Speech acts and interaction in second language pragmatics: A position paper

Juliane House & Dániel Z. Kádár
Language Teaching, 2023-02-03


In this position paper, we argue that second language (L2) pragmatic research needs to explore new avenues for integrating speech acts and interaction, by proposing a radically minimal, finite and interactional typology of speech acts. While we will introduce what we mean by integrating speech acts and interaction in detail below, the following argument helps us to summarise the issue we consider in this study: When we describe language behaviour, we sometimes use terms such as ‘suggest’, ‘request’ and so on, which roughly indicate illocutionary values, and sometimes terms such as ‘agree’, ‘accept’, ‘contradict’, ‘turn down’, ‘refuse’, which are more indicative of the significance of the utterance relative to a preceding one. What we need to do is to distinguish between these two aspects of a communicative act – the illocutionary and the interactional. (Edmondson et al., 2023, pp. 25–26)
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