Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol 2, No 6 (2011), 1374-1384, Nov 2011

Speech Act Analysis to Short Stories

Sahar Farouq Altikriti


The study of meaning in context is the core of pragmatics, yet to identify or pinpoint what is a context is difficult. In fact, context of the language of any literary work may be felt in the text but not all the time, since understanding literary works may be dependent on cultural contexts which are not found in the text. Hence the paralinguistic and extra linguistic clues of relating meaning to context has to do with the attempt to get at the intended meaning of an utterance. This is clearly explained by Sadock (1974) and Green (1975) as they claimed that speech act theory which hypothesizes that there should be a one to one relation between surface form and encoded illocutionary force for direct speech acts meets with unsurmountable difficulties. From theoretical and experimental perspectives, there were several studies concerning speech act theory as one of the basic elements for studying pragmatics. Literary texts, novels, and drama have received a quite good pragmatic attention, but not much has been paid to short stories. As such, the present study was carried out with the aim of examining three short stories and analyzes them pragmatically. It has come to the findings that the use of speech acts fluctuate both in quantity and type from one writer to another and from one theme to another.


Speech Act Theory; narrative fictionality; 'Acme'; 'Post Haste and 'The Happy Prince'


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