DOING THINGS WITH WORDS: NIGERIAN-CAMEROON FACEOFF OVER BAKASSI PENINSULA
Words have the power to start wars, end wars, save lives, and ruin lives. Austin used this understanding to write the well-known How to Do Things with Words. The resolution of the Nigeria-Cameroon Bakassi crisis was lauded by all and sundry. But how did they do things with words before the eventual compromise? The purpose of this research is, therefore, to subject various utterances made during these periods to speech acts theory. To achieve this, speeches made in the English language by diplomats of the two countries were selected. Our findings show that assertives, commissives, expressives were predominant in the discourse. The minor difference in the number of times they occur suggests that diplomatic discourse contains functional overlap between speech acts.
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