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Cognitive and Pragmatic Aspects of Speech Actions

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Edited By Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka

This volume contains papers which reflect current discussions in the study of speech actions. The collection was inspired by the papers presented at Meaning, Context and Cognition, the first international conference integrating cognitive linguistics and pragmatics initiated by the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics of the University of Łódź (Poland) in 2011 and held annually. The necessarily heterogeneous field of research into speech actions is approached by the contributors from various perspectives and with focus on different types of data. The papers have been grouped into four sections which subsequently emphasise theoretical linguistics issues, lexical pragmatics, speech act-theoretic problems, and cognitive processes.
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Are Indirect Speech Acts Always Conventional?

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Nicolas Ruytenbeek, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract

This paper provides a general picture of the different conventions involved in the production of directive indirect speech acts (ISAs) in English. I claim that: 1) the distinction between on-record and off-record ISAs cannot be equated with the opposition between conventional and non-conventional speech acts; 2) there are two types of conventions or strategies associated with off-record directives. The first consists in making a reference to a reason for action; the second is evoking the expected action. In a nutshell, I maintain that every directive speech act can be viewed as resulting from a convention, either a linguistic or a discursive one.

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