University of Pretoria
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Illocutionary speech acts in the prayer of Jacob (PGM 22b)

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posted on 2024-06-13, 09:11 authored by Sihe KhumaloSihe Khumalo

This research utilizes Speech Act Theory in examining The Prayer of Jacob as presented in the Greek Magical Papyri (PGM 22b). The application of this theory to ancient rituals provides a valuable framework for analysing their performative aspects and recognizing that language can perform actions beyond merely conveying information. The study categorizes utterances based on their illocutionary acts and aims to identify verbs within the prayer as speech acts, such as exercitives, expressives, and direct addresses, and to investigate their intended functions. The main argument of the dissertation is that the verbs in the prayer are performatives and that their intended illocution would be successful under the right conditions. The research is conducted through a textual and contextual analysis of the prayer, followed by an analysis of the utterances in it as illocutionary.

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Department/Unit

Ancient and Modern Languages and Cultures

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