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New Work on Speech Acts$
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Daniel Fogal, Daniel W. Harris, and Matt Moss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738831

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198738831.001.0001

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Expressivism by Force

Expressivism by Force

(p.400) 15 Expressivism by Force
New Work on Speech Acts

Seth Yalcin

Oxford University Press

There is on the one hand the traditional speech act-theoretic notion of illocutionary force, and there is on the other hand the kind of notion of force we have in mind when we are theorizing in formal pragmatics about conversational states and their characteristic modes of update. These notions are different, and occur at different levels of abstraction.They are not helpfully viewed as in competition.The expressivist idea that normative language is distinctive in force can be developed in two sorts of directions, depending on which of the two senses of ’force’ is emphasized. I suggest expressivists do better to take the path stressing conversational update: they do better to start with the idea that normative discourse is distinctive in respect of its dynamic effect on the state of the conversation.

Keywords:   speech acts, force, expressivism, semantics, dynamic semantics, pragmatics, normative language, normativity

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