Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type

Thesis (699 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Kathrina O'Connell


TESL, ELL, pragmatics, discourse analysis, situation comedy, speech act theory


This paper analyzes the pragmatics features of the language in an episode of the sitcom Cheers to find out what second language learners need to know about the language of the sitcom and about the background knowledge informing it for that episode to be understandable to them and for it thus to be an effective as an instruction tool. To answer this question, the researcher transcribed the speech in the episode and used a speech act theory-based approach to identify and categorize deixis, locutionary forms, illocutionary types, and instances of reduction and types of indirect speech. Categories in these areas were compared for their relative prevalence and for the prevalence of correlations between them. The paper concludes that the researcher’s speech act theoretical approach was useful in identifying over a third of the indirect speech in the episode of Cheers in the form of non-standard alignments between locutionary form and illocutionary type.



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