Function of Speech Acts

1630 Words Feb 10th, 2011 7 Pages
Functions of Speech Acts in a Dialogue


The dialogue analyzed in this paper is about two foreign students who have lunch in a restaurant. They sit next to each other at a counter and wait to be served. They do not know each other, but because the wait is too long they get bored. So, the older student, Maria, who is 19-year-old and comes from Venezuela, turns over the person sitting next to her and starts a conversation with a younger 18-year-old student, Ali, who comes from Saudi Arabia to study English. I will analyze this dialogue whit paying most of my attention on the functions taken by the Speech Acts. It is a usual conversation between two individuals while introducing themselves to each other and trying to establish
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So, she found out that they both have the same class that day, than turnes her attention over the English book and makes a statement of fact about it(u6). Knowing the origin and belonging of that book she makes a assertion, presupposing that the person is a student at the English Language Center. Ali confirms it and gives more details (he is attendig the fourth course), declares that he is indeed a student and where exactly. With the help of an interogative sentence, he formulates a question, seeking for information about the girl, if she is also a student in that Learning Center (u8). Maria confirms it and gives further information, just like Ali did, about the courses she attends to. Another piece of information is revealed by Maria in relation with the fourth course, the prevous utterance (u7).


Maria: (u1)The service is really slow here. (u2)I’ve been trying to get the waiter’s attention for the last ten minutes.
Ali: (u3)I hope he waits on us soon. (u4)I have a class at two o’clock.
Maria: (u5)Me, too. (u6)I recognise that English book. (u6)You must be a student at the English Language Center.
Ali: (u7)Yeah. I’m in the fourth course. (u8)Are you studying there?
Maria: (u9)Yes, I’m in the fifth course. (u10)I took the fourth course last month.
Ali: (u11)I just came here two weeks ago. (u12)Do
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