(redirected from constatives)


 (kən-stā′tĭv, kŏn′stə-)
Relating to or being an utterance that asserts or states something that can be judged as true or false, such as The cat is on the mat.
A constative utterance, such as an assertion.

[New Latin cōnstatīvus (translation of German konstatierend, present participle of konstatieren, to indicate as factual), from Latin cōnstāre, to stand firm, be fixed (influenced by third person sg. present tense cōnstat, it is manifest, it is a fact, and statīvus, stationary); see constant.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(of a statement) able to be true or false(of the aorist tense) indicating that an action has occurred
a statement that can be either true or false
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(kənˈsteɪ tɪv)
1. (of an utterance) making a statement that can be said to be true or false.
2. a constative utterance.
[1900–05; probably < French constat(er) to affirm, verify < Latin constat (it) is apparent <constāre; compare constant]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
When word and deed become one -- when speaking is acting -- we are often in the presence of what philosophers of language call "performative speech acts," as opposed to "constatives." Part of what's so disorienting about Trump is that he uses speech in a relentlessly performative way.
(29.) On the distinction between performatives and constatives, see Austin, J.
Both the structure and the action of Don Quijote as a whole depend on a consistent abuse of reference--in this respect, "constatives" (statements that purport to describe a state of things in the world) often get pressed into service as "performatives." At the beginning of the novel, for example, when the protagonist refers to himself as "Don Quijote," his horse as "Rocinante" and Aldonza Lorenzo as "Dulcinea del Toboso," he is not so much describing a given reality that pre-exists his words, so much as he is creating one.
Austin designates this descriptive element of speech acts as constatives. When we use statements such as "I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945," as Snowden did, we appear to be describing something--ostensibly a belief.
Crystal [17] explained that according to Austin, there are two kinds of utterances, namely, constatives and performatives.
He sub-divides the interpersonal acts into constatives (truth values), predictives (probable-truth values), commissives (genuineness values), acknowledgements (appropriacy values), directives (compliance values), and interpersonal authoritatives (authority values).
The role of constatives and performatives are important in this context too.
L.Austin-derived) theoretical opposition between constatives (statements that are either true or false) and performatives (neither true nor false but successful or unsuccessful; a standard example, now utterly inoperative, was "I now pronounce you man and wife") has been given new life in the last decade, retooled as the opposition between the cognitive and the affective.
As the words of Miller justify this fact in relation to James that "all performatives are little constative, all constatives a little performative.
(112) Such performatives were to be contrasted in Austin's theory with "constatives," which merely report, state, or describe a state of affairs.
For Austin, performatives cannot be contested on the grounds of truth or falsehood, as is the case with constatives, because actions are not true or false.
We are introduced to the performative-constative distinction, its downfall, and the final assimilation of constatives into performatives, and then into the general theory: locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary acts.