What is Verb-Word Action and Speech Action Theory?June 27, 2021
Drawing on the explanations of John L. Austin, Searle argued that the verb ‘illocutionary’ constitutes the basic idea of each word act.
With the formation of this view, everything is uncertain on Searle’s part. This view is supplemented by a propositional object that has for a long time limited the study of the philosophy of language.
In this way, the importance of a speech act in relation to the world in speech-action theory is understood. In German, a propositional (half) subordinate clause (dass) is expressed with gerunds such as is. Examples are as follows: Napoleon was unscrupulous…, the grass was green…, etc.
For the full definition of the verb act, the attributes of the illocutionary verb type must be added to the specification of the proposition. To give a few examples: It can be hoped …, it can be promised …, it can be claimed that … etc. By means of different illocutionary views as in the example, very different speech acts can be formed with the same proposition. Searle makes this clear with the following examples:
Sam is used to smoking.
Is Sam used to smoking?
Sam, get used to smoking.
Sam habitually likes to smoke.
All these definitions are actually always expressed by the same proposition, that is, they differ in the illocutionary views that Sam is accustomed to smoking. In the first sentence there is a claim, in the second sentence a question is asked, in the third sentence there is an order and in the last sentence there is a wish. Searle has tried to show the rules of different actions.
To this end, Searle has set out to put forward a hypothetical illocutionary, that is, the analysis of his word. Thus, in order for a word to be an act of speech, many conditions must be fulfilled. For example; In order for a person to say ‘p’, they must have a receiver where ‘p’ is not present. Other than that, we can do this with a threat, without using any words. Likewise, a word depends on the purpose of performing an action. According to Searle, all these conditions involve revealing and defining the structure-based rules of the language.
Searle’s definition of propositional action does not coincide with Austin’s definition of rhetorical/speech action. But the most important difference is; According to Searle, propositional action is not a definite part of speech action, but rather the performance of an independent action. Propositional verb can be defined as speaking in illocution (according to the question of what kind of claim is in an assertion). The propositional action is shown separately from both reference and degree actions.
Word Action Theory
Speech-action or language-action theory is not only philosophical views that describe events and make claims with linguistic expressions, but also the fulfillment of actions that bring about a change in the state of the world. These theories claim that: for example, an instruction (command or legal provision), naming an object or person (baptism or naming, naming), doing something on one’s own terms (promising), a clue that indicates danger (warning) or a spiritually poignant statement (insult), likewise the change of truth is like breaking a vase. Speech-action theory investigates the existence, classification, and explanation of linguistic actions. John Langshaw Austin and John Searle are considered the most important representatives of speech-action theory.
The emergence of the word action theory can be counted as the fact that John Langshaw Austin mentioned this theory in a conference held at Harvard University in 1955 under the title of “How to Do Things with Words”. This work under the same title was published posthumously in 1961. Mainly, one of Austin’s students, John, helped to disseminate the idea of speech action theory by successfully systematizing certain views from Austin’s thoughts, and other neglected and noted ideas, in his book “Speech Acts” published in 1969. Searle is responsible.
In particular, Searle developed the verbal verb example of “promise”, which is a defined model of single language families. Ludwig Wittgenstein can be accepted as the pioneering language philosopher of speech action theory. With the publication of his work “Philosophical Investigations” in 1953, he explained his opposition to the theory that words are generally only responsible for naming things. “With the realization of the act of naming, we have been shown what to do and what not to do afterwards. Whether or not there is only one of the shown means talking about things. We provide diversity with our sentences.”
Wittgenstein opposed the speech and action language theses in terms of naming. The expression “Language game” here should indicate that speaking the language is part of the profession or lifestyle. Wittgenstein named some “language games”. Examples of using words and actions, such as giving orders, begging, or thanking, are examples of Austin’s late period. This traditional line must be drawn with great care. Ludwig WittgensteinAu