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Research Article

EEO. 2020; 19(2): 1159-1171


1Ahmad Kareem Salem, 2Abbas Lutfi Hussein, 3Hassan Abd-Aljabbar.


In certain circumstances, politicians resort to the use of the act of provoking for personal and/or for public benefits, particularly when this act is sent by a person and/or even an animal to act with bad-tempered or to make them angry by annoying them continuously (Longman’s Dictionary of Contemporary English,2020, s.v. provoke). Provoking is often seen as a social complex phenomenon which is still under researched. Being a complex and newly, provocation seems to lack a common understanding of what is meant by the concept in modern and other social sciences (Tumskiy, 2019: 644). Thus, this study aims at identifying the use of speech act of provoking by political figures and illustrating its function by analyzing two Americans and two Arabic political speeches. Utilizing Searle’s (1969, 1975) model in correlation with Bukharin, Tsyganov and Bochkareva (2013) is made to account for the pragma-linguistic investigation of provoking in the selected data. A qualitative method is followed to account for the data and results analysis. The study concludes that the speech act of provoking seems to be negatively intended act in political arena and that the consequences of the delivered act can be for the benefit of the provoker rather than the provokee. Socially and politically, the indirect way of performing provoking might be stronger than the direct one. However, this leads the audience or action-gazer to be threatened or more aware for what it can be assumed by a political figure.

Key words: pragmatics, speech act, provoke, provoker, provoke

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