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Pragmatics (Speech Acts)

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Pragmatics (Speech Acts)

  2. 2. WHAT IS PRAGMATICS? Pragmatics is the branch of linguistics which studies those aspects of meaning which cannot be captured by semantic theory. It is a systematic way of explaining language use in context.
  3. 3. Locutionary, Illocutionary and Perlocutionary
  4. 4. IMAGINE THIS…  The stewardess on a European airline walked down the aisle with a coffeepot and some cups. “Coffee, please!” she said smiling to the passengers. A young American smiled back at her and said, “You’re the one who is serving the coffee, ma’am, not me.” The stewardess blushed and seemed somewhat bewildered. What happened here?
  5. 5. Grammatical Competence Communicative Competence
  6. 6. To speak is to act. Every time a speaker utters a sentence, he is attempting to accomplish something with the words; specifically, he intends to have some effect on the listener and wants the listener to recognize this intention.
  7. 7. THE MAIN AIM OF THIS THEORY IS: I sentence Describe Apologize you to death
  8. 8. Knowing the words is not enough. Speech-act theory, most notably attributed to John Searle, is designed to help us understand how people accomplish things with their words.
  9. 9. A SPEECH ACT is a functional unit in communication. It is an act that the speaker performs when he makes an utterance Austin (1962) and Searle (1981) established that whenever we say something, three simultaneous acts are performed:
  10. 10. Is the act of saying or writing something in a language. It is the actual words spoken.
  11. 11. Is the “intention”we have when saying or writing something. The FORCE of the word. For Example: •Son-Father I don’t have any money •Girlfriend-boyfriend •Classmates
  12. 12. Is the effect produced in the listener or reader when they listen or read a locutionary act. For Example: •Accepting the request I don’t have any money •Denying the request
  13. 13. In colloquial language use we don’t really mean what we say. In these cases the listener/reader must infer our illocutionary acts since the meaning is not directly expressed in our message. The Philosopher Searle (1981) established a classification which is useful for inferring the illocutionary force or value of an utterance in a given discourse.
  14. 14. Commissive A promise, vow, pledge. Illocutionary Acts If you don’t pay the bill we’ll call the police Repeat Directive Order, command, beg, plead, permit. Illocutionary Acts Please, come in!
  15. 15. An apology, a complain, thank or Expressive congratulate. Illocuationary The letter was so beautilful; I’m sorry for Acts being late. Representative Assert, suggest, hypothesize, swear. Illocuationary I think he’s saying the truth. Acts This is a German car.
  16. 16. Declarations the speaker brings about a correspondence Illocuationary between the propositional content of his Acts utterance and reality. I now pronounce you Man and Wife I name this Building Ruby I order you to clean the house Their use operates aprropriately only in situations in which certain conditions are given and the one who speaks is socially or academically invested with the authority necessary for saying them.
  17. 17. Any speech act can be Direct or Indirect. It depends on the speaker. Direct Indirect The locutionary act There is no coincidence and the illocutionary between the type of act coincide. illocutionary act and the syntactic structure of the message The intention is expressed in the message The intention is not explicitly expressed in the message
  18. 18. FELICITY CONDITIONS  It means that participants in the speech act must have the power to carry out the force, and the place in which all takes place must be deemed appropriate.  All procedures in the event must be carried out correctly. These are conditions necessary to the success of a speech act. They take their name from a Latin root - “felix” or “happy”.
  19. 19. Thomas (1995) cites an interesting case regarding felicity conditions reported in the Guardian in 1987. A terrible tangle has arisen in Pakistan over a local soap opera. Soap opera star Uzman Pirzada divorced his television wife in traditional Muslim style, pronouncing Talaq- I divorce thee- three times. The trouble was that his TV spouse was played by his real wife, Samina. Now the ulemas are saying that the divorce is binding, even though the formula was spoken in the interests of art. Their decree maintains that the Prophet ordained that in three matters (marriage, divorce, the freeing of slaves) words uttered unintentionally or even in jest cannot be withdrawn. Divorced they are and divorced they
  20. 20. SPEECH ACT SETS • An apology is “an admission to another of a wrong or discourtesy done to him accompanied by an expression of regret.”
  21. 21. APOLOGY: What would you say if… You are walking towards your classmates while carrying a tray of food in the canteen. You accidentally bump into a stranger who is holding a glass of juice. The drink spills all over him, scalding his arm and soaking his cloth, the stranger shouts “Oooh, ouch!”
  22. 22. APOLOGY: What would you say if… You and your friend had an agreement to meet today at exactly 8am. Unfortunately, the bus you ride on encountered a system problem. The passengers including you have to be transferred to another vehicle causing you to be late in your appointment.
  23. 23. APOLOGY: What would you say if… Your professor gave you a comprehensive research. When you’re about to finish typing your work a night before the submission, your computer had program difficulties resulting to its automatic shutdown. You type it again the next morning at an internet café and able to finish it, but you didn’t made it on time. Now, you are trying to submit your paper to your teacher even if it’s late.
  24. 24. APOLOGY: What would you say if… You are now celebrating your birthday. Your parents brought up a little party for you. Friends, relatives and schoolmates arrive at your house. A newly meet friend turns up at your party alone. You’ve seen your cousins and attempt to introduce her to them. But when you’re about to introduce her, for some reason, you can’t remember her name.
  25. 25. APOLOGY: What would you say if… You are newly hired cashier at a store and still adjusting on the use of the computing machine. A customer who bought some school materials came back to you and said that her change is not enough, she said, “Excuse me, I think you had given me the wrong amount of change” , showing her receipt to you. You’d look at it and admitted to yourself that you’ve counted twice a certain material.
  26. 26. APOLOGY: What would you say if… You’re on your way home when you’ve mistaken someone else to someone you knew. You tap his shoulder and say, “Hey, What are you doing here?!” He turns toward you and say, “I don’t think we know each other.”
  27. 27. APOLOGY: What would you say if… You’ll attend a leadership seminar as the representative of your school today. You arrive alone at the lecture hall which the seminar is to be conducted. You walk to the room and sit in one of the vacant chairs. You’re busy reading a brochure which is distributed at the registration area, when somebody approach you and say, “Excuse, you’re sitting on my chair.”
  28. 28. SPEECH ACT SETS 1. Explicit expression of apology (I’m sorry, Excuse me, I regret) 2. Expression of responsibility 3. An explanation 4. An offer of repair. (i.e. bid to take an action; provide payment) 5. A promise of nonrecurrence.
  29. 29. Other Strategies • An intensification would make the apology stronger, creating even more support for the hearer and more humiliation for the speaker. • External modification can take the form of a comment signaling added concern to the hearer.
  30. 30. Selecting the appropriate speech act strategy and the forms for realizing it Social status • The process is complex since it is conditioned by social, cultural, situational Selection Social age factors and personal factors. distance culture
  31. 31. Apologies Filipino learners tend to emphasize the strategy of explanation more than an American would. On the other hand, they would underplay the strategy of repair, because in Filipino culture, it would be for the recipient of apology that will determine the next step. It would be presumptuous findings for them to suggest what happen next. Furthermore, the strategy where the apologizer commits him/herself to not having the offense again, is situation-specific and less frequent than the other strategies. One factor that may support such is due to people’s hesitation of breaking the said promise. Not only could an intensifier play an important role, but even an interjection like “Oh!” could have an important role.
  32. 32. REQUEST: What would you say if… You live in a boarding house with a friend. Both of you had an agreement towards the division of duties and household chores. Your friend held a party last night and the kitchen was left in a mess. You would like to ask her to clean it up.
  33. 33. REQUEST: What would you say if… You missed your class yesterday because you’re not feeling well. The next morning, you’ve went to school and planned to borrow your classmate’s notes to cope up with the lessons.
  34. 34. REQUEST: What would you say if… You’re riding on a bus on your way home when you suddenly felt code because of the window left unopened. You wished to close it but you can’t personally reach the window, and there’s someone sitting beside you who is nearer to the window.
  35. 35. REQUEST: What would you say if… You’ve missed the van on the way home and there isn’t another one for an hour. You need to go home immediately because you have plenty of things to attend to. You saw someone whom you assume will go in the same direction as yours. You wish to ask him for a ride.
  36. 36. REQUEST: What would you say if… You can’t perform your job today because of illness. The problem is you can’t leave your task hanging because certain paper works should meet the deadline today. You would like to ask someone to replace you for a meantime.
  37. 37. REQUEST: What would you say if… Your teacher had given the class group project. Your group had a hard time meeting each other, the reason why you and your classmates cannot meet the deadline for the submission of your projects. You will ask your teacher for an extension.
  38. 38. REQUEST: What would you say if… You’ve went to a bookstore to look for “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare. Fifteen minutes passed and you still can’t find the book. You look around for someone to ask and saw the store attendant on the other side of the shop. You approach him and ask for his help.
  39. 39. Requests • The speech act of requesting is realized when the speaker verbalizes a wish which can be carried out by the hearer. • The speech act set for the requests consists of three major categories: the explicit impositives, the conventionalized routines, and indirect hints.
  40. 40. • Indirect hints are individual, nonconventional utterances, which under given circumstances can act as requests. • The explicit is the most direct strategy that is usually realized by syntactic requests such as imperatives or other performatives. • The conventionalized requests are polite realizations through conventional forms such as yes-no questions, with modals in English
  41. 41. Requests in any languages are made in consideration of a number of social and situational factors. Some of the social/situational factors include: • Relative dominance of the requester in relation to the hearer. • Relative social distance (familiarity) between the interlocutors. • Hearer’s degree of obligation in carrying out the request. • The right the speaker has to issue the request • Estimated degree of difficulty the speaker has in making the request. • Estimated likelihood of compliance on the part of the hearer.
  42. 42. Compliments Major compliment topics can be classified into three categories: • appearance/possession • performance/skills/abilities • personality traits
  43. 43. Compliments • In American English, we use compliments for a variety of reasons: • to express admiration or approval of someone’s work, appearance, taste • to establish/maintain solidarity • to replace greetings/gratitude/apologies/congratulations • to soften face-threatening acts such as apologies, requests and criticisms • to open and sustain conversation • to reinforced desired behavior
  44. 44. COMPLIMENT: What would you say if… You’re friend joined an Essay Writing Contest. It’s her first time to join such competition as representative of your school. Your friend did well and grab the 1st place.
  45. 45. COMPLIMENT: What would you say if… You notice one of your classmate’s shirt which is the same shirt you intend to buy at the mall.
  46. 46. COMPLIMENT: What would you say if… You and your classmates have a group research. As a leader, you facilitate on the planning and brainstorming of ideas. You asked for suggestions among your members, and one of your group mates suggests a good idea that everyone agrees to.
  47. 47. COMPLIMENT: What would you say if… One of your teachers delivered a speech on your school’s annual recognition day. She relates her experiences and insights in life which greatly inspires you. You saw her after the program.
  48. 48. COMPLIMENT: What would you say if… You’ve watched a movie which really appeals to your heart. The story aligns to your own experiences in life, which is why you really appreciate the film. Upon returning home, you can’t help but to talk about the movie.
  49. 49. COMPLIMENT: What would you say if… You’re celebrating your birthday today. As you’ve went downstairs, you saw your sister waiting for you at the table. She greeted you a Happy Birthday and gives you her gift. You opened it immediately. It’s the watch you wished to have.
  50. 50. The teaching of speech acts Speech acts are difficult to perform in a second language. Sarah: "I couldn’t agree with you more. " Arma: "Hmmm…." (Thinking: "She couldn’t agree with me? I thought she liked my idea!")
  51. 51. Implication for language teacher, the learner, and the language classroom 1. Diagnostic assessment 2. Model dialog 3. Evaluation of a situation 4. Role-play activities 5. Feedback and discussion
  52. 52. SO WHAT? By understanding the details of what is being said, you can understand and communicate better with others.
  53. 53. ACTIVITY  You are directed to think of a potential violation/request that might occur. Provide your own details of the situation.  Act it out, in role-play fashion, the conversation which is likely to take place between the two interlocutors.