ERIC Number: ED172265
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
A Motive of Rhetorics: Invention and Speech Acts.
Schneider, Michael J.
While rhetorical theory has long been concerned with the epistemological foundations of rhetorical abilities, the full potential of the structuralist perspective is far from realized. The study of speech acts and inventive processes discloses the underlying logic of linguistic performance. A speech act is conceptualized in terms of the communicative force of discourse; examples include questions, commands, statements, promises, and compliments, as well as the more complex multiple-force and subtle forms. Speech act analysis provides insight into the ways communicators create and comprehend pragmatic strategies. The logic of conversational structure mirrors a speaker's rhetorical or communicative competence. The focus on epistemological questions concerning rhetorical invention should help to explain why communication usually works effectively, and should suggest profitable programs for preventing misunderstanding based on the effectiveness of these normal processes. Rhetorical theory should align itself more closely with structural forms of the analysis of creativity as represented in the works of Piaget, Chomsky, and Levi-Strauss. (DF)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Speech Acts
Note: Study prepared at the University of Nebraska