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  1. #1
    Synnae is offline Newbie
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    Is this a locutionary or illocutionary act?

    Hello, I'm new here and I'm having trouble to identify something, so, I'd like if someone could lend me a hand. Please, analyze the following discourse:

    Mary: "Your e-mail was rather brusque"
    John: "You mean concise"
    Mary: "You owe me an apology"
    John: "I'm sorry that you don't know what brevity looks like"
    Mary: "You're making it worse!"
    John: "Then why am I so happy?"

    As for the very first utterance by Mary "Your e-mail was rather brusque" it is an illocutionary act, isn't it?

    What about the others? I'm having trouble more specifically on those utterances:

    "You owe me an apology"

    "You're making it worse!"

    Are the two above utterances locutionary or illocutionary acts?

    Also, I suppose all of John's utterances are locutionary acts, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

    Please, help me.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Is this a locutionary or illocutionary act?

    Quote Originally Posted by Synnae View Post
    Hello, I'm new here and I'm having trouble to identify something, so, I'd like if someone could lend me a hand. Please, analyze the following discourse:

    Mary: "Your e-mail was rather brusque"
    John: "You mean concise"
    Mary: "You owe me an apology"
    John: "I'm sorry that you don't know what brevity looks like"
    Mary: "You're making it worse!"
    John: "Then why am I so happy?"

    As for the very first utterance by Mary "Your e-mail was rather brusque" it is an illocutionary act, isn't it?

    What about the others? I'm having trouble more specifically on those utterances:

    "You owe me an apology"

    "You're making it worse!"

    Are the two above utterances locutionary or illocutionary acts?

    Also, I suppose all of John's utterances are locutionary acts, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

    Please, help me.
    You will see here that there is disagreement on these things:
    Speech act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    For example, are you using Searle's or Austin's definition of "illocution"? So, it depend on what you're being taught. If this is an assignment, you'd probably need to justify your classification.
    Mary: "You owe me an apology"
    My understanding is that all speech acts are locutionary. You can then decide if there is any illocutionary or perlocutionary force to the speech act. That is, it's not a decision of labelling a sentence as "locutionary" or "illocutionary".
    In accordance with the categorisation on the Wikipedia page, the above Mary sentence has the illocutionary force of a directive - "speech acts that are to cause the hearer to take a particular action, e.g. requests, commands and advice". She is requesting an apology. If John did apologise, then Mary's sentence had the perlocutionary effect of gaining John's apology.

    PS: This looks like homework, and you need to make all these judgements yourself.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: Is this a locutionary or illocutionary act?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    ...
    PS: This looks like homework, and you need to make all these judgements yourself.
    Exactly.

    b

  4. #4
    smitha nayak is offline Newbie
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    Re: Is this a locutionary or illocutionary act?

    hI...

    • "[A locutionary act] is the act of using a referring expression (e.g., a noun phrase) and a predicating expression (e.g., a verb phrase) to express a proposition. For instance, in the utterance You should stop smoking, the referring expression is you and the predicating expression is stop smoking. . . .

      "The propositional content of a locutionary act can be either expressed directly or implied via implicature. . . . For example, a warning such as I warn you to stop smoking constitutes an expressed locutionary act because its propositional content predicates a future act (to stop smoking) of the hearer (you).

      "On the other hand, . . . consider the warning I warn you that cigarette smoking is dangerous. This utterance constitutes an implied locutionary act because its propositional content does not predicate a future act of the hearer; instead, it predicates a property of cigarettes."
      (F. Parker and K. Riley, Linguistics for Non-Linguists. Allyn and Bacon, 1994)

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