Promises, threats, and the foundations of speech act theory

Antonio Blanco Salgueiro


I suggest that promises and threats are similar speech acts and pose analogous problems for Speech Act Theory. After showing that they share the same formal types, I argue against there being purportedly fundamental differences between them in regard to explicitability, deontics, and illocution/perlocution. I conclude that the joint analysis of promises and threats suggests the propriety of a holistic theory of illocutionary acts.

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