Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of English, College of Languages and Human Sciences, University of Garmain

2 Invitation and Intimidation Through the Use of Speech Acts in Selected English and Arabic Religious Sermons


Religious sermons are used to influence the audience to familiarize, reinforce and modify certain beliefs and redirect people to do good deeds. Religious discourse exhibits many features that make it an interesting area for linguists to study and dig deep through its characteristics.
In addition, religious men try to use special words to invite people to or intimidate people from doing things that are forbidden by religion principles. Clergymen believe that they have the authority to teach people according to their understanding of the subject and this might be a double-edged sword.
The present contrastive study aims at finding out the functions of invitation and intimidation expressions and how they are identified and presented by using speech acts in both English and Arabic religious discourse at pragmatic level. 
The data were selected randomly from authentic websites, one English and one Arabic religious speech. Synthesizing a model which is based on what is presented by Searle (1979). The sermons are brought under contrastive analysis to show the differences and similarities between them in a pragmatic perspective.

The study proves that Arabic sermons tend to use more devices and they are more exaggerated than English sermons. Generally speaking, Arabic preachers used more intimidation expressions than English preachers and their speech tends to be stronger due to society and culture. It also can be concluded that Arabic preachers used speech acts more than English preachers.   They used speech acts in invitations more than intimidations in both English and Arabic speeches. 


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