Pragmatic Analyses of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Concession Speech and General Muhammadu Buhari’s Acceptance Speech: A Comparative Appraisal

Léonard A. Koussouhon, Servais D. Y. Dadjo


Drawing on Austin’s (1962) Speech Act Theory, this paper investigates President Goodluck Jonathan’s Concession Speech and General Muhammadu Buhari’s Acceptance Speech for the purpose of examining the impacts of context and evaluating their effects on Nigerians. The application of Speech Act Theory to these political discourses has revealed valuable findings. To mention but a few, this study has shown a high proportion of claiming assertive speech acts in Jonathan’s speech indicating thus how unity, stability and progress of Nigeria depends on Jonathan who has excellently proved this by conceding victory to his opponent Buhari. This has been confirmed by the very low proportion of these acts in Buhari’s speech. Furthermore, Jonathan’s acts of thanking, congratulating and praising indicate not only his high degree of recognition, attachment to peace and democracy but also his magnanimity whereas those of Buhari indicate his degree of recognition. Through the use of directive speech acts both Jonathan and Buhari have proved to be law abiding and peaceful. Through the use of commissive speech acts Jonathan has proved to be democratic and patriotic whereas Buhari has proved to be open, cooperative and democratic.  The thoughtful performance of the different speech acts has enabled both speakers especially Jonathan to maintain peace and stability in Nigeria.



Illocutionary act, locutionary act, perlocutionary act, pragmatics, speech act

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