Speech Act Analysis of the Dialogues in Henshaw’s This Is Our Chance
Keywords:Speech Act Analysis, Dialogues, Performance, James Ene Henshaw, Illocutionary Act
Speech act analysis is an act of investigating how utterances not only disseminate information but perform actions as well. Dialogues in Henshaw’s This Is Our Chance are not only employed to exchange information about animosity between the people of Koloro Village and the people of Udura Village but to take actions on matters that involved the two neighbouring villages. The present paper seeks to explore the dialogues in the above mentioned text to see how they have been used. The paper adopts speech act theory of J. L. Austin which was later developed by J. R. Searle. The data for the study were analysed based on speech act theory. Components of directive speech act such as commands and questions are used extensively in the text while those like requests, advice, directives and warnings are used insignificantly; constituents of representative speech act, namely, statements and reports run throughout the text; elements of expressive speech act such as complaints and appreciations are found in the text; declaration speech acts, and constituent of commissive speech act such as promise are used scantly in the text. The study concludes that speech act theory is the most appropriate instrument for handling civil conflict.
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