International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

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

Pragmatic Analyses of President Goodluck Jonathan’s and President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Addresses
Ubong E. Josiah, Sifonde Effiong Johnson

This paper investigates the first inaugural addresses of two presidents: Nigeria’s Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (2011) and America’s Barrack Obama (2009). These speeches have been selected because they come from speakers and leaders who are products of two conspicuous socio-political regions. Working within the Speech Acts Theory, the study considers the illocutionary forces in the speeches as well as the face-threatening and face-saving acts respectively, with the aim of identifying the similarities and differences in the speeches. The result shows that the speeches are relatively alike because each speaker speaks for his entire nation, regardless of his political party, and both speeches show a preponderance of ‘representatives’ and ‘commissives’. However, while President Jonathan’s commissives show predominance in the use of modal verbs to express intention, President Obama’s commissives consist of modal verbs and infinitive clauses to project volition and intention.

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