This paper focuses on the use of hymns to convey religious messages aimed at making the consumers take the actions communicated by the composers. Many of the hymn consumers seem to pay more attention to their lyrics and rhythms than to the messages and the actions required of them by the composers. Though the hymns can be analyzed using other theories of language, this paper sets to apply John Searle’s Speech Acts theory as the theoretical and analytical frameworks to the analysis of the selected hymns so as to enable a better understanding of the actions communicated by their wordings. Using deliberate sampling, the researchers chose five hymns that exemplify the use of different speech acts in hymns from five popular Christian hymn books available in this part of the world. It was discovered that assertives, commissives, directives, expressives and declaratives all feature in the selected hymns and that the wordings of the hymns fit their communicative intents. It concludes that hymns not only enliven the spirit and gladden the heart by supplying sweet melodies, they communicate messages that embody the actions the composers require of the consumers in the service of their God.
Christian hymns, John Searle’s speech Acts, religious messages, God, composers
Geraldine Ifesinachi Nnamdi-Eruchalu , Favour Ebere Nwude "A Speech Acts Analysis of Selected Christian Hymns" Iconic Research And Engineering Journals Volume 5 Issue 11 2022 Page 113-121
Geraldine Ifesinachi Nnamdi-Eruchalu , Favour Ebere Nwude "A Speech Acts Analysis of Selected Christian Hymns" Iconic Research And Engineering Journals, 5(11)