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Word of the Day
Friday, October 20, 2017

Definitions for perlocutionary

  1. Philosophy, Linguistics. (of a speech act) producing an effect upon the listener, as in persuading, frightening, amusing, or causing the listener to act.

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Citations for perlocutionary
We can similarly distinguish the locutionary act 'he said that ...' from the illocutionary act 'he argued that ...' and the perlocutionary act 'he convinced me that ...' J. L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words, 1962
Artificial intelligence has left the orbit of computer science, and even science fiction, and become an abstract talking point. When people make use of it, especially powerful actors like Musk and Zuckerberg, it serves a perlocutionary function: as personal branding. Ian Bogost, "Why Zuckerberg and Musk Are Fighting About the Robot Future," The Atlantic, July 27, 2017
Origin of perlocutionary
The noun perlocution has been in English since the end of the 16th century, originally meaning the act of speaking. The base of the word is the noun locution, which comes from Latin locūtiōn-, stem of the noun locūtiō “speech, speaking, discourse,” a derivative of the verb loquī “to speak.” The noun perlocūtiō does not exist in Latin; it is a very recent word, used in linguistics, formed with the Latin prefix (as a preposition, per means "through") per-, meaning “through, complete,” as in “pervade (to pass through), or perfect (brought to completion).” Perlocutionary entered English in the 20th century.
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