Pragmatics and sociolinguistics view the speech acts as the smallest unit of analysis in any speech event. The latter is defined as a “socially accepted” and “patterned sequence” in which the participants of specific speech community are involved. Speech community is used to refer to a group of participants who intuitively know how to behave in a specific speech event. Examples of the speech events are conversations, jokes, sermons, interview, prayers or political speeches (peñalosa,1981:71).
In general, communication is pragmatic. One strives to achieve goals. Speech Act Theory (henceforth, SAT) explains how one uses language to accomplish these goals (Oort,1997: 2, and Doyle, 2002:1)
Bowen (2001:1) states that pragmatics is the area of language functions that embraces the embraces the use of language in social contexts. This involves knowing what, how, and when to say it, in order to be with other people.
Speech acts (henceforth, SAs) have been studied by different philosophers and linguists and the pragmaticians’ views seem to be the most important one (Bach and Harnish, 1979:62). What follows, then, is the different approaches towards the study of SAs.
Key words: Pragmatic , Aspects , Speech , Acts