Directive speech acts in English and Spanish filmspeak

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The main aim of the study is to ascertain contrastively, in English and Spanish, how directive speech acts are represented in film discourse. For the purpose of the investigation, the directive speech acts of 24 films, 12 in English and 12 in Spanish, were extracted and analysed. A classification taxonomy, inspired by previous research, was created in order to categorize the different types of directive speech acts and determine their level of (in)directness. The results show that indirectness is more widely represented in the English than in the Spanish film scripts, thus confirming the assertion that being indirect is a distinctive feature of English native speakers (Grundy, 2008). This research makes a valuable contribution to the exploration of speech acts in filmspeak and informs the existing local grammar descriptions of the linguistic patterns of directive speech acts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-125
Number of pages21
JournalSociocultural Pragmatics
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • directive speech acts
  • film discourse
  • directness
  • indirectness
  • mitigation

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