locutionary act

  1. In linguistics and the philosophy of language, a locutionary act is the performance of an utterance, and is one of the types of force, in addition to illocutionary act and perlocutionary act, typically cited in Speech Act Theory. The term equally refers to the surface meaning of an utterance because, according to J. L. Austin's posthumous How To Do Things With Words, a speech act should be analysed as a locutionary act (i.e. the actual utterance and its ostensible meaning, comprising phonetic, phatic, and rhetic acts corresponding to the verbal, syntactic, and semantic aspects of any meaningful utterance), as well as an illocutionary act (the semantic 'illocutionary force' of the utterance, thus its real, intended meaning), and in certain cases a further perlocutionary act (i.e. its actual effect, whether intended or not).

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