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Behabitives are one of J.L. Austin's classes of illocutionary speech act. Illocutionary speech acts are those utterances that perform an action just by being said, such as a priest's "I now pronounce you man and wife".

The action of a behabitive is the adoption of an attitude towards the social behavior of others, and Austin's examples are apologizing, congratulating, commending, condoling, cursing, and challenging.

It's not always easy to say what is or isn't a behabitive, and Austin himself was less than clear on them, admitting that the category seems a little too "miscellaneous".

Austin, How to do Things with Words (1962)

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