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Pragmatik pp 161-175 | Cite as

Performatives and Standardization: A Progress Report

  • Robert M. Harnish
Chapter
Part of the Linguistische Berichte book series (LINGB)

Abstract

The basic problem of performatives is to explain their ‘performative force’, the (often nonconstative) force marked by the performative element of the sentence, within the framework of a compositional semantics.1 An account of performatives would be easy, were we to give up one or the other. If performative utterances were always just constative in their force, then the grammatical form of performative sentences could be straightforwardly declarative (or truth-valuable). On the other hand, if we ignore compositionality, then their performative force could be given by special conventions of force that attach to the performative element in (just) the performative sentence. But neither option is very attractive. Sentences (la-c) really do seem to be used nonconstatively:

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Harnish
    • 1
  1. 1.TucsonUSA

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