Conversational exercitives: Something else we do with our words

Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (1):93-111 (2004)
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In this paper, I present a new (i.e., previously overlooked) breed of exercitive speech act (the conversational exercitive). I establish that any conversational contribution that invokes a rule of accommodation changes the bounds of conversational permissibility and is therefore an (indirect) exercitive speech act. Such utterances enact permissibility facts without expressing the content of such facts, without the speaker intending to be enacting such facts and without the hearer recognizing that it is so. Because of the peculiar nature ofthe rules of accommodation that generate them, conversational exercitives have importantly different felicity conditions and therefore constitute a new breed ofexercitive speech act.



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Mary Kate McGowan
Wellesley College

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Scorekeeping in a language game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Using Language.Herbert Clark - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.

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