Expressives In Indirect Speech Act

681 words - 3 pages

   Although our group have had a presentation of indirect speech acts in the class, I still want to discuss one of indirect speech acts in detail: expressives. The frequency of expressives is high in all our three group’s presentations, so I want to give further analysis and discuss its implications in people’s daily conversations. In the following paragraphs, I will first show the definition of expressives and explain it with some examples. Then I will discuss its’ implications and functions in social interaction or everyday conversations.
   Expressive is one type of illocutionary acts and it represents the intentions behind the words. Austin divided utterances into three types and Searle developed illocutionary acts to five kinds. This classification focuses more on functions rather than forms. In Searle’s (1976) words, expressives have the purpose of expressing the speaker’s feelings (i.e. apologizing, praising, congratulating, thanking). In our group’s examples of Two Broke Girls, Caroline has said You know, having only cute outfit takes hours off getting dressed. This is a kind of indirect expressives. Caroline expresses her depression in an indirect way and mocks her current situation. Imagine that she used to be a millionaire and did not need to worry about the problem of lacking good outfits. However, now she is just a waitress and even has no place to live and Max takes in her at that moment. Therefore, she want to give a positive impression to Max and please Max. Another example is that after falling into shit, Caroline is screaming and requesting Max that Tell me it’s mud. T-tell me it’s mud. In Two Broke Girls, Caroline is a love of clean and she is very care about her appearance. She requests Max in a direct way and shows her feelings indirectly. She cannot accept the fact that it is mud rather than shit and want to make Max to persuade herself it is not true. Actually, she feels very terrible and disgusting. The two examples indicate that...

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