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How To Do Things With WordsThe William James Lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1955$
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J.L. Austin

Print publication date: 1975

Print ISBN-13: 9780198245537

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198245537.001.0001

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Lecture XI

Lecture XI

(p.133) Lecture XI
How To Do Things With Words

J. L. Austin

Oxford University Press

With the constative utterance, one abstracts from the illocutionary aspects of the speech act and concentrates on the locutionary. One uses an over-simplified notion of correspondence with the facts because it essentially brings in the illocutionary aspect. With the performative utterance, one attends as much as possible to the illocutionary force of the utterance and abstracts from the dimension of correspondence with facts. In general, the locutionary act as much as the illocutionary is an abstraction only: every genuine speech act is both. But, people typically distinguish different abstracted ‘acts’ by means of the possible slips between cup and lip; in this case, the different types of nonsense that may be engendered in performing them.

Keywords:   performative utterance, constative utterance, putative statements, locutionary act, abstraction

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