Lecture VII

J. L. Austin

in How To Do Things With Words

Published in print September 1975 | ISBN: 9780198245537
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680861 | DOI:
Lecture VII

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Another important class of words in which there is a shift from descriptive to performative utterance and wavering between them, as with behabitives, is the class called expositives, or expositional performatives. Here, the main body of the utterance has generally or often the straightforward form of a ‘statement’, but there is an explicit performative verb at its head that shows how the ‘statement’ is to be fitted into the context of conversation, interlocution, dialogue, or, in general, of exposition. An example is: ‘I argue (or urge) that there is no backside to the moon’. Many of such verbs appear to be quite satisfactory pure performatives. The clause following the verb normally looks just like a statement, but the verb itself seems to be pure performative.

Keywords: expositional performatives; utterance; behabitives; pure performatives; verdictions

Chapter.  2772 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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