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Accomplished for
Pragmatics Subject
Lecturer: Suharsono, Ph.D



Kampus Ketintang Gedung K9
Jl. Ketintang, Surabaya 60231 Tlp./Fax: +6231 8293484
1. Introduction

Communication is not only producing utterances which contain

grammatical structures and word, it needs to be supported by some
actions which is known as speech acts. There are three related acts in the
speech acts; locutionary act, illocutionary act, and perlocutionary act.
Speech acts can be classified based on the structures and the functions.

There is also what we call speech event. Speech event is an

activity in which participants interact via language in some conventional
way to arrive at some outcome. Some core components of speech events
are identified by Hymes in his mnemonic device SPEAKING.

2. Speech Act
In communicating with other people, we can not rely merely into the
utterances or the words which are spoken. We need an action to support
our way of communication. This action helps us to deliver the message
precisely as we want as the speaker to the hearer. The action which is
performed in uttering or saying something is called speech act. The term
speech act was first introduced by Austin in 1962. There are three acts
which are related to the performance in uttering the sentences; locutionary
act, illocutionary act, and perlocutionary act.
2.1 Locutionary Act, Illocutionary Act, and Perlocutionary Act.
Based on Austin, locutionary act is the act of producing utterances
or saying something. Illocutionary act refers to the purpose or the goal of
what has been said. When we say something, of course we have an
intention in our mind about the reason behind our utterances. The
illocutionary act aimed at producing an utterance is known as the
illocutionary force of the utterance. Perlocutionary act refers to the effect
that comes after the locutionary act. It is the effect of the utterance. This
act of course is done by the hearer.
In order to indicate the illocutionary force, there are two devices that
can be used. The devices are The Illocutionary Force Indicating Device
(IFID) and felicity condition.
2.1.1 Illocutionary Force Indicating Device (IFID)
Illocutionary Force Indicating Device is a specific linguistic signal
whose function is to encode illocutionary force. This signal is named
performative verb. It is a verb that explicitly names the illocutionary act
being performed. For example:
I promise you I will leave in five minutes.
I warn you I shall leave in five minutes.

The words promise and warn are the performative verbs. In some
circumstances, there is no performative verb mentioned. So, to indicate
the illocutionary force, we can use the word order, stress, and intonation.
For example:

You wrote the article.

Did you write the article?
Write the article!

2.1.2 Felicity Condition

According to Austin, the felicity conditions are that the context and
roles of participants must be recognized by all parties; the action must be
carried out completely, and the persons must have the right intentions. In
some circumstances, the speech act can be infelicitous (inappropriate) if
the speaker is not a specific person in a special context, as in the following
I pronounce you husband and wife.

This utterance will be infelicitous if it is spoken by an ordinary person, not

a priest.
2.2 Performative Hypothesis
The essence of the performative hypothesis is, according to which
every implicit performative has a 'deep' structure something like:
I (hereby) V p you (that) U
The subject is (I) first person singular, followed by the adverb hereby
which indicates that the utterance counts as an action being uttered. V p
is a performative verb and an indirect object (you). This clause will
always make an explicit performatives as in the example:
I hereby order you that you get me some drinks.

It can also be an implicit performative as in the utterance:

Get me some drinks!

2.3 Classification of Speech Act

The following classification of speech act is based on Searle

(1976). He classifies speech act into five acts based on their functions as
described below:
a. Declarations

Declarations refer to the speech act which can change the world
through the utterances. For example:

I pronounce you husband and wife.

I baptize this girl Amy Brown.

The words pronounce and baptize change the world of the people
involved in the utterance; from unmarried person into married and from
unnamed into named.

b. Representatives
Representatives are the kind of speech act which represent what the
speaker believes. Through representatives, the speaker makes the words
fit the world. For example:
This cake is really delicious.
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The
important thing is not to stop questioning. (Albert Einstein)
c. Commissives
Commissives are the kind of speech act which the words represent the
commitment of the speaker that he or she will do the action in the future.
For example:
Ill come to your house tonight.
We shall never break the promises.
d. Directives
Directives are the type of speech act which is used by the speaker to
make the hearer do something based on the speakers utterance. They
can be order, request, command, suggestion, etc. For example:
Bring me some tea, please
Clean the room!
e. Expressives
In expressives, the utterance represents what the speaker feels. For
Please, forgive me.
I really love that hat!
2.4 Direct and Indirect Speech Act
Another approach to classify types of speech act is based on its
structure. The three structural forms are declarative, interrogative, and
imperative. When the speaker wants to communicate the literal meaning
of his utterance, there is a direct relationship between the structure and
the function. This is what Searle said the direct speech act. Meanwhile, if
there is an indirect relationship between the structure and the function, we
call it an indirect speech act. For example:
a. I feel so thirsty.
b. I hereby tell you that im thirsty.
c. I hereby request of you to get me some drinks.
(a)is a declarative. When we use it to make a statement as paraphrased in
(b), it is functioning as a direct speech act. When we use it to make a
request, as paraphrased in (c), it is functioning as an indirect speech act.
3 Speech Event
Yule stated that a speech event is an activity in which participants
interact via language in some conventional way to arrive at some
outcome. Meanwhile, Hymes identified some core components of speech
event which is known in his mnemonic device SPEAKING. The description
is as follow:

S-setting and scene Setting means time, place. Scene means the cultural
definition of the event.
P-participants The speaker, listener, audience.
E-ends The goal (what is expected to be achieved in the
event), and outcome (what is actually achieved)
A-acts Types of utterances. For example commands, requests,
K-keys The tone, manner of the speech act (serious or playful).
I-instrumentalities Language varieties used and mode of communication
(spoken or written)
N-norms Norm of interaction (who can say what, when, how),
and norm of interpretation.
G-genres Categories or types of language use.

4. Conclusion
The purpose of speaking is to express thoughts in the form of
linguistic utterances that employ words and follow combinatorial rules.
When a person speaks communicatively, he transmits a thought to the
hearer with a certain purpose on his mind and possibly with other
significant effects. Some actions usually performed via utterances and this
is what we call speech act. In order to be effective, Speech act have to be
situated. A situated speech act is called a speech event. These speech
events determine the interpretation of an utterance as performing a
particular speech act.

Cruse, Alan. (2000). Meaning in Language. An Introduction to Semantics

and Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cutting, Joan. (2002). Pragmatics and Discourse. London: Routledge.
Mey, Jacob L (Ed.). (2009). Concise Encyclopedia Of Pragmatics (Second
ed.). Oxford: Elsevier Ltd.
Ward, Laurence R Horn and Gregory (Ed.). (2004). The Handbook of
Pragmatics. USA: Blackwell Publishing.
Yule, George. (1996). Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.