Questioning Act as an Instrument of Threatening Acts in the First Final United States Presidential Debate 2020 “Economy Issue”: (A Pragmatic Study)

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Misyi Gusthini, Lia Maulia Indrayani, Rosaria Mita Amalia, Elvi Citraresmana


This paper aims to discuss the use of questioning acts as an instrument to determine the use of face threatening acts in the first final United States Presidential Debate September 2020, between Donald Trump versus Joe Biden. The data source is the debate transcript of presidential first final debate in September 2020, and the data is the utterances of Trump and Biden which taken from Economic Issue. Trump and Biden regularly attacks each other’s face in debate through questioning acts, especially in the minute 11:48 until 19:09 in the part 2 of debate activity. This research applies descriptive qualitative method by applying Yule’s speech act theory (1996), and Brown & Levinson (1987) Face Threatening Acts in Yule (1996). In the economy issue, the writers find that there are 7 data of questioning acts which contains face threatening acts meanwhile questioning act is part of directive speech act. The data shows that, the questioning acts usually function as the instrument to make the interlocutors loss their face.

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