International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Gender Differences in Speech Acts Use among Members of County Assembly of Bomet, Kenya
Hellen Rotich, Dr. Phylis Bartoo, Dr. Lucy Wathika

The study sought to analyse the utterances of Members of County Assembly of Bomet in order to determine whether there was any significant difference in the use of speech acts by male and female participants during debates at the County Assembly. The study used Austin’s (1962) and Searle’s (1969) Speech Act Theory. The study purposefully sampled three motions from the Hansards recorded between the years 2013 and 2017. The data was downloaded from Bomet County Assembly’s website. Textual analysis was used to collect data. The data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics. The results showed that there was no uniform distribution of speech acts for male and female Members of County Assembly. In Motions 1 and 2, the males enjoyed a higher distribution of all types of speech acts. However, the trend changed in Motion 3 where female participants had a higher number of the types of speech acts except for declarations, which registered a null value. The study concluded that the variations in the use of speech acts is related to the number of participants and the number of turns taken by each gender. Therefore, women who get into the County Assembly should look beyond their low numbers and try to maximize their impact on the political activities in the assembly. It is hoped that the study will contribute to existing knowledge on pragmatics and particularly the relationship between the use of speech acts and gender.

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