Косвенные речевые акты в современном английском языке
1. INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS: FORM VERSUS FUNCTION…………5
2. WHY DO SPEAKERS HAVE TO BE
2.1. The cooperative
2.2. The theory of politeness
3. HOW DO HEARERS DISCOVER INDIRECT
AND “DECIPHER” THEIR
3.1. The inference
3.2. Indirect speech acts as idioms?…………………………………...…12
3.3. Other approaches to the
4. ILLOCUTIONS OF
INDIVIDUAL UTTERANCES WITHIN A
5.INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS IN ENGLISH AND
6.EXAMPLES OF INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS IN MODERN
7. INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS AS A YARDSTICK OF COMMUNI-
CATIVE MATURITY AND MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING …..….23
great deal can be said in the study of
language without studying speech acts,
any such purely formal theory is
necessarily incomplete. It would be as if
baseball were studied only as a formal
of rules and not as a game.”
John Rogers Searle
late 1950s, the Oxford philosopher John Austin gave some lectures on how speakers “do things with words”
and so invented a theory of “speech
acts” [10, 40] which now occupies the central place in pragmatics (pragmatics is the study of how we use language to
communicate in a particular context).
Austin highlighted the initial contrast between the constative
and the performative. While constatives describe a state of affairs,
performatives (explicit and implicit) have the potential to
bring about a change in some
state of affairs. Classical examples of performatives include the naming of a ship, the joining of two persons in marriage, and the sentencing of a criminal by an authorised person. Austin distinguished between the
locution of a speech act (the words uttered), its illocution (the
intention of the speaker in making the utterance) and its perlocution (its effects, intended
or otherwise). Whereas constatives typically have truth conditions to comply with, speech acts must satisfy certain “felicity conditions” in order to count as an action: there must be a conventional procedure; the
circumstances and people must be appropriate;
the procedure must be executed
correctly and completely; often, the persons must have the requisite
thoughts, feelings, etc.
John Austin’s theory of speech acts was
generalized to cover all utterances by a student of Austin's, John Rogers
Searle [43, 69]. Searle showed that we perform speech acts every time we speak.
For example, asking “What's the time?” we are performing the speech act
of making a request. Turning an
erstwhile constative into an explicit performative looks like this: “It is now ten o’clock” means
“I hereby pronounce that it is ten o’ clock in the morning.”
a situation, the original constative versus performative distinction becomes untenable: all speech is performative.
The important distinction is not between the performative and the constative,
but between the different kinds of speech acts being performed, that is between direct and indirect
speech acts. Searle's
hypothesis was that in indirect speech acts, the speaker
communicates the non-literal as well as the literal meaning
to the hearer. This new pragmatic trend was named intentionalism because it
takes into account the initial intention of the speaker and its interpretation
by the hearer.
Actuality of research:
The problem of indirect speech acts has
got a great theoretical meaning for analysis of the form/function relation in
language: the same form performs more than one function. To generate an
indirect speech act, the speaker has to use qualitatively different types of
knowledge, both linguistic and extralinguistic (interactive and encyclopaedic),
as well as the ability to reason
[45, 97]. A number
of theories try to explain why we make indirect speech acts and how we
understand their non-literal meaning, but the research is still far from being
The practical value of research lies in the fact that it is impossible to reach a
high level of linguistic competence without understanding the nature of
indirect speech acts and knowing typical indirect speech acts of a particular
The tasks of research:
analysis of the theories on
indirect speech acts;
finding out why interlocutors
generate indirect speech acts instead of saying exactly what they mean;
comparing typical indirect speech
acts in English and in Ukrainian;
providing examples of indirect
speech acts in various communicational situations.
The object of research is a speech
a communicational action that speakers perform by saying things
in a certain way in a certain context.
The subject of research is an indirect speech act as the main way in which the semantic content of a
sentence can fail to determine the full force and content of the illocutionary
act being performed in using the sentence.
Methods of research include critical analysis of scientific works on the
subject, analysis of speech of native English speakers in various
communicational situations, analysis of speech behavior of literary personages
created by modern British and American writers.
ACTS: FORM VERSUS FUNCTION
“Communication is successful not when
hearers recognize the linguistic meaning of the
utterance, but when they infer the speaker's
meaning from it.”
Dan Sperber and Deidre Wilson
Most of what human beings say is
aimed at success of perlocutionary acts, but because
perlocutionary effects are behavioural, cognitive,
or emotional responses they are
not linguistic objects. What linguists can properly look at, however, are the
intentions of speakers to bring about certain perlocutionary effects which
are called illocutionary intentions.
The basis of a speech act is the
speaker’s intention to influence the hearer in a desired way. The intention can
be manifested and latent. According to O.G. Pocheptsov [13,74],
latent intentions cannot be linguistically analyzed while manifested intentions
can be divided into evident and inferable. The illocutinary intention of
indirect speech acts is inferable.
Three broad illocutionary categories are normally
identified – a statement, a question and a command/request - having typical
realisations in declarative, interrogative and imperative verb forms. But sometimes the syntactic form of a sentence is not a
good guide to the act it is performing. In indirect speech acts the agreement between the intended function and the realised form breaks down, and the outward (locutionary) form of an
utterance does not correspond with the intended illocutionary force of the
speech act which it performs [37,
263]. In indirection a single utterance is the performance
of one illocutionary act by way of performing another. Indirect speech acts have two
illocutionary forces [45,
Searle’s classical example of an
indirect speech act is the utterance “Can you pass the salt?” Without
breaking any linguistic norms we can regard it as a general question and give a
yes/no answer. But most often hearers interpret it as a request. Likewise, the
utterance “There's a fly in your soup” may be a simple assertion but, in
a context, a warning not to drink the soup. The question “What's the time?”
might, when one is looking for an excuse to get rid of an unwelcome guest, be intended
as a suggestion that the guest should leave. Analogously, the statement “I wouldn't do this if I were
you” has the congruent force of an imperative: “Don't
works Searle gives other interesting examples of indirect speech acts: Why don’t you be quiet? It would be a good idea if you gave me the
money now. How many times have I told you (must I tell you) not to eat with
your fingers? I would appreciate it if you could make less noise. In some contexts these utterances combine two illocutionary
forces and sound idiomatic, even though they are not idioms in the proper sense
of the term. Each utterance contains an imperative (secondary illocution)
realized by means of a question or a statement (primary illocution).
Paul Grice illustrates indirectness by the following utterances [4, 22]:
“There is a garage around the corner”
used to tell someone where to get petrol, and “Mr. X's command
of English is excellent, and his attendance has been regular”, giving the high points in a letter of recommendation. A simple example of an indirect speech act gives
B.Russel: “When parents say ‘Puddle!’ to their child, what they mean is
‘Don’t step into it!’ [41,
195]. These are examples in which what is meant is not
determined by what is said.
We can make a request or give permission by way of
making a statement, e.g. by uttering “I am getting thirsty.”
or “It doesn't matter to me.” We
can make a statement or give an order by way of asking a question, such as “Will
the sun rise tomorrow?” or “Can you clean up your room?” When an illocutionary act is performed
indirectly, it is performed by way of performing some other one directly.
It has been found that indirect
expressives, directives and representatives compose the most numerous
group of indirect speech acts [11, 23].
The study of indirect speech
acts has mostly dealt with requests in various guises. Jerrold M. Sadock
identified some exotic species: “whimperatives” - indirect requests in the
form of a question, e.g. “Can't you (please) do something?” and “Do something, will you?”; “queclaratives” - the speaker
directly questions and indirectly makes an assertion: “Does
anyone do A any more?” meaning "Nobody does A any more"; “requestions” are
quiz questions to which the speaker knows the answer, e.g. Columbus
discovered America in ...?
Summarizing, we can say that indirection
is the main way in which the
semantic content of a sentence can fail to determine the full force and content
of the illocutionary act being performed in using the sentence.
WHY DO SPEAKERS HAVE TO BE
“Everything that is worded too directly
the risk of being socially condemned.”
2.1. The cooperative
An insight into indirectness is based on the
Cooperative Principle developed by Paul Grice [4, 14-76]: language users tacitly agree to cooperate by making
their contributions to the conversation to further it
in the desired direction. Grice
endeavoured to establish a set of general principles explaining
how language users convey indirect meanings (so-called conversational implicatures, i.e. implicit meanings which have to be inferred from
what is being said explicitly, on the basis of logical deduction). Adherence to
this principle entails that speakers
simultaneously observe 4 maxims:
1) Maxim of Quality:
- Do not
say what you believe to be false.
not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.
your contribution as informative as required.
obscurity of expression.
This general description of the normal expectations we
have in conversations helps to explain a number of regular features in the way
people say things. For instance, the common expressions "Well, to make
a long story short" or "I won't bore you with the
details" indicate an awareness of the maxims of quantity and manner. Because we assume that other speakers are
following these maxims, we often draw inferences based on this
At one level, cooperative behaviour between the interactants
means that the conversational maxims are being followed; but at another and
more important level, cooperative behaviour still operates even if the
conversational maxims are apparently broken. For instance, when the speaker blatantly and
openly says something which appears to be irrelevant and ambiguous (flouts the maxims of relevance and
manner), it can be assumed that s/he
really intends to communicate something which is relevant and unambiguous, but does so implicitly:
“ - I don't suppose you could manage tomorrow evening?
- How do you like to eat?
- Actually I rather enjoy cooking myself.” [J. Fowles]
The second remark, instead of being a direct answer (a
statement), is a question formally not connected with the first remark. The
maxims of relevance and manner are flouted. The inferable implicature is: “Yes,
I can.”Analogously, the implication of the third remark is inferred: “I
invite you to have dinner at my place.”
were forced to draw only logical inferences, life would be a lot more
difficult. Conversations would take longer since we would
have to say things which reasonable language-users currently infer.
Searle adds one more conversational maxim [45, 126]:
“Speak idiomatically unless you have a reason not to.” He exemplifies this
maxim like this: if we say archaically “Knowest thou him who calleth himself Richard Nixon?” (not
idiomatically), the utterance will not be perceived as a usual question “Do you know Richard Nixon?”
An important difference between implicatures and
what is said directly is that the speaker can always renounce the implicatures
s/he hinted at. For example, in “Love and friendship” by A.Lourie the
protagonist answers to a lady asking him to keep her secret: “A gentleman
never talks of such things”. Later the lady finds out that he did let out
her secret, and the protagonist justifies himself saying: “I never said I
was a gentleman.”
put a question of insincerity and hypocrisy people resort to by means of a
language (it is not by chance that George Orwell introduced the word “to
double speak” in his novel “1984”). No doubt, implicatures are always
present in human communication. V.Bogdanov notes that numerous implicatures raise the
speaker’s and the hearer’s status in each other’s eyes: the speaker sounds
intelligent and knowledgeable about the nuances of communication, and the
hearer realizes that the speaker relies on his shrewdness. “Communication on
the implicature level is a prestigious type of verbal communication. It is
widely used by educated people: to understand implicatures, the hearer must
have a proper intellectual level.” (Богданов
The ancient rhetorician Demetrius declared the
following: “People who understand what you do not literally say are not just
your audience. They are your witnesses, and well-wishing witnesses at that. You
gave them an occasion to show their wit, and they think they are shrewd and
quick-witted. But if you “chew over” your every thought, your hearers will
decide your opinion of their intellect is rather low.” (Деметрий 1973:273).
2.2. The theory of
Another line of
explanation of indirectness is provided by a sociolinguistic theory of politeness developed in the
late 1970s. Its
founder Geoffrey Leech introduced the politeness principle: people should
minimize the expression of impolite beliefs and maximize the expression of polite
beliefs [36, 102]. According to the politeness theory, speakers avoid threats
to the “face” of the hearers by various forms of indirectness, and thereby “implicate” their meanings rather than assert them
directly. The politeness theory is based on the notion that
participants are rational beings with two kinds of “face wants” connected with their public
face - a desire to be appreciated and valued by others; desire for approval;
face - concern for certain personal rights and freedoms, such as autonomy to choose actions,
claims on territory, and so on; desire to be unimpeded.
Some speech acts (“face threatening acts”) intrinsically threaten the faces. Orders and requests, for instance, threaten the negative face, whereas criticism
and disagreement threaten
the positive face. The
perpetrator therefore must either avoid such acts altogether (which may be
impossible for a host of reasons, including concern for her/his own face) or find ways
of performing them with mitigating of their face threatening effect. For example, an indirectly formulated request (a son to
his father) “Are you using the car tonight?”
counts as a face-respecting strategy because it leaves room for father
to refuse by saying “Sorry, it has already been
taken (rather than the
face-threatening “You may not use it”).
In that sense, the speaker’s and the
hearer’s faces are
being attended to.
Therefore, politeness is a relative notion not only in
its qualitative aspect (what is considered to be polite), but in its
quantitative aspect as well (to what degree various language constructions
realize the politeness principle). Of course there are absolute markers of
politeness, e.g. “please”, but they are not numerous. Most of language
units gain a certain degree of politeness in a context.
3. HOW DO HEARERS DISCOVER INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS AND
“DECIPHER” THEIR MEANING?
It has been pointed out above that in indirect speech
acts the relationship between the
words being uttered and the illocutionary
force is often oblique. For
example, the sentence “This is a pig sty”
might be used nonliterally to state that a certain room is messy and filthy
and, further, to demand indirectly that it be cleaned up. Even when this
sentence is used literally and directly, say to describe a certain area of a
barnyard, the content of its utterance is not fully determined by its
linguistic meaning -
in particular, the meaning of the
word “this” does not determine which area is being
How do we manage to define the illocution of an
utterance if we cannot do that by its syntactic form? There are several
theories trying to answer this question.
The inference theory
steps in the inference of an
indirect speech act are as follows [37, 286-340]:
The literal meaning and force of the utterance are computed by, and available to,
the participants. The key to understanding of the literal meaning is the syntactical form
of the utterance.
II. There is some indication that the literal meaning is inadequate (“a
trigger” of an indirect speech act).
According to Searle, in indirect speech acts the speaker performs one
illocutionary act but intends the hearer to infer another illocution by relying
on their mutually shared background information, both linguistic and
nonlinguistic, as well as on general powers of rationality and
inference, that is on illocutionary force indicating
devices [43, 73].
The illocutionary point of an
utterance can be discovered by an inferential process that attends to the speaker's
prosody, the context of utterance, the
form of the sentence, the tense and mood of verbs, knowledge of the language itself and of conversational
conventions, and general encyclopaedic knowledge. The speaker knows this
and speaks accordingly, aware that the hearer - as a competent social being and
language user - will recognize the implications [32, 41].
So, indirectness relies on conversational implicature:
there is overwhelming evidence that speakers expect hearers to draw inferences
from everything that is uttered. It follows that the hearer
will begin the inferential process immediately on being presented with the
locution. Under the cooperative principle, there is a convention that the speaker
has some purpose for choosing this very
utterance in this particular context instead of maintaining silence or generating
another utterance. The hearer tries to guess this purpose, and in doing so, considers the context, beliefs about normal behaviour in this context, beliefs about the speaker, and the presumed common ground.
The fact that divergence between the form and the
contents of an utterance can vary within certain limits helps to discover
indirect speech acts: an order can be disguised as a request, a piece of advice
or a question, but it is much less probable as a compliment.
III. There are principles that allow us to derive the relevant indirect force from the literal meaning and the context.
suggests that these principles can be stated within his theory of felicity
conditions for speech
acts [44, 38].
For example, according to Searle’s
theory, a command or a request has the following felicity conditions:
1. Asking or stating the preparatory condition:
Can you pass the salt? The
hearer's ability to perform an action
is being asked.
Literally it is a
it is a request.
2. Asking or stating the propositional content:
You're standing on my foot. Would you kindly
get off my foot?
Literally it is a
statement or a question; non-literally
it is a request.
3. Stating the sincerity condition:
I'd like you to do this for me.
Literally it is a
it is a request.
4. Stating or asking the good/overriding reasons for doing an action:
You had better go now. Hadn't you better go
now? Why not go now?
Literally it is a statement or a question;
non-literally it is a
5. Asking if a
person wants/wishes to perform an action:
Would you mind helping me with this? Would you mind if I asked you if you could write me a
Literally it is a question; non-literally
it is a request (in the last example an explicit directive verb is embedded).
All these indirect acts have several common features:
Imperative force is not
part of the literal meaning of these sentences.
These sentences are not
These sentences are conventionally
used to make requests. They often have "please" at end or
preceding the verb.
4. These sentences are not idioms, but are idiomatically
used as requests.
sentences can have literal interpretations.
6. The literal meanings are maintained when
they question the physical ability:
Can you pass the salt? - No, it’s too far from me. I can’t
7. Both the literal and the non-literal
illocutionary acts are made when making a
report on the utterance:
The speaker: Can you come to my party tonight?
The hearer: I have to get
up early tomorrow.
Report: He said he couldn't come. OR: He
said he had to get up early next
problem of the inference theory is that syntactic forms with a similar meaning
often show differences in the ease in which they
trigger indirect speech acts:
a) Can you reach the salt?
b) Are you able to reach the salt?
c) Is it the case that you at
present have the ability to reach the salt?
While (a) is most likely to be
used as a request, (b) is less
likely, and (c) is highly unlikely, although they
seem to express the
of the inference theory is the complexity of the algorithm it offers for
recognizing and deciphering the true meaning of indirect speech acts. If the
hearer had to pass all the three stages every time he faced an indirect speech
act, identifying the intended meaning would be time-consuming whereas normally
we recognize each other’s communicative intentions quickly and easily.
3.2. Indirect speech acts as idioms?
Another line of explanation of
indirect speech acts was brought forward by Jerrold Sadock [42, 197]. According to his theory, indirect speech acts are expressions based on an
idiomatic meaning added to their literal
meaning (just like the
expression “to push up daisies” has two meanings: “to increase
the distance of specimens of Bellis perennis from the center of the earth by employing force” and “to be dead”). Of course, we do not have specific idioms here, but rather general idiom
example, the scheme “Can you + verb?” is idiomatic for commands and requests.
the idiomatic hypothesis is
questionable as a general strategy. One problem is that a reaction to an indirect speech act can be
composite to both the direct
and the indirect speech act, e.g.
The hearer: Yes, it’s
find this type of reaction to the literal and the idiomatic intepretation of an
The speaker: Is he pushing
the daisies by now?
Hearer 1: Yes/no (the idiomatic meaning is taken
Hearer 2: Depends what you
mean. As a gardener, yes (the literal meaning is taken into account).
problem is that there is a multitude of different (and seemingly semantically related) forms that behave in a
a) Can you pass
me the salt?
b) Could you pass me the salt?
c) May I have the salt?
d) May I ask you to pass the salt?
e) Would you be so kind to pass
f) Would you mind passing the
these expressions are obviously semantically related (e.g. can/could, would you
be so kind/would you
mind), and it seems that it is this semantic relation that makes them express
the same indirect speech act. This is different for classical idioms, where the
phrasing itself matters:
a) to push
the daisies “to be dead” vs. to push the roses
b) to kick
the bucket “to die” vs. to kick the barrel.
defender of the idiom hypothesis must assume a multitude of idiom schemes, some of which are obviously closely semantically
Summarizing, we can say that there are certain cases
of indirect speech acts that have to be seen as idiomatized syntactic
constructions (for example, English why not-questions.)
But typically, instances of indirect speech acts should not be analyzed as simple idioms.
Other approaches to the
The difference of the idiomatic and inference
approaches can be explained by different understanding of the role of
convention in communication. The former theory overestimates it while the
latter underestimates it, and both reject the qualitative diversity of
conventionality. Correcting this shortcoming, Jerry Morgan writes about two
types of convention in indirect speech acts [39, 261]: conventions of language and conventions of usage. The utterance “Can you pass the salt?” cannot be
considered as a regular idiom (conventions of language), but its use for an
indirect request is undoubtedly conventional, i.e. habitual for everyday speech
that is always characterized by a certain degree of ritualization.
In accordance with this approach the function of an
indirect speech act is conventionally fixed, and an inference process is not
needed. Conventions of usage express
what Morgan calls “short-circuited implicatures”: implicatures
that once were motivated by explicit
which now do not have to be calculated explicitly anymore.
There is an opinion that indirect speech acts must be
considered as language polysemy, e.g. “Why not + verb?” construction
serves as a formal marker of not just the illocutive function of a question,
but of that of a request, e.g. “Why not clean the room right now?”
According to Grice and Searle, the implicit meaning of
an utterance can always be inferred from its literal meaning. But according to
the relevance theory developed by Sperber and Wilson [46, 113], the process of
interpretation of indirect speech acts does not at all differ from the process
of interpretation of direct speech acts. Furthermore, it is literal utterances
that are often marked and sound less natural than utterances with an indirect
meaning. For example, the utterance “She is a snake.” having an
implicit meaning sounds more natural than “She is spiteful.” Exclamatory
not exactly a picniс weather!” and “It’s not a day for cricket!” sound more expressive and habitual than the literal utterance “What nasty weather we are having!” The
interrogative construction expressing a request “Could you put on your black
dress?” is more customary than the performative: “I suggest that you
should put on your black dress.”
To summarize: there is no unanimity among linguists
studying indirect speech acts as to how we discover them in each other’s speech
and “extract” their meaning. Every theory has got its strong and weak points,
and the final word has not yet been said.
ILLOCUTIONS OF INDIVIDUAL
Speech act theories considered above treat an
indirect speech act as the
product of a single utterance based on a single sentence with only
one illocutionary point - thus becoming a pragmatic extension to sentence
grammars. In real life, however, we do not use isolated utterances: an
utterance functions as part of a larger intention or plan. In most
interactions, the interlocutors each have an agenda; and to carry out the plan,
the illocutions within a discourse are ordered with respect to one another. Very
little work has been done on the contribution of the illocutions within
utterances to the development of understanding of a discourse.
As Labov and Fanshel pointed out, “most
utterances can be seen as performing several speech acts simultaneously ...
Conversation is not a chain of utterances, but rather a matrix of utterances
and actions bound together by a web of understandings and reactions ... In
conversation, participants use language to interpret to each other the
significance of the actual and potential events that surround them and to draw
the consequences for their past and future actions.” (Labov,
Fanshel 1977: 129).
Attempts to break out of the
sentence-grammar mould were made by Labov and Fanshel ,
Edmondson , Blum-Kulka, House, and Kasper . Even an ordinary and rather formal dialogue between a
customer and a chemist contains indirectness (see table 4.1).
Indirect speech acts of an ordinary
Indirect speech acts
you have any
Seeks to establish preparatory condition for
transaction and thereby implies the intention to
buy on condition that Actifed is available.
Establishes a preparatory condition for the
transaction by offering a choice of product.
Requests one of products offered, initiates
transaction. In this context, even without
“please”, the noun phrase alone will function as
disguising a request for payment to
execute the transaction.
Agrees to contract of sale thereby fulfilling
t buyer's side of the bargain.
a nice day!
Fulfills seller's side of the bargain and
concludes interaction with a conventional farewell.
Discourse always displays one or more perlocutionary functions. Social
interaction predominates in everyday chitchat; informativeness in
academic texts; persuasiveness in political
speeches; and entertainment in
novels. But many texts combine some or all these functions in varying degrees
to achieve their communicational purpose. For instance, although an academic
text is primarily informative, it also tries to persuade readers to reach a
certain point of view; it needs to be entertaining enough to keep the reader's
attention; and most academic texts try to get the reader on the author’s side through social interactive techniques such as use of authorial we
to include the reader.
genre of the text shapes the strategy for its interpretation: we do not expect
nonliterality when reading medical prescriptions. For every genre there is an
illocutionary standard. For example, a letter of recommendation is an alloy of
declarations and expressives. A request added to it converts it into a petition
whereas a detailed list of facts from the person’s life turns it into a
biography. In canonized texts, lack of “moulds” has a significant pragmatic
illocutionary standard of a text depends on the communicative situation and
macrocontext. For example, in “The Centaur” by John Updike there is an obituary
whose indirect meaning is much wider than the literal meaning (chapter 5 of the
On the whole, the contribution of the illocutions of individual
utterances to the understanding of macrostructures within texts is sorely in
need of study.
5. INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS IN ENGLISH AND UKRAINIAN
research reveals that the main types of speech acts can be found in all natural
languages. Yet, some speech acts are specific for a group of languages or even
for a certain language. For instance, the English question “Have
you got a match?” is a request while the Ukrainian utterance “Чи маєте Ви сірники?”
possesses two meanings: either the speaker is asking you for matches or
offering them to you. Only the utterance “У Вас
немає сірників?” having interrogatory intonation and
stressed “немає” is unambiguously a request.
Offering advice, the Ukrainians prefer not to use
modal verbs (могти, хотіти) that would
make up an indirect speech act. Preference is given to direct speech acts of
Seeing off guests, the Ukrainians often use causative
verbs, e.g. “Заходіть! Телефонуйте! Пишіть!” This communicative behaviour often provokes an
inadequate reaction of foreigners: instead of “Дякую!”
prescribed by the Ukrainian speech
etiquette they say: “With great pleasure!” or ask “When exactly
should I come? What for?”
Mikhail Goldenkov describes a typical indirect speech
act used in US public transport [3,82]. If a passenger wants to get off a
crowded bus, s/he should not directly question the passengers blocking the way
if they are getting off or not (like it is usually done in Ukraine). A direct
speech act would be taken as meddling in other people’s personal matters. A
request to make way must be disguised as a statement: “Excuse me, I am
getting off” or as a question in the first person: “Could I get off
Indirect speech acts must always be taken into account
when learning a foreign language. In many cases they make the communicative
center and sound much more natural than direct speech acts. In particular, at
English lessons in Ukraine much attention is given to direct inverted
questions. Furthermore, often only such questions are considered to be correct,
and as a result students get accustomed to conversations reminding a police
quest: “Have you got an apartment?”, “Where does your father work?”, etc.
However, when asking for information, native speakers do not often use direct
speech acts because they are not suitable from the point of view of speech
etiquette. To master the art of conversation, students must be able to use
indirect declarative questions, e.g. “I’d like to know if you are interested in
football” or “I wonder if we could be pen-pals”, etc.
Native English speakers often say that
English-speaking Ukrainians sound too direct. As a result, the hearer feels
pressure that can cause a communication failure. I remember my husband selecting books to borrow in a public library of
Montreal, Canada. He put aside the books he chose and left them unattended for
a minute to go to another bookshelf. Meanwhile another reader came by and took
some of my husband’s books. Seeing that, my husband came up to the man and
said: “Please put the books back”. The man looked offended. Definitely,
he did not expect a direct speech act. He took it as a command threatening his
“negative face”. My husband made a communicational mistake. An indirect speech
act was the only thing appropriate in the situation. He should have said
something like “Excuse me, but I am borrowing those books.” It would
have been a request disguised as a statement.
English lessons for the Ukrainians must include Tips for making English less direct, i.e. special
information on how to “soften” directness of speech using indirect speech acts,
for example: “Try to present
your view as a question, not as a statement. Say: “Wouldn’t that be too
late?” instead of “That will
be too late.”
EXAMPLES OF INDIRECT SPEECH
ACTS IN MODERN ENGLISH DISCOURSE
Literature is often compared to a mirror reflecting
life. Writers strive to make their personages sound natural, and utterances of
literary personages can be linguistically analyzed just like speech of real
people. Here are some examples of indirect speech acts generated by heroes of
works written by modern British and US authors.
a) In the short story “The Life Guard” by John
Wain young Jimmy Townsend works as a beach lifeguard. One morning he wants to
get rid of an unwelcome visitor in his hut at the beach and asks him to quit
using an indirect speech act (a representative with the illocutionary force of
a directive): “I’m going swimming now. I have to keep in practice.” The
visitor, however, does not understand the implication and answers: “I am not
stopping you.” Jimmy tries another indirect speech act: “I have to
leave the hut empty.” The implication dawns on the visitor, but he is not
sure: “You mean nobody is allowed in the hut?” Jimmy uses an indirect
speech act to invite the visitor to join him for a swim (a request disguised as
a question): “Why don’t you come in swimming with me if you want something
To prove his efficiency as an instructor, Jimmy wants
to teach swimming to an old fat lady. The woman wants Jimmy to leave her alone,
but being polite, avoids a command and uses representatives with the
illocutionary force of a directive: “The water is cold?”; “It’s the first
time I am on the beach this year”; “I’ll never swim the Channel, that I do
Scared that he will be fired because no one needs a
lifeguard at a safe beach, Jimmy plans to arrange a fake rescue. He asks his
former schoolmate to pretend drowning: “I want you to go in swimming,
pretend to get into trouble, wave to me, and I’ll swim out and tow you back to
shore.” The boy declines Jimmy’s idea using an indirect speech act (a
question with the illocutionary force of a statement): “What d’you think I
b) In Thorton Wilder’s novel titled "Heaven’s
my destination" a young
man named Mr.Brush asks Mr. Bohardus, a forensic photographer, to sell a
There, now, I guess, we got some good pictures.
- Do you sell copies of these, Mr.Bohardus?
- We're not allowed to, I reckon. Leastways
there never was no great demand.
- I was thinking I could buy some extra. I
haven't been taken for more than two years. I know my mother would like some.
Bohardus stared at him narrowly.
don't think it shows a good spirit to make fun of this work, Mr.Brown, and I
tell you I don't like it. In fifteen years here nobody's made fun of it, not
even murderers haven't.
me, Mr.Bohardus, said Brush, turning red, "I wasn't making fun of
anything. I knew you made good photos, and that's all I thought about."
Bohardus maintained an angry silence, and when
Brush was led away refused to return his greeting”.
The question “Do you sell copies of these, Mr.Bohardus?” has
another meaning, that of a compliment. Compliments have a restricted sphere of
usage, and the photographer’s negative reply showed that under the
circumstances it was not appropriate to compliment a policeman. The compliment
was rejected in a friendly manner. But Brush broke the standard scheme of an
indirect speech act and turned a compliment into a literal request. The
policeman was insulted: he thought that Brush mocked at him. Brush tried to
make amends, but to no avail. Brush violated the communicative convention, and
his words were interpreted as an affront.
c) Earl Fox, the protagonist of the novel “Live with
lightning” composed by Mitchell Wilson, is a famous physicist aged 50. His
social status is high, but he falls out of love with his science and feels
inner emptiness and despair. The author uses a rhetoric question to describe
the first fit of Fox’s indifference to physics:
“Realization had come slowly, against
his reluctance. He was listening to a paper being read, and he found himself
asking “Who cares?” It was the first open admission that curiosity was
Rhetoric questions are pseudoquestions
because the speaker knows the answer and does not ask for information. On the
contrary, a rhetoric question conveys some information to the hearer and seeks
to convince the hearer of something
[15,97]. What Fox
meant by the question “Who cares?” was the statement statement “Nobody
d) Further on in Mitchell Wilson’s novel, Fox
interviews Eric Gorin, a young scientist who applied for a job in his lab.
Closing their conversation, Fox wants to show his friendliness by asking a
formal personal question: "And did you have a pleasant summer, Mr.
Gorin?” Its nonliteral meaning is that of a directive:
“Relax. Don’t be so tense.” Fox expects a conventional reply “Yes,
thank you”, but Gorin’s utterance breaks the rules of speech etiquette:
“A pleasant summer?” Erik was silent for the time of two long breaths.
“No, sir,” he said explosively. “I damn well did not have a pleasant summer!”
Fox is startled into silence: Gorin not only took the question literally, but
did not follow the politeness principle as well.
not quite sure how long you've known the Fieldings” (J. Fowles);
"I'm dying to know what you did with all the lions you
slaughtered," said Susie Boyd (S. Maugham); “I'd
like to know why she's gone off like this.” (J. Fowles).
Indirect questions in the utterances above are
compound sentences whose principle clauses contain predicates of cognition
while subordinate clauses specify the desired information.
f) Indirect speech acts are frequent when a person of
a lower social status addresses a person of a higher social status. Often they
contain additional markers of politeness like apologies, appellations to the
hearer’s volition, etc. For instance, a maid says to her mistress: “I'm sorry to have disturbed you, Madam... I
only wondered whether you wished to see me.” (D. du Maurier). A visitor says to his hostess: “I only want to know the truth, if you.will
tell it to me” (E. Voynich).
g) “A question in a question” is also an indirect
speech act. The speaker asks if the hearer is knowledgeable about something,
and the informative question is included into the whole construction as a
complement. Such utterances give the hearer a chance “to quit the game” by
answering only the direct question, e.g. "Do you happen to know when it is open?"
- "Oh, no, no. I haven't been there myself" (L. Jones).
h) A reliable way to be polite is to express a
communicative intention as a request to perform it. Such a request can be formulated
as a separate utterance, a part of an utterance or a composite sentence, for
instance: “May I ask you where you are staying?” (C.
Snow); “Might I inquire if you are the owner?” (L. Jones); “What
are your таin ideas so far, sir, if you don't mind me asking?” (K.
“I should be very much obliged if you would tell me as exact as possible how Mrs. Haddo, died” (S.
Maugham); “Would it bother you if I asked you a question about how you lost your job with Axminster?” (D.
gradual transition from an indirect speech act complying with the politeness
principle to an impolite direct speech act with the same illocutionary force is
shown in an episode of the popular cartoon “Shrek”. After Shrek had rescued
Princess Fiona from the dragon, the girl asked him to remove his helmet, so
that he could kiss her: “You did it! You rescued me! The battle is over. You
can remove your helmet now.”
italicized utterance is an indirect speech act (a representative with the
illocutionary force of a directive).
however, is unwilling to put off his helmet: he does not want the girl to see
that he is an ogre. To make him obey her, Fiona uses another indirect speech
act: “Why not remove your helmet?” and then a rather impolite directive:
“Remove it! Now!”
speech acts are widely used in publicistic works when the speaker or the writer
aims at convincing the interlocutor of something. A quotation from an article
published by “The Times” dated June 12, 1999, exemplifies this:
claim that the Earl of Oxford, or Bacon, or any other grandee must have written
“Shakespeare” seems to be born largely of a snobbish conviction that a
provincial grammar-school boy could not have produced that corpus of world
masterpieces. Yet outstanding literary achievement is more
likely to come from such a background than any other.
With the exception of Byron and Shelley, all our
greatest writers have been middle-class, and most of them provincials.
If Marlowe, a Canterbury shoemaker’s son, could re-create the worlds of Edward
II and Tamburlaine, why should not a Stratford glover’s son depict courtly life at large? The argument that it would take an aristocrat to
know how royalty behaved and thought ignores the imaginative power of well-read
The journalist’s argument “The claim …
seems to be born largely of a snobbish conviction that a provincial grammar
school boy could not have produced that corpus of world masterpieces.” contains
two speech acts. On the one hand, it is a representative giving a negative,
critical appraisal. On the other hand, it is an indirect expressive (a
The argument “If Marlowe, a Canterbury shoemaker’s son, could
re-create the worlds of Edward II and Tamburlaine, why should not a Stratford
glover’s son depict courtly life at large?” is another indirect speech
act. Formally, it is a question, but in essence it is an indirect statement (a
Another article in “The Times” of
November 13, 1999 is devoted to the safety of flights of private airplanes:
central, and only, point is not an argument but a prejudice - that safety and
private sector are incompatible. This is obviously wrong, as the impressive
history of this country's airlines and airports makes plain”.
The utterance “It's not an argument, but a predjudice - that safety and private sector are incompatible” is a representative, but on the other hand, the author
protests against the point of view taken by his opponents, and this utterance
can also be regarded as an indirect expressive.
Evidently, indirect speech acts influence the quality
of argumentation, and that is crucial for publicism. They amplify the speaker’s
impact upon the hearers’ feelings and emotions.
Indirect speech acts are widely used in
advertising. Advertisements can perform various literal functions combining
representatives (information on the product), commissives (safety or quality
guarantee), expressives (admiration for the product), etc. But the pragmatic
focus of any advertisement is always a directive: “Buy it now!”
For example, the advertisement: “You’ll
see Tefal in action! Purchasing the new model, you get a present!”
is a directive disguised as a commissive (a promise). Often the implication is
biased from the product to its potential user, like in the slogan: “L’Oreal,
Paris. Because I’m worth it” (a directive camouflaged as a representative).
Indirect speech acts are often the heart of an
anecdote : Two businessmen made a fortune by means of forgery and were
doing their best to be considered aristocrats. They even had their portraits
painted by the most famous and “expensive” artist. The portraits were first
displayed at a grand rout. The businessmen brought the most influential critic
to the portraits hoping to hear the words of admiration and compliments. The
critic stared at the portraits for a while, then shook his head as if something
important were missing and asked pointing at the space between the portraits: “And where is the Savior?”
The implication of the question is unambiguous: Jesus
Christ between the two robbers. The critic made up a complicated indirect
speech act: he disguised an evaluative representative: “You are two
scoundrels, of that I am sure” as a question “And where is the Savior?”
Anecdotes often play with a wrong understanding of
the speaker’s illocutionary point by the hearer, for example:
Hey, you need any firewood?
No, go away, I am sleeping.
In the morning, the peasant saw that all the firewood
disappeared from his shed.
In this funny story the peasant took the question for
an offer, and his interlocutor (hardly by mistake) took the refusal as the
7. INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS
AS A YARDSTICK OF COMMUNICATIVE MATURITY AND MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING
“Нам не дано предугадать, как слово
Understanding of indirect speech acts is not a man’s
inborn ability. Younger children whose communicational skills are not yet well
developed perceive only one illocutionary force of a speech act, the one
deducible from the syntactic form of an utterance. For instance,
once my four-year-old son was carrying home a paintbrush I just bought for him.
On our way home he often dropped it. I said: “You let your brush fall a
hundred times!” meaning a directive: “Be more careful!” The boy,
however, took my words literally and replied: “Of course not, mom. I dropped
it only six times!”
Here is another example of communicational immaturity.
A boy of seven phones to his mother’s office:
I’d like to speak to Mrs.
She is out. Please call back in
a few minutes.
The boy reacted to the utterance “Please call back
in a few minutes” as to a request while the communicative situation
required answering “Thank you” (for advice) instead of “OK”.
If the hearer does not recognize the speaker’s
communicative intentions, a communicative failure will follow. For example,
asking, “Where is the department store?” one may hear: “The
department store is closed” in a situation when one needs the department
store as an orienting point.
Quite often a question is understood as a reproach,
Why didn’t you invite him?
Invite him yourself if you want
I do not want to invite him. I
am just asking.
Surprise can be taken for distrust:
Does it really cost that much?
Don’t you believe me?
Sociolinguistic research shows that everywhere in the
civilized world women tend to use more indirect speech acts than men. Educated
people, regardless of their sex, prefer indirect speech acts to direct ones.
Correct understanding of indirect speech acts by an adult is an index of his or
her sanity [9,90].
On balance, the question How to do things with words? cannot be
answered easily and unambiguously: just build your utterance in accordance with
certain rules or use one of the “moulds”, and you will avoid a communication
A chasm of incomplete understanding always separates
communicants, even most intimate ones, and indirect speech acts often make it
deeper. Yet, only words can bridge the chasm conducting the thought from one
shore to the other. Every time the bridge is to be built from scratch, and
choosing linguistic means, the interactants must take into account the
distance, the “weather” conditions, the previous mistakes, both their own and
other people’s, and “the weight” of the thought to be conveyed. Finally, the
thought is worded and set off, but we can only guess what awaits it on the
other shore. We are helpless there, and our thought is now in the hearer’s
Correspondence between the syntactic form of
an utterance and its pragmatic function is not always 1:1. The same syntactic
form can express various communicative intentions. On the other hand, to
express a communicative intention we can use a variety of linguistic means.
Therefore, in speech there are many constructions used to express not the
meaning fixed by the system of language, but a secondary meaning
that is conventional or appears in a
particular context. Speech acts
made up by means of such constructions are indirect. In indirect speech acts, the speaker conveys the
non-literal as well as the literal meaning, and an apparently simple utterance may, in its
implications, count for much more.
Hence, it is very important to
study not only the structure of a grammatical or lexical unit and its meaning in the system of
language, but also the pragmatic context shaping its functioning in
A number of theories try to explain why we generate
indirect speech acts and how we discover them in each other’s speech. The
inference theory brought forward by John Searle claims that we first perceive
the literal meaning of the utterance and find some indication that the literal
meaning is inadequate. Having done that, we derive the relevant indirect force
from the literal meaning and context.
Another line of
explanation developed by Jerrold Sadock is that indirect speech acts are
expressions based on an idiomatic meaning added to their literal meaning.
Jerry Morgan writes about two types of convention in
indirect speech acts: conventions of language and conventions of usage.
Conventions of usage express what Morgan calls "short-circuited
implicatures": implicatures that once were motivated by explicit reasoning
but which now do not have to be calculated explicitly anymore.
According to the relevance theory developed by Sperber
and Wilson, the process of interpretation of direct speech acts does not at all
differ from the process of interpretation of indirect speech acts. Furthermore,
it is literal utterances that are often marked and sound less natural than
utterances with indirect meaning.
Speech act theories have treated illocutionary acts as
the products of single utterances based on single sentences with only one
illocutionary point - thus becoming a pragmatic extension to sentence grammars.
The contribution of the
illocutions of individual utterances to the understanding of topics and
episodes is not yet well documented.
Pragmatic research reveals that the main types of
indirect speech acts are found in all natural languages. Yet, some indirect
speech acts are specific for a group of languages or even for a particular
language. Conventional indirect speech acts must always be taken into account
when learning a foreign language. They often make the communicative center of
utterances and sound much more natural than direct speech acts.
Indirect speech acts are widely used in everyday
speech, in fiction, and in publicistic works because they influence the quality
of argumentation and amplify the impact upon the hearer’s emotions. Indirect
speech acts are the driving force of advertisements whose illocutionary point
is always a directive: "Buy it now!"
It has been found that indirect expressives, directives and representatives compose the most numerous group of
indirect speech acts in modern English
The use of indirect speech acts in
discourse has been studied by a number of linguists, cognitive scientists, and
philosophers, including Searle , , , , ; Grice , ;
Ballmer ; Kreckel ; Clark ; Partridge , Cohen ,
Pocheptsov , Romanov . Yet, the research of indirect speech acts is
still far from being complete.
Робота присвячена непрямим мовленнєвим актам у
сучасному англійському дискурсі. Непрямі мовленнєві акти – це мовленнєві дії,
що здійснюються за допомогою висловлювань, які мають дві іллокутивні сили,
тобто мовець має на увазі одночасно і пряме значення висловлювання, і щось
більше. Типові приклади непрямих мовленнєвих актів – це ввічливі прохання у
вигляді запитань або твердження у вигляді запитань (риторичні питання). Непрямі мовленнєві акти привутні в усіх
мовах, проте в кожній мові вони мають свої особливості.
Розділи 1 - 4 є
теоретичними. У них розкривається сутність непрямих мовленнєвих актів,
розглядаються причини їхньої широкої поширеності в мовленні на прикладі
англійського дискурса, аналізуються існуючі теорії, що пояснюють механізм
розуміння співрозмовниками непрямих мовленнєвих актів, з'ясовується внесок
іллокутивної сили окремих висловлювань у процес розуміння усього дискурса.
Розділи 5 - 7 мають
практичний характер. У них порівнюються конвенціональні непрямі мовленнєві
акти англійської й української мов, що використовуються в типових ситуаціях
спілкування; наводяться приклади непрямих мовленнєвих актів в творах сучасних
британських і американських авторів, газетах, рекламних роликах; доводиться, що
розуміння людиною непрямих мовленнєвих актів є мірилом його комунікативної
зрілості. Особливо підкреслюється, що оскільки непрямі мовленнєві акти грають
істотну роль у мовному впливі на співрозмовника, в етиці, у повсякденному
спілкуванні і носять конкретномовний характер, їх необхідно враховувати при
вивченні іноземних мов.
непрямий мовленнєвий акт, теорія мовленнєвих актів, текст, дискурс, локуція,
іллокуція, перлокуція, комунікативний намір, принцип кооперації, принцип
увічливості, іллокутивна сила, мовленнєва поведінка, комунікація, прагматика,
В.В. Речевое общение: прагматические и семантические аспекты.- Л.:
Изд-во ЛГУ,1990. - 88 с.
А. Речевые акты // Новое в зарубежной лингвистике. Вип. 16. - М.:
Прогресс, 1985. – С. 255-276.
М. Осторожно Hot dog. Современный активный English. - М.: ЧеРо,1999. – 267 с.
Г.П. Логика и речевое общение // Новое в зарубежной лингвистике. Вип.
16. - М.: Прогресс, 1985. – С. 14-76.
О стиле // Античные риторики. - М.:Изд-во МГУ им.М.В.Ломоносова,1978.
6.Еремеев Я.Н. Директивные высказывания
с точки зрения диалогического подхода //
Теоретическая и прикладная
лингвистика. Вип. 2. – Воронеж: видавничий центр ВГТУ, 2000.- с.109-126.
7. Клюев Е.В. Речевая коммуникация.
М.: ПРИОР, 1998. – 175 с.
8. Конрад Р. Вопросительные
предложения как косвенные речевые акты //
Новое в зарубежной лингвистике. Вип. 16. М.:
Прогресс, 1985. С. 349-384.
Мартынюк А.П. О реализации принципа вежливости в речи женщин и
мужчин // Вестник Харьковского университета. Вып.339. Человек и речевая
деятельность. - Харьков,1989. - С.89-92.
10. Остин Дж. Слово как действие //
Новое в зарубежной лингвистике. Вип. 17. - М.: Прогресс, 1986. –
11. Петренко В.Ф. Проблемы эффективности
речевого воздействия в аспекте психолингвистики // Оптимизация
речевого воздействия. - М.:Наука, 1990. – С.18-31.
12. Петров С.С. Сложноподчиненные
предложения с косвенным вопросом в современном английском языке //
Исследования по германской филологии. – Кишинев: Мысль, 1975. – С.33-38.
13. Почепцов О.Г. Основы прагматического
описания предложения. - Киев: Вища школа,1986. - 116 с.
А.А. Способ организации дискурса и типология языковых личностей // Язык,
дискурс и личность: Сб.науч.тр. - Тверь: Изд-во Твер.ун-та,1990. - С.50-60.
15. Рестан П. Синтаксис вопросительного
предложения.- М.: Высшая школа, 1972. – 183 с.
16. Романов А.А. Системный анализ
регулятивных средств диалогического общения. - М.:Инcтитут
языкознания АН СССР,1988. - 183 с.
В. Словарь культуры ХХ века. – http://www.lib.ru/culture/RUDNEW/slowar.
Серль Дж. Р. Косвенные речевые акты // Новое в зарубежной лингвистике. Вип.
17. - М.: Прогресс, 1986. – С. 195-283.
Allan K. Linguistic Meaning. - Vol.1. - London: Routledge and Kegan
Paul,1986. - 452 p.
21. Austin J.L. How to Do Things with Words.
- Oxford: Oxford University Press,1962. – 167 p.
22. Bach K., Harnish
R. Linguistic Communication
and Speech Acts. - Cambridge: MIT Press,
1979. – 217 p.
23. Ballmer T., Brennenstuhl W. Speech Act
Classification: A Study in the Lexical Analysis of
English Speech Activity Verbs.
- Berlin: Springer,1981. - 274 p.
24. Blum-Kulka Sh., Hause J., Kasper G.
Investigating Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: An
Introductory Overview //
Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: Requests and Apologies. Norwood: Ablex,1989. -
25. Bogardus E.S. Social Distance and its
Practical Implications // Journal of Sociology and Social Research 22. - 1988. -
26. Brown P., Levinson S. Politeness: Some
Universals in Language Usage. – Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1987.
H. Arenas of language use. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press,
1992. – 159 p.
G. Why is it Difficult to Put Names to Faces? // British Journal of Psychology, N 81.
- 1990. - P.287-297.
Edmondson W.J. On Saying You are Sorry // Conversational Routine. -
The Hague: Mouton,1981. - P. 273-288.
30. Grice P. Presupposition and conversational
implicature. Radical pragmatics, ed. by Peter Cole, 183-98. New York:
Academic Press, 1981. – 217 p.
J., Kasper G. Politeness Markers in English and German // Conversational
Routine. F.Coulmas (Ed.). - The Hague: Mouton,1981. -
D. Models of the Interaction of Language and Social Life // Directions
in Sociolinguistics: the Ethnography of Communication. -
New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston,1972. - P.35-71.
G. Linguistic Politeness: Current Research Issues // Journal of
Pragmatics. - 1990, No.2. - P.193-218.
M. Communicative Acts and Shared Knowledge in Natural Discourse. – London:
Academic Press,1981. - 316 p.
W., Fanshel D. Therapeutic Discourse: Psychotherapy as Conversation. – New
York: Academic Press,1977. - 392 p.
G.N. Principles of Pragmatics. - London: Longman, 1983. - 250 p.
S.C. Pragmatics. - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.
- 420 p.
38. Malinowski B. The Meaning of meaning. –
London: Routledge, 1975.- 336p.
J. Two types of convention in indirect speech acts //
Syntax and Semantics.
– 1978. - Vol. 9: Pragmatics. – P.
J.G. Semantic, Pragmatic and Syntactic Correlates: An Analysis of Performative Verbs Based on English Data. - Tubingen: Narr,1982. - 172 p.
B. On denoting. – London: Mind, 1957 – 479 p.
J. Toward a linguistic theory of speech acts. New York: Academic, 1974.- 353 p.
J. R. Speech acts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969.-120p.
J. R. Expression and meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979 - 137p.
J.R., Vanderveken D. Foundations of Illocutionary Logic. - Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press,1985. - 227 p.
D., Wilson D. Relevance: Communication and cognition. - Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1986. –