A PRAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF VICTORY AND INAUGURAL SPEECHES OF PRESIDENT JONATHAN: A MEASURE FOR TRANSFORMATION AND GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA
The study examines the speech acts features in President Jonathan s Victory and Inaugural Speeches delivered on the 19Â April and 29Â May 2011. The pragmatic analysis of the speeches revolves within the analytical tenet of locution, illocutionary and perlocutionary acts. The speakers programmes, intention as way as the victory excitement seems to motivate his choice of words and its possible influence on the desires and aspirations for good governance in Nigeria.Â The Speech Act theories of Austin (1962) and Searle (1969) form the theoretical framework in this study. In data analysis, the tabular presentations indicate the relative frequencies of the speech acts and the percentages. Twenty (20) sentences were obtained from the speeches, from which forty (40) speech acts (direct and indirect illocutionary acts) were ascertained. The finding shows that the Overall Relative Frequency Percentages (ORFPs) for the selected speeches of Jonathanwere: assertive-65percent, directive-20percent, expressive-15percent, verdictive-25percent, commisive-40percent, and declarative-20percent. These ORFPs result establishes the fact that the presidentemploys more of sentences that performed assertive acts than other speech acts. The sentences that were verdictive and directiveÂ made way for him to assert his authority and exercise his power as the President. Â Meanwhile sentences that were expressive had the least ORFP; hence the study proves that the President exploited less of expressive sentences which are meant for indicating the total assurance in achieving desired responsibilities.This signifies the understanding that political leaders perform various acts through their speeches (intended or unintended).We therefore recommend thatPolitical office holders should strike a balance between words and actions for a positive transformation of Nigeria.
Keywords-President Goodluck Jonathan, victory and Inaugural speeches, pragmatics, speech acts, language of politics