Definition of perlocution in English:


Syllabification: per·lo·cu·tion
Pronunciation: /ˌpərləˈkyo͞oSHən


Philosophy & Linguistics
  • An act of speaking or writing that has an action as its aim but that in itself does not effect or constitute the action, for example persuading or convincing. Compare with illocution.
    More example sentences
    • These effects correspond to the perlocutions of utterances.
    • Meaning corresponds with illocution, while significance is best related to perlocution.
    • But he moves beyond Austin and Searle's tripartite distinction between locution, illocution, and perlocution.



Pronunciation: /-ˌnerē/
More example sentences
  • If the absence of a locutionary force is a deliberate part of your perlocutionary force, then having the government substitute its own perlocutionary force does indeed infringe on your freedom of speech.
  • In this article we analyze the grammar of codes of ethics as a written locutionary act, and attempt to determine their implicit illocutionary and perlocutionary values.
  • Austin distinguishes among three components in a total speech act: the locutionary act, the illocutionary act, and the perlocutionary act.


1950s: from modern Latin perlocutio(n-), from per- 'throughout' + locutio(n-) 'speaking'.

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