Speech Acts in the History of English
Andreas H. Jucker | University of Zurich
Irma Taavitsainen | University of Helsinki
Did earlier speakers of English use the same speech acts that we use today? Did they use them in the same way? How did they signal speech act values and how did they negotiate them in case of uncertainty? These are some of the questions that are addressed in this volume in innovative case studies that cover a wide range of speech acts from Old English to Present-day English. All the studies offer careful discussions of methodological and theoretical issues as well as detailed descriptions of specific speech acts. The first part of the volume is devoted to directives and commissives, i.e. speech acts such as requests, commands and promises. The second part is devoted to expressives and assertives and deals with speech acts such as greetings, compliments and apologies. The third part, finally, contains technical reports that deal primarily with the problem of extracting speech acts from historical corpora.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 176] 2008. viii, 318 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
Preface | pp. vii–viii
Speech acts now and then: Towards a pragmatic history of EnglishIrma Taavitsainen and Andreas H. Jucker | pp. 1–23
Part I. Directives and commissives
Directives in Old English: Beyond politeness?Thomas Kohnen | pp. 27–44
Requests and directness in Early Modern English trial proceedings and play-texts, 1640-1760Jonathan Culpeper and Dawn Archer | pp. 45–84
An inventory of directives in Shakespeare's King LearUlrich Busse | pp. 85–114
Two polite speech acts from a diachronic perspective: Aspects of the realisation of requesting and undertaking commitments in the nineteenth-century commercial communityGabriella Del Lungo Camiciotti | pp. 115–131
"No botmeles bihestes": Various ways of making binding promises in Middle EnglishMari Pakkala-Weckström | pp. 133–162
Part II: Expressives and assertives
Hāl, Hail, Hello, Hi: Greetings in English language historyJoachim Grzega | pp. 165–193
"Methinks you seem more beautiful than ever": Compliments and gender in the history of EnglishIrma Taavitsainen and Andreas H. Jucker | pp. 195–228
Apologies in the history of English: Routinized and lexicalized expressions of responsibility and regretAndreas H. Jucker and Irma Taavitsainen | pp. 229–244
Part III: Methods of speech act retrieval
Showing a little promise: Identifying and retrieving explicit illocutionary acts from a corpus of written prosePetteri Valkonen | pp. 247–272
Fishing for compliments: Precision and recall in corpus-linguistic compliment researchAndreas H. Jucker, Gerold Schneider, Irma Taavitsainen and Barb Breustedt | pp. 273–294
Tracing directives through text and time: Towards a methodology of corpus-based diachronic speech-act analysisThomas Kohnen | pp. 295–310
Index | pp. 311–318
“In a joint effort to continue developing the field of historical pragmatics, the editors of this volume successfully achieve their aim to learn more about how earlier speakers of English used language to communicate and negotiate meaning and to further develop new or already existing methodologies to improve diachronic speech act analysis. Through innovative case studies and addressing the question "Did earlier speakers of English use the same speech acts as we use today?", all the papers in this volume cover a series of different speech act from Old English to Present-day realizations to offer diachronic speech act analysis. [...] this volume constitutes the corner stone towards diachronic speech acts analysis based on automatically readable corpora. Though not exhaustive, it sheds light on the nature of major groups of speech acts in the history of English and seems to have laid the foundations for further research to develop more sophisticated tools. As for style, its straightforward discourse enriched with convenient illustrative instances provides an overall picture of the development of speech acts, and brief but concise theoretical issues that allows the reader an easy grasp of the book.”
María Etelvina Richard, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina, in pragmalingüística, Vol. 15 (2008)
“This is an excellent collection of papers in the field of diachronic speech act analysis that would appeal to anyone interested in the history of English, historical pragmatics, corpus linguistics, and the philosophy of language. All of the papers, which focus on intriguing problems and challenges in the field, are clearly written, and the authors carefully describe their goals and methodologies, and offer fascinating examples of speech acts they collected for their data. Their analyses of the data and the results are thorough and thoughtful. An additional strength of this book is that the introduction and each paper discuss earlier research in pragmatics and include extensive bibliographies for further exploration.”
Julie Winter, on Linguist List, Vol. 19.1622 (2008)
“The papers in this collection prove that historical speech act research contributes not only to a deeper understanding of communicative practices in the past (and in the present), but also to a reconsideration of classic pragmatic concepts and theories. This makes the volume a recommendable read for any scholar interested in pragmatics.”
Birte Bös, in Anglia, Band 128, Heft 1 (2010)
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFG – Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number: 2008001429 |