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A Comparative, Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis of Three Conservative British Prime Ministers’ Inauguration Speeches
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies.
2023 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the discourse of political speeches, inauguration speeches are an opportunity for often newly appointed politicians in head positions to address citizens and persuade them about their policies and ideas and how they intend to govern further. This research essay analyses and compares the inauguration speeches of three conservative British prime ministers, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. This is carried out using Bash’s and Harnish’s classification of communicative (persuasive) speech acts at the micro level, and, by using a discourse analytical approach at the macro level. It also investigates the prime ministers’ persuasive messages about their opinions on Brexit and how to lead Britain forward in the wake of Brexit. The results demonstrate that the British prime ministers try to persuade the public both explicitly and implicitly by using mostly constative and commissive speech acts, both of which contribute to the exaggeration of their persuasive messages about their opinions on Brexit (Johnson and Sunak) and how to lead Britain forward in the wake of Brexit. The persuasive speech acts are not used desultorily and have distinct persuasive motives. The analysis of the persuasive speech acts at the micro level establishes a solid base for the comparative discourse analysis at the macro level in which Boris Johnson, in particular, attempts to persuade the public about the benefits of Brexit. Regarding leading Britain forward in the wake of Brexit, both Johnson, Truss and Sunak portray themselves as the right person in charge for Britain’s further development by pointing out various societal areas they want to improve and how they plan to boost the UK’s economy. Johnson and Truss express a vision to transform the UK into a global actor by implementing tax cuts, attracting investment, paving the way for high-skilled jobs, conspicuous research, and more, while Sunak predominantly focuses on financial stability. Taking into account that Brexit has reignited separatist forces in the UK, each prime minister attempts to persuade the public that they aspire to unite the country and include all parts of Britain in their plans for future improvements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. , p. 49
Keywords [en]
Political discourse, inauguration speeches, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak, Brexit, leading Britain forward in the wake of Brexit, speech act theory, pragmatics, micro level, discourse analysis, macro level
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-20421Local ID: EON200OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-20421DiVA, id: diva2:1780617
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English
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Available from: 2023-07-18 Created: 2023-07-06 Last updated: 2023-07-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
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