An Analysis of Speech Act Theory in Sesotho Proverbs




speech acts theory, proverbs, illocutionary, perlocutionary


This study is based on an investigation of the pragmatics in Sesotho proverbs. The study is informed by Austin’s (1962) and Searle’s (1969) speech act theory. To be exact, it attempts to examine the illocutionary acts and forces in the chosen proverbial and idiomatic expressions. It also aimed at assessing the relevancy of finding probable perlocutionary acts of those expressions. This is a qualitative study that utilised interviews to collect data. The findings of the study show that the illocutionary acts performed by using Sesotho proverbs are directive, representative, commissive and expressive; on the other hand, illocutionary acts are used to ask, scold, threaten, criticise, make requests and advise. It also revealed that the perlocutionary acts are classified according to their psychological significance or whether they make the hearer aware of something.



How to Cite

Phindane, P. 2021. “An Analysis of Speech Act Theory in Sesotho Proverbs”. Southern African Journal for Folklore Studies 30 (2):11 pages.



Received 2020-07-24
Accepted 2021-06-22
Published 2021-09-01