Skip to content

Sind Einzelnomina-Fragen Sprechakte? Und wenn ja, welche?

Philipp Wasserscheidt

Pages 335 - 363

Are Single Noun Constructions Speech Acts?

This article deals with single nouns that are used as independent orthographic sentences in question form in contexts that are not based on coordination (nominative sentences). Two constructions are distinguished: the Coincidence construction (Coincidence?) and the Reason construction (Reason?). The question addressed here is whether these nouns are independent speech acts and, if so, which illocutionary act they express. The analysis follows the argumentation of Stainton who is an advocate of a non-elliptic approach and analyses comparable fragments as full-fledged speech acts. The article examines whether the single nouns are complete grammatical utterances, whether they have a proposition and an illocutionary force, and whether their interpretation is direct rather than based on implication. I use Ukrainian, Polish, and Russian examples to show that all conditions are fulfilled except for the propositional content. Consequently, I suggest that the illocutionary nature of the nominative sentences can be better explained with a construction-based approach.


Export Citation