Persuasive Strategies in Selected Al-Sistani's Friday Sermons


Abstract:-The present study tackles persuasive strategies in two of Al-Sistani's Standard Arabic written Friday sermons that mainly tackle the 2019 Iraqi protests. This study aims to find out the persuasive strategies employed in these sermons, involving illocutionary speech acts and pragmatic functions occurred within them in addition to persuasive appeals and their strategies. The significance of the present study is that it reveals how the persuasive strategies mentioned above have been utilized in the said sermons to persuade the audience. Data for the present study have been selected for the following reasons:(1) they include different persuasive illocutionary speech acts with different pragmatic functions and different persuasive appeals with their strategies, and (2) they seem to have not been handled before by any researcher from the perspective of persuasion. Moreover, the approach followed in analyzing the data in the present study is mainly qualitative, and fifteen examples have been investigated. The findings of the present study are that three types of illocutionary speech acts have been used: representatives, directives and expressives. The advising pragmatic function occurring within directives is the prevalent type among other pragmatic functions. Furthermore, rational appeals, credibility appeals and affective appeals have been employed in the selected sermons and different strategies have been utilized within these three types. The rational appeals are the type which is dominant among others and the strategy of cause and effect- consequences occurred within this type is prevalent. The prevalence of the directives with the advising pragmatic function in addition to the rational appeals with the strategy of cause and effect-consequences might be due to the fact that the nature of the issue of the 2019 protests requires advising the protesters to properly manage them in addition to addressing the rational aspect of the minds of people to convince them so that the peaceful protests aims can be achieved. Moreover, most of the aforementioned types of speech acts with their pragmatic functions in the two sermons selected have been explicitly employed to clearly send the messages to the audience.Key words: speech acts, pragmatic functions, persuasive appeals, persuasive strategies, sermons, protests.