Thursday, January 4, 2018

Speech Acts Classifications

Searle (1979) suggests that speech acts consist of five general classifications to classify the functions or illocutionary of speech acts; these are declarations, representatives, expressives, directives, and commissive.
Declaration speech act is the act that makes the propositional content corresponds with the reality. This type of speech act is the same as Austin’s performative sentence. In order to perform a declarations effectively, the speaker must have a special contextual privileges that allow him/her to perform an also contextual declaration. For example, when a priest says “I pronounce you husband and wife”, the priest (in the context of marriage) has the privilege to pronounce marriage and when this utterance is performed, the man and woman is then changed from singles into married people from the moment on. On the contrary, if the speaker is not a priest or has the privilege to marry people, the utterance will not be effective.
The next type of speech act is commisive. Commissives speech acts are the act of commiting to future actions. This type of speech act shows the intention of the speaker in the future which will be made to happen in later moment. One example of commissive is “I will come to your home tonight”. This example shows that the speaker intends to come to the hearer’s home at the night time of the day the utterance is said. Therefore the speaker commits that he/she will come to the speaker’s home at night. In simple English, the term of this speech act is commonly called promise.
Expressives are the type of speech act that shows the expression of the speaker via utterance. For example, “I’m sorry”, “I like it”, “Thank you”. These examples show how the speaker feels about a situation. In time when the speaker spoils coffee over someone else’s shirt he/she will say “I’m sorry”, when in time the speaker is given a slice of cheese and likes it then he/she will say “I like it” or “Thank you”, and so on.
Other type of speech act is directives. This type of speech act aims to make someone else to do something that the speaker desires. For instance, “could you lend me a pen?” this utterance shows that the speaker requests a pen from someone else, he/she indirectly order the other person to lend him a pen this gesture is also available in a more direct way as “Lend me a pen!” The intention of these utterances is to make the hearer to perform the action conveyed in the utterance itself. Directives are also known as asking, ordering, requesting, inviting, advising, and begging.
The last type of speech act is representative. In representative speech act, the speaker’s intention is to assert the speaker’s belief. One example is “I’m a good guy”, the intention of this utterance is to show that the speaker is to make believe the hearer that the speaker is a good guy. 


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