The Speech Acts of Irish - Utterance, Situation, and Meaning - Brian Nolan

The Speech Acts of Irish - Utterance, Situation, and Meaning - Brian Nolan

The Declarative Speech Act

The Speech Acts of Irish - Utterance, Situation, and Meaning - Brian Nolan

Brian Nolan [+-]
Technological University Dublin (retired)
Dr. Brian Nolan is a retired Head of School of Informatics and Engineering at the Technological University Dublin, in Ireland. His research interests include linguistic theory at the morpho-syntactic semantic interface, argument structure and valence, constructions in grammar, event structure in language, the architecture of the lexicon and computational approaches to language processing, computational linguistics, speech act theory, context and common ground. His linguistic work has been in the functional linguistic model of Role and Reference Grammar and he has published extensively internationally. In 2012 Dr. Nolan published his book with Equinox on the linguistic structure of Irish in a Role and Reference Grammar account entitled The structure of Modern Irish: A functional account. In 2013, Benjamins published his co-edited volume Linking constructions into functional linguistics – The role of constructions in grammar in their Studies in Language Companion series. His co-edited Benjamin volume on computational linguistics and linguistic theory, Language processing and grammars: The role of functionally oriented computational models was published in 2014, also in their Studies in Language Companion series. He also co-edited a Benjamins book on ‘Causation, transfer and permission’ in linguistic theory, which appeared in early 2015. In January 2017, Benjamins published his co-edited book on complex predication entitled Argument realisation in complex predicates and complex events: Verb verb constructions at the syntax semantic interface. In 2019, Dr. Nolan co-edited a volume with Cambridge Scholars Publishing on the ‘Linguistic perspectives on the construction of meaning and knowledge: The linguistic, pragmatic, ontological and computational dimensions’.


In chapter 10, The declarative speech act, we examine the declarative speech act of Irish, including declare/pronounce, adjourn, resign, approve, confirm, and name. In their successful performance, declarative speech acts bring about a correspondence between the propositional content and actual reality such that their successful performance guarantees that their propositional content corresponds to the world. The declarative speech acts have a single illocutionary point that has two directions of fit consisting simultaneously of word-to-world and world-to-word. This is because the point of a declarative is to bring about a change in the world. The declarative speech acts are seen to require an appropriate context for their successful realisation. In turn, as an illocutionary act, declaratives are a special kind of action where the expression of the intention to perform the action in the correct context is sufficient for the performance of that action. The core function of the declarative speech act is therefore to establish social facts during its performance.

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Nolan, Brian . The Declarative Speech Act. The Speech Acts of Irish - Utterance, Situation, and Meaning. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. May 2024. ISBN 9781800504288. Date accessed: 25 Feb 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.44651. May 2024

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