The Commissives in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma"

Master's Thesis, 2017

177 Pages


Table of contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

List of Abbreviations

Chapter One: Preliminaries
1.1 The Problem of the Study
1.2 Aims of the Study
1.3. Hypotheses of the Study
1.4 Procedures
1.5 Limits
1.6 Significance
1.7 Definitions of Basic Terms
1.8 Methodology of the Study
1.8.1 Data of the Study
1.8.2 The Model Adopted and the Mathematical Technique
1.9 Jane Austen's Life and Works
1.9.1 Pride and Prejudice
1.9.2 Emma

Chapter Two: Commissive Speech Acts
2.1 Pragmastylistics
2.2 Speech Act Theory
2.2.1 Definition
2.3 Speech Acts and Politeness
2.4 Commissives Analysis
2.4.1 Speech Act of Offer
2.4.2 Speech Act of Promise
2.4.3 Speech Act of Refusal

Chapter Three: Analysis and Discussion of the Commissives in Pride and Prejudice
3.1 Analysis and Discussion of Offer
2.3 Analysis and Discussion of Promise
3.3 Analysis and Discussion of Refusal

Chapter Four: Analysis and Discussion of the Commissives in Emma
4.1 Analysis and Discussion of Offer
4.2 Analysis and Discussion of Promise
4.3 Analysis and Discussion of Refusal

Chapter Five: Comparisons, Conclusions, Recommendations and Suggestions
5.1 Comparisons
5.1.1 Offer in Pride and Prejudice and Emma
5.1.2 Promise in Pride and Prejudice and Emma
5.1.3 Refusal in Pride and Prejudice and Emma
5.1.4 The Selected Commissives in the Two Novels
5.2 Conclusions
5.3 Recommendations
5.4 Suggestions



List of Tables

1.Analysis of Offer in Pride and Prejudice

2. Analysis of Promise in Pride and Prejudice

3.Analysis of Refusal in Pride and Prejudice

4. The Commissives in Pride and Prejudice

5. Analysis of Offer in

6. Analysis of Promise in Emma

7. Analysis of Refusal in Emma

8. The Commissives in Emma

9. Characters and the Offer Speech Acts

10. Offer in Pride and Prejudice and Emma

11. Characters and the Promise Speech Acts

12. Promise in Pride and Prejudice and Emma

13. Characters and the Refusal

14. Refusal in Pride and Prejudice and Emma

15. The Commissives in both Novels

16. The Structure of Commissives in both Novels

List of Figures

1. Classification of Utterances into Speech Acts

2. Representation of Brown and Levinson's Politeness Model

3. Commissives Predicate Structure

4. Semantic Tableau for the Commissives


This thesis is an attempt to study three commissive speech acts, namely offer, promise, and refusal in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Emma.

The study treats the problem whether the mentioned speech acts are employed directly or indirectly, which politeness strategy is mostly used to perform them, whether their grammatical structures run in parallel to those found in literature concerning them, and which one is the dominant among the three speech acts.

Consequently, the study aims at investigating offer, promise, and refusal in Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Emma, finding the most common pragmatic strategies used to express the speech acts, finding the politeness strategies, and the type of grammatical structures used in the data, setting up the felicity conditions for the commissives in the novels, and comparing the two selected novels according to the type of speech act, grammatical structure, and politeness strategy.

To achieve these aims, the study hypothesizes that:

1. The most dominant commissive used in the two novels is that of refusal.
2. The grammatical structures of the commissives in the selected novels are parallel to those available in literature concerning them.
3. The common pragmatic strategies in the selected novels are direct rather than indirect.
4. The most common politeness strategy used to perform offer, promise, and refusal is the positive politeness strategy.

Examining the validity of the mentioned hypotheses is done by setting out a model of analysis for offer, promise, and refusal in the study, examining the employment of the commissives in the two novels by focusing on the type of speech act, grammatical structure, politeness strategy, and conducting a linguistic analysis of the collected data.

The study consists of five chapters and two appendices. Chapter One involves an introduction to the problem of the study, aims, hypotheses, procedures, limits, significance, definitions of basic terms, methodology of the study, in addition to a synoptic view on both Jane Austen's life and novels studied here. Chapter Two deals with literature review of commissive speech acts. Chapters Three and Four present the analysis and discussion of three commissives in the two novels. Chapter Five makes some comparisons, conclusions, recommendations, and suggestions for further research.

The main conclusions arrived at in the study are:

1. The most dominant commissive used in the two novels is that of refusal.
2. The grammatical structures used by the novelist in the two novels to express offer, promise, and refusal are parallel to those found in literature concerning these speech acts.
3. The common pragmatic strategies used in the selected novels are indirect rather than direct.
4. The most common politeness strategy used to express offer and promise is the positive one and for refusal is the negative one.
5. Refusal represents the high percentage of the commissives; it is used to signal female characters' language.

List of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Chapter One: Preliminaries

1.1 The Problem of the Study

Several linguists and philosophers, including Austin (1962), Searle (1969), Bach and Harnish (1979), studied the commissive speech acts as one category of speech acts.

Commissives are declarations of an intention on the part of the speaker. According to Austin (1962: 156) and (Cruse, 2000: 342), commissives "commit the speaker to certain course of action:"

1- I 'll come tomorrow.

By this utterance, the speaker commits himself to perform a future action. It is a promise on the part of the speaker to be present at the specified time. Commissives include such categories as promise, offer, threat pledge, refusal, acceptance, vow, etc. In using a commissive speech act, the speaker undertakes to make the world fit the words (Searle, 1979: 14). Commissives are intrinsically performed politely:

2-"Won't you sit down?" (Polite offer) (Leech, 1983: 108).

Commissives can be expressed directly or indirectly. In the case of indirectness, it can be more complicated on the part of the hearer to understand the intended meaning:

3- "Do you like coffee?" (indirect offer) (ibid: 99).

Though commissive speech acts have been frequently studied by several linguists and philosophers, to the best knowledge of the researcher, no study of this category in the novels of English novelist Jane Austen, particularly Pride and Prejudice and Emma has been carried out. In Austen's novels, many examples of the commissives are supplied:

4- I shall be back by dinner" (Pride and Prejudice, Ch. 7, p. 21).

Here, Elizabeth promises her family indirectly to come back at a given time. In this case, she commits herself to perform a future action. Likewise, 'offer' and 'refusal' speech acts are clear in Austen's novels:

5-"You are extremely kind, but I can't give my early walk" (Emma, Ch.34, p. 7).

Here, Miss. Fairfax refuses an offer by Mrs. Elton politely and indirectly by paying attention to the hearer's face. She commits herself not to perform a future action.

It appears that the commissives are employed indirectly and politely in Jane Austen's Pride and prejudice and Emma. This point deserves to be considered, therefore this study is an attempt to fill up this gap by answering the following questions:

1- What are the common pragmatic strategies of offer, promise, and refusal used in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Emma ?
2- What are the felicity conditions of offer, promise, and refusal in the selected novels?
3- What are the politeness strategies used in the novels?
4- What are the structural patterns used to express offer, promise, and refusal in the novels?

1.2 Aims of the Study

The study attempts to achieve the following:

1-Investigating the commissive speech acts of offer, promise, and refusal in Austen's Pride and prejudice and Emma.
2- Finding the most common pragmatic strategies that are used to express the commissive speech acts in the selected novels.
3- Finding the politeness strategies that are used with the commissive speech acts in the novels.
4- Setting up the felicity conditions for establishing the status of the commissive speech acts in the novels.
5- Comparing the two selected novels in relation to offer, promise, and refusal.
6- Comparing each commissive speech act in one novel to its equivalent in the other novel in terms of type of speech act, polite structure, and grammatical structure.

1.3. Hypotheses of the Study

The study hypothesizes the following:

1- The most dominant commissive used in the two novels is that of refusal.

2- The grammatical structures of commissives in the selected novels are parallel to those available in literature concerning them.

3- The common pragmatic strategies in the selected novels are direct rather than indirect.

4- The most politeness strategy used to perform offer, promise, and refusal is the positive politeness strategy.

1.4 Procedures

The procedures of the study are:

1- Setting out a model of analysis for offer, promise, and refusal.

2- Examining the employment of the commissives in the two novels by focusing on the type of speech act, polite structure, and grammatical structure.

3- Conducting a linguistic analysis of the collected data.

1.5 Limits

The study is limited to the following:

1- It is limited to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Emma.

2- It is confined only to the commissive speech acts of offer, promise, and refusal. For each one of these acts, eight texts are selected as representative ones in the two novels.

1.6 Significance

This study, to the best knowledge of the researcher, is the first attempt to study commissive speech acts in the two novels of Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Consequently, it is expected that it will be of value to those who are interested in the field of linguistics particularly the aspect of commissive speech acts.

1.7 Definitions of Basic Terms

1- Commissive speech act is to commit (or refuse to commit) oneself to a future action. It is performed by the speaker alone, or as a member of a group (Yule, 1996: 54); and (Kreidler, 1998:193).

2- Indirect speech acts are all speech acts (except explicit performatives) performed by means of another speech act (Austin, 1962 cited in Thomas, 1995: 94).

3- Politeness is "a system of interpersonal relations designed to facilitate interaction by minimizing the potential for conflict and confrontation inherent in all human interchange"(Lakoff, 1990:34).

4- Speech acts are types of actions performed by a speaker with the utterance (Yule, 2006: 118).

1.8 Methodology of the Study

1.8.1 Data of the Study

This study is a descriptive one. The researcher collected, interpreted, discussed and analyzed the data, and draws some conclusions from the novels in question to arrive at those stylistic features relevant to the focus of the study in hand.

The primary material in this study is taken from two novels written by Jane Austen, namely: Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Pride and Prejudice consists of sixty-one chapters covering 262 pages. Emma consists of fifty-five chapters covering 378 pages.

The data included are utterances by the characters. They represent commissive speech acts of offer, promise, and refusal. The collected data are taken from the above-mentioned novel. All the utterances that express offer, promise and refusal are searched for. They have been coded according to the number of the chapter and the page to document the data source.

1.8.2 The Model Adopted and the Mathematical Technique

After collecting data, the researcher analyzes them by adopting a model, which is as follows:

1-Analyzing all the utterances that represent the selected speech acts of offer, promise, and refusal to establish status of each by applying the felicity conditions set by Wierzbicka (1984), and Barron (2003) for offer; Searle (1980), and Wierzbicka (1984) for promise; and Searle (1977), Wierzbicka (1984), and Vanderveken (1990) for refusal.

2- Categorizing the data into direct and indirect speech acts according to Austin (1962), and Searle (1979).

3- Analyzing the data according to their polite structure depending on Face theory framework set by Brown and Levinson (1978, 1987).

The major mathematical technique used for calculating the results is the percentage.

1.9 Jane Austen's Life and Works

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was born at Steventon in Hampshire. George Austen, her father, was a clergyman of considerable intelligence and scholarship. She went to be briefly taught by her aunt Mrs. Cawley in Southampton. Then, she completed her education at home. Such informal education was achieved by spending much of her time in reading (her father had a study containing 500 books) (Evans, 1987: 89). Her fondness of reading English fiction and poetry as well as her personal and social experience in Georgian society helped in shaping her writing and polishing her narrative techniques and literary skills (Watt,1963:25);(Mc Mahon, 1996:3).

In her novels, Austen mirrors her own direct experience with her Georgian society. She depicts ordinary daily life of such society. She deals with the middle class environment (Lim, 2000: 18). Her novels are set in social context of the gentry to which she belongs. The world, she describes, is not large but small social groups in rural environment. Chandler (1975: 88) claims that "it is universally acknowledged that Austen's novels are about courtship and marriage". In Austen's society, marriage is treated as an economic event. It involves a deal in terms of money and prestige. She condemns the treatment of marriage as a deal for economic and social advantages. She emphasizes the balance between love and money, feeling and reasoning, i.e., love without money is not practical. Also, she stresses the need for affection in relationship. In her society, it is difficult for a woman to be financially independent. This is attributed to social factors like illiteracy of woman and injustice of inheritance laws (women held no inheritance) (Gilbert and Gubar, 1984: 136). Consequently, women can gain financial security and social status by marriage. In all of Austen's novels, the heroines marry well and this indicates how much the Georgian society impacted her work. Such a society is divided into three classes, which are the upper class, the middle class, and the lower class.

Concerning characterization, Albert (1979: 342) mentions that Austen develops her characters with minuteness and accuracy. Such characters are alive, they represent ordinary people Austen knows: the country clergy, the landed gentry, and the middle class. She describes her characters as they are in everyday life and never idealizes them. She analyzes the psychological aspects and behaviour of characters deeply (Pinion, 1973: 136). Such characters learn through error and misjudgment, with passing of time, later, they become genial people. By showing the relation between society and individuals, Austen conveys a message of moral reform, not only in society but also in each individual. She considers one's character and moral standard, not the social status, as the judge of one's fate.

Austen's novels contain much dialogue but little description of scenes (Burrows, 1997: 178). The abundance of dialogue serves to describe well each character's personality, attitude, and reserve. It is obvious that Austen writes about polite society and nuances of conduct. In this regard, Morini (2009: 130) mentions that Austen's characters master talking indirectly. They know how to exploit knowledge of social conventions and ability to say something and mean another to deal with a forbidden topic, say for example, marriage in its social and financial sides. They employ a cooperative principle, politeness strategies and maxims of politeness to deal with such topics indirectly.

Austen's literary style relies on a degree of realism, free indirect speech, and irony. Litz (1955: 7) claims that Austen's writing purpose is to create realistic fiction. As a reaction to the unrealistic fiction of the 18th century, Austen paints the world she knows, for her sentiment novels are the reversals of the social conventions common in that time, they depict un- realistic human interactions. Austen's novels are stories of domestic life, she imitates ordinary life involving social occasions like balls, visits, parties, shopping, and other activities such as dancing and singing coped with music.

Regarding the narrative techniques used by Austen, she favours third person narration (Monagham, 1981:3). By such narrative mode, the novelist can describe one or more character's feelings and thoughts subjectively or gives an objective point of view. Black (2006: 61) states that such mode permits a fusion of the voices of characters and narrators, it is difficult to attribute a text to a narrator or character. Also, Austen develops a technique used by the 18th century novelists, it is a free indirect speech. Backham (1984: 191; qtd. in Cobley, 2001: 85) defines it as "an orientation towards someone else's speech". Such mode includes mixing the thought and speech of the characters with the voice of the narrator. There is no clear distinction between indirect speech, character's thought and author's opinion (Kaite, 2000: 55). By exploiting such mode, Austen creates an ironic tone to criticize social hypocrisy and prejudices particularly towards marriage business.

Albert (1979: 342) claims that Austen's irony is "quiet but incisive". Austen employs irony morally, she selects only those aspects of social behaviour that submit to be criticized ironically like hypocrisy, self-deception and, pretension. She directs irony towards individuals as well as her society (Kirkham, 1983: 92). She uses irony to expose the characters' misunderstanding, faults, and self-deception, and to criticize the errors of law, manners and customs for ignoring women as accountable beings. Since Austen is ironic, whatever the words mean, that they imply other different meanings.

Generally, Austen's novels are characterized as comedies of manners, she never produces a great tragedy but depicts the contrast of a character with keeping the atmosphere of fun and mirth. Fregus (1983: 98) explains that such comedy results from violation of social conventions and decorum and depends on the sparkle of dialogue. Austen creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters. Her comedy certainly seems to originate from thought to a great extent, as it is rooted in the characters themselves rather than situations they find themselves in. Austen uses her comedy to elevate ethics and manners in society. It reflects a satirical look at the society she mixes with.

During her life time, Austen published four major works: Sense and sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mans- field Park (1814), and Emma (1815), after her death, two major works were published: Northanger Abbey (1817), and Persuasion (1817). The study in hand is concerned with two novels- namely Pride and Prejudice and Emma.

1.9.1 Pride and Prejudice

It is the loveliest and most popular of all Austen's. She claims that "the work is rather too light and sparkling" (Gray, 2001) cited in (Bloom, 2004: 14). What makes it popular is its sparkle and epigrammatic minimal style (Todd, 2006: 60). It deals with the fortunes of the Bennets who lives in the countryside with five daughters. The business of Mrs. Bennet is to get her daughters married off, because they are not entitled to inherit their father's legacy. Mrs. Bennet does her best to introduce her daughters to the new comer, Mr. Bingley, who is a rich and handsome bachelor. The eldest daughter Jane falls in love with Mr. Bingley, their love develops fast and steady. The main characters in the novel are Elizabeth, Mr. Bennet's second daughter, and her future husband Mr. Darcy, who comes from a wealthy and noble family. Mr. Darcy's character is supercilious and impassionate.

Henceforth, Elizabeth gets prejudiced against him. She is unsatisfied with his attitudes and believes other's opinions about him. Although, Elizabeth and Darcy show dislike towards each other at the beginning, they find themselves attracted to each other. After some incidents, Elizabeth realizes that she has been mistaken in her estimate of Darcy's character, particularly when she knows his leading role in persuading Mr. Wickham to marry her sister Lydia. She feels strongly grateful. Finally, her prejudice vanishes and the two get married.

In this novel, the main themes are marriage and money. Although in the 18th century society marriage is an economic event, Austen considers marriage ideal if it relied on money as well as emotional integrity (Lawrence, 1985: 470). For example, the union between Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas is suitable in terms of fortune and social position but it fails in terms of affection. Also, moral judgement is central theme to the whole novel, it is the outcome of emotional experience, the characters are exposed to. For example, Elizabeth goes through a process of moral growth and recognition of errors (Delvin, 1976: 1). She revises her opinion of Darcy and finds out that she is mistaken and has no object reason to dislike him.

Concerning irony, the opening line of the novel: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife", which reflects an ironic thought that is beyond the sentence level, because through the novel action, it is clear that women without fortunes need husbands and seek them out (Litz, 1965: 107), it is the female powerlessness that makes a woman feel great pressure to marry someone, who looks after her.

The popularity of this novel is also due to the liveliness of its dialogues. Austen uses them to reveal essential qualities of characters (Morini, 2009: 110). For example, through a dialogue we find that pride leads Mr. Darcy to behave impolitely towards the Bennet sisters. He incurs censure, but he does not suffer under it, because he is too rich and powerful for that censure to influence his actions. Also. Lady Catherine de Bourgh has readiness to conduct conversation imperiously. She shows a noticeable lack of politeness as much as arrogance. She threatens her hearer's face on record without any redressive action; whereas Elizabeth in answering Catherine's questions, supplies in- adequate information, or implies more than she says. In this regard, in the dialogue among Bennets, there is vivacity, it is as quick as it is explicit (ibid: 109).

Each member of the family is seen with a particular characteristics, for example, Elizabeth with solid judgement, Mrs. Bennet with shallowness and fatuity, and Jane with kind heartedness. They are far from the necessaries of politeness while the Bingleys' conversations are characterized by indirectness (ibid) For example, when the Bingley sisters try to persuade their brother not to marry Jane Bennet, they do not admit their goal directly. They use positive and negative politeness strategies to mitigate the face-threatening act against their brother's face.

1.9.2 Emma

Emma has been described as "mystery story without a murder" (Gard, 1992: 110). Before Austen began to write it, she tells us: "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like" (Chapman, 1967: 157). In the first sentence, Austen introduces the title character as Emma Woodhouse "handsome, clever, and rich" (Lawrence et al., 1985: 472). Emma is proud and willful. She is inclined to snobbery and rash judgement. She is representative of a young gentle woman in her age and her consciousness of rank account for a good many of her prejudices. Marriage is dismissed for herself at the beginning, but she tries to arrange other people's affairs. She displays her will to power in her successful attempt to marry Miss. Taylor to Mr. Weston. Yet just she is blind to her own feelings so she is mistaken in her friends' affairs. She fails to marry her friend Harriet to Mr. Elton who is above her social rank. Mr. Elton proposes to Emma instead of Harriet. Emma predicts what she wills and she is always wrong.

The novel describes Emma's taming by Mr. Knightley, because what seems to be a clash of wills between the two in terms of many matters – above which they differ as it is the case with Harriet's prospective marriage to Mr. Martin. Mr. Knightley considers such an event desirable, while Emma sees it improper. The protagonist starts as an independent, self-willed young woman that desires to exercise social power and ends up as a more subordinate lady. Finally, she is forced to acknowledge that her plans have been defeated. After all, she marries Mr. Knightley.

In Emma, marriage and money are viewed ironically. They reflect the social and economic conditions of the era in which Austen wrote. Also, most of ironies are bound to Emma's delusions and misunderstanding. "Irony is dependent on and coexistent with the heroine herself" (Craik, 1965: 127). The introduction emphasizes the deficiencies on which Emma's will depends, and the circumstances, which allow it to happen. "She will never admit what she herself has not contrived until the truth strikes her in the face" (Mudrick, 1952:217). Things that may distress her will be very much her own fault.

The novel deals with the topics marriage, love, and money, however one cannot omit the theme of personal development. Emma, as a bildungsroman, is a novel about an individual intention with social norms, in order for the character to grow, Emma Woodhouse must come to adopt norms (Grossman, 199: 162). Austen wants Emma to conform to the societal standard of manner. A polite Emma is a conservative Emma, she should not challenge views of class and gender. Abel et al., (1983: 6) stresses the importance of bildungsroman and the marriage plot as "successful bildung requires existence of social context in order to grow".

Like Pride and Prejudice, in Emma, dialogues take up the greatest part of it. In some of these dialogues, the readers are left to infer what characters imply implicitly since the narrators do not choose to tell the reader explicitly. Good manners (rules of politeness) require that the speakers make their comments indirectly, avoiding open face threatening acts (Morini, 2009: 132-3). For example, Mr. Knightley hints rather tells that Emma and Frank Churchill are behaving shamefully, "is Miss. Woodhouse sure that she would like to hear what we are all thinking of?" (Emma 334). Mr. Knightley does not choose to address his addressee directly, he prefers slightly to displace his hearer. He employs off-record strategy.

Chapter Two: Commissive Speech Acts

2.1 Pragmastylistics

Stylistics includes the theoretical and descriptive branches of both linguistics and poetics, in which case it practically coincides with the theory of performance and pragmatics (Van Dijk, 1977: 142). Alcaraz (1999: 40) states that there are three lines of stylis-tic research within the realm of pragmatics:

i. Pragmastylistics,
ii. Linguistic criticism and the analysis of communicative strategies,
iii. A new reappraisal of figures of thought.

As a sub-discipline of stylistics, pragmastylistics blends stylistics with pragmatics. Hickey (1993: 578) points out that "pragmatics coincides with stylistics in that both are directly invested in speaker's choices from among a range of grammatically acceptable linguistic forms". Pragmatics always attempts to show the different possible ways of saying the same thing 'style' depending on factors which compose the situation (pragmatic factors) (Hickey, 1989: 8).

It is preferred to treat a written text by stylistics, and spoken language by pragmatics, but pragmastylistics includes the analysis of any piece of language in use from a phrase, a clause, to a complete discourse or text, written or spoken (Hickey,1993: 579). Alcaraz (1999: 41) points out that the focus of pragmatsty-listics is to discover, analyze, and formalize the implicit meaning included in the utterances. The utterance is considered as the realization of speaker's intention in a particular context, so it is important to study speech acts (henceforth SAs) that it provides a useful means of relating linguistic form and communicative intent (Achiba, 2003:2).

SAs are performed either directly or indirectly. Hickey (1993: 583) states that directness and indirectness may bring about pragmatic and stylistic effects, then they can best be investigated by means of pragmastylistic method. Hickey (1988: 12) concludes that if linguists are interested in asking ((What do you say?)), stylisticians ask ((How do you say?)), and pragmatists ask ((What do you do?)), pragmastylisticians ask ((How do you do?)). So, the answers they provide can be interesting and useful.

2.2 Speech Act Theory

2.2.1 Definition

Logical positivism claims that sentence is said to be meaningful. Similarly, truth conditional semantics considers sentences to be true if they correctly describe states of affairs and false if their description is incorrect (Thomas, 1995: 30). What is important is how far the meaning of a sentence is reducible to its verifiability (Saeed, 2003: 223). Austin (1962:1) changes all that arguing that sentences like those below are used to do certain things, not to describe correctly or incorrectly the state of affairs:

1- I apologize for being late.

2- I sentence you five years in prison.

Austin labels such utterances SAs. His dissatisfaction with the traditional convention leads him away from the study of sen-tence meaning to the study of utterance meaning (Leech, 1983: 32).

Austin (1962: 8) defines a SA as "the act of uttering a certain sentence in a given context for determined purpose". Searle (1979: 18) defines SA as "function of the meaning of the sentence in the utterance of which it is performed". Referring to SAs, Van Dijk (1976: 195) claims that when we make an utterance, we accomplish some specific social act. SA is a social action performed by speaker producing an utterance in a specific context (Van Dijk and Kinstch, 1983: 84). It brings about change in the existing state of affairs (Mey, 1993: 111-2). It is a communicative activity defined with reference to the intentions of speakers while speaking and the effects they achieve on hearer (Crystal, 2003: 427).

2.2.2 Classifications

Utterances are either constative or performative (Austin, 1962: 100) A Constative utterance describes or reports some state of affairs. It is either true or false:

3- "It is cold outside" (Lyons, 1977: 726).

A Performative utterance does not describe or constate any-thing at all. It is either felicitious or infelicitious:

4-"I advise you to stop smoking" (ibid).

Performative utterances are in their turn either implicit or explicit (Austin, 1962: 69):

5- I shall be there.

6- I promise that I shall be there.

Utterance (5) is an implicit performative; and utterance (6) is an explicit one, it contains a form of the performative verb 'promise'.

Austin distinguishes three types of SA, that can occur when someone makes an utterance, which are the locutionary act, illocutionary act, and perlocutionary act (Austin, 1962: 94, Sadock, 1974: 8, and Levinson, 1983: 236):

i- Locutionary act is the act of "saying something meaningful in a language understood by both the speaker and the hearer". It comprises of rhetic, phonetic, and phatic acts (Austin, 1999: 73). Searle (1969: 24) states that it includes an utterance act, which is uttering (morphemes, words, sentences) and propositional act, which is referring and predicting.
ii- Illocutionary act is the act performed in the utterance such as asking or answering (question), ordering, advising, and so on (Austin, 1999: 69). It is the act of speaking with the intention of making contact with a locution (Searle, 1969: 24).
iii- Perlocutionary act is the effect of speaker's utterance on the hearer or speaker or an over hearer. "Saying something will of-ten, or even normally, produce a certain consequential effects upon the feelings, thoughts, or actions of the audience (Austin, 1999: 70). It is the speaker's attempt to affect or change the hearer's mind (Searle, 1969: 24).

The relation between locution (propositional content) and il-locution( illocutionary force) is of a special significance. Such relation is not always of one to one type. Searle (1979: 31) states that a certain illocutionary act can be "performed indirectly by way of performing another". He calls such type as indirect SA as opposed to direct one.

Crystal (2003: 232), Grundy (2005: 59), and Locastro (2006: 119) point out that when there is a direct relation between structure and function, we have a direct SA. When there is not such relation, we have an indirect SA. If there are performative verbs in an utterance, the utterance must be direct. Austin (cited in Thomas, 1995:94) believes that all speech acts (except explicit performatives) are indirect to some degree and performed by means of another speech acts:

7- I promise to do my best next time.

8- I will do my best next time.

An indirect SA involves the performance of two distinct SAS, each having different illuctionary point (Searle 1969: 48).

9- X: Let's go to movie tonight.

Y: I have to study for exam.

Here X proposes going to the movie, but Y says I have to study for exam. Y's utterance achieves the aim of refusal without containing 'no', it is a typical indirect SA of refusal.

Searle thinks that Grice's cooperative principle can help a hearer to understand an indirect SA. Grice mentions that "the mutually shared factual background information of the speaker and the hearer's ability can help to make inferences" (Grice, 1969:48). The cooperative principle shared by both speaker and hearer can help establish the existence of another illocutionary point and speech act theory together with the background in-formation to find out what this illocutionary point (Searle, 1965: 265).

Illocutionary acts are classified by philosophers and linguists according to different criteria. Austin (1962: 150) distinguishes five classes of utterances, namely verdictives, exercitives, com-missives, behabitives, and expositives, according to their illocu-tionary force. These five classes approximately correspond to Searle's declaratives, directives, commissives, expressives, and representatives (assertives)" (Proost, 2006: 996). Under Searle's taxonomy, SAs are classified according to four dimensions: (i) illocutionary point, (ii) direction of fit between words and world, (iii) expressed psychological state, and (iv) propositional content (Allan, 1986 b: 191), (Mey, 1993: 163), and (Huang, 2006: 1004).

Bach and Harnish (1979: 40-41) divide SAs into six general categories. Four of these (constatives, directives, commissives, and acknowledgements) correspond roughly to Austin's exposi-tives, exercitives, commissives, and behabitives, respectively and closely to Searle's (Proost, 2006: 996). The remaining two classes, effectives and verdictives correspond to what Searle called 'declarations' using hearer's evaluation as criteria (ibid.). With these categories, Bach and Harnish spell out the correlation between type of illocutionary act and type of expressed attitude (Bach, 1998: 8233).

Expositives involve "expounding of views, the conducting of arguments and clarifying of usages and reference" (Austin, 1962: 152; and Searle, 1976: 7). Under this class, Searle's representatives class and Bach and Harnish's constatives can be placed.

The purpose of representatives is to commit the speaker (in varying degrees) to something being the case, to the truth of the expressed proposition (Searle, 1976: 10). A constative is the expression of belief together with expression of an intention that the hearer forms alike belief (Bach and Harnish, 1979: 42):

10- I affirm that John resigned.

11- I predict that he will come.

12- I suggest that it is better to support him.

Exercitives involve the giving of a decision in favour or against a certain course of action (Austin, 1962: 155). Directives are placed under exercitives. They are attempts by the speaker to get the hearer to do something (Searle, 1976: 11). The speaker's intention that his utterance expresses, be taken as a reason for the hearer's action (Bach and Harnish, 1979: 47):

13-I order you to leave now.

14-I command you to stand at attention.

15-I advise you to take the job.Commissives represent the only category of illocutionary acts for which Austin's original label has been retained universally. The whole point of commissives is to commit the speaker to a certain course of action (Austin, 1962: 156; and Searle, 1976: 11). Commissives express the speaker's intention and belief that his utterance obliges him to do something (Bach and Harnish, 1979: 49):

16-"I promise to pay you the money" (Searle, 1979: 22).

17-"I swear to keep it secret".

18-" We offer you our help".

Behabitives have to do with attitudes and social behaviour. They include reaction to people's behaviour and expression of attitudes to someone else's past or imminent conduct (Austin, 1962: 152-61). Searle's expressive class is similar to this class, they express whether sincerely or not the specified psychological state about state of affairs specified in the propositional content (Searle, 1976: 11). Acknowledgements, as Bach and Harnish (1979: 51) call them, are the central cases of Austin's class of behabitives. They express feelings regarding the hearer, in cases where the utterance is clearly perfunctory or formal, the speaker's intention that his utterance satisfies a social expectation to express certain feelings and his belief it does:

19- I thank you for doing me a favour.

20-"You are welcome". (Leech, and Svartvik, 1994:173).

21-"I congratulate you on winning the race" (Searle, 1979: 173)

Verdictives consist in the delivering of a finding, official or unofficial, upon evidence or reason as to value or fact (Austin, 1962: 153). Declaratives are parallel to this class. The successful performance of a declarative is achieved by the correspondence between the propositional content and reality. They affect immediate changes in the institutional state of affairs, and rely on an elaborate extralinguistic institutions (Searle, 1976:11). Effectives and verdictives, by Bach and Harnish (1979: 110), are parallel to this class. Effectives are utterances that when issued by the right person under the right circumstances, make it the case that such and such (ibid: 113). Verdictives are merely determina-tions of fact. They have official and binding consequencing, however, and what they determine to be so is the case, as far as the institution is concerned (ibid: 115):

22- I value your work as remarkable.

23-"I declare this bridge to be opened" (Mey, 1993: 166).

24- I sentence you ten years in prison.

The figure below is coined from (Austin, 1962; Searle, 1976; and Bach and Harnish, 1979):


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure (1): Classification of Utterances into Speech Acts

2.3 Speech Acts and Politeness

It is necessary to talk about politeness, since all SAs cannot exist without face and politeness. "Politeness is the expression of the speaker's intention to mitigate face threats carried by certain face threatening acts towards another"(Mills, 2003:6). Lakoff (1990: 34) defines politeness as "a system of interpersonal relations designed to facilitate interaction by minimizing the potential for conflict and confrontation inherent in all human interchange".

Politeness theories (Lakoff, 1973); (Leech, 1983): and (Brown and Levinson, 1978, 1987) are related somehow to Grice's cooperative principle. However, there are some differences across their main approaches. According to Lakoff (1973: 298), there are three main rules for politeness, namely "don't impose", "give options", and "make the hearer feel good-be friendly". She adds that what creates difference in the interpretation of politeness across cultures is the order these rules take precedence one over the other.

In this regard, Leech (1983: 83) claims that when we talk about SAs, we should distinguish between positive politeness (which increases the politeness in the case of inherently polite SAs like offers, invitations), and negative politeness (which re-duces the impoliteness on inherently impolite SAs like com-mands, refusals). Leech identifies six associated interpersonal politeness maxims adopting the scale of 'cost' and 'benefit', which helps to determine the degree of politeness of a given SA:

25-"Have you another sandwich?" (ibid: 132).

This utterance is an offer, which is of benefit to the hearer, and it is more polite.

The politeness maxims are as follows:

I- Tact maxim is oriented towards the hearer, and has two sub-maxims: (a) minimize cost to the hearer, and (b) maximize benefit to the hearer.

II- Generosity maxim is oriented towards cost and benefit to the speaker: (a) minimize benefit to self, and (b) maximize cost to self.

III-Modesty maxim is oriented towards the speaker:

(a) minimize praise of self, and (b) maximize dispraise of self.

IV-Approbation maxim is oriented towards the hearer, and goes as follows: (a) minimize dispraise of other, (b) maximize praise of other.

V- Agreement maxim cannot be differentially speaker or hearer oriented: (a) minimize disagreement with the hearer, (b) maximize agreement with the hearer.

VI- Sympathy maxim cannot also be differentially speaker or hearer oriented: (a) maximize sympathy toward the hearer, (b) minimize antipathy toward the hearer.

Brown and Levinson (1987) proposed politeness theory, using Goffman's (1987: 5) sociological notion of face " positive social value a person effectively claims for himself by the line other assumes he has taken during a particular contact", in addition to the notion of rationality which is " a means ends reasoning or logic" (Elen, 2003: 3). Brown and Levinson (1987: 16) define the concept of face as "the public self-image that every member wants to claim for himself". Face comes into variations, which they claim to be universal: the positive face is the need to be connected, to belong to be a member of a group, while the negative one is the need to be independent and free from imposition (Yule, 2006: 120).

Interlocutors attend to each other's negative face by being indirect apologetic, or by giving deference. Brown and Levinson (1987) further argue that face is invested; it is something that can be lost, and it must be constantly attended to in interaction. From this perspective, politeness can be regarded as an activity, which serves to enhance, maintain both the speaker's and hearer's face. This concept of face is closely related to the commissive type of SA, e.g. offer, promise, and refusal. In this regard, Brown and Levinson (1978: 70-2) point out that some SAs such as offer, promise, and refusal can intrinsically threaten respectively the hearer's negative face or positive one. Hence, they are called Face Threatening Acts (henceforth FTA).

Gunter (1986), cited in Wahyuni (2008: 26), claims that com-missives tend to be convivial, they involve more positive polite-ness, because they do not refer to the speaker's importance, but to the hearer's expectations. Kohnen (2008: 11) indicates that "in the case of commissives, the speaker threatens her own negative face in that she reduces her own freedom of action by committing herself to a particular course of action". In this regard, Gil (2012: 405) states that a commissive act may threaten speaker's negative face, also it may threaten hearer's positive face:

26-"I will let you know tomorrow" (Leech and Svartvik, 1994: 170).

27-"Shall I get you a chair? No, thank you very much" (ibid: 176).

In the utterance (26), the speaker obliges himself to commit a future action to the benefit of the hearer and imposes on himself to achieve hearer's wishes or needs. In utterance (27), the speaker expresses unwillingness to comply with the hearer's wishes or desires.

The conversational participants may either avoid the FTA or decide to perform it. There are two decisions and other polite-ness strategies involved in interaction which are illustrated in the figure below:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure (2): Representation of Brown and Levinson's Politeness Model (1987:60)

Interlocutors in performing SAs make decision; they may choose to do the FTA or avoid it. If they decide the first option, they have to make the second decision since they can either go on record or off record. On record baldly means the speaker speaks directly with no effort to save the addressee's face:

28- "Sit down, No thank you" (Brown and Levinson, 1978: 104).

Off record is characterized by hints or indirect suggestion:

29- "Have another drink" (ibid: 224).

In performing FTA on record, there are two further options. The interlocutors may perform the FTA with or without re-dressive action. Redressive action is an effort to soften the force of the SA:

30- " Please, come in, sir" (ibid: 106).

Finally, if the interlocutors opt to act the FTA with redressive action, they are required to do it either using positive or negative politeness strategies. Positive politeness is oriented towards the positive face of the hearer, the so-called positive self-image. As the speaker wants at least some of the hearer's wants, the potential face of an act is mitigated in this case:

31-" I will give it back tomorrow " (ibid: 113).

In contrast to this type of strategies, if participants employ a SA that poses a threat to the other's face, for example in refusals, they may resort to negative politeness strategies. These strategies help to minimize the imposition of FTA:

32- "Come again tomorrow and I 'll have it fixed " (ibid: 182).

Van Dijk (1997: 54) believes that choosing a politeness strategy is affected by the communicative goals, the medium of the interaction, and the degree of the effect between interact-ants. Three independent variables affect the choice of appropriate politeness strategies, these are:

i) social distance (D) the perceived social distance between the speaker and hearer.
ii) The relative power (p) the perceived power difference be-tween the speaker and hearer.
iii) The absolute ranking (R), the cultural ranking of the SA how 'threatening' it is perceived to be within a specific culture (Brown and Levinson, 1989: 73; and Elen, 2001: 4).

2.4 Commissives Analysis

Austin (1962: 156); Ballmer and Brennestuhl (1981: 57); and Vanderveken and Kubo (2001: 46) state that commissives are named and characterized by the use of the performative verb "commit". They express what the speaker intends, they can be performed by the speaker alone or by the speaker as a member of a group (Yule, 1996: 54). Commissives as a category of SAs include different classes such as offer, promise, refusal, pledge, threat, vow, swear, acceptance, etc. (Searle, 1979: 22; Yule, 1996: 54; and Kreidler, 1998: 192).

Commissives commit the speaker to some a future action (Searle, 1979: 14), they "are acts of obligation oneself or proposing to obligate oneself to do something" (Bach and Harnish, 1979: 49):

33- I promise to do it right next time.

34- "I pledge allegiance to the flag" (Searle, 1979: 22).

Commissives have the world-to–words direction fit (Verschueren, 1999: 24). Their point is that by the future action on the part of the speaker, the world is transformed to match the propositional content of the utterance (Vanderveken and Kubo, 2001: 34). Mey (1993: 164) claims that commissives like directives operate change in the world by creating an obligation, but this obligation is on the part of the speaker, not on the hearer's as in the directives.

Commissive verbs form a relatively small class,resemble directive verbs in having non-indicative complementizers (that clause and infinite clauses) which necessarily have posterior time reference (Leech,1983: 206).

Kreidler (1998: 192) points out that "a commissive predicate is one that can be used to commit oneself (or refuse to commit on-self) to some future action":

35- You will not lose your money.

36- Can I carry it for you? No, thank you.

Giving the structure of a commissive predicate, Kreidler men-tioned that the subject of the sentences is most likely to be 'I' or 'we' (ibid: 193).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure (3): Commissive Predicate Structure (Kreidler, 1998: 193).

Leech (1983:206) states that commissives usually take the following constructions:

S + V + that (where that clause is non – indicative):

37- I promise that I 'll be there at 10 o'clock.

S + V + to Y (where construction 'to Y' is an infinitive):

38- I promise to buy you a new car.

Vanderveken (1990:182) states that commissive verbs in-clude commit, pledge, undertake, engage, promise, hypothecate, threaten, offer, swear, guarantee, vow, avow, assure, certify, accept, agree, consent, acquiesce, abide, reject, refuse, renounce, counter-offer, bid, rebid, tender, dedicate, bet, wager, contract, covenant, subscribe.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure (4): Semantic Tableau for the Commissives (Vanderveken, 1990:188)

A speaker cannot directly commit himself in English to carry out a future action. He can commit himself indirectly to doing something by way of asserting, for example, that he will do it. He can commit himself performatively by way of making I promise to do it. Vanderveken and Kubo (2001:30)

Searle (1979:54) believes that the richest mine to the per-formance of indirect SAs is that of commissives. He proposes some sentences, uttering any of which perform an indirect offer or promise.

i- Sentence concerning the propositional conditions:

39- "I am going to give it to you next time you stop by".

ii- Sentence concerning the preparatory conditions:

40- "Could I be of assistance".

iii- Sentence concerning the sincerity conditions:

41- "I plan on repairing it for you next time".

iv- Sentence concerning speaker's wishes, or willingness to do A:

42-" I 'd be willing to do it".

v- Sentence concerning reasons for speaker's doing A:

43-"Wouldn’t it be better if I give you some assistance?"

2.4.1 Speech Act of Offer The Structure and Semantics of Offer

The speech act of offering is regarded as a commissive act in which the speaker proposes to put himself under obligation to do some future action (Bach and Harnish, 1979: 42; and Fraser, 1995 : 193). The speaker wants the world to be changed to fit his/her words. S/he intends to do the action (Searle, 1979: 4). Offer is performed for the purpose of presenting something or to express one's willingness or intention to do something, and leave the offeree free to accept or refuse that offer (Oxford Modern English Dictionary, 1992: 739):

44- A: Shall I help you? B: yes, please do.No, thank you.

An offer is a conditional commissive act, i.e. an offer means to put something forward for another's choice of acceptance or refusal (Vanderveken, 1990: 182). The Speaker's commitment is bound with the hearer's wish for doing the act (Hickey,1986: 74). Offer is a promise that is conditional upon the hearer's acceptance (Al- Sulaiman, 1997: 97):

45-If you need some money, I can get what you want.

There are two types of offer:

i- Those that involve the transfer of an object from the speaker to the addressee (action of giving by the speaker and taking by the addressee:

46- Have another biscuit.

ii- Those that involve the performance of an action by the speaker which is beneficial to the addressee (Perez, 2001: 310):

47- I would like to take you to your home.

Offer can refer to non-past either present or future actions. The act of offering refers to a more present or immediate future than offer illocutionary categories like that of promising (Wierzbicka, 1987: 91). There is no separate mood category typically associated with offer speech act (Lock, 1996: 176):

48- Have a drink. (imperative)

49- Will you have a drink? (interrogative)

50- We will have a drink. (declarative)

i- Imperative:

Imperatives expressing offering take different forms:

Imperative constructions usually include a verb and object, when the verb is transitive, and a complement when the verb is intransitive. The subject element is left out on the surface struc-ture, but it is present in the deep one (Ad-Daraji et al., 2010: 4):

51-Have a cigarette.

The most widely imperative form used to express offering act consists of the 'let' particle followed by a first person object pronoun 'me'. In this case, the speaker is the potential agent of the future action (Perez, 2001: 318):

52-Let me take your coat.

In an imperative sentence, which is positive, the use of 'do' be-fore the main verb, reinforces the positive meaning of the imperative (Quirk et al., 1985: 833):

53- Do have some more tea.

ii- Interrogative constructions:

The majority of offers is performed by using interrogative. Although a speaker can use both declaratives and imperatives to perform offering act, s/he prefers interrogative, because such constructions allow the speaker to express a degree of mitigation or tentativeness, which is useful when the speaker is uncertain about the degree of the addressee's will. In the example below, the speaker is the one who brings about the states of affairs which is the object of the addressee's wishes or necessity (Perez, 2001: 316):

54- Can I get you something to drink?

Quirk et al. (1986: 808) claim that 'would' hypothetically can be used to express offer when it is followed by verbs such as 'love', 'prefer', or 'like', where offer is more polite because the assumption of positive reply:

55- Would you like more tea?

In questions containing 'shall' followed by 'I/ we', the speaker consults the addressee's wishes. Here, the meaning is obligatory rather than volitional. Such questions are suitable for expressing the offer action (ibid: 815).

56- Shall I/we deliver the goods to your address?

The modal verb 'should' can be used to make an offer, it appears to be a tentative past tense equivalent of 'shall' in offers (ibid. 23).

57- Should I type these papers for you?

The modals 'may' and 'might' as well as 'can' and 'could' are used to perform offers, but the situation where 'may' and 'might' are used is more formal and tentative than that where 'can' and 'could' are used (Foly and Hall, 2003: 177):

58- Can I help you?

59- Could I be of assistance?

60- May I help you?

61-Might I be of assistance?

A question, which is a noun phrase, may have the force of offer. In Such a case, the offer is strong and has a high degree of force and power by the speaker (Quirk et al., 1985: 850):

62- Cigarette?

In using an interrogative sentence, tentativeness to express an offer, the addressee's optionality to refuse the offer increases (Perez, 2001: 316):

63- How about I take you to dinner?


In cases where offer expresses a declarative sentence corre-sponding to the speaker's certainty of the addressee's wishes, offer is similar to some kinds of promise, since promises prototypically take the addressee's will for granted (ibid: 318):

64- I will lend you some clothes.

The modal verb 'will' can be used in the affirmative to make offers to do something to ourselves and on the behalf of other people (Foly and Hall, 2003: 192):

65- Sit down. I will wash up this evening.

When declaratives are used to express an offer, the address-ee's optionality to refuse the offer is constrained (Perez, 2001: 316):

66- I'll bring you coffee. The Pragmatics of Offer

Offering as a SA, can be performed directly or indirectly. To per-form it indirectly, that requires inference on the part of the hearer. For example, declarative offers are indirect SAs, since the hearer can infer that the speaker is making an offer rather than an assertion (Ad-Daraji et al., 2001: 4):

67- I will do it for you.

68- I intend to do it for you.

In utterance (67), the speaker can make an indirect offer act by stating that the propositional content condition is obtained. In utterance (68), the speaker can make an indirect offer by stating that the sincerity condition is obtained (Searle, 1979: 54).

Speech situation can make it clear for the hearer to know, for example, whether the questions below are preliminaries to an offer of drink or not (Leech, 1983:99):

69- Do you like coffee?

70- Are you thirsty?

Interrogative – negative constructions can express an offer rather than impositive (Leech, 1983: 108; and Sifiano, 1992: 146). Such case presumes a yes answer and functions as a positive politeness device, because it indicates that the speaker knows the addressee's wants, habits and so on (Brown and Levinson, 1987: 127):

71- Won't you have some more of the pie?

Offer SAs predicate some positive future act of speaker to-wards the hearer. As a result, some pressure will be on the part of the hearer to accept or refuse them and possibly to incur a debt (Brown and Levinson, 1978: 71).

The offerer's positive face is damaged, but the degree of face-threat is not as great as in the case of request (Barron, 2003: 126). The speaker's negative face is also threatened in offering. This threat is associated with commissive nature of offers. The speaker will have to carry out the relevant deed, this restricts his/her addressee's freedom of action. The hearer should accept the offer in question. In performing an offer act, the speaker reinforces the hearer's positive face by indicating that s/he is positively disposed to the addressee (ibid: 127). Such threats to both speaker and hearer's face – wants may motivate the speaker to mitigate the force of illocution by using it indirectly (Searle, 1975: 80). Austin (1962: 14); and palmer (1981: 164) believe that "performatives" cannot be true or false, but they can go 'wrong' or be 'infelicitious'.

Leech and Short (1981: 293) state that it is very useful to con-sider that every SA has its appropriacy conditions. In this regard, Hurford (1983: 33), and Cruse (2006: 62) point out that for a SA to be felicitiousely carried out, there should be criteria which are called felicity conditions (henceforth FCs). Austin (1962: 14-15) proposes FCs that should be obtained for a SA to be happy:

i- There should be an accepted conventional procedure with its conventional effects, also the participants and circumstances in a given case must be appropriate for the particular procedure.
ii- The procedure should be executed correctly and completely by all participants.
iii- The participants must conduct themselves by having the intention.
iv- The participants should conduct themselves subsequently by coming out what they have intended,

Searle (1969: 57-61) modifies Austin's FCs as follows:

i- Propositional content conditions are the illocution constrains on the content expressed. They relate to reference and prediction (the propositional act).
ii- Preparatory conditions are about background circumstances and knowledge about speaker and hearer that hold prior to the performance of the act.
iii- Sincerity conditions require speakers to be in a certain psy-chological state, having certain beliefs, intentions, etc.
iv- Essential conditions are related to point of an utterance, which is called the illocutionary point.

The SA of offering is said to be felicitious if it fulfills the follow-ing FCs:

i- Propositional content condition:

S predicates a future act X of S.

ii- Preparatory condition:

a- S thinks of X good for H.

b- S thinks H may want it to happen.

c- S is able to perform X.

iii- Sincerity condition:

S intends to do X.

iv- Essential condition:

Counts as the undertaking by S of an obligation to do X, and should H want S to do X.

)Wierzbicka, 1984: 191; and Barron, 2003: 126).


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The Commissives in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma"
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