Chapter published in:The Pragmatics of Adaptability
Edited by N. Daniel Silva and Jacob L. Mey
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 319] 2021
► pp. 37–54
How do we adapt ourselves in performing an illocutionary act?
The present chapter examines the idea that language users adapt to linguistic/societal conventions to communicate with each other by describing the mechanism in which they perform an illocutionary act and engage in a communicative exchange. Austin’s (1975) felicity conditions are scrutinized to show how a speaker executes her/his own illocutionary act by utilizing and adapting to linguistic/societal conventions that specify illocutionary acts, their effects, the addressers, the addressees, and the contexts. There are linguistic/societal conventions which allow/force a speaker to specify the social relationship between the speaker and the hearer, and/or (in)formality of the speech situation. This is illustrated by examining the act of apologizing in Japanese, in which honorific marking is grammaticalized. There are also linguistic/societal conventions which specify illocutionary effects in discourse, which are analyzed as effects of expositive-type illocutionary acts (Austin (1975).
Keywords: adaptation, illocutionary acts, expositives, J. L. Austin, discourse
Published online: 17 March 2021
Austin, John L.
Carroll, John M.
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