The Commissive Speech Act
Brian Nolan [+]
Technological University Dublin (retired)
In chapter 8, The commissive speech act, we examine a) the form the commissive takes as a speech act and its manifestations in Irish, b) the felicity conditions under which these commissive speech acts can be successful, and c) the range of commissive speech acts of Irish and their distinguishing features. The commissive speech act can take on a range of linguistic manifestations. While a commissive commitment can be made to oneself, typically, it is made to another person. In this instance, the role of H, then, is essential as, if the commitment is made by S to H, and H does not understand, hear or accept the commitment made, then it is taken as invalid. In other words, one needs H’s as a cooperating discourse partner. We specify a variety of conditions necessary for the success of the commissive speech act. Importantly, these conditions rely on extra-linguistic knowledge, both from context and from common ground. Therefore, context and the shared knowledge in common ground function as an extra-linguistic knowledge source for the success of the commissive speech act.