An Analysis of Illocutionary Acts on Oprah Winfrey’s Commencement Speech at Harvard

  • Nabilah Alya
  • Revina Avanti N.R
  • Christina Innocenti Tumiar Panggabean
  • Risa Triassanti
Keywords: Pragmatics, Speech Act, Illocutionary acts


Speech act is the study in the pragmatics field which focuses in studying words which words are being seen as a tool to present information and carrying the action. This research used descriptive qualitative method as it aimed to analyze and describe the type and the most dominant illocutionary acts on Oprah Winfrey’s Commencement Speech at Harvard. The data was analyzed based on Searle theory. The whole illocutionary act performed by Oprah Winfrey could be summarized as follows: 6 (15,4%) of representative/assertive, 5 (12,8%) of commissive, 14 (35,9%) of expressive, 13 (33,3 %) of expressive, 1 (2.6%) and of declarative. From the findings, it showed that directive is the most frequent type of act used by the speaker as in commencement speech the speaker will tend to give advices to the hearers.


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