A Pragmatic Analysis Of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Inaugural Speech, Nigeria: Our Nation In Mourning

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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            
 
INTRODUCTION

There is no gainsaying the fact that the essence of language is communication. Many attempts have been made to describe what an effective communication is. One issue that runs through all the attempts is the area of meaning generation as a pivotal factor for an effective communication. Over the years, meaning generation has remained problematic because most of the approaches developed to explain how meaning is generated rely on the linguistic knowledge of the language users without looking at the extralinguistic factors, therefore making those approaches to be inadequate. It was against this backdrop that pragmatics emerged in order to account for how meaning is generated in a communicative act by considering both the linguistic and the non-linguistic factors.
  The role of communication in governance cannot be overemphasised. This assertion supports the importance of delivering an inaugural speech on assumption of duty as an administrator. A presidential inaugural speech gives the president the first chance to use the official voice, which should indicate the direction of the new administration. Every utterance in such a speech communicates meaning.
It is therefore important to embark on a pragmatic analysis of President Goodluck Jonathan’s inaugural speech, titled, Nigeria: Our Nation in Mourning, looking at the tokens of utterances in the speech with a view to accounting for how meaning is generated from the speech.
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(2014, 09). A Pragmatic Analysis Of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Inaugural Speech, Nigeria: Our Nation In Mourning.. ProjectStoc.com. Retrieved 09, 2014, from https://projectstoc.com/read/3203/a-pragmatic-analysis-of-president-goodluck-jonathan-rsquo-s-inaugural-speech-nigeria-our-nation-in-mourning-2382
"A Pragmatic Analysis Of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Inaugural Speech, Nigeria: Our Nation In Mourning." ProjectStoc.com. 09 2014. 2014. 09 2014 <https://projectstoc.com/read/3203/a-pragmatic-analysis-of-president-goodluck-jonathan-rsquo-s-inaugural-speech-nigeria-our-nation-in-mourning-2382>.
"A Pragmatic Analysis Of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Inaugural Speech, Nigeria: Our Nation In Mourning.." ProjectStoc.com. ProjectStoc.com, 09 2014. Web. 09 2014. <https://projectstoc.com/read/3203/a-pragmatic-analysis-of-president-goodluck-jonathan-rsquo-s-inaugural-speech-nigeria-our-nation-in-mourning-2382>.
"A Pragmatic Analysis Of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Inaugural Speech, Nigeria: Our Nation In Mourning.." ProjectStoc.com. 09, 2014. Accessed 09, 2014. https://projectstoc.com/read/3203/a-pragmatic-analysis-of-president-goodluck-jonathan-rsquo-s-inaugural-speech-nigeria-our-nation-in-mourning-2382.

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