British Journal of English Linguistics (BJEL)

EA Journals


Discursive Construction of Ideology in Print Media Political Interviews in Nigeria (Published)

This study examines the ideological orientations of discourse participants in selected print media political interviews (PMPIs) in Nigeria. Twenty political interviews were purposively selected from Vanguard and The Sun newspapers published between 2014 and 2016. The newspapers were selected because of their wide readership, accessibility, and coverage of political events. Privileging van Dijk’s socio-cognitive model of critical discourse analysis (CDA) and transitivity system of Halliday’s systemic functional grammar (SFG), the study unearths four main ideological constructions to characterise the PMPIs: nationalist, supremacist, sectionalist and constitutionalist. These ideologies are realised through discursive strategies such as lexicalisation, polarisation, self-glorification and negative other-presentation, with material, mental, existential and verbal processes. The study concludes that a linguistic study of political interviews enhances the understanding of political leaders’ political ideologies which will ultimately help to ameliorate the problem of leadership and governance in Nigeria.

Keywords: Ideology, Nigeria, Print Media, Transitivity, political interviews, socio-cognitive model

Transitivity in Kufour’s 2008 Farewell Speech to the Ghanaian Parliament (Published)

This study uses Halliday’s transitivity theory to analyse the use of language in President J. A. Kufuor’s farewell address to Parliament. The study uses the content analysis design to analyse all the clauses in the address. The study reveals that among the six process types under the transitivity model, the material processes are used maximally in the speech whereas the existential processes are used minimally. There was, however, no behavioural process in the address. The dominant use of material clauses suggest that Kufuor interprets the world in terms of his past and present “goings-on” happenings by recounting some of the concrete achievements recorded under his eight-year stewardship and making useful suggestions to the incoming government in order to ensure continuity in projects his administration has initiated. His choice of actors suggests that Kufuor attributes the achievements to himself which may be perceived as a feature of undemocratic leadership style; however his determination to share his wealth of experience with the incoming government corrects the impression that he is undemocratic. He also uses a majority of relational identifications to point out to himself and his administration as the main development players. Verbal processes have been used as markers of transition and topic shift; still, he refers to himself as the main sayer. The study concludes and affirms that material, relational and mental processes are the three primary processes often used in language since the three add up to about 90% (Halliday&Matthiessen, 2004).

Keywords: Farewell Address, Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, Parliament, Political Ideologies, Systemic Functional Grammar, Transitivity

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