Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2004.01.001
Title: 'Extreme communicative acts' and the boosting of illocutionary force
Authors: Wee, L. 
Keywords: Extreme communicative acts (ECAs)
Illocutionary force
Mitigation
Politics
Reinforcement
Speech acts
Issue Date: Dec-2004
Source: Wee, L. (2004-12). 'Extreme communicative acts' and the boosting of illocutionary force. Journal of Pragmatics 36 (12) : 2161-2178. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2004.01.001
Abstract: The modification of illocutionary force has been the focus of a number of studies. Such studies, however, have tended to deal more with the attenuation than the boosting of illocutionary force. And it is also the case that in these discussions, linguistic devices for modifying illocutionary force are often given much more attention than non-linguistic ones. This paper aims to provide a balance to the discussion by looking at a set of non-linguistic communicative acts, which, for want of a better term, I refer to as extreme communicative acts (ECAs). Examples of ECAs include hunger strikes, self-immolation, and the chopping off of one's fingers. In this paper, I show that these acts are all non-linguistic devices by which illocutionary force is boosted, never attenuated. I compare various ECAs with the linguistic devices discussed by Holmes [J. Pragmatics 8 (1984) 345] and show that they lack the properties of contrastiveness and contextual flexibility. I also ask how the properties that ECAs do in fact possess (such as self-inflicted harm) are related to the communicative task of boosting the illocutionary force of protesting. I end by discussing how ECAs point towards the need for a more socially oriented theory of speech acts. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Journal of Pragmatics
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/52411
ISSN: 03782166
DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2004.01.001
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