LINGUIST List 14.1705

Mon Jun 16 2003

Books: Translation: Robinson

Editor for this issue: Marisa Ferrara <>

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  1. jleppig, Performative Linguistics: Robinson

Message 1: Performative Linguistics: Robinson

Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 15:40:33 +0000
From: jleppig <>
Subject: Performative Linguistics: Robinson

Title: Performative Linguistics
Subtitle: Speaking and Translating as Doing Things with Words
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)		 
Author: Douglas Robinson, University of Mississippi 
Hardback: ISBN: 0415300363, Pages: 288, Price: 90.00

J. L. Austin famously distinguished between 'constative' utterances
that convey information and 'performative' utterances that perform
actions. In this groundbreaking new book, Douglas Robinson argues that
Austin's distinction can be used to understand linguistic
methodologies. Robinson uses Austin's model to introduce a new
distinction between 'constative' and 'performative' linguistics.

Constative linguistics, Robinson suggests, includes methodologies
aimed at 'freezing' language as an abstract sign system cut off from
the use of language in actual speech situations. Performative
linguistics, on the other hand, covers methodologies aimed at
exploring how language gets used or 'performed' in those speech
situations. Robinson then tests his hypothesis on the act of
translation. Constative linguists of translation always face the same
problem: that the translator is always another utterer of the same
utterance. In his book Robinson shows that this particular problem is
solved when translation is seen as a performative utterance. Drawing
on a range of language scholars and theorists including Grice, Peirce,
Bakhtin, Wittgenstein, Burke and Derrida, Performative Linguistics
consolidates the many disparate action-approaches to language into a
single coherent new paradigm for the study of language as speech act,
as performance - as doing things with words.

Lingfield(s): Translation
Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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