A PRAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN’S INAUGURAL SPEECH, NIGERIA: OUR NATION IN MOURNING

A PRAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN’S INAUGURAL SPEECH, NIGERIA: OUR
NATION IN MOURNING

ABSTRACT
Given the fact that communication is chiefly achieved through language, it is
therefore important to study and account for how speakers encode their utterances and
how meanings are decoded from the utterances during communication. This has made
us to attempt a pragmatic analysis of President Goodluck Jonathan’s inaugural speech,
Nigeria: Our Nation in Mourning, because of its socio-political importance with a
view to accounting for how the president has encoded his utterances and how
meanings are generated from the utterances in the speech. All the eight utterances in
the transcribed text were analysed using pragmatic tools, which are speech acts,
context, indexicals, implicature and relevance. This study has revealed to us the
effects of cognition, social principles and context on the president’s utterances and
showed the president as a careful user of words and a performer of many actions with
few utterances. Therefore to succeed as a communicator, and indeed a politician, rests
greatly on the way one is able to choose and arrange his words as well as considering
other non-linguistic factors.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Certification ii
Dedication iii
Acknowledgements iv
Abstract v
Table of Contents vi
CHAPTER ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.0 Background to the Study and Statement of the Research Problem 1
1.1 Research Questions 2
1.2 Aims and Objectives of the Study 2
1.3 Scope of the Study 3
1.4 Justification of the Study 3
1.5 Research Method 4
1.6 Data Description 4
1.7 Conclusion 5
CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0 Introduction 6
2.1 History of Pragmatics 6
2.2 Definitions of Pragmatics 7
2.3 Theories of Pragmatics 8
2.3.1 Speech Acts Theory 8
2.3.1.1 J.L. Austin’s Contributions 9
2.3.1.2 Searle’s Contributions 11
2.3.2 Relevance Theory 13
2.4 Elements of Pragmatics 15
2.4.1 Implicature 15
2.4.2 Indexicals 18
2.4.3 Context 20
2.5 Conclusion 24
CHAPTER THREE
DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
3.0 Introduction 25
3.1 Data Analysis 25
3.2 Data Discussion 39
3.3 Conclusion 43
CHAPTER FOUR
SUMMARY, FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION
4.0 Summary 44
4.1 Summary of Findings 45
4.2 Conclusion 46
Bibliography 48
APPENDICES
Appendix I 51
Appendix II 54

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