Mikael Aktor aktor at COCO.IHI.KU.DK
Fri Dec 12 09:35:21 UTC 1997

Dear indology-listers,

While the ongoing discussion about delocutives is fascinating in itself it
strikes me that there is something wrong in the sense that these
delocutives are not speech acts in the same manner as the other speech
acts defined by Austin, i.e. the illocutionary and perlocutionary acts.
In these acts (Austin's) there is a clear shift of level from the
locutionary (the merely referential) to the illocutionary and the
perlocutionary act. The illocutionary and perlocutionary acts achieve
something that the mere locution does not. For instance, when the judge
sentences someone to imprisonment this is something else that what the
journalist does when he quotes the sentence in the next day's paper.  This
is because for Austin the emphasis is on the act (what is achieved in
pragmatic interaction through language) rather than on the locution. In
the delocutives that have been mentioned so far (I may have missed some of
the mails) there is no real shift from locution to delocution, for
instance from "to say 'honey'" to "to honey" or from "dire 'tu'" to
"tutoyer". The delocutive expression merely refers to the locution (as
also Dominik Wujastyk's example of an infinite recursion indicates). And
in this sense the delocutives do not form a delimited speech act of its
own.  - Or am I wrong?

Best regards

Mikael Aktor,
Dept of the Study of Religion,
University of Aarhus, Denmark

aktor at

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