Re: Illocutionary

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Thu Oct 14 1999 - 11:43:10 EDT

To: David A. Bielby,

<< Can someone define locutionary and illocuationary? >>

David Crystal, in "The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language" (1987:121),

<< In speech act analysis, we study the effect of utterances on the
behaviour of speaker and hearer, using a threefold distinction. First, we
recognize the bare fact that a communicative act takes place: the
'locutionary' act. Secondly, we look at the act that is performed as a
result of the speaker making an utterance -- the case where 'saying =
doing,' such as betting, promising, welcoming, and warning: these, known as
'illocutionary' acts, are the core of any theory of speech acts. Thirdly,
we look at the particular effect the speaker's utterance has on the
listener, who may feel amused, persuaded, warned, etc., as a consequence:
the bringing about of such effects is known as a 'perlocutionary' act. It
is important to appreciate that the illocutionary force of an utterance and
its perlocutionary effect may not coincide. If I warn you against a
particular course of action, you may or may not heed my warning. >>

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)

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