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Categories and Complements of Illocutionary Verbs in a Cognitive Perspective

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Johan Vanparys

Several speech-act theories hinge on taxonomies which divide the total set of illocutions into mutually exclusive and homogeneous subsets. This book starts with a critical appraisal of these classifications and then suggests an alternative approach on the basis of arguments from cognitive linguistics: an analysis of illocutionary-force indicating devices, such as illocutionary verbs, which are singled out as the object of investigation because they directly name illocutions. A partial analysis of 120 illocutionary verbs is undertaken within the framework of Cognitive Grammar and based on authentic data. The verbs are analysed with regard to their valence potential, more specifically constructions involving clausal complements: direct-speech constructions, that-clauses, infinitival complements, participial complements and gerundival complements.
Contents: Speech-act taxonomy: a critical review - demonstrates the inadequacy of past attempts at classifying illocutions - From speech-act theory to cognitive semantics - suggests an alternative approach on the basis of arguments from cognitive linguistics - Clausal complementation of illocutionary verbs - the complementation potential of 120 illocutionary verbs is analysed within the framework of Cognitive Grammar and based on authentic data.