Pragmatic analysis of speech acts and politeness strategies used in traditional ceremony speeches: the case of Nc’wala of the Ngoni.

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Hangwani, Mweemba Carbon
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The University of Zambia
This study sought to carry out a pragmatic analysis of speech acts and politeness strategies used in traditional ceremony speeches with reference to the Nc’wala of the Ngoni. The traditional ceremony speeches referred to were those written in English that were delivered on behalf of Paramount Chief Mpezeni IV during the three selected Nc’wala traditional ceremonies. The study analyses and determines the most frequently used speech acts and politeness strategies in Nc’wala traditional ceremony speeches. The qualitative data is analysed using descriptive analysis where themes used are identified and described based on the two concepts. Within the descriptive research design, simple descriptive design is used to determine the frequency count of speech acts and politeness strategies as they are used in the traditional ceremony speeches. A total of forty-five statements, fifteen from each traditional speech ceremony are considered. The study reveals the use of four varieties of speech acts used in different proportions as follows: directives 36%, assertives 33%, expressives 29% and commissives 2%. The analysis of politeness strategies equally reveals the use of four types of politeness strategies each with some sub strategies. Positive politeness 46% (offer or promise, identify interest to hearer/ use of in group identity markers, include both speaker and hearer in the activity, give gifts to hearer of goods, sympathy, understanding, cooperation and be optimistic). Negative politeness 27% (give deference, be pessimistic and impersonalize both speaker and hearer). Bald on record 20% (requests and welcome) and off record 7% (give association clues and overstate). Based on the findings, the study reveals that writers of traditional ceremony speeches of Nc’wala ceremony use speech acts according to the message intended. Further, those speech acts are accompanied by appropriate politeness strategies which are Face Saving Acts (FSAs) in order to create linguistic harmony between the interlocutors.
Face saving acts--Traditional ceremonies--Zambia , Rites and ceremonies--Zambia , Rites and ceremonies--Ngoni people--Zambia