A Study of Speech Acts on the Best Protest Songs of All Time (in Thai)

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Pimpaka Chaiyachok
Savitri Gadavanij


This research is a study of speech acts in the best protest songs of all time. The objectives of this research are (1) to classify the speech acts which appeared on the protest songs base on     John R. Searle's speech acts theory (1969) (2) to study direct and indirect illocutionary act which appeared in the protest songs (3) to study what the songs often encourages audiences to do and what language strategies are used to influence them. The researcher collected a list of 10 protest songs that were rated on the Rolling Stone website in 2014 as 10 best protest songs of all time. And all lyrics are taken from the Genius.com. To analyze the protest songs, the utterances from each song were analyzed. One sentence structure in English was considered as one utterance. It may contain words, phrases, and clauses as part of it. Besides, the sentence that was repeated in the chorus of the songs were not counted repeatedly. The results showed that (1) in a total of 180 utterances from ten protest songs, four types of illocutionary acts were found. 84 utterances were expressives, 67 utterances were representatives, 24 utterances were directives and six utterances were commissives. The speech acts of expressing opinions, irony and blaming were the three speech acts most frequently found. They were often used to express the songwriter’s emotions and attitudes towards social events. (2) 87 utterances were the direct illocutionary act and 94 utterances were the indirect illocutionary act. Indirect speech acts were often used in lyrics that contain the content of social satire or social criticism. (3) most of the protest songs use expressive speech acts to motivate listeners to be emotionally involved in the event which may lead them to decide to fight for something by themselves.

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Chaiyachok, P. ., & Gadavanij, S. . (2019). A Study of Speech Acts on the Best Protest Songs of All Time (in Thai). Connexion: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 8(2), 125–153. Retrieved from https://so05.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/MFUconnexion/article/view/241044
Research article


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