European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2019
The Speech Acts vs. the Analysis of the Role of the Speech Acts in Bank
Brochures and Pieces of Publicity
Abstract: The article focuses on the general aspects of the speech acts in J. Austin and J. Searle perspectives,
who are considered the founders of the theory of speech acts. Simultaneously an analysis on pieces of publicity
was made, precisely a bank brochure and an advertising video for BT bank. It started with the classifications
of the above mentioned theorists and continued with a practical part (a study on a bank brochure and advertising
video) whose purpose consisted of confirming the idea that all comprising elements of the “analyzed material”
represent speech acts that respect the pragmatics and linguistics principles.
Keywords: speech acts; advertising communication; perlocutionary; pragmatics; conditions of fulfillment
“The advertising communication is ambivalent. The dichotonic discourse–verbal and iconic-of the text-
image is increased by the ambivalence of a symbolic production induced by the economic market.”
(Adam & Bonhomme, 2005, p. 46.)
This particular interest in the speech acts in the contemporary epoch is associated with Austin (Moschler
& Reboul, 1999, pp. 49- 51) He is the one who thought appropriate and necessary to consider and
analyze the speech acts. In the traditional perspective/theory he makes the distinction between
affirmative, that are pure descriptions and that he names constative, and utterances that do not represent
descriptions. The utterances that do not say anything and are neither true or false and they just refer to
the performing of an action are labeled as performative. “This distinction constative/performative can
ultimately be regarded as differentiating between saying and doing”, and what “defines a performative
is that the speaker by actually uttering something already fulfills an act.”(Moschler & Reboul, 1999, pp.
49- 51). Pragmatics appeared from Austin’s discovery of the phenomenon and based on Searle’s study.
The bank brochures and advertising films are created with the help of speech acts and they actually
represent speech acts. The pragmatics model, referring to the interpretation of the message, becomes
essential when decoding the message-either from brochures or advertising films-as in fact we recreate
the message taking in view both the intentions of the communicator and of the consumer. This way, the
speaker takes responsibility for his own sayings and uses verbal, nonverbal and paraverbal cues in his
argumentative utterances or when sending the message to the interlocutor.
According to Gardiner, there is a variety of reasons for a speaker to utter something and based on this
Gardiner suggests a classification of utterances/statements into: interrogatives, declaratives, requests
and imperatives. If declarative utterances are characterized by “saying something about something”, for
1 Doctoral student, Doctoral School of Philol ogy Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași, Romania, Address: 11 -Carol
1, Blvd.700506, Iași, România, Corresponding addres s: email@example.com.