Illocutionary Act - Classes of Illocutionary Acts

Classes of Illocutionary Acts

Searle (1975) set up the following classification of illocutionary speech acts:

  • assertives = speech acts that commit a speaker to the truth of the expressed proposition
  • directives = speech acts that are to cause the hearer to take a particular action, e.g. requests, commands and advice
  • commissives = speech acts that commit a speaker to some future action, e.g. promises and oaths
  • expressives = speech acts that express on the speaker's attitudes and emotions towards the proposition, e.g. congratulations, excuses and thanks
  • declarations = speech acts that change the reality in accord with the proposition of the declaration, e.g. baptisms, pronouncing someone guilty or pronouncing someone husband and wife

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