Speech Acts in the History of English

Editors
| University of Zurich
| University of Helsinki
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027254207 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027291417 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
 
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
Table of Contents
Preface
vii–viii
Speech acts now and then: Towards a pragmatic history of English
Irma Taavitsainen and Andreas H. Jucker
1–23
Part I. Directives and commissives
Directives in Old English: Beyond politeness?
Thomas Kohnen
27–44
Requests and directness in Early Modern English trial proceedings and play-texts, 1640-1760
Jonathan Culpeper and Dawn Archer
45–84
An inventory of directives in Shakespeare's King Lear
Ulrich Busse
85–114
Two polite speech acts from a diachronic perspective: Aspects of the realisation of requesting and undertaking commitments in the nineteenth-century commercial community
Gabriella Del Lungo Camiciotti
115–131
"No botmeles bihestes": Various ways of making binding promises in Middle English
Mari Pakkala-Weckström
133–162
Part II: Expressives and assertives
Hāl, Hail, Hello, Hi: Greetings in English language history
Joachim Grzega
165–193
"Methinks you seem more beautiful than ever": Compliments and gender in the history of English
Irma Taavitsainen and Andreas H. Jucker
195–228
Apologies in the history of English: Routinized and lexicalized expressions of responsibility and regret
Andreas H. Jucker and Irma Taavitsainen
229–244
Part III: Methods of speech act retrieval
Showing a little promise: Identifying and retrieving explicit illocutionary acts from a corpus of written prose
Petteri Valkonen
247–272
Fishing for compliments: Precision and recall in corpus-linguistic compliment research
Andreas H. Jucker, Gerold Schneider, Irma Taavitsainen and Barb Breustedt
273–294
Tracing directives through text and time: Towards a methodology of corpus-based diachronic speech-act analysis
Thomas Kohnen
295–310
Index
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CFG – Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2008001429