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By Margaret Coulthard

The valuable challenge of this booklet is the research of verbal interplay or discourse. this primary six chapters document and review significant theoretical advances within the description of discourse. the ultimate chapters reveal how the findings of discourse research can be utilized to enquire second-language educating and first-language acquisition and to examine literary texts.

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While 'to perform a locutionary act is in general, we may say, also and eo ipso to perform an illocutionary act' (p. 98), the interpretation of the locutionary act is concerned with meaning, the interpretation of the illocutionary act with force. Austin glosses 'meaning' unhelpfully as the use of language with 'a certain more or less definite "sense" and a more or less definite "reference"', but Strawson (1973) clarifies things by asking what a listener would need to know, so that he could be said to know 'the meaning of precisely what was said' on a given occasion.

78) Imperative utterances which fail to satisfy one or more of these preconditions are, in Austin's terms, infelicitous, and may be variously interpreted as cheeky, insulting, joking or simply irrelevant. The rule so far only covers those utterances in which there is a close fit between intended function and formal realization, that is imperative directives; but as Labov and Fanshel observe, these are the minority of cases. They therefore offer a rule for indirect requests: If A makes to B a request for infonnation or an assertion about a) b) c) d) the existential status of an action X to be performed by B the consequences of performing an action X the time T 1 that an action X might be performed by B any of the pre-conditions for a valid request for X as given in the Rule for Requests and all other pre-conditions are in effect, then A is heard as making a valid request of B for the action X.

Repetitions at regular intervals of these patterns create structures we call verse forms. Hymes calls these structures elementary or minimal genres, and observes that both kinds of groupings offeatures, modes and structures, enter into more complex groupings called complex genres. A church service would be an example of a complex genre, containing the elementary genres of 'hymn', 'psalm', 'prayer' and 'sermon', and evidencing the stylistic modes of singing, chanting and perhaps declaiming. The work of Bricker (1974) on Mayan provides a useful exemplification of Hymes' concept of style.

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