A Pragmatic Analysis of Speech Acts in Motivational Storytelling Directed to Graduates of American Universities

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Ahmed Sahib Mubarak
Kadhim Ketab Rhaif

Abstract

Storytelling is a strategy that people resort to since early times for wide range of purposes. One of these purposes is to motivate others towards particular actions or ideas. This study concerns itself with investigating the pragmatic use of speech acts in storytelling discourse directed to motivate American graduates. More specifically, it deals with storytelling embedded within commencement speeches delivered at American universities by successful icons. The current study has been set to fulfil three aims. First, it aims at identifying the most dominant speech acts in each stage of storytelling. Secondly, determining the most dominant category of speech acts in the storytelling discourse. Then, finding the most frequent SAs within each category of SAs. To this end, the researchers ten storytelling discourses embedded within commencement speeches delivered by American commencement speakers at American universities in 2010 and 2019 to represent five professions of commencement speakers. The findings reveal that the dominant speech acts at each stage of storytelling varies. It also shows that the representatives and directives are the most dominant categories of speech acts in the storytelling discourse in the data under scrutiny. The SA of asserting and  the SA of advising are shown to be the most frequent SAs within the categories of representatives and directives, respectively.

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How to Cite
[1]
A. S. Mubarak and K. K. . Rhaif, “A Pragmatic Analysis of Speech Acts in Motivational Storytelling Directed to Graduates of American Universities”, JUBH, vol. 29, no. 8, pp. 1–21, Aug. 2021.
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