2010 | 6 | 2 | 341-359
Article title

Illocutionary Force and Romanian Orthodox Sermons: An Application of Speech Act Theory to Some Romanian Orthodox Sermons

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The aim of the paper is to analyze religious discourse with the use of the instruments of semantics and pragmatics. Essentially, it sets out to identify the linguistic elements which enable the illocutionary force in the Romanian orthodox sermons, especially in the discourse of some important figures which have influenced and still influence the Romanian orthodox theology and the religious life in Romania: Father Cleopa, Father Nicolae Steinhardt, and, nowadays, Father Teofil Pârâianu. It is usually assumed that a sermon implies, on the one hand, a kerugmatik action, that of annunciation, and, on the other hand, a translating action of the biblical induce the human will to practice the words in order to Christian precepts. Mutatis mutandis, the perlocutionary effect depends on the illocutionary act and of the illocutionary force. In theory, the illocutionary force of an utterance is strictly motivated by the pragmatic (Ionescu-Ruxăndoiu 2003). But there are linguistic elements which function as efficient markers of the illocutionary force (Austin 1962: 73-76), for example performative verbs, verbal moods and some adverbs. The criteria proposed by Searle in order to differentiate the illocutionary acts (illocutionary point of utterance, direction of fit, psychological state, intensity, etc.) resulted in the identification of several types inside this class. Searle's taxonomy serves the research purposes: the identification of illocutionary acts found in this kind of religious discourse and, finally, outlining a pattern of manifestation of the illocutionary force inside the sermon.
Physical description
  • University of Craiova
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