Speech Acts in Patriotic Songs Composed by Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha


  • Jitsuda Laongpol Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Yala Rajabhat University, Thailand


Speech acts, Types, Illocutionary act, Patriotic songs


The current study aims to analyze and identify the use of illocutionary speech acts in patriotic songs penned by Thailand’s 29th Prime Minister and former commander of the Royal Thai Army, General Prayuth Chan-ocha. The junta chief seized power on May 22, 2014, after months of violent street protests against the elected government of the former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. During his five-year term as the premier, a total of his ten songs were released as a communication channel between him and all people in the nation. The descriptive qualitative research approach is employed to analyze the speech act types and their functional aspects found in the songs. The quantitative approach is applied to investigate which speech act type is dominantly used. The study is conducted on the lyrics in the English versions of General Prayut’s six selected ballads. In analyzing the data, the speech act theory based on the illocutionary act of John Searle is used from a pragmatic framework. From the total of 90 utterances covered in the study, the findings show that four types of the acts are used in the songs. They are representative (assertive), directive, commissive and expressive acts. Only the declarative speech act is not found. Representatives are mostly used in the songs, followed by directives, commissives and expressives. According to the research findings, the functional aspects of stating, asserting, and describing are found in representatives; ordering, requesting, persuading, questioning, and prohibiting in directives; promising, vowing, and offering in commissives, and lastly expressing love, determination, desire, hope, and tiredness are revealed in expressives.


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