Chapter published in:Approaches to Internet Pragmatics: Theory and practice
Edited by Chaoqun Xie, Francisco Yus and Hartmut Haberland
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 318] 2021
► pp. 145–172
Speech acts and the dissemination of knowledge in social networks
This paper analyzes how social network users engaged in discussions under a public post contribute to knowledge dissemination through their verbal behavior in the light of an Austin-based speech-act theoretical framework. We first argue that such a framework can be applied not only to face-to-face interaction, but also to internet-mediated communication, since it identifies kinds of illocutionary acts on the basis of recognizable procedure patterns which can be made manifest through different communication channels. We then examine to what extent the performance of different kinds of illocutionary acts contributes to knowledge dissemination through the achievement of their characteristic effects or other aspects of their procedure patterns. For each of four main classes of illocutionary acts, we discuss examples from comments on Facebook posts concerning health- and politics-related issues.
Keywords: knowledge dissemination, internet-mediated communication, social networks, speech acts, illocutionary acts, presupposition accommodation, John L. Austin
Published online: 21 April 2021
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