An analysis of Speech Act Theory in Horton Hears a Who
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  Abstract:In this thesis, the writer tries to analyze the conversational implicature in Horton Hears a Who through the perspective of Pragmatics-- the Speech Act Theory (SAT).In terms of the theory of SAT, this paper first qualitatively introduces the SAT and then analyzes the contents in detail. This theory serves as the theoretical framework to facilitate the conversational analysis. Then, the writer selects some typical examples from Horton Hears a Who and analyzes them through the theory of SAT. From this way, the readers can better understand what the people want to say and it clarifies the validity of taking pragmatic theory into visual text analysis.
  Key Words: Pragmatics Speech act theory Horton Hears a Who Conversational Implicature
  Chapter 1 Introduction
  Speech Act Theory (SAT for short) is originated with J.L.Austin. In 1962, the lectures he gave at Harvard were published posthumously under the title of “How to Do Things with Words”.
  HORTON HEARS A WHO is a very interesting and touching movie. Through the study of Speech Act Theory in HORTON HEARS A WHO, we can learn more about the impact of language.
  1.1 Introduction to HORTON HEARS A WHO
  HORTON HEARS A WHO, screened in 2008. It talks about an eternal topic of freedom and equality as well as the true, the good and the beautiful in the world by way of a comedic animation.
  1.2 Research Methodology
  All the examples in the case analysis are selected from the conversation of HORTON HEARS A WHO
  This thesis proposes to conduct a qualitative case analysis from the approach of pragmatics. With some of the conversations from HORTON HEARS A WHO as the basis and the SAT as the guideline, this thesis is chiefly concerned with both the observing and non-observance of the SAT maxims.
  Chapter 2 Literature Review
  After J.L. Austin put forward the SAT many scholars have continued to study this principle. John Searle has put a new taxonomy of speech acts, his new set of felicity conditions, and his theory of indirect speech acts. In addition, speech acts in their extended forms will be considered on the basis of A. Ferrara’s research.
  2.1 Definition of Speech Act Theory
  SAT is one of the Pragmatic theories. In the early stages of J. L. Austin’s philosophy of language,this term denotes utterances that describe or depict facts or states of affairs and so may be either true or false.In the latter half of his lectures, he virtually abandoned his performative-constative distinction, concluding that conservatives also have a performative aspect and, as such, should be considered as illocutionary acts.   Later, Austin’s speech theory was further developed by other scholars.
  2.2 Words and deeds
  The term “speech acts” was initially invented to portray the actions accomplished via performative utterances. Later, speech acts also cover actions performed by utterances that are not strictly performative. Now, speech acts are considered to be the basic or minimal units of linguistic communication.
  2.3 Speech acts classification
  Although John Austin’s classification of speech acts helps us to see how such acts may vary, it is theoretically problematic and practically vague. According to John Searle, one has to specify, in the first place, the criteria for distinguishing one (kind of) illocutionary act from another. The lack of such criteria inevitably leads to some overlapping (for instance, swearing can be categorized into two types). On top of that, Austin’s typology cannot cover all speech acts.
  Chapter 3 Case Analysis: HORTON HEARS A WHO
  3.1 Words and deeds in HORTON HEARS A WHO
  First let’s see some relevant examples:
  Example1:
  Horton: Sorry, Wickershams I promise I'm gonna clean all this up later!
  The utterance in example 1 is considered by Austin to be “performative”, the saying itself accomplishing a certain action or affecting or changing the world in some way.
  Example 2:
  Horton: This is one of the jungle's most amazing creatures -The leaf bug.
  The utterance in example 2 is considered by Austin to be “constative”, which is merely describing a portion of some facts or states of affairs we know.
  3.1.1 Observing Words and deeds
  In the daily communication, we must observe the Words and deeds―try to make your contributed one true--- to make the communication successful. Therefore, the Words and deeds are requirement of human being rather than the communication standard and people always observe this principle by themselves.
  Example 3:
  Horton: Good morning, class. Are you ready?
  The other animals: Yeah!
  In the example, Horton asks the kid animals whether they are ready or not, they are Horton’s best friends and they are very glad to be with him. It is the example of observing words and deeds.
  3.1.2 Non-observance Words and deeds
  Though people observe the Words and deeds widely in their daily conversation, in some special occasion, they often deliberately violate them to have implicature. For instance, when we utter “congratulations”, the circumstances must be appropriate.

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