Performativity Revisited: J. L. Austin and His Legacy

  • Wiesław OleksyEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


The paper introduces J. L. Austin’s basic notions with a view to show how they pertain to the concept of performativity, which constitutes the point of departure for the discussion of Austin’s impact in two research areas: literary criticism and communicative language teaching. Prior to the presentation of the appropriations of Austin’s ideas in the two areas, some criticism directed at Austin is dealt with. The section on literary speech acts begins with an overview of some approaches to literary criticism inspired by speech act theory and contains an analysis of fragments of Szymborska’s poem “The joy of writing” from the vantage point of speech act analysis. The last section is devoted to communicative language teaching and attempts to show that D. Hymes’ concept of communicative competence and notions related to his approach to language use have been influenced by Austin’s work.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ŁódźŁódźPoland

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