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What is a preparatory condition?



A preparatory condition is a state of affairs that

  • must be presupposed by the speaker in employing a particular illocutionary force, and
  • is a necessary condition for the nondefective employment of that force

    • including any conditions necessary due to the mode of achievement, but
    • excluding any limitations regarding the

Examples (English)
  • The force of making a promise, in which the speaker presupposes his or her own capability of performing the promised action
  • The distinction between promising and threatening

    The act of promising presupposes the addressee’s concern that the promised action be taken, whereas the act of threatening presupposes some harm in the action.


Searle and Vanderveken 1985 16–18

Context for this page:

Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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