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Analysis of Misunderstanding Caused by Different Interpretations of Speech Act Labels in Tintin and Asterix Comic Series

Keywords: misunderstanding , speech act labels , speaker , hearer , face wants , face saving act , face threatening act , participants

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Abstract:

This paper presents analysis of misunderstanding occurred in a conversation which is caused by different interpretation of speech act labels between the speaker and the hearer. Misunderstanding occurred in these comic series causes various emotional effects to the hearer involved in the conversation. The hearer might feel happy, impressed, embarrassed, or even proud of what the speaker conveys through his/ her utterance. It depends on the face wants used and intended between the participants in the conversation. According to Goffman in Brown and Levinson (1987), “face is something that is emotionally invested, and that can be lost, maintained, or enhanced, and must be constantly attended to in interaction” (p. 60). There are two kinds of face wants. The positive purpose is called face saving act, while the negative one is called face threatening act. The data in this paper are taken from Tintin and Asterix comic series. The theories used cover pragmatics area, especially taxonomy of speech act theory (Yule, 1996; Mey, 2001; Leech, 1991) and theory of the notion of face by Erving Goffman (as cited in Yule, 1996; Thomas, 1995). Therefore, this paper will try to convey how the misinterpretation of speech act labels affects the participants in the conversation.

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