A Test of Searle’s Speech Act Theory: A Case Study of Lebanese Religious Proverbs
A growing body of research theorized on language use with the aim of better understanding the implications of language on culture and vice-versa. Searle's Speech Acts Theory based on Austin’s analysis of performative utterances, divided speech acts into five categories: Directive, Commissive, Expressive, Representative, and Declaration. This study aims at testing, with a platform of selected Lebanese Arabic religious proverbs, the validity of Searle’s theory when applied within a cultural specific context. Results and findings support Searle’s speech act theory, when tested on Lebanese religious proverbs, and it’s applicability of such a theory on non-western communication modes. The major findings are: two categories were found to be highly applicable which are ‘representative’ speech act (43%); commissive speech acts (30%), and the non-applicability of ‘declarations’ speech acts. Scope for further research is identified and provided.
Keywords: Culture, Language, Speech Act, Religious Proverbs
Post graduate student, University of Western Sydney., UWS
Associate Lecturer, Associate Lecturer, The University of Sydney