Legon Journal of the Humanities

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The Pragmatics of Political Apology in Ghana’s Contemporary Politics

Kofi Agyekum


The paper discusses political apology in the 4th republic of Ghanaian contemporary politics from 2013 to 2015. It taps its data from apologetic speeches by political officials and from apologies rendered to politicians. The paper discusses the semantics and pragmatics of political apology. It examines the use of the language of apology, paying attention to expressives, commissives and persuasion, by drawing on the speech act of apology and political discourse analysis (PDA). It concludes that the obligation on the part of the offender to apologise and for the offended to accept the apology and to forgive for socio-political harmony is driven by both the social pact and the Ghanaian communalistic context.

Keywords: political apology, political discourse analysis, persuasion, reconciliation, culture
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