Pragmatics as Applied to Characters’ Relationships: Focus on Wole Soyinka’s Play “The Lion and the Jewel”

Mekwanent Tilahun Desta


The study analyzes briefly the notion of speech acts and pragmatics as applied to the discourse of drama. It discusses more extensively the view that the theory of speech acts and pragmatics in dramatic dialogue cannot be seen devoid of the relationship between all linguistic features that make up the story line to be evidence for the relationship between characters. In particular, it discusses characters’ relationships by using speech acts, politeness phenomena and cooperative principles and other sociolinguistics features as tools. The findings and conclusions of the study demonstrate that characters use speech acts to swerve the attention of their interlocutors’ to something else. The study also shows that the notion of principle of cooperation, turn-taking and politeness phenomena is irregular in which clear observation of indiscretion in sticking to social status is manifested. Besides, there is no linear chain of command in the play.

Keywords: Speech-Act, Politeness Phenomena, Cooperative Principle, Turn-taking, Speech event, Schema

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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