Ill see you later => a warning.

The problem could happens in every utterance:


They might have different meaning which can make
the hearer can not recognize the real illocutionary
force from the utterance.
How to solve this problem?
There are two ways to answer this:
IFIDs

Felicity condition

1. IFIDs
Illocutionary Force Indicating Devices => an

expression from an utterance which contains a slot


to put a verb that explicitly named the illocutionary
act being performed.
The verb called performative verb (Vp)
I (Vp) you that...
Ill see you later.
I warn you that Ill see you later.
I promise you that Ill see you later.

Speakers do not usually perform their speech acts


with a performative verb. But sometimes, they use it
to distinct their speech act.
Him : Can I talk to Mary?
Her : No, she is not here.
Him : Im asking youcan I talk to her?
Her : And Im telling youSHE IS NOT HERE!
They explicitly describe their utterances
illocutionary act by using ask and tell as
performative verb.

IFIDs can be identified as a word order, stress, and


intonation.

a.

She is going! => I tell you.

b.

She is going? => I request confirmation.

c.

Is she going? => I ask you.

2. Felicity condition
To make the utterance can be recognize by the

hearer, the circumstance surrounding the speaker


must be appropriate with the condition.
Such condition called felicity condition.
Ex: I sentence you to six months in prison.
The performance wont be appropriate if the speaker
is not a specific person in special context (in this
case, the speaker must be a judge in a courtroom).

A speech act needs to be performed along certain


types of conditions, in order to be successfully
recognized.
Propositional content
condition

Preparatory condition

Requires the participants to


understand the language,
not to act like actors or to
lie.
E.g. Promise or warning
must be about the future.

Requires that the speech


act is embedded in a
context that is
conventionally recognize,
thus, just by uttering a
promise, the event will not
happen by itself.

A speech act needs to be performed along certain


types of conditions, in order to be successfully
recognized.
Sincerity condition

Essential condition

Requires that the speaker is


sincere in uttering the
declaration.
E.g. Promise is only
effective when the speaker
really intends to carry it
out.

Requires that all parties


intend the result.
E.g. Changes state of
speaker from nonobligation to obligation
(promise).

C. The Performative Hypothesis


A way to assume the underlying utterance (U), there

is a clause, similar to the previous example (I (Vp)


you that ...), containing a performative verb (Vp)
which makes the illocutionary force explicit.
I (hereby) Vp you (that) U
In this clause, the subject must be first person
singular (I), followed by the adverb hereby,
indicating that the utterance counts as an action by
being uttered.

Look at the examples below:


I hereby order you
that you clean up
this mess.

Clean up this mess!

The underlying clause in the blue box will always


make explicit, and the second one is implicit.
The first example (normally without hereby) is used by
speakers as explicit performatives. And the second
example is an implicit performatives or primary
performatives.

The advantage of this analysis type:


It makes clear just what elements are involved in he
production and interpretation of utterances.
Do it yourself! (implicit)
The reflexive in yourself is made possible by the
antecendent you in explicit version.
I order you that you do it yourself. (explicit)

The disadvantage of this analysis type:


Not all the pervormative verbs can be use to make
an explicit version of the implicit utterance.
- Youre dumber than a rock.
- ? I hereby insult you that youre dumber than a rock

The really practical problem with any analysis


based on identifying explicit performative is we
simply do not know how many performative verbs
are there in any language. To solve this, there is a
general classification system list of function
performed by speech acts that can be used.

D. Speech Act Classification


One general classification system lists five types of
general function performed by speech acts:

Declaration
Representative

Expressive

Directive

Commissive

1. Declaration
Speech acts that change the world via their

utterance/word.
For example:
a) Priest: I now pronounce you husband and wife.
b) Referee: Youre out!
c) Judge: I sentence you to six months in prison!

2. Representative
Speech acts that state what speaker believes to be the

case or not.
Fact, assertions, conclusions, descriptions =>
representing the world as he believes it is.
The speaker makes the words fit the world (of
belief).
For example:
a) The earth is flat.
b) Chomsky didnt write about peanuts.
c) It was a warm sunny day.

3. Expressive
Speech acts that state what speaker feels.
Psychological expression => pleasure, pain, likes,

dislikes, joy, or sorrow.


The speaker makes words fit the world (of feeling).
For example:
a) Im really sorry!
b) Congratulations!
c) Oh, yes, great, mmm, ssahh!

4. Directive
Speech acts that speaker use to get someone else to

do something.
Command, orders, requests, suggestion => can be
positive or negative.
The speaker attempts to make the world fit the
words (via hearer).
For example:
a) Gimme a cup of coffee. Make it black.
b) Could you lend me a pen, please?
c) Dont touch that.

5. Commissive
Speech acts that speakers use to commit themselves

to some future action.


Promises, threats, refusals, pledges => can be
performed alone or by a group.
The speaker undertakes to make the world fit the
words (via the speaker).
For example:
a) Ill be back.
b) Im going to get it right next time.
c) We will not do that.

Table of Speech Act Classification


Speech act
type

Direction of fit

S = Speaker, X =
Situation

Declarations

Words change the world

S causes X

Representative

Make words fit the world

S believes X

Expressive

Make words fit the world

S feels X

Directives

Make the world fit words

S wants X

Commissive

Make the world fit words

S intends X

E. Direct and Indirect Speech Acts


Look at the examples below:
a. She plants a mango tree. (declarative-statement)
b. Does she plant a mango tree? (interrogative-

question)
c. Plant a mango tree! (imperativecommand/request).
.There is an easily recognized relationship between
three structural forms (declarative, interrogative,
imperative) and three general communication
function (statement, question, command/request).

Direct speech is a direct relationship between a


structure and a function.
Indirect speech is an indirect relationship between
a structure and a function.
For example:
We have known that a declarative sentence has a
function as a statement, so we call it direct speech
act.
But if the declarative sentence used to be a request,
we call it indirect speech act.

a) Its cold outside.


b) I hereby tell you about the weather.
c) I hereby request of you that you close the door.

The utterance a) is a declarative. If we used it


make a statement as paraphrased in b), it is
functioning as a direct speech.
If the a) used to make a command/request, as
paraphrased in c), it is functioning as an indirect
speech.

a) Move out of the way! (imperative-command)


b) Do you have to stand in front of the TV?

(interrogative-command)
c) Youre standing in front of the TV. (declarativecommand)
Could you open the window?
The utterance not only needs the answer
Yes/No, but it also asks the hearer to do
something. Interrogative sentence as a
command (indirect speech act).

F. Speech Event
Speech act => one person trying to get another

person to do something without risking refusal or


causing offense.
Speech event => the set of utterance produced in a
social situation involving participants who
necessarily have a social relationship and have
particular goals.
The activity in which participants interact via
language in some conventional way to arrive at some
outcome.

a) : I dont really like this.


b) : Ok, I will take another one.

a) As an obvoius central speech act


b) As the speech act that reacts to the
central speech act.

It means that in the speech event above


(complaining), there is a central speech act and
the other speech act that lead up and reacts to
the central action/speech act.

A speech event can be defined by a unified set of

components through out:


Same purpose of communication
Same topic
Same participants
Same language variety (generally)
For example: exchanging greetings, telling jokes,
giving speeches, requesting help, complaining, etc.

Speech event: asking the time

A : What time is it? (speech act 1)


B : It is 3 oclock. (speech act 2)
A : Thank you. (speech act 3)
Speech event: exchanging greetings

A : Good morning, Sir. (speech act 1)


B : Morning. How are you today?
(speech act 2)
A : Im fine, Sir. Thank you. (speech
act 3)