By Margaret Coulthard
The valuable problem of this publication is the research of verbal interplay or discourse. this primary six chapters document and evaluation significant theoretical advances within the description of discourse. the ultimate chapters exhibit how the findings of discourse research can be utilized to enquire second-language educating and first-language acquisition and to examine literary texts.
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Additional info for An Introduction to Discourse Analysis
Searle argues that there are three major ways in which speech acts can vary: 1. They can differ in the way in which they fit words to the world - he notes that some 'illocutions have as part of their illocutionary point to get the words (or more strictly their propositional content) to match the world, others to get the world to match the words. Assertions are in the former category and requests in the latter'. 2. They can differ in terms of the psychological state they express - here he uses 'believe', 'want' and 'intend' as primitives, arguing that stating or explaining involves 'believing that p', promising involves 'intending that p' and ordering 'wanting that p'.
I'm supposed to look after this place, but not do all the work. (p. 83) Obviously the examples above are just a few of the large number of indirect formulations of this particular request: as Labov and Fanshel observe, there is an 'unlimited number of ways in which we can refer to the pre-conditions and this poses a serious problem if we want to make firm connections between these discourse rules and actual sentence production' (p. 84). Of course, a given indirect request can be made in an 'unlimited number of ways' only if it is considered in isolation; in reality, the constraints of the preceding discourse, the current topic, the facts of the situation and the current speaker's intentions for the progress of the succeeding discourse will all reduce the choice enormously.
In each of the following utterances, Searle suggests, the speaker expresses the same proposition, that John will leave the room - that is, he predicates the action of leaving the room of John, though only in the second does he perform the illocutionary act of 'asserting': Will John leave the room? John will leave the room. John, leave the room! If John will leave the room I will leave also. The function-indicating devices in English include word order, stress, intonation contour, punctuation, the mood of the verb and finally the set of so-called performative verbs, but in the 1965- article he confin~s his discussion 'to full-blown explicit promises and ignores promises made by elliptical turns of phrase, hints, metaphors, etc'.
An Introduction to Discourse Analysis by Margaret Coulthard