The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms - Ross Murfin 2018
Propositional act: A speech act involving a locution, or utterance, that says something about something else. As introduced by American “ordinary-language” philosopher John R. Searle in Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language (1969), a propositional act has two components: referring to an object and predicating something upon that object. The “referring expression,” according to Searle, is “any expression which serves to identify any thing, process, event, action, or any other kind of ’individual’ or ’particular’”; the object referred to in a locution may thus be the grammatical subject of that locution.
EXAMPLE: In the locution, “The house is red,” the grammatical subject house is the object to which the speaker refers, and the speaker predicates that it is red.