An Evaluation of the Speech Acts Used in Sermons from Selected Pentecostal Churches in Eldoret Town, Kenya

Monica Oloo Oluoch


This paper analyses communication in pulpit discourse by examining the speech acts used in sermons from selected Pentecostal churches in Eldoret town, Kenya. Specifically, this paper discusses how preachers use speech acts in their sermons to convey specific meaning. The paper is informed by the Speech Acts theory and the Cooperative Principle. The data was collected through camcorder video recording and participant observation. The data from the camcorder was transcribed word-for-word and then analysed at the level of speech acts. The relevant texts were extracted from the selected sermons to illustrate the speech acts identified. The linguistic and non-linguistic cues that trigger the speech acts were also identified. The study revealed that the preachers make assertions and affirmations and that they also warn, challenge and advise the audience in a bid to transform their lives. From the results, it was shown that preachers perform different speech acts using different clause types. These speech acts were categorised into constantives, directives, commissives and acknowledgements. It is recommended that future research should focus on the use of idioms in sermons to examine their relevance for communication. The study analysed sermons from Pentecostal churches in town only and the researcher would recommend that the same concepts be analysed in sermons from Pentecostal churches in the rural area.

Keywords: Speech acts, Sermons, Pentecostal, Eldoret town, Kenya

DOI: 10.7176/JLLL/69-07

Publication date:June 30th 2020

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN 2422-8435

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©