execution of a procedure’, and (when appropriate to the act) ‘certain thoughts, feelings, or intentions’.” (1994, p. 51), These circumstances are more often called felicity conditions.
2.6. Felicity Conditions
Austin proposes the term of felicity conditions and defines the conditions as follows (Austin, 1962, p. 14-15):
A. There must be an acknowledged conventional and common procedure having a specific conventional effect, that procedure to maintain the uttering of fixed words by definite persons in certain circumstances.
B. The exact situations and persons in a given case must be suitable for the claim and call of the specific procedure invoked.
C. The procedure has to be accomplished by entire participants both correctly and completely.
D. Where the procedure is planned for use by persons having certain thoughts or feelings, or as the basis of fixed and specific posterior and subsequent conduct on the part of any participant, then a person participating in and so invoking the procedure should aim so to conduct themselves, and besides should in fact so conduct themselves afterwards.
Linguistic literature dealing with the speech act theory usually concerns with Austin’s example of marriage in relation to felicity conditions. Thomas for example approximately explains the institution of marriage and posits that in western societies “his conventional procedure involves a man and a woman, who are not debarred from marrying for any reason, presenting themselves before an authorized person (minister of religion or registrar), in an authorized place (place of worship or registry place), at an approved time (certain days or times are excluded) accompanied by a minimum of two witnesses. They must go through a specified form of marriage: the marriage is not legal unless certain declarations are made and unless certain words have been spoken” (Thomas, 1995, p. 38). Just then are all the felicity conditions met and the act is believed to be accurate and valid.
Despite the fact that, this process is usually not worldwide; the customs differ all through countries and cultures. For instance in Islamic countries, the marriage ceremony is significantly discrepant. The bride needs a male relative (wali) to show her in concluding the marital contract since without his companionship the marriage wouldn’t be valid and it would be illegal. It should be added that the declarations and words spoken are culture specific as well and hence varies from the ones common in Europe.
For all that, there must be a precise common procedure with proper circumstances and persons included, it should be applied perfectly, accurately and completely, the persons should have crucial thoughts, emotions and intentions and if the following conduct is specific, eventually the appropriate parties must do it (Thomas, 1995, p. 37). Mainly, just with these felicity conditions met the act is completely valid.
The title of felicity conditions is still in use and it is not confined merely to performatives anymore. According to Yule (1996, p. 50), felicity conditions compensate for anticipated or suitable circumstances for the performance of a speech act to be identified as intended. Afterwards he suggests additional categorization of felicity conditions into five types: general conditions, content conditions, preparatory conditions, sincerity conditions and essential conditions, while he was working on basic Searle’s assumptions. In accordance with Yule (1996), general conditions presume the participants’ knowledge of the language being used and his non-playacting, content conditions relate to the appropriate content of an utterance, preparatory conditions count with discrepancies of different illocutionary acts, sincerity conditions deal with speaker’s intention to accomplish a specific act and essential conditions ‘combine with a specification of what must be in the utterance content, the context, and the speaker’s intentions, in order for a specific act to be appropriately (felicitously) performed’.
As related to felicity conditions, Austin (1962) afterwards appreciates the classification of performatives and constatives is not adequate and therefore, in an attempt to displace it by a general theory of speech acts, he ‘isolates three basic senses in which in saying something one is doing something, and hence three kinds of acts that are simultaneously performed’ (in Levinson, p. 236): the locutionary, illocutioanary and perlocutionary acts.
2.7. The Locutionary, Illocutionary and Perlocutionary Acts
The locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary acts are, as a matter of fact, three main constituents with the aid of which a speech act is brought about. Leech (Leech, 1983, p. 199) conciesly defines them like this:
locutionary act: performing an act of saying something
illocutionary act: performing an act in saying something
perlocutionary act: performing an act by saying something
The locutionary act can be seen as an absolute uttering of words in particular language, as long as the illocutionary and perlocutionary acts carry a more sophisticated message for the hearer. The speaker’s intentions behind the locution and a perlocutionary act discloses the result and effect the speaker needs to exercise over the hearer, are communicated through an illocutionary act.
The individual elements cannot be detached without difficulty. Bach and Harnish explain that they are closely related in a large measure (Bach & Harnish, 1979, p. 3). Although, as for a more clear and better understanding of their function in a speech act, they are going to be treated individually in this chapter.
2.7.1. Locutionary Acts
The least ambiguous constitute of the speech act is apparently loutionary acts. (Bach and Harnish 1979, p. 19) comment on Austin’s work, and find out that he differentiates between three different aspects of the locutionary act. Austin (1962, p.76) points out that uttering any sentence is:
A. Consistently performing the act of uttering particular noises (a phonetic act)
B. Consistently performing the act of uttering particular vocables or words ( a phatic act)
C. Almost always to perform the act of applying that sentence or its components with a specific more or less exact ‘sense’ and a more or less exact ‘reference’ ,that both are the same as ‘meaning’ (rhetic act).
It can be concluded that the locutionary act consists of three “subacts” which are phonetic, phatic and rhetic. The idea of locutionary act approximately and this same distinction were frequently disapproved and criticized by the followers of Austin. Searle even entirely rejects Austin’s division and suggests his own alternatively (Searle, 1968, p. 405). Searle (1976, p. 412) advises that rhetic act proposed by Austin is nothing else except a reformulated explanation of the illocutionary act and he as a result proposes another term, the commonly named propositional act that signifies the proposition (a neutral phrase with no illocutionary force). That is to say, a proposition is the essence of the utterance.
Wardhaugh suggests this clarification. Propositional acts are those constituents related to reference and prediction: we apply language to point to matters in the world and to make predictions about such those matters (Wardhaugh, 1992, p. 285). Propositional acts cannot take place individually, as far as the speech act would not be accomplished. The proposition is therefore meant in the performance of an illocutionary act. What is crucial to be mentioned here is that not all illocutionary acts should certainly have a proposition (e.g. ‘Ouch!’ or ‘Damn!’). Searle revises Austin’s notion and posits that there exists utterance acts, propositional acts and illocutionary acts which are not very different from Austin’s phonetic and phatic “sub-acts”. He (1976, p.24) defines these them as absolute uttering morphemes, words and sentences.
Propositional acts along with utterance acts are a hereditary and basic part of the speech act theory but the subject of illocutionary acts is what linguists focus on the most is without doubt.
2.7.2. Illocutionary Acts
Illocutionary acts are believed to be the core stone of the speech act theory. Whereas proposed above, an illocutionary act is the activity done by the speaker in producing a given utterance. It is approximately related to speaker’s intentions, for instance questioning, requesting, promising, commanding, and threatening and so on. According to Yule (Yule, 1998, p. 48), it is the communicative force of an utterance that the illocutionary act is therefore performed, which is in turn also mainly known as illocutionary force of the utterance. Fundamentally, the illocutionary act shows the way that the entire utterance is supposed to be taken in the discourse.
Every now and then, it is somehow difficult to decide the type of illocutionary act that the speaker is performing. So the speaker employs different evidences and clues, which are ranging from the clearest ones, like unambiguous performative verbs, to the most blurred ones, among which it can be referred to chiefly disparate paralinguistic features (stress, timbre, intonation) and word order. Yule calls all these factors affecting the meaning of an utterance, Illocutionary Force Indicating Devices, or IFID, referring to previous Searle’s work (Yule, 1998).
In consideration of accurately decoding the illocutionary act, it is also important for the addressee to be familiar with the situation in which the speech act takes place in. Mey (1993) posits that no one must rely on speech act to be occurred, earlier than one has considered, or probably created, the proper context.
One other substantial thing, that needs to be mentioned while encoding or decoding speech acts, is that specific and particular speech acts might be culture-specific and that is the reason why they cannot be exercised extensively.
So there are situations where the speaker’s intentions cannot be identified by the hearer and he thus mistakenly interprets the utterance. These types of misunderstandings probably end up into funny and ridiculous situations and therefore it is often a source for different jokes.
There are numerous number of illocutionary acts and so for better understanding some linguists suggest classifications. One that is the most noted in the linguistic literature is that of Searle (1976). He breaks down illocutionary acts into five basic categories:
Representatives are such utterances which commit the hearer to the truth of the expressed proposition (e.g. asserting, concluding)
The name of the British queen is Elizabeth.
Directives are attempts by the speaker to get the addressee to do something (e.g. ordering, requesting)
Would you make me a cup of tea?
Commissives commit the speaker to some future course of action (e.g. promising, offering)
I promise to come at eight and cook a nice dinner for you.
Expressives express a psychological state (e.g. thanking, congratulating)
Thank you for your kind offer.
Declarations effect immediate changes in the institutional state of affairs and which tend to rely on elaborate extra-linguistic institutions (e.g. christening, declaring war)
I bequeath all my property to my beloved fiancee.
Searle’s classification is not all-inclusive and thorough, still as Levinson mentiones (Levinson, 1983, p. 240), it necessitates a principled basis. Yet, Searle’s classification assisted to become aware of fundamental types of illocutionary acts and their potential perlocutionary effect on the hearer.
2.7.3. Perlocutionary Acts
Austin’s final component (1962), PerlocutionaryActs, are performed with the goal of causing a additional effect on the hearer. Every so often, it might appear that perlocutionary acts and illocutionary acts do not vary very much from one another, but there is one essential feature which does