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November 2022

A speech act lexicon: An alternative use of speech act theory in information systems

Author(s): Woo, C. C.

Journal/Book: Inform Syst J. 1996; 6: Osney Mead, Oxford, Oxon, England OX2 0EL. Blackwell Science Ltd. 301-329.

Abstract: Speech act theory focuses on pragmatic language qualities of making assertions, directions, promises, declarations and expressions. However, assigning speech acts to one of a few categories is not without controversy. The process is context dependent and, hence, individuals with divergent contextual views may categorize speech acts differently. Different categories, in turn, imply different speech act interpretations. The difficulty of disparate speech act interpretations can often be resolved by, for example, a process of negotiation. Nonetheless, it is easy to envisage situations in which agreement by negotiation is not possible. Such would be the case when a researcher studies transcribed speech act performances. We propose that Ballmer and Brennenstuhl's (1981) speech at classification method, which relies on an extensive speech act verb lexicon with sequencing and contextual information, can reduce disagreement among individuals who singly or together analyse and ascribe meaning to speech acts. We base this proposition on the results of exploratory research involving alternative knowledge acquisition methods. Our exploratory results suggest that Ballmer and Brennenstuhl's lexicon provides several promising future research directions of speech act use in information systems.

Note: Article Janson MA, Univ Missouri, Sch Business Adm, 8001 Nat Bridge Rd, St Louis,MO 63121 USA

Keyword(s): speech act; information systems; knowledge aquisition; cooperative group work; discourse analysis; text analysis; COMMUNICATION; DESIGN

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