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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 VII

Lecture VII

(p.83) Lecture VII
How To Do Things With Words

J. L. Austin

Oxford University Press

Another important class of words in which there is a shift from descriptive to performative utterance and wavering between them, as with behabitives, is the class called expositives, or expositional performatives. Here, the main body of the utterance has generally or often the straightforward form of a ‘statement’, but there is an explicit performative verb at its head that shows how the ‘statement’ is to be fitted into the context of conversation, interlocution, dialogue, or, in general, of exposition. An example is: ‘I argue (or urge) that there is no backside to the moon’. Many of such verbs appear to be quite satisfactory pure performatives. The clause following the verb normally looks just like a statement, but the verb itself seems to be pure performative.

Keywords:   expositional performatives, utterance, behabitives, pure performatives, verdictions

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