Performance (linguistics)

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Performance is the name for the use of language, speaking .

The term was developed on the basis of John L. Austin (1955) in the 1960s and refers to the success of speech acts . “In contrast to the 'constative description' of states that are either true or false, 'performative utterances' change states in the social world through the fact that they have been uttered.” As an example of a performative utterance, the yes-word mentioned at marriage, which changes the social reality of those involved in the speech act, but cannot be judged as false or true. The speech act here has the function of performing a symbolic act.

Performative turn

In cultural studies , speech acts are also viewed from the perspective of staging and performances. This initiated a turn ( performative turn ) in cultural studies. According to Heidrun Brückner and Elisabeth Schömbucher, the performative approach “takes account of a changed perspective in cultural studies that no longer examines social institutions or texts, but focuses on the actors' ability to act. As a cultural performance, rituals and theatrical performances are social interpretations by the actors, whereby not only cultural values ​​are conveyed and identity is created, but also through which social criticism is expressed and cultural change is initiated. "

Performance in Gender Theory

With Judith Butler , the performance shows itself as an act of embodiment, with which the identity z. B. of gender is constructed. This identity is marked as female or male through signs and speech acts . “The midwife's exclamation 'A girl!' is therefore to be understood not only as a constative statement, but also as a directive speech act: 'Become a girl!' The performativity of the sexes thus results from the interplay of political performatives and theatrical performances. "

Performance in semantics

According to Alice Lagaay , it corresponds to performative-philosophical approaches: "To consider meaning as something that is only constituted and changed through process-based execution."

Differentiation between performance and performativity

In the theoretical work of post-structuralist standpoints, the distinction between performance and performativity is crucial. Gerald Posselt (University of Vienna, Department of Philosophy) writes :

“While performance, understood as the performance or execution of an action, seems to presuppose an acting subject (this is also the position of speech act theory), the term performativity denies precisely the idea of ​​an autonomous, intentionally acting subject. The performativity of an utterance underscores its power to produce the utterance subject and the action it designates in and through this act of utterance. Jacques Derrida also accentuates the iterability and citability of performative utterances. Thus a performative utterance can succeed, it must (depending on whether a semiotic or cultural theoretical perspective taking) as quote-like or ritualistic form in a system socially accepted conventions and standards recognizable and repeatable be. This also means that the possibility of failure and failure of performative utterances is not external but inherent in speaking and language . "

Performance and competence

According to Noam Chomsky, the counterpart to the performance of the interpreters, not to the performativity of a text, is competence . It describes the unconscious knowledge of a speaker about his language.

The dichotomy of performance and competence was introduced by Noam Chomsky as part of his transformational grammar . In doing so, she continues Ferdinand de Saussure's distinction between langue and parole .


Web links

Wiktionary: Performance  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b Performance by Uwe Wirth Archived copy ( Memento from March 17, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Accessed November 16, 2011
  2. ^ Homepage University of Würzburg. Chair of Indology. Projects.
  3. Heidrun Brückner, Elisabeth Schömbucher (2002): Performances . In Veena Das (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Sociology and Social Anthropology , Part IV: The Cultural Landscapes. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  4. Alice Lagaay: "Trains and withdrawals of the voice in philosophy" in: S. Krämer: Performativität und Medialität. Page 299
  5. Gerald Posselt Performativity (D) [1] Accessed May 3, 2009