Mediated performatives

Zohar Kampf
Table of contents

Speech act theory primarily attempts to explain how communicative intentions are linguistically encoded in context. Its major focus of research is the systematic classification of intentions and their functionality in everyday discourse – whether invented or natural. With the ever increasing significance of communication technologies in public and everyday spaces, however, comes a need to gain understanding of how media affordances and human agents of mediation affect the diffusion of communicative intentions of speakers in public discourse. Although several studies have analyzed speech acts in public and mediated contexts (for example, Abadi 1990; Harris et al. 2006; Kampf 2008, 2009, 2011; Kurzon 1998; Lakoff 2000; Obeng 1997), there are few theoretical accounts of how the conditions of mediation change the logic and performativity of speech acts. Pointing out the dearth of research in this direction, Chilton and Schäffner (2002) called for more attention to be paid to the analysis of speech acts in public contexts.

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