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Abstract

J. L. Austin's three-prong distinction between locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary acts is discussed in terms of D. Davidson's theory of action. Perlocutionary acts refer to the relation between the utterance and its causal effects on the addressee. In contrast, illocutionary and locutionary acts are alternative descriptions of the utterance. The possibility of conceiving of locutionary acts as expressing propositions under a certain mode of presentation is discussed. Different ways to define illocutionary acts without encroaching on the locutionary or perlocutionary territory are considered.