Pragmatics Frame Unused sSpeech Act Section Speec Theory h Space 1 events and Genres Speech Speech Acts and Social Interactions acts and Pragmatics References discourse Intention routines
Speech act theory• Attempts to explain how speakers use language to accomplish intended actions and how hearers infer intended meaning from what is said.• Has prompted researchers to investigate the ways people use the language to manage social interactions.
What is an speech act?• A speech act is a minimal functional unit in human communication. Just as a word is the smallest free form found in language and a morpheme is the smallest unit of language that carries information about meaning, the basic unit of communication is a speech act.
In other wordsSpeech acts are:• Any meaningful utterance• Utterance that serves a function in communication• What piece of language is doing or how the listener/reader is supposed to react
Speech actIt may contain:• Just one word – Sorry• Several words or sentences – I m sorry I forgot your bithday
Speech Act Theory Classification on Speech ActsBased on Austins (1962), and Searles (1969) theory,Cohen ( 1996) identifies five categories of speechacts based on the functions assigned to them.Representative Directives Expressives Comissives Declaratives Assertions Suggestions Apologies Promises Decrees Claims Requests Complaint Theats Declarations Reports Commands Thanks Offers
Welcome to the restaurant… Greeting I don t eat lobster, it s not kosher… Assertion What is the soup of the day? Question Thank you ExpressiveI will be right back with your desert Promise Can you give me a glass of wine please? Directive
Pragmatics• Is the study of the aspects of meaning and language use that are dependent on the speaker, the addressee and other features of the context of utterance.
Doing things with words• Linguistics were primarily concerned trying to elucidate the rules of grammar and the meaning of words in order to explain language.• But philosophers point out the obvious. Much of what we say means things quite different from words and grammar used.
Austin (1962)• Stressed the function of speech as a way of DOING THINGS WITH WORDS.• ILLOCUTIONARY FORCE: implicitly or explicitly, tells how a preposition is to be taken• Eample: describe , assert, apologize, censure, demand and others .
Verbs likebet, promise, garantee, order, and requestare known as PERFORMATIVES.We can determine that a verb isperformative by putting hereby before themExample: I hereby request request that youleave this property
Perlocutionary Act• When ones utterance actually makes another person do something , like carry out a command take defensive action .• Such as persuading, convincing, scaring, enlightening, inspiring, or otherwise getting someone to do or realize something.• Example : Pass me the salt
Speech Acts and the LawThe bill of rights protects freedom of speech as long as the speech is about personal opinion or statement of fact. But It does not protect all speech acts.
ExampleLike to crying FIRE in a crowded building. Also Conspiring to bribe a jury. Perjury Libel Slander
Speech acts and social interaction• Threatening complimenting, commanding and questioning can be manipulative.• Another person behavior may be affected from one may expect from the actual words used.
“See the belt?”• This may be enough to restrain a child from misbehaving.• This is an example given by Chaika (1990) that demonstrates how meaning is achieved regardless of what words are actually used.
Or…Speaker 1: Would you like to have this ticket to the concert?Speaker 2: Is the Pope Catholic?___________________________________Speaker A: Is that what you re wearing to the party?
Pragmatics• The study of speech acts in daily interaction is called pragmatics.• Speech acts carry social implications.• The responses to this social implications are conventional.
Therefore• We speak though discourse routines, such as questions and answers.• Every day talk consist of discourse routines and cultures vary considerably in the modes of routines they prefer.
All of these are embedded in our daily conversation.• The degree to which one request or order directly.• The occasions on which one compliments and one s response.• How one invites others to do something.• Asking questions causes others to answer; therefore questions are speech acts. So are apologies and excuses.
Why should ESL Students Learn to Perform Speech Acts?• Since cultures vary in how they carry out discourse routines, learning them is an important task if one is to become socialized.• The mayor issue en ESL classrooms is that we are teach in how to speak directly, how to say what we mean. However, much interaction has to be effected by not speaking directly, but not saying what one means.
More important• ESL learners also have to learn to make the proper responses in one s culture in discourse routines.• This can also cause cross cultural difficulties.
Frames• Frames, they are also known as scripts, schemata and structures of expectation. (Tannen 1979b; Gumperz 1982, p.12)• We ESL use frames to make sense of the myriad expressions that assail us daily.
According to Chaika• We use these to decide what is important.• What inferences we can and should be getting from an interaction.• Why someone is speaking the way he or she is.• And, what our reaction should be.
• An obstacle in using frames to interpret is that they are based upon an individual s personal experiences.• Another is that cultures differ in frames.
Speech events• A speech event is :• The situation calling forth particular ways of speaking (Gordon and Lakoff 1975).
GenreRefers to the form of speaking . 1. Joke 2. Narrative 3. Promise 4. Riddle 5. Prayer 6. Greeting
• Members of a community recognize genres.• Beginnings, Middles and ends. 1. Did you hear the one about….. = joke. 2. Once upon a time = child s story. 3. And they lived happily ever after = ending.
• Sometimes the genre is the entire speech event.• Church services are speech events for instance Sermons are a genre belonging to the church.• Sermons do not cover the entire speech event.• Prayers, readings, hymn singing also constitute the speech events of church services.
Intention• In all interaction each person speaks with a purpose.• Hearers get meaning partially by what they think the speaker s purpose is.
• One important aspect of interpretation intention is presequence.• Are recognized opening sentences which signal that a particular kind of speech act will follow.• Commands, demands or threats.
• A child who hears an adult s “who spilled this milk?”• Perceive the question as command.• “wipe it up”Often intentions are not perceived correctly,causing misunderstanding
• Harmless as hearing an honest question.• Innocent comment as an insult.• Example: A man who, in front of his slightly plump wife, looks admiringly at a model. “Wow! What a body on that one”.The wife immediately bridles or dissolves intears, depending the personal style. Sheassumes that is a complaining about her fat.
References• Andrews, L. (2006). Discourse routines and social conventions. In Language exploration and awareness. A resource book for teachers. (pp. 167-192). New jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc. Publishers.• Chaika, E. (1994). Pragmatics. En Language the Social Mirror (pp. 152-158). Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.• Jaworowska, J. (6 de June de 2004). Speech Act Theory. Retrieved on October 6th, 2011, from Speech Act Theory : http://instructional1.calstatela.edu/lkamhis/tesl565_sp04/troy/spchac t.htm