Since the early 1980s there has been an interest in linguistics in general and speech act theory in particular in CSCW, HCI, MIS, and IS modeling in general. The reason for this is simple—computer and information scientists discovered that most work is group work and most group work occurs via language. Winograd and Flores (1986) popularized the use of speech act theory, especially the Searlian variety, for modeling electronic communication and collaboration. However, what one finds if one looks closely is that we have taken the easy road when dealing with language. There are a large variety of speech acts that we ignore when analyzing language, particularly when using speech act theory. Why this is so, the impact on tool-creation, and possible remediation of this problem will be discussed. The importance for such areas as e-collaboration, as well as text mining, computer security, and computing in general will be emphasized.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Propositional Content Condition: The condition in a commissive act that the commitment to an action must concern a future state of affairs is a propositional content condition.
Strength of Sincerity Conditions: The strength of the psychological state.
Pragmatics: The study of how language is used in practice, as opposed to the study of signs (semantics) and their interconnection (syntax).
Sincerity Condition: The psychological state of the speaker.
E-Collaboration Technologies: Electronic technologies that enable collaboration among individuals engaged in a common task.
Mode of Achievement: The means employed by a speaker to accomplish the illocutionary point of an utterance—calling on authority, and so on.
Preparatory Condition: A state of affairs that is presupposed and is a necessary condition for the non-defective employment of the force.
Illocutionary Force: The combination of the illocutionary point of an utterance, and particular presuppositions and attitudes that must accompany that point, including the strength of the illocutionary point, preparatory conditions, propositional content conditions, mode of achievement, sincerity conditions, and strength of sincerity conditions