Cynthia Nkechinyere Okoro, M.A.
This study investigated the speech acts of two political speeches of President
Muhammadu Buhari. The speech acts of locution, illocution and perlocution were analyzed using
the Speech Acts Theory of Austin (1962) and Searle (1969 using the illocutionary acts of
directive, expressive, declarative, verdictive, commissive and assertive. The data for the study
were drawn from two political speeches of the President- Formal Declaration of Interest for
Presidency and Inaugural Speeches- which were judgmentally selected. Also, these speeches
were labelled A and B and ten sentences were extracted from each of them thereby generating a
total of 20 sentences from which 40 speech acts (direct and indirect illocutionary acts) were
obtained. These speech acts were further analyzed using the quantitative research methodology
(descriptive survey method). The analysis of data revealed that the Overall Relative Frequency
Percentages (ORFPs) of the said speeches were: commissive (60%), assertive (70%), directive
(20%), expressive (15%), verdictive (20%) and declarative (15%). From the data analysis, it was
revealed that the President employed more assertives and commissives so as to indicate the
sincerity of his intentions, to assure the masses and to make promises. The study concluded on
the note that the President should match his words with the necessary actions as the people still
believe and hope in his change mantra.
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President Muhammadu Buhari, formal declaration of interest and inaugural speeches, speech act theory, pragmatics, political language.
18th April, 2018`
18th April, 2018