A Study of Speech Acts in Joe Biden’s Opening and Closing Remarks at the Virtual Summit for Democracy: A Pragmatic Perspective
This article aims at showing to what extent the speech acts theory can be useful to text analysis and meaning deciphering. It further seeks to unveil, beyond what is literally said in President Joe Biden’s opening and closing remarks, the underlying meanings subtly encoded via the different speech acts embedded therein to help grasp the ins and outs of the first summit for democracy. The study employs the mixed method to attain its objectives. The investigation has disclosed that representative speech acts have been used to describe the state of democracy worldwide today. They further reveal that the statistical data presented in the opening remarks as regards democracy is real and trustworthy. Democracy is therefore in trouble in virtually all countries in the world even those held up or taken as models in this matter. Commissive speech acts have been used to reveal the plans President Biden has in mind for the re-establishment of democracy all over the world. Joe Biden’s special language use via the directive speech acts despite his rank and the social power he embodies shows that he is not an autocratic president. It also evokes the notion of politeness. In fact he has been tactful, modest and very nice in his address to his audience. He has by so doing shown awareness and consideration of the face of the people attending the summit. The felicity Sincerity and essential conditions testify to the validity of the direct speech acts recorded in the remarks. These felicity conditions indicate that the plans made, and decisions reached at the summit as encoded via the commissive speech acts, are going to be enforced for a better democratic world to live in. Achievement reports at the second upcoming summit for democracy will unquestionably help assess this accurately.