British Journal of English Linguistics (BJEL)

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A Speech Act Analysis of Public Speeches of Three African Presidents Amid Covid-19


Public speaking affords a leader an opportunity to address the people he is leading. Using the theoretical framework of Speech Acts, the researcher analyzes the speeches of three African Presidents namely: Muhammadu Buhari (of Nigeria), Akufo-Addo (of Ghana) and Cyril Ramaphosa (of South Africa). The speeches selected were delivered during the coronavirus pandemic. The result of the study showed that the three presidents used performative and constative acts to command, request, urge, appeal, direct and inform their people on the issue of covid-19, its damaging effects and the measures that would help to combat the disease.  It was discovered that some of the performative acts were carried out under essential and sincerity conditions.

Keywords: Speech Acts., coronavirus disease, performatives, public speech, sincerity conditions

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