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Semantics

An Introduction to Discourse Analysis by Margaret Coulthard

By Margaret Coulthard

The critical main issue of this publication is the research of verbal interplay or discourse. this primary six chapters record and assessment significant theoretical advances within the description of discourse. the ultimate chapters show how the findings of discourse research can be utilized to enquire second-language instructing and first-language acquisition and to examine literary texts.

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Passes the salt) These examples are easy to instance and accept, but Searle goes on to generalize, suggesting that 'the man who says "I want you to do this" literally means he wants you to do it'; this leads him to argue that when such sentences are uttered the literal illocutionary act is also performed, and thus he talks of indirea speech aas, that is, speech acts performed indirectly through the performance of another speech act. As supporting evidence for his claim of simultaneous performance, Searle cites speakers' reports of utterances, observing that 'Can you pass the salt' can be reported by an utterance of 'he asked me whether ...

Unfortunately 20 An Introduction to Discourse Analysis Austin did not pursue the investigation of perlocutionary objects and sequels, but such a study could reveal persuasive and oratorical techniques and form the substance of a companion volume How to achieve things through words. From the discussion so far it will be evident that Austin attaches considerable importance to speaker's intention - he argues in fact that if a listener misinterprets an utterance the speaker should be regarded not as having (accidentally) produced a different illocutionary act but as having produced no act at all: 'the performance of an illocutionary act involves the securing of uptake', that is intended uptake.

This, Hymes suggests, is now possible if one exploits the long recognized fact that a linguistic item can be described along two axes, vertical and horizontal, paradigmatic and syntagmatic, or choice and chain. For example, for the noun group 'the dog', one of the 40 An Introduction to Discourse Analysis things a description must do is account for the other items which could occur as paradigmatic choices instead of 'the'; the other thing a description must do is to characterize the set of items which can occur following 'the'.

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