ABSTRACT

Despite their double position on the constative/performative relationship, my first two chapters actually have a single focus; both explore Austinian concentration on human interaction in and through language, on linguistic action in and through society. Putting speech and speakers together first leads to isolating the performative and then ends its isolation. The locution/illocution distinction survives because it contrasts language in society to language in the abstract; the constative/performative distinction dies because both its terms encompass language and society at once. Identifying the constative as a performative proclaims language's social identity perhaps even more spectacularly than discovering the performative in the first place.