LANGUAGE AND POWER RELATIONS IN SELECTED POLITICAL CRISIS SPEECHES IN NIGERIA, 1984 – 2013

LANGUAGE AND POWER RELATIONS IN SELECTED POLITICAL CRISIS SPEECHES IN NIGERIA, 1984 – 2013

ABSTRACT

Language is at the centre of every human activity. Both the social and political actors explore, deploy and manipulate language to create a new atmosphere for the actualization of their goals and aspirations. Political speeches such as the ones produced in Nigeria which is undeniably bedeviled by one political crisis after another since independence  are marked by emotionally charged persuasions, threats and verbal radicalism. Such speeches project self and build the images and ideologies of the actors. In recognition of the power of language in human society, Hayakawa, Samuel (3) in his Language in Thought and Action maintains that words have power to mould men’s thinking, to canalize their feelings, to direct their will and action. Men’s conduct and character are determined by the kind of words we employ in the discussion of ourselves and the world around us…………………….