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CommandsA Cross-Linguistic Typology$
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Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803225

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803225.001.0001

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Veiled commands: anthropological perspectives on directives

Veiled commands: anthropological perspectives on directives

Chapter:
(p.301) 15 Veiled commands: anthropological perspectives on directives
Source:
Commands
Author(s):

Rosita Henry

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198803225.003.0015

The great diversity of command strategies that can be found cross-linguistically provides rich comparative material for consideration by speech act theorists and other linguistic philosophers. Speech act theory has generated productive debates on how illocutionary acts such as commands are situated in context, and the relationship between speech action, power relations, politics, and diplomacy. This chapter concerns the way culturally specific strategies for authority, politeness, and diplomacy are encoded in how people deliver directives to others. The focus is on veiled commands, especially in the context of public speeches in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG), as they relate to egalitarian values and concepts of autonomy. While veiled commands are not able to be universally correlated with an egalitarian ethos, in any context the veiling of words is related to the human awareness of others and that the world we inhabit is always a social world.

Keywords:   commands, Western Highlands, Papua New Guinea, speech act theory, veiled speech, indirect speech, anthropological linguistics, illocution, perlocution

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