Speech Acts

  • Roberta Kevelson
Part of the Topics in Contemporary Semiotics book series (TICSE)


The concept of speech acts has in recent years been of major concern to linguists engaged in analysis of context-sensitive discourse. Philosophical interest in speech acts derives from a longstanding tradition in which ethics and law were originally interrelated. In this century, in assuming that human conduct is predisposed by language, the philosopher John L. Austin (1968) introduced the term speech acts; his work has been germinal in this area of philsophical concern, as noted earlier. Modern semiotics, developed largly from Peirce’s pragmatic methods of inquiry, analyzes structures of communication that are understood to be complex systems of sign relationships. Such a system is natural language. Another such system is the legal system. Legal semiotics is one of the most recent branches of general semiotics to evolve.


Legal System Deontic Logic Legal Decision Legal Fiction Iconic Sign 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberta Kevelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityReadingUSA

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