© 1980

Speech Act Theory and Pragmatics

  • John R. Searle
  • Ferenc Kiefer
  • Manfred Bierwisch

Part of the Texts and Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 10)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Manfred Bierwisch
    Pages 1-35
  3. Steven Davis
    Pages 37-55
  4. Gilles Fauconnier
    Pages 57-69
  5. Ferenc Kiefer
    Pages 97-119
  6. Hans-Heinrich Lieb
    Pages 121-153
  7. Wolfgang Motsch
    Pages 155-168
  8. John R. Searle
    Pages 221-232
  9. Daniel Vanderveken
    Pages 247-272
  10. Zeno Vendler
    Pages 273-290
  11. Dieter Wunderlich
    Pages 291-312
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 313-319

About this book


In the study of language, as in any other systematic study, there is no neutral terminology. Every technical term is an expression of the assumptions and theoretical presuppositions of its users; and in this introduction, we want to clarify some of the issues that have surrounded the assumptions behind the use of the two terms "speech acts" and "pragmatics". The notion of a speech act is fairly well understood. The theory of speech acts starts with the assumption that the minimal unit of human communica­ tion is not a sentence or other expression, but rather the performance of certain kinds of acts, such as making statements, asking questions, giving orders, describing, explaining, apologizing, thanking, congratulating, etc. Characteristically, a speaker performs one or more of these acts by uttering a sentence or sentences; but the act itself is not to be confused with a sentence or other expression uttered in its performance. Such types of acts as those exemplified above are called, following Austin, illocutionary acts, and they are standardly contrasted in the literature with certain other types of acts such as perlocutionary acts and propositional acts. Perlocutionary acts have to do with those effects which our utterances have on hearers which go beyond the hearer's understanding of the utterance. Such acts as convincing, persuading, annoying, amusing, and frightening are all cases of perlocutionary acts.


Index direct speech indirect speech semantics subject syntactic

Editors and affiliations

  • John R. Searle
    • 1
  • Ferenc Kiefer
    • 2
    • 3
  • Manfred Bierwisch
    • 4
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Hungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  3. 3.La Sorbonne NouvelleParisFrance
  4. 4.Academy of Sciences of the G.D.R.BerlinGermany

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Speech Act Theory and Pragmatics
  • Editors John Searle
    F. Kiefer
    M. Bierwisch
  • Series Title Texts and Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1980
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-277-1043-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-90-277-1045-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-009-8964-1
  • Series ISSN 0924-4662
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 320
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Syntax
    Philosophy of Language
  • Buy this book on publisher's site