Speech Acts and Poetry

Philosophia 37 (2) (2009)

Contrary to Austin's view that a fanciful use of language, like poetry, does not carry illocutionary acts and is therefore "parasitic," the author follows through C. Carroll Hollis' work in showing that poets use illocutionary acts in a certain way that may be studied meaningfully, thereby making a speech act a form of literary criticism. She does this by applying the categories of speech acts in her study of some of the love poems of a Filipino poet, Dr. Elynia Mabanglo. In the end, she shows that even though the poet does not use language in what Austin refers to as the "normal" sense, the mimetic character of certain poetry does allow the use and fulfillment of illocutionary acts
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