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Edited by Peter Cole and Jerry L. Morgan

Both linguists and philosophers have, for a number of years, been interested in the concept of speech acts, first proposed by J. L. Austin; but each discipline has remained uniformed on the often parallel work of the other. This volume brings together linguistic and philosophical approaches to speech acts, in order to bring out agreements and disagreements.

Many of the articles focus on the problem of indirect speech acts, or "conversational implicature".Such indirect speech acts are a major impediment to a coherent, explanatory account of the relation between sound and meaning, since it is not clear whether the use of a sentence to perform and indirect speech act is part of the sentence's linguistically significant meaning, to be handled by syntactic rules, or whether this use is best explained on some other basis, such as a theory of language use. In this volume, such philosophers as John Searle and H. P. Grice examine the relation between the content of a sentence and the conditions under which it can be used to perform a given speech act, while such linguists as John Robert Ross, Georgia M. Green, and Jerrold M. Sadock show that the illocutionary intent of a speaker is often reflected in the syntactic properties of the sentence he uses.

This book, with its full airing of the controversy regarding the status of conversational implicature and syntactic rules, will be invaluable to both linguists and philosophers concerned with semantics and pragmatics.

Maciej Witek

1 Introduction Many speech acts express mental states and, as a result, are subject to Moorean absurdity (Green 2007). In making an assertion that p , for instance, the speaker expresses her belief that p and thereby closes off the option of seriously saying that she does not believe that p


Anita Fetzer

1 Introduction It is impossible to conceptualize speech acts without the explicit accommodation of context, and it seems impossible to conceptualize speech acts in context without the explicit accommodation of discourse. Speech acts are situated in social context (cf. e.g., Mey 2011 ; Sbisà 2002a

Reconceiving Texts as Speech Acts

An Analysis of I John


Dietmar Neufeld

Reconceiving Texts as Speech Acts attempts a reading of the Christological confessions and ethical exhortations in I John from the perspective of speech act theory. Speech act theory is explored with particular reference to J.L. Austin, Donald Evans, and J. Derrida. At the heart of the approach is the insight of the rhetorical character of historiography and the view that language in written discourse is a form of action and power. Discourse in I John becomes responsible for creating reality and not merely reflecting it. In effect the Christological and ethical texts are effective acts which change situations in the public domain in terms of confession and conduct. A tentative methodological proposal is developed and then in succeeding chapters applied to a series of key passages in I John.

Nicolas Ruytenbeek

1 Introduction Language is used to perform speech acts ( SA  s) such as informing about a state of affairs, asking whether something is the case, wishing someone good luck, to only name a few. In this paper, I address one such category of actions accomplished by way of uttering sentences

Mitchell Green and Ralph DiFranco

Abstract: The philosopher J.L. Austin observed that speakers can use language to do a variety of things in addition to making statements, including promising, excommunicating, and requesting. Theories of speech acts attempt to classify the different actions that can be performed with language and

Daniela Rodica Firanescu

Verbal communication as a form of human action has preoccupied European linguists, more conspicuously since the 19th century (Wilhelm von Humboldt, Karl Bühler, Roman Jakobson, and others), but the first elaborate theory of speech acts appeared only in the second half of the 20th century with the

Filippo Domaneschi, Marcello Passarelli and Luca Andrighetto

1 Speech Acts and Facial Expressions 1.1 Speech Acts Since the seminal work of John Austin (1962), language scientists recognize that the business of a sentence is not only to describe some state of affairs but also to perform other kinds of speech acts (e.g., ordering, suggesting, asking

Jason David BeDuhn

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2002 Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 14, 84-113 THE HISTORICAL ASSESSMENT OF SPEECH ACTS: CLARIFICATIONS OF AUSTIN AND SKINNER FOR THE STUDY OF RELIGIONS J ason D avid B e D uhn This essay examines Quentin Skinner’s historicist use of J. L. Austin

Jason David Beduhn

THE HISTORICAL ASSESSMENT OF SPEECH ACTS: CLARIFICATIONS OF AUSTIN AND SKINNER FOR THE STUDY OF RELIGIONS JASON DAVID BEDUHN This essay examines Quentin Skinner's historicist use of J. L. Austin's speech act theory, corrects and clarifies some ways in which Skinner seems to misapply Austin