A Pragmatic Analysis of Barack Obama's “A More Perfect Union” in the Context of Relevance Theory

Authors

  • Muhammad Haroon Jakhrani M.phil English, Institute of Southern Punjab Multan, Pakistan Author
  • Naomi Justin Lecturer, Department of English, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) Author
  • Muhammad Hassan Shaikh Assistant Professor, Institute of English Language and Literature, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Mir’s, Sindh, Pakistan Author

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.33195/

Keywords:

Pragmatic analysis, Relevance Theory, Barack Obama, Speech

Abstract

This research aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the 'A More Perfect Union' speech by Barack Obama using a pragmatic approach. The paper is qualitative and descriptive and uses textual analysis for interpretation. This study utilizes the principles of relevance theory developed by Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson to unlock the intricate ways through which Obama powerfully crafted his message to connect, persuade, and resonate with his audience. Through a careful and purposeful examination of the context, implication, and cognitive effects, the paper intends to make known the cognitive mechanisms that Obama employs to establish relevance and get his message across effectively. The presented research work contributes to a deeper knowledge of the pragmatic aspects of political rhetoric and offers insights into the impact of linguistic strategies on the formation of public opinion and debates nowadays.

References

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Chilton, P. (2004). Analyzing political discourse: Theory and practice. Routledge.

Crowley, S. (2009). A more perfect union: Barack Obama's race speech at the National Constitution Center. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 95(4), 404-427.

Grice, H. P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In P. Cole & J. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and Semantics, Vol. 3: Speech Acts (pp. 41-58). Academic Press.

Levinson, S. C. (1983). Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press.

Pew Research Center. (2008). Obama's speech on race, media coverage. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org

Sperber, D., & Wilson, D. (1986). Relevance: Communication and cognition. Harvard University Press.

Van Dijk, T. A. (2006). Discourse, context and cognition. Discourse Studies, 8(1), 159-177.

Yule, G. (1996). Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.

Zarefsky, D. (2012). Rhetorical perspectives on Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 15(4), 601-626.

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Published

03/15/2024

How to Cite

Muhammad Haroon Jakhrani, Naomi Justin, & Muhammad Hassan Shaikh. (2024). A Pragmatic Analysis of Barack Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” in the Context of Relevance Theory. University of Chitral Journal of Linguistics and Literature, 8(I), 75-81. https://doi.org/10.33195/

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