Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 08 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

It is widely assumed that ergativity is not a primitive phenomenon but derives from a constellation of properties. This chapter demonstrates that we find similar structural constellations in the layer of structure where speech act relations are introduced. In particular, it is argued that speech act structure consists of a grounding layer, where the speaker’s or the addressee’s commitment towards the proposition are encoded. The second layer of SA-structure is dedicated to the response system of language: e.g., what the speaker wants the addressee to do with the utterance. Each of these layers can come in different guises, in much the same way as argument-structure can be transitive, ergative, or unergative. This lends support to the idea that ergativity is not a primitive phenomenon but also sheds new light on the syntax of speech acts suggesting that they typology of speech acts is more complicated than typically assumed.

Keywords: ergative verbs, unergative verbs, unaccusative verbs, speech acts, transitivity, speech act modification

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.