University of Doba (UD), Chad.
University of Maroua, Cameroon.
This work is about a systemic functional analysis of Nicola Sarkozy’s Dakar speech, with
an emphasis on the theory of mood: interpersonal meaning (Halliday and Matthiessen,
2004). Precisely, the paper focuses on the exploration of mood and adjunct types on the
one hand, and on the other hand it analyses the system of modality so as to highlight the
basic messages or information conveyed through the exchange and the various
judgements and attitudes behind this exchange. The qualitative and quantitative analysis
of mood patterns reveals that the speech is basically about information giving by means
of declarative moods; that some orders or command are expressed through imperative
moods; and that a few questions are asked. These questions highlight some relevant
choices instead of demanding information. Additionally, it comes out from the analysis
that there is an abundant use of modulator, which suggests that many judgements in
terms of necessity, obligation and inclination are expressed. President Sarkozy talked
with conviction by using modalisors. In short, he had the attitude of an expert who
knows and understands African challenges and who is able to give recommendations
regarding these challenges. The exchange was carried out in a context of unequal power
and there was no familiarity between the speaker and the audience. This study has
shown that systemic functional linguistics enables researchers to avoid interpretations
based on extra linguistics facts.
Key words: mood patterns, systemic functional linguistics, unequal power, familiarity,
extra linguistic facts.
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