European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies (EJELLS)

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Intertextuality and The Submerged Portrayal of Goodwill in Nigerian Political Discourse


Political discourse can be understood as the language and communication strategies used by politicians, political parties, government, and media to articulate their perspectives, promote their interests and shape public opinion. In achieving these, political actors leverage the foregrounded knowledge of their audience by alluding to various existing texts and themes that frame their speeches in a way that presents them in a good light to their audience. This concept, known as intertextuality, arms the textual and thematic repertoire of various political actors and provides the basis for an ideological connection between politicians and the masses. This study employs Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics to scrutinize the intertextual dimensions in Peter Obi’s political discourse, focusing on linguistic choices at the levels of metafunction (ideational, interpersonal and textual), lexicogrammar, register genre, and context of the situation. Gathering data from online newspaper publications, Facebook and Twitter posts, as well as campaign and conference speeches, the research reveals how Obi strategically deploys intertextual references to convey goodwill and position himself as a transformative figure—a “Messiah” addressing Nigeria’s multifaceted challenges. The analysis underscores Obi’s adeptness in tailoring linguistic choices to specific contexts and audiences, portraying him as intimately connected to the concerns of the masses. Significantly contributing to a sparse literature on the intertextual analysis of Obi’s speeches, this research sheds light on the intricate dynamics of Nigerian political discourse, offering valuable insights into the strategic use of language in shaping political identity and fostering connections with the public.

Keywords: Discourse, Intertextuality, Political, goodwill, submerged

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This work by European American Journals is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License


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