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An Introduction to Speech Act Theory by Mind Map: An Introduction to Speech Act Theory
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An Introduction to Speech Act Theory

Formulated 1962 by philosopher John L. Austin. A speech act can be defined as "the action performed by a speaker with an utterance".

Structure

Interrogative

Imperative

Declarative

Direct vs. Indirect Speech Acts

If structure is used to perform function other than its designated one, the result is an indirect speech act.

Direct speech act often feature performative verbs

Indirect speech acts require the hearer to infer the illocutionary act from context, on basis of operative principle, background knowledge etc.

Locution, Illocution, Perlocution

Locution

Illocution

Perlocution

Example

Classification by John R. Searle

Declarations

Representatives

Expressives

Directives

Commissives

Combinations

Grice's cooperative principle

Paul Grice = American philosopher Stated that we all communicate under the assumption that our partner wants to cooperate and vice versa. We assume that everyone sticks to his maxims.

Maxim of Quantity

Maxim of Quality

Maxim of Relation

Maxim of Manner

If a speaker doesn't stick to the maxims, we say that he is "violating" the maxims.

If a speaker is cooperating and communication proceeds smoothly, we say the speaker is "observing" the maxims.