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Indirect Speech Acts

Indirect Speech Acts,Nicholas Asher,Alex Lascarides

Indirect Speech Acts   (Citations: 13)
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In this paper, we address several puzzles concerning speech acts, particularly indirect speech acts. We show how a formal semantic theory of discourse interpretation can be used to define speech acts and to avoid murky issues concerning the metaphysics of action. We provide a formally precise definition of indirect speech acts, including the subclass of so-called conventionalized indirect speech acts. This analysis draws heavily on parallels between phenomena at the speech act level and the lexical level. First, we argue that, just as co-predication shows that some words can behave linguistically as if they're 'simultaneously' of incompatible semantic types, certain speech acts behave this way too. Secondly, as Horn and Bayer (1984) and others have suggested, both the lexicon and speech acts are subject to a principle of blocking or "preemption by synonymy": Conventionalised indirect speech acts can block their 'paraphrases' from being interpreted as indirect speech acts, even if this interpretation is calculable from Gricean-style principles. We provide a formal model of this blocking, and compare it with existing accounts of lexical blocking.
Cumulative Annual
    • ...The relation between the linguistic form of an utterance and its illocutionary force is a complex matter and the subject of a large body of literature (e.g., [1], [4], [5])...

    Robbert-Jan Beunet al. A Computational Approach to the Interpretation of Indirect Speech Acts

    • ...Considering that the same form may lead to different interpretations (due to contextual halshs-00137698, version 1 - 21 Mar 2007 factors) in terms of profound acts (Asher & Lascarides, 2001), the identification may rely on the following factors and resources: 1. Linguistic and semantic characteristics of the utterance (following Hamblin)...

    Frédéric Landragin. Indirect Speech Acts and Collaborativeness in Human-Machine Dialogue S...

    • ...Rules for complex types have already been shown to be useful in the analysis of indirect speech acts (Asher and Lascarides, 2001)...

    Nicholas Asheret al. Word Meaning and Commonsense Metaphysics

    • ...We regard aspectual viewpoint as some specific type of speech act information, capable of interacting with discourse interpretation via discourse relations – for indeed, according to Asher & Lascarides (2001), discourse relations themselves are (relational) speech acts...
    • ...2. General theoretical purpose Given that we intend to couch our formal treatment of those phenomena within the SDRT (Segmented Discourse Representation Theory, Asher 1993, Asher & Lascarides 1998, 2001), a problem arises at this point...
    • ...Asher & Lascarides (2001) note that in fact, all speech acts are intrinsically relational ; e.g., one does not simple assert the content of an utterance, one asserts it in relation to some other clause, etc...
    • ...It goes against the position defended in Asher & Lascarides (2001), where illocutionary force and speakers’ beliefs or intentions enter the interpretative picture relative late (for the former) or very late (for the latter)...
    • ...As proposed in Asher & Lascarides (1994, 2001) and Lascarides & Asher (1999), we assume that cognitive modelling modules are part of the architecture of the SDRT framework to represent speaker’s and hearer’s beliefs at the semantics/pragmatics interface...
    • ...Asher & Lascarides 2001), Narration ceased to be treated as a ‘default’ discourse relation, and the MDC (Maximise Discourse Coherence) principle was introduced ; it is roughly a ‘coherence score’ that selects the most appropriate candidate between several competing discourse relations...

    Patrick Caudalet al. Aspectual Viewpoints, Speech Act Functions and Discourse Structure

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