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ERIC Number: ED308723
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Sep
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A New Theory of Speech Acts.
Geis, Michael L.
A new theory of speech acts is proposed that draws a fundamental distinction between speech acts proper--declaratives, interrogatives, and directives--and the myriad social actions that are performed using language such as making promises, making offers, issuing invitations, and asking questions. The theory states that sentences are usally meant literally in conversation, with the social force of an utterance being predictable given (1) the literal meaning of the sentence, (2) contextual information, (3) a set of conditions on social actions, (4) principles governing conversation, and (5) common sense reasoning of a Gricean sort. It is maintained that the principal benefit of this theory is that it provides the basis for predicting what social action a given utterance will perform in a given situation. It is also maintained that sincerity conditions play a role in predicting what social action an utterance is intended to perform, and that social actions are subject to certain conditions that must be satisfied before they can be successfully performed. Requests and indirect speech acts are also considered from the perspective of the new theory. (DJD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Annual Eastern States Conference on Linguistics (5th, Philadelphia, PA, September 30- October 2, 1988). The complete Proceedings are available from the Dept. of Linguistics, Ohio State University, Columbus.