The Declarative Speech Act
Brian Nolan [+]
Technological University Dublin (retired)
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.