A linguistic analysis of verbal bullying expressions in selected schools in Machakos town sub-county


Dorothy Katunge Mutunga


This paper aims at showing how speech act theory is used to account for expressions used to instigate verbal bullying among students in secondary schools. It is hewn from a main study that examined various linguistic expressions of verbal bullying and its harm on students in selected public schools in Machakos town sub-county, Kenya. The study sought to find out evidence of linguistic expressions used in verbal bullying, the forms they took and evaluation of the utterances using speech act theory; how the utterances affected the targeted students and especially if they violated the students’ rights on dignity and equal opportunity to quality education despite the child’s background. The study used a mixed methods design, where quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect and analyze data. Out of an approximate sample of forty six public schools, purposive sampling was used to select schools based on their previous history in unrest. Due to the heterogeneous nature of the schools, the schools were stratified and categorized in two groups, that is mixed and pure girls’ and boys’ schools. Further stratification was done based on the type of school whether it was a sub county, county, extra county or national school. Students were selected randomly from each class of school to form the population of the respondents. The students were interviewed to collect data. After analysis, the previous study found out that verbal l bullying expressions such as insults, use of offensive language, threats, issuing commands among others were used by the perpetrators against the victims. Again, the study established that verbal bullying expressions had great effects on the targeted. Some reported to have felt isolated from the affiliated groups, others said they felt dejected, devalued among others.




How to Cite
A linguistic analysis of verbal bullying expressions in selected schools in Machakos town sub-county. (2023). Journal of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, 4(1), 28-40. https://royalliteglobal.com/jlfl/article/view/1026
Author Biography

Dorothy Katunge Mutunga, Department of Linguistics and Languages, Machakos University, Kenya

Dorothy Katunge Mutunga holds a Bachelor of Education Arts degree in English and Literature and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics at Machakos University, Kenya. Her research interests are in the uses of speech act theory, linguistic analysis and language use in schools.

How to Cite

A linguistic analysis of verbal bullying expressions in selected schools in Machakos town sub-county. (2023). Journal of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, 4(1), 28-40. https://royalliteglobal.com/jlfl/article/view/1026


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