Uniting for Peace: A Speech Act Analysis of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 377 A (V)

Mohammad Awad AlAfnan


This study examines the use of speech acts in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution number 377 A (V). Using Bach’s (2003) speech acts categorizations, the study aims to identify the illocutionary and perlocutionary acts used in the resolution as it aims to examine how the resolution is constructed and interpreted. The study reveals that the resolution incorporates instances of directive, constative and commissive illocutionary acts. The perlocutionary effects of the directive illocutionary acts comprise instructing, advising, urging, requesting and recommending; the perlocutionary effects of the constative illocutionary acts include reaffirming, recognizing, and stating; and the perlocutionary effects of the commissive illocutionary acts encompass assuring and inviting. It is also found that the resolution is constructed using two structural patterns: the constative-directive pattern to recognize accountability then provide regulative directives (herewith, it shall be that) and the commissive-constative-directive pattern to renew commitment, recognize responsibilities and provide regulative directives. The study furthermore reveals that the resolution encompasses high degree of imposition in the regulatory directive illocutionary acts, but the level of imposition varied when addressing entities. The resolution comprises high degree of imposition in addressing the General Assembly, the Secretary General and committees but low (weakened) degree of imposition in addressing the Security Council, which reflects different power relations in discourse.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v12n6p50

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders. If you have any questions, please contact: wjel@sciedupress.com