AGE-RELATED CONVERSATIONS IN ANGLO-AMERICAN LITERARY DISCOURSE: A LINGUOPRAGMATIC ASPECT
Keywords:age-related conversations, literary discourse, speech acts, illocutionary force, expressives, representatives, directives and commissives
The paper focuses on the problem of age-related conversations which are analyzed from the point of view
of their speech acts characteristics. Such types of speech acts as expressives, direct and indirect representatives,
directives and commissives have been specified from the viewpoint of their illocutionary subtypes on the criteria
of "hedged-unhedged", "direct-indirect", "idiomatic-inferential", "actual-pseudo". The paper reveals and describes
the most and less frequently used types of speech acts.
The paper focuses on the problem of age-related conversations specified from the viewpoint of their
illocutionary properties. The research aims at the identification of speech acts regularly used to describe
and characterize age; such acts specification according to multifaceted criteria: "hedged / unhedged",
"direct / indirect", "idiomatic / inferential", as well as introducing the category of pseudo-speech act.
Based on in-depth analysis of age-related dialogues collected from English-based literary discourse
and applying the integrative method of research, which involves speech acts explanatory tools, form /
function pragmatics and face and politeness approach, the paper has three major findings.
Age meanings and age-related situations in the dialogues of the characters are most regularly
specified by speech acts of direct representatives (both simple and complex) with assertive illocution
of statements about the age and age-associated behavioural stereotypes. Direct and indirect expressives
represent the second type of age-associated speech acts in the characters' conversations. Expressive
illocutionary force conveys emotional and evaluative attitudes of speakers regarding their own and other's
age, the processes of aging and adulthood, as well as the difference in age. Less frequent are directives
with the illocutionary force of advice, suggestion or prohibition related the age-associated behaviour
of the addressee. The least frequent group includes indirect commissives and pseudo-commissives.
The identified direct directives differ in their formal-structural markers of illocutionary force,
correlating with unhedged face threatening acts, appropriate in close relationships, and with hedged
negative politeness strategies to lessen the damaged effect of age-related matters. Indirect directives
are differentiated into idiomatic and inferentional subtypes, which correlate with degree of their
implicitness and context-boundness. The paper coins and justifies the term "pseudo-commissives",
designating the acts with illocution of promise that the speaker is not able to fulfill.
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