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Explicit Performatives as the Essentail Part of English Utterances

 Explicit Performatives as the Essentail Part of English Utterances
Zaika Bogdana, applicant

Conference participant

The multisided nature of English verbs represents us their performative function in the theory of speech acts and linguistic studies in general. The explicitness of the language units gives us the basis for the profound investigation in this field.

Keywords: language utterances, explicit performatives, verbalization, speech act, pragmatic polysemy.

 

In recent decades the development of the linguistic sciences has been building a close correlation with the development of related scientific disciplines. As a result of such interaction pragmalinguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, etc appeared and began their development. Modern linguistics is no longer involved into purely structural and systematic researches. It is more likely to study the functional side of the language and its performativity which in turn is the part of the communication and a vital element of the verbal influence. The study of language units’ pragmatics is a special field in linguistic knowledge [1]. It results in the appropriate usage of the language utterances and the sentence construction, their correct insertion into the speech for to achieve a functional goal of the speech act. Both of these components are speech and language competence basis. Every single speech act has some kind of pragmatics (explicit or implicit).  It changes not only depending on the speaker’s personality, but also on our intentions which can be planned or spontaneous. These processes are easy to follow on the example of performative utterances.

 Performativity is a kind of verb quality which can be vividly seen in explicit performative utterances. The performativity process is an intentional communicants’ interaction at the levels of external and internal pragmatics. The implicit and explicit performatives can be correlated with verbal stereotype at the level of pragmatic. This is a part of the functional semantics. In the process of its verbalization the speaker creates certain verbal situation. That is why such verbs are to explicate the purpose of the speech act in general. The number of comparative and interlingual performativity researches has been under pursuing for the last decades [3]. This field of ??linguistics is also interesting due to intensive pragmalinguistics, semantics, general linguistics development. The results of researches in this field can be used in multi-cultural communication, translation theory, stylistics and translation practice.

Performativityas a term reflects theutterancewhichcan be identified with the action. The desired result of the performative speech act is the execution of an action. It is achieved by the pragmatic effect of the statements and is established by the utterenceillocutionary force.

Nowadays it’s hard todraw a line between the performative and non-performative verbs distinctions. It is quite vivid thatany verb can get a performative function, but only within a certain context. The question onwhether there are any featuresthat can distinguishpotential performative verb outside the context remains open. Experimentally it’spossibleto trace the dependence of performativity itselffrom the verb performativity[2].  This interdependence is better seen at the semantic level– the explicationof the sentence must be equal to theverb explication,even if it was taken from the context. The verb connotative meaning may distort its performativity, because it may have some other meaningsbeyond the contextual formor even can fall out of the logic chain.

All the performative verbs in English can be divided into several groups: agreement, request, promise, etc. depending on their functional ability to create certain speech situation. Creation of this speech situation is the prerogative of the addresser. Anyway, they have some features in common:

• They are used in the Past or Future Simple

• They cannot be used together with modal verbs

• They are not used in the interrogative form

Regarding to the communication situation it’s also appropriate to use the verb not only in singular, but also in plural form often in the Present Continuous.

 Not only grammatical or semantic features influence the action realization by the performatives, but also the pragmatic features of the utterance.

Language factors which presuppose the pragmatic polysemy of the pergormative verbs and provide the pragmatic potential realization can be investigated at the semantic, morphological and syntactical levels. The semantically based pragmatic polysemy of the performative verbs is a result of the general lexical polysemy.

Two side groups of the performatives can be distinguished – “strong” and “weak”. This division is based on the presence of the performative utterance impact. Depending on the possible personalization performatives fall into “obligatory” and “non-obligatory”. Another shade for the performatives’ meaning is “definite” and “ambiguous”. Among all of them we can also distinguish so-called mental and social performatives. There is also a group of direct and indirect performatives.

An alternative explanation should be given. Speech acts are acts of communication, whose success needs the addressee to grasp the speaker's intention. The precedent provided by standardization helps to spread the basis required on the part of the addressee.

It is relevant to performativity only in certain speech situation, where a special form of words is chosen for the performance of an act of a certain sort. This is true of those performative utterances involved in, e.g., adjourning a meeting, sentencing a criminal, or christening a ship. However, ordinary performative utterances are not bound to particular institutional situations [4]. They are acts of communication and succeed not by conformity to convention but by recognition of intention like most speech acts.

From the pragmatic point of view, the performatives are the only to implement the communicative purpose of the utterance. The pragmatic features are as important for the performatives implementation as semantic and grammatical features. It is the question to be under investigation of different scientific groups. And as we can see, it’s impossible to give the single definition and to determine the performatives classification.

 

References:

  • 1. Arutyunova N.D. The sentence and its sense: logical and semantic problems – Moscow: Editorail URSS, 2005. – P. 124-1126 (in Russian).
  • 2. Paducheva E.V. The correspondence of the utterance with the objective reality. – Moscow: LKI, 2001. – P. 76-78 (in Russian).
  • 3. Petrey, Sandy. Speech Acts and Literary Theory. - New York: Routledge, 1990. – P. 20.
  • 4.Searle, John RExpression and Meaning: Studies in the Theory of Speech Acts. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1979. – P. 75.
Comments: 3

Parzulova, Mariyana

Доклад - доступен. Структура – четка. Легко читается и с интересом.

Zaika Bogdana

Спасибо большое за Ваше внимание и оценку!

Olga Yushkevich

Thank you for the article! The subject seems to me rather interesting and actual. Hope you will continue further research on the point. Yours sincerely, O.Yushkevich
Comments: 3

Parzulova, Mariyana

Доклад - доступен. Структура – четка. Легко читается и с интересом.

Zaika Bogdana

Спасибо большое за Ваше внимание и оценку!

Olga Yushkevich

Thank you for the article! The subject seems to me rather interesting and actual. Hope you will continue further research on the point. Yours sincerely, O.Yushkevich
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