Publication details [#66680]

Chankova, Mariya. 2019. Rejecting and challenging illocutionary acts. Pragmatics 29 (1) : 33–56.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper examines aspects of strategic interaction and the construction of the social actor in a neo-Austinian framework of illocutionary acts. The basic premise of the neo-Austinian framework is conventionality, according to which illocutionary acts depend on social agreement. An important part of the framework is the felicity condition of entitlement, directly related to the hearer’s understanding of the conventions that should hold for an act performance. Two strategies of challenging and/or rejecting illocutionary acts are then identified tentatively dubbed looping and backfiring, related to the hearer’s perception of when the entitlement felicity condition is flouted. Both strategies can be overtly or covertly confrontational and demonstrate that in their social quality illocutionary acts serve to construct the social actor and build up interpersonal relations.