Publication details [#9427]

Thompson, Henry and James Wright. 1975. Speaker alignment and embedded performatives. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society 1 : 438–444.
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Article in journal
Publication language


An attempt to formulate the conditions under which performative verbs can be embedded in expressions of emotional states, while retaining their performative force (e.g. 'I regret to inform you...', 'I'm pleased to announce...'). T. and W. introduce the notion of 'speaker alignment': expressions of emotional states have a positive or negative alignment; performatives have a neutral, favorable, favorable-but or unfavorable alignment. According to their 'speaker alignment principle', a performative can only be embedded in an expression of emotional state if the alignments of both are consistent in context.