In this paper I critically examine the main philosophical standpoints concerning apparent sub-sentential speech acts, such as “Nice dress”, “Under the table”, “Where?”. The opponents of such speech acts (such as e.g. Stanley, Merchant and Devitt) argue that the utterances in question are either ellipses (i.e. sentential) or do not have determinate content and/or illocutionary force. The defenders of sub-sentential speech acts (such as e.g. Stainton and Corazza) argue that in the right circumstances a sub-sentential utterance may constitute a speech act even though it cannot be regarded as a case of ellipsis. I argue for the affirmative answer to the title question and claim that the best framework in which such acts should be analyzed is Recanati’s moderate relativism.
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