For those who came in late, a performative predicate is one that denotes an act made possible by the use of the verb or predicate itself. For example:

When a clergyperson or justice of the peace pronounces a couple husband or wife, he DOES so by SAYING "I now pronounce you husband and wife."

When a potentate dubs a person a knight of the realm, she may DO so by SAYING "I dub thee Sir [knight surname here]."

When a boss fires someone, he may DO so by SAYING "You're fired."

When someone thanks you for a cookie, they DO so by SAYING "Thank you."

My thinking was that, since social rituals vary across culture, the number and nature of performative constructions might vary across languages--not totally, but partially.

The trouble is, I don't have any information about that. That's where this Stack Exchange comes in.


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