Locutionary, Illocutionary and Perlocutioary Acts Between Modern linguistics and Traditional Arabic Linguistics

  • Hisham Ibrahim Abdulla


The present paper is part of a larger project to investigate the hypothesis that traditional Arab linguists were well acquainted with some of the main ideas and concepts of modern pragmatics. In this paper the researcher tries to find out whether Arab linguists were familiar with one of the major tenets of speech–act theory, namely, the analysis of a speech act (SA) into locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary acts, which J.L. Austin used in his analysis of speech acts. It is a commonplace assumption in the history of modern linguistics that speech-act theory and its key features were first proposed by Austin in the middle of the 20th century. The aim of this paper is to question that assumption; therefore, the problem or the question that the researcher undertakes to answer is whether Arab linguists of the past knew speech acts and were able to analyse them before modern linguists and philosophers like Austin , and consequently to see whether these aspects of the theory have a longer history than is assumed in the literature. The first part of the paper gives a survey of the above concepts as they appear in modern linguistic literature in the west . The second part deals with the Arabs' contribution to the same concepts and aspects of the theoryin an attempt to show their familiarity with them centuries before modern linguists. The method the researcher uses to achieve his aim is quoting from traditional books of Arab and Muslim linguists (rhetoricians and jurisprudents ) . Using samples of such quotations with special reference to directives , the researcher finds adequate evidence to support his hypothesis that Arab and Muslim linguists were familiar with the above concepts and analyses . The only difference is terminological and does not affect the findings in any significant way . The present paper is only a first step : It is recommended that future research should be carried out along the same lines to answer similar questions with even more adequate evidence . 

How to Cite
IBRAHIM ABDULLA, Hisham. Locutionary, Illocutionary and Perlocutioary Acts Between Modern linguistics and Traditional Arabic Linguistics. Mustansiriyah Journal of Arts (MuJA), [S.l.], n. 55, p. 1:25, aug. 2018. ISSN 0258-1086. Available at: <http://amm.uomustansiriyah.edu.iq/index.php/mustansiriyah/article/view/674>. Date accessed: 04 dec. 2021.