The first receptions of the Speech Act Theory (SAT) featuring women emerged on anthropological grounds. Ruth Finnegan paves the way with the first ethnographic research based on Austinian categories, opening the reflection to problems derived from the empirical observation of ordinary language. Since then, the need to take into account the linguistic experience from its cultural varieties has given rise to theoretical variations. In this text, I propose to review three pioneering studies (Finnegan, Rosaldo and Ochs) that, from cultural anthropology, have questioned the theoretical contributions of the three highest philosophical representatives of SAT (Austin, Searle and Grice). My objective will be twofold. On the one hand, to present these works under the common lens of a critique capable of bringing to light the infelicities that arose thanks to intercultural translation, and, on the other, to interpret them as a good expansion of the range of infelicities that Austin lists as those that doing things with speech could suffer from. The conclusion is the cultural validation, as well as the broadening, of the classic notion of “total speech act”, at the same time that the recognition of interdisciplinary dialog and the contribution of women to SAT come into play.
Funding source: Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation
Award Identifier / Grant number: PID2019-1057466B-100
About the author
Saleta de Salvador Agra is Lecturer of Philosophy of Language at the Department of Logic and Theoretical Philosophy of the Complutense University of Madrid. She earned a European PHD in Philosophy (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela) and PHD in Semiotic (Università di Bologna and SUM di Firenze). Her research is focused on Semiotics, Pragmatics, Philosophy of language, Feminism and ICT uses. She has published more than 30 papers and more than 10 book chapters.
Research funding: This work has been supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Research Project “Linguistic relativity and experimental philosophy” PID2019-1057466B-100).
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