Illocutionary acts and attitude expression

Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (3):351-366 (2003)
In the classic Linguistic Communication and Speech Acts,Kent Bach and Robert M. Harnish advocated the idea that to perform an illocutionary actoften just means to express certain attitudes. The underlying definition of attitudeexpression, however, gives rise to serious problems because it requires intentions of a peculiarkind. Recently, Wayne Davis has proposed a different analysis of attitude expression whichis not subject to these difficulties and thus promises a more plausible account of illocutions.It will be shown, however, that this account is too weak since it does not exclude cases wherethe utterer merely pretends to perform an illocutionary act. Davis' analysis also callsinto question a weaker doctrine widely held among speech act theorists by suggesting that, inorder to perform an illocutionary act, it is not even necessary to express mental states.
Keywords Linguistics   Philosophy of Language   Artificial Intelligence   Computational Linguistics   Semantics   Syntax
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DOI 10.1023/A:1024110814662
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