A Pragmatic Analysis of Hate Speech Advanced through Implicature in Kenyan Political Discourse

Author: June Chebet Chelule (Laikipia University, Kenya)
Speaker: June Chebet Chelule
Topic: Political Discourse Anthropology
The GLOCAL AFALA 2023 General Session


Implicature occurs when there are indirect connotations in pragmatics. It is observed through alluded meanings. Political discourses make use of implicature as they communicate messages that are guided by context to bring out the meanings. This study aims to identify instances of hate speech in sampled Kenyan political speeches on the YouTube platform and to discuss thematic concerns presented through implicature in the political speeches considered as hate speech in Kenya. A purposive sampling of data was carried out and a total of eight political speeches were collected. The speeches were transcribed and translated then thematically analysed guided by the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Relevance theory which provided the theoretical underpinnings for this study. The qualitative study reveals that the speakers communicate a variety of implied meanings which include age, gender, religion, power and electoral system. The findings revealed that the  speakers made intentional choices and the audiences depend on context for meanings. The study contributes to the discussion of hate speech from an applied linguistics perspective in the fields of sociolinguistics, discourse analysis and pragmatics. The findings are useful to the general public in making informed choices on hate speech and to policy makers who can use the information to understand and control the practice.

Keywords: Pragmatic, implicature, political discourse, hate speech