Delocutives and speech acts

Mikael Aktor aktor at COCO.IHI.KU.DK
Tue Dec 16 10:40:17 UTC 1997

What has confused me is that the term "delocutive" sounds as if these
expressions form a type of speech acts of its own, i.e. a category of
"delocutionary acts" apart from Austin's locutionary, illocutionary and
perlocutionary acts. But they do not. They just stress the illocutionary
force of an illocutionary act by publicly defining an utterance in terms
of a specific wellknown, often ritualized linguistic situation. They say
something to the effect of "this is an act of this specific kind" as
indicated by George Thompson's vedic examples. They carry a
self-referential meaning somewhat like our "hereby" in sentences such as
"I hereby pronounce you a married coupple" (or whatever they say in
English) or "I hereby sentence you to ...". The same goes for "tutoyer"
and "to honey" though in a weaker sense. To address someone by "tu"
carries with it specific conventions and "don't you honey me!" stipulates
a remark as an unwished type of patronizing.

Best regards
Mikael Aktor,
Dept of the Study of Religions, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

aktor at

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