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By Krishnamurti Jiddu

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Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell. Wittgenstein, L. (1953). Philosophical investigations. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. TLFeBOOK This page intentionally left blank TLFeBOOK 2 The Contribution of Speech Act Theory to the Analysis of Conversation: How Pre-sequences Work Francois Cooren Universite de Montreal Language and Social Interaction scholars (whether ethnomethodologists, ethnographers, or conversation analysts) often criticize speech act theorists for using invented sentences and fictional situations to illustrate their points, a practice which, according to these detractors, fails to capture the complexity and sequentiality of human interactions.

Within Language Pragmatics, the primary focus is precisely on specifying the wants and attendant beliefs about compositional details that explain producing utterances with specific qualities or properties. This focus pertains in both of the main avenues of work in Language Pragmatics, one rooted in Speech Act Theory, the other in dice's (1975) concept of implicature. However, the basis for identifying these avenues is predominantly conceptual, not empirical, as already noted. Speech Act Theory tends to discriminate actions from each other according to the lexicon of verbs in speakers' language that denote actions.

Can be understood both as a question about the mother's ability to tell Gary if her going somewhere that night is about him and his brother Russ (secondary speech act) and as a request for information about whether or not her going somewhere tonight is about Gary and Russ (primary speech act). This model thus explains the inferential mechanisms by which interlocutors can come to understand each other, even when somebody appears to be meaning more than what she says. However, and this is the weakness usually identified by LSI scholars, this approach appears, at first sight, relatively ill equipped to explain the sequentiality of speech acts, that is, that what action if any has been performed at a specific moment of the interaction depends on the utterance's relevance to antecedents and consequents in the interaction (Sanders, 1987).

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Action And Relationship by Krishnamurti Jiddu


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