Directives (with a special emphasis on requests)

Table of contents

To date, a lot of attention has been devoted to the speech act of requesting, especially from the cross-cultural perspective pioneered by Blum-Kulka et al. (1989). In fact, requests have been the bread and butter of speech act theoretic pragmatics, with a clear focus on their various indirect realizations (see, e.g., Ruytenbeek 2017a for a review of experimental work and Ruytenbeek 2021 for a critical discussion). Unlike previous review articles devoted to (indirect) requests (e.g., Ruytenbeek 2017a; Walker 2013), I will leave aside the discussion of (in)directness, a phenomenon that is not specific to requests, nor to directives more generally, but applies to a wide range of speech act types (Ruytenbeek 2021). In the present article, I will focus on the philosophical and theoretical foundations underlying directive speech acts, including a discussion of the various proposals for distinguishing between the subtypes of directives.

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