The Use of Presupposition in the Creation of Socio- Political Dominance in Kenyan Parliamentary Debates between 1992 and 2010

Christine Atieno Peter, Mwenda Mukuthuria, Peter Muriungi


Presupposition, a linguistic element can be employed in utterances. When this is done it enhances the comprehension of what is being communicated. This aspect of language that is implicit assumption of an utterance is a strategy that may be used to express a speaker’s socio- political dominance. The truth of what is said is taken for granted and can be manipulated by the speaker to have devastating effects on an individual or the society at large. This study examined presupposition as a strategy of language used by Kenyan members of parliament during debates to create socio- political dominance. The objective was: To analyse the usage of presupposition in language used by parliamentarians to create socio- political dominance in Kenyan parliamentary debates. Various sources of literature have been reviewed in the following areas: ideology, discourse strategies, the power in language, parliamentary proceedings and political dominance. The study used descriptive research design. By using purposive sampling, the data was collected from the Hansard dating from 1992 to 2010.  Data was analysed using Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (FDA). This theory looks at how the society is moulded by language that shows various power relationships. The study identified language that created dominance, discussed the presupposition as a strategy used in the utterances. The research found out that presupposition was used by speakers to create dominance in the debates.

Keywords: Presupposition, Discourse Strategies, Ideology, Power. Parliamentary Language

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