Human Agency in the State-of-the-Nation Addresses of Philippine Presidents in the Fifth Republic

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in English Language and Literature



First Advisor

Maria Luz Elena N. Canilao, PhD


Political speeches are overt manifestations of political leaders' political will and informal (Ashley & Jarmer, 2016) political power. The coalescence of political will with/and/plus political power are manifested via the strategic deployment of indicative grammatical values such as observed in various local and foreign literature (see studies of Adetunji, 2006; Hamdaoui, 2015; Quinto, 2014; among others). This study focused on the deployment of person deixis in selected-representative State-of-the-Nation Addresses of the six Philippine presidents in the Fifth Republic to determine how these specific indicative grammatical values mark human agency in discourse. Guided by terminological constructs from Fairclough (1989), van Dijk (2000; 2001), and Wodak, et al. (2009), this study highlighted the various ways Fifth Republic political leaders encoded their assumption, acknowledgment, assignment, and/or avoidance of roles and responsibilities to various social actors and social groups invoked in the selected speeches. Findings reveal the various strategies of proximation and polarization performed by the Fifth Republic political leaders in discourse, as well as the pragmatic values achieved via such deployments. This attempt to disambiguate the obfuscations in the deployment of human agency in discourse seeks to contribute to the development of people's "consciousness" that Fairclough (1989) claims to be the "first step towards emancipation" (p. 1).

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