Thursday, January 4, 2018

Felicity Condition - Definition and Explanation (speech acts)

Felicity condition is referred to the effectiveness of speech acts use of the speaker. Austin (1962), said that in using speech acts one has to fulfill certain conditions regarding the act that is being uttered. For example, when one is making a promise to another person, he/she has to fulfill the condition of that the hearer or the promisee to have a need something to be promised, and the speaker or the promiser will have the intention to fulfill that need; therefore the act of promising will be valid to be regarded as felicitous condition. In definition felicity condition is a state when the utterances made has met the appropriate conditions such as, appropriate context, conventional existence, authority, and also speaker’s sincerity. Another example is when a speaker says such as [1.7], this kind of utterance are only validly recognized as a felicitous speech acts if the speaker meets required condition to be able to validate the context. This kind of utterance is usually used by a priest or any other religious leader to pronounce a marriage between a man and woman. Then this kind of utterance should be brought upon the wedding in a for instance, church. Moreover, without the special privilege of a priest (or any other individuals given the special privilege to marry people) this kind of utterance will not be recognized as an appropriate use of speech acts or it has a different intention.
[1.7] “I pronounce you husband and wife”
According to Yule (1996), there are several types of pre-conditions, the first there is a general conditions which referred to the participants, for instance, the language used must be understood by both speaker and hearer and it is used in serious matter. Second, there are content conditions which concern the content of the utterance; it has to be about future matter which affects the future act of the speaker.
Searle (1969) has set some more detailed rules concerning felicity condition for each illocutionary acts. In his accordance, several conditions have to be fulfilled for a sentence to be felicitous. These rules mostly regarding with psychological and the beliefs of the speaker or hearer and each one of them has to be fulfilled in order to create a felicitous act. These rules are prepositional content, preparatory condition, sincerity condition, and essential condition as explained in the following:
1.      Propositional content: Propositional content condition explains about the illocutionary forces specify the acceptable conditions regarding with propositional content. In other words, it is the proposed condition of the speaker or hearer.
2.      Preparatory condition: In attempt to conduct a felicitous illocutionary act the speaker has to have a certain beliefs about the speaker's act and conditions and also, the speaker is required to have the power of authority over the hearer.
3.      Sincerity condition: In performing felicitous act the performer must have a certain psychological attitude concerning the propositional content of the utterance. For example, when a person is making a promise, he/she must have an intention of keeping it.
4.      Essential condition: Essential condition of an utterance has to do with its intention to get the hearer to perform the intended act.
These are some felicity conditions as proposed by Searle (1969, p.66-67):
1.      Felicity conditions: Request
            Propositional content: Future act A of H.
            Preparatory condition: (i) H is able to do A.(ii) It is not obvious to both S and H    that H will do A in the normal course of events of his own accord.
            Sincerity condition: S wants H to do A.
            Essential condition: Counts as an attempt to get H to do A.
2.      Felicity conditions: Asserting/Stating
            Propositional content: Any proposition p.
            Preparatory condition: (i) S has evidence (reasons, etc) for the truth of p. (ii) It is   not obvious for both S and H that H knows (does not need to be reminded of,   etc) p.
            Sincerity condition: S believes p.
            Essential condition: Counts as an undertaking to the effect that p represents an      actual state of affairs.
3.      Felicity conditions: Question
            Propositional content: Any proposition.
            Preparatory condition: (i) S does not know the answer (ii) It is not obvious that H   will provide the information without being asked.
            Sincerity condition: S wants this information.
            Essential condition: Counts as an attempt to elicit this information.
4.      Felicity conditions: Thanking
            Propositional content: Past act A done by H.
            Preparatory condition: A benefits S and S believes A benefits S.
            Sincerity condition: S feels grateful or appreciative for A.
            Essential condition: Counts as an expression of gratitude or appreciation.
5.      Felicity conditions: Advising
            Propositional content: Future act A of H.
            Preparatory condition: (i) S has some reason to believe A will benefit H (ii) It is     not obvious to both S and H that H will do A in the normal course of events.
            Sincerity condition: S believes A will benefit H.
            Essential condition: Counts as an undertaking to the effect that A is in H‘s best     interest.
6.      Felicity conditions: Warning
Propositional content: Future event E.
            Preparatory condition: (i) S thinks E will occur and is not in H’s interest (ii) S         thinks it is not obvious to H that E will occur.
            Sincerity condition: S believes E is not in H’s best interest.
            Essential condition: Counts as an undertaking that E is not in H’s best interest.
7.      Felicity conditions: Congratulating
            Propositional content: Some event, act, etc., E related to H
Preparatory condition: (i)  E is in H's interest.
            Sincerity condition: S is pleased at E.
            Essential condition: Counts as an expression of pleasure at E.
8.      Felicity conditions: Greeting
            Propositional content: None
            Preparatory condition: S has just encountered (or been introduced to, etc.) H.
            Sincerity condition: None
            Essential condition: Counts as courteous recognition of H by S.
9.      Felicity conditions: Promising
Propositional content: Future action A by S
Preparatory condition: (i) S believes H wants A done (ii) S is able to do A. (iii) A has not already been done. (iv) H will benefit from A.
Sincerity condition: S is willing to do A.
Essential condition: Counts as attempt of S to make H believes about the future act A to be done by S.
            There are also some other revelation of felicity conditions by another linguists. According to Cook (1989), felicity condition of an order are:
10.  Felicity Conditions: Order
Propositional content: Future act A by H
Preparatory condition: (i) S believes A needs to be done (ii) H is able to do A (iii) H has the obligation to do A (iv) S has right to tell H to do A
Sincerity condition: S wants H to do A
Essential condition: Counts as an attempt to get H to do A. (p.36)
The difference with the requesting is that in ordering the speaker needs to have a right to do so and the hearer needs to have the obligation to do the act.
            Another revelation is made by Anne Barron (2003). She deduce the felicity condition of offering as 2 types of commisives (offer to do x) and commisives-directives  as following:

11.  Felicity Conditions: Offer (commisives)
Propositional Content: S predicates a future act x of S
Preparatory condition: (i) S is able to perform x (ii) H wants S to perform x
Sincerity condition: S intends to do x
            Essential condition: Counts as the undertaking by S of an obligation to do x,                                           should S want H to do so. (p.126)
12.  Felicity conditions: Offer (commisives-directive)
Propositional Content: S predicates a future act x of S
Preparatory condition: (i) S is able to perform x. (ii) H wants S to perform x
Sincerity condition: (i) S intends to do x. (ii) S wants H to do x
Essential condition: (i) Counts as the undertaking by S of an obligation to do x,                          should S want H to. (ii) As an attempt by S to get H to do                            x. (p.126)
She also points out the felicity condition for refusal for an offer as following:
13.  Felicity condition: Refusal of offer
Propositional Content: S predicates a future act x of H
Preparatory condition: (i) H is able to (not) perform x. S believes H is able (not)                             to perform x. (ii) It is obvious that H would (not) do x                           without being asked.
Sincerity condition: S wants H (not) to do x
Essential condition: Counts as an attempt to get H (not) to do x. (p.128)

  

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