Stephen’s Martyrdom in the Holy Bible: Investigating His Defense Speech Using Conversation Implicature and Language Expectancy Theory (Published)
The paper examines Stephen’s defense to the ‘false charges’ brought against him in the Bible vis-a-vis his death through stoning. Although few scholars have written some things on Stephen and his defense speech, none has linked his death to the content of the speech itself and his linguistic choice but rather to the beliefthat he was killed based on his religious belief. Using Grice’s conversational implicature and Language Expectancy Theory, the authors discovered that Stephen violated Grice’s maxim of relevance by not addressing the substance of the question posed to him by the High Priest with the implicature that he might have said those things he was accused of which were blasphemous. Also, towards the end of the defense, Stephen employed verbal aggression which is a clear case of negative violation of expectations of language use, hence another probable reason for Stephen’s death.
Citation: Samuel Adebayo Omotunde, Omolade Bamigboye and Olumide Ogunrotimi (2022) Stephen’s Martyrdom in the Holy Bible: Investigating His Defense Speech Using Conversation Implicature and Language Expectancy Theory, European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, Vol.10, No.4, pp.1-12