Perlocutionary and Illocutionary Speech Acts
Berg, Thomas C.
TCBERG at stthomas.edu
Thu Mar 18 09:14:36 PST 2004
Without remembering much more, I remember that a classic text on this is
J.L. Austin's How To Do Things With Words.
University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)
From: RJLipkin at aol.com [mailto:RJLipkin at aol.com]
Sent: Thu 3/18/2004 4:46 AM
To: religionlaw at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Perlocutionary and Illocutionary Speech Acts
From a former life, I recall that a perlocutionary act is a
meaningful speech act designed to have particular effects on people who hear
them. For example, telling the story of "the little engine that could" has
the perlocutionary force of encouraging a child to try to master some task.
Illocutionary acts are meaningful speech acts which function as performative
speech acts the utterance of which is an action of a particular kind. For
example, the meaningful statement, "All hands on deck" is the illlocutionary
speech act of ordering sailors to appear on deck. An observer who replied,
" No that's false, no one is on deck." would fail to appreciate the
illocutionary (performative) force of the speech act. The utterance "I do"
in a marriage ceremony is an illocutionary speech act. I think this is the
nature of the distinction.
Robert Justin Lipkin
Professor of Law
Widener University School of Law
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