Between Austin’s Speech Acts and Performative Utterances

  • Martin Okwu Onwuegbusi Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria.


This paper is an attempt to delineate Austin’s theory of speech acts which specifies the conditions, under which certain speeches can constitute ‘speech act’.  The theory of speech acts constitutes what J.L. Austin puts forward in his work “How to do things with Words”, detailing the conditions that must be met for a given speech act to be performed felicitously.  In this case, failures of felicity may lead to: misfires or abuses; which may be because, the person uttering such a felicitous speech lacks the authority to do so or he is an imposter. Austin later came up with a more general theory of speech acts, which include Locutionary, Illocutionary and Perlocutionary Acts.

How to Cite
ONWUEGBUSI, Martin Okwu. Between Austin’s Speech Acts and Performative Utterances. KIU Journal of Humanities, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 4, p. 113-117, jan. 2020. ISSN 2522-2821. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 jan. 2022.