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Directive speech acts in the history of English

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This paper traces some major manifestations of directive speech acts in the history of English. It considers their evolution, their spread, and their distribution across genres and the considerations which may have affected their formulation (e.g. politeness). It falls into three parts. First I will shortly talk about directive speech acts and politeness and raise some methodological issues. Then I will present several case studies illustrating the development of directives in the history of English. In the third part I will draw some general conclusions which regard the development and range of directives in the history of English

This talk is part of the RCEAL occasional seminars series.

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