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WHAT IS SAID TO WHOM: A REJOINDER TO ALLAN Herbert H. Clark Stanford University In Clark & Carlson 1982a, it was noted that traditional theories of speech acts cannot account for what is said to whom when a person speaks to more than one hearer at a time. The proposal was to add a new type of illocutionary act, the informative, in what was called the informative analysis. Allan 1986 has offered a critique ofthat proposal. This rejoinder considers the major defects in that critique: the fallacious use of illocutionary points and of the so-called communicative presumption; an unprincipled notion of addressee; a misreading of Clark & Carlson on participants; and a tacit confirmation of the informative analysis of certain indirect illocutionary acts. It is argued that these defects are fundamental, and thus Allan's critique collapses.* Traditional theories of speech acts, since Austin 1962, have been designed to account for illocutionary acts directed at single hearers. Yet people often speak to more than one person at a time, as Ann does in a conversation with Ben and Carl: (1) Ann, speaking to Ben and Carl: How did you like the party, Ben? Ann addresses her question to Ben; but because Carl is also part of the conversation , she intends him to understand it fully too.1 She has no such intentions toward overhearers (i.e. bystanders and eavesdroppers). So when she continues , And what about you, Carl?, she expects Carl—but not necessarily any overhearer—to be able to recognize what she is asking.2 Situations like these pose fundamental difficulties for the traditional theories. Clark & Carlson 1982a (henceforth C&C) described many of these difficulties, and proposed what we called the I[nformative] A[nalysis] as a way of accounting for them (see also Clark & Carlson 1982b). According to the IA, speakers perform at least two illocutionary acts with each utterance. In ex. 1, Ann lets Ben and Carl jointly know that she is asking Ben how he liked the party. This illocutionary act is an informative; by means of it, Ann asks Ben how he liked the party. The informative is directed to the participants in her question, as we called them,3 but the question is directed only to its addressee. The IA accounts for two distinct illocutionary intentions on Ann's part: (a) she intends Ben and Carl to believe that she is asking Ben how he liked the party; and (b) she intends Ben to say how he liked the party. All traditional illocutionary acts, we argued, are performed by means of such informatives. * Preparation of this paper was supported by grant BNS 83-20284 from the National Science Foundation. I thank Eve V. Clark, Richard P. Meier, and Edward F. Schaefer for advice on the issues discussed here. 1 These intentions of Ann's are reflexive intentions, i.e. ones that Ben and Carl are intended to recognize (Clark & Carlson 1982a:348). 2 For example, Ann expects Carl to be able to identify the party she mentioned, but she may not expect this of overhearers (C&C, 344-6). 3 Goffman (1975:260) calls these ratified participants. 518 WHAT IS SAID TO WHOM519 Allan 1986 has now offered a critique of the IA. He has selected a few points of the IA, raised examples that appear to illustrate them, and then challenged the way he thinks the IA would handle them. However, Allan's critique is defective on each point. Its flaws are fundamental; and once they are laid bare, the critique collapses. In this rejoinder, I take up only five major defects. In§§1-2, I consider two preliminaries to Allan's critique—the fallacious use of illocutionary points and of the so-called communicative presumption. In §§3— 4, I take up the central defect: Allan's unprincipled notion of addressee. In§§5-6, I consider Allan's misreading of C&C on participants, and his tacit confirmation of the IA for certain indirect illocutionary acts. 1. Illocutionary points. Allan's entire critique is built around a construct he refers to as 'the illocutionary point of an utterance.' He begins: ? hearer, H, is anyone who, at the time of utterance, S reflexively-intends should recognize the illocutionary point of U...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 518-529
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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