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Speech acts: Constative and performative - Colleen Glenney Boggs


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TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

When are words just words, and when do words force action? Linguist J.L. Austin divided words into two categories: constatives (words that describe a situation) and performatives (words that incite action). For instance, is a “No running” sign describing your gait, or are you not running because the sign prohibits it? Colleen Glenney Boggs describes how these categorizations give power to words and, ultimately, to your actions.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Colleen Glenney Boggs
  • Animator Lou Webb
  • Narrator Michelle Snow

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