Investigating The Perlocutionary Thrust Of Language Of Propaganda In The Political Writings On Nigeria’s 2015 General Elections

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science


Abstract


Words perform actions. Language and in fact words have different functions and according to the speech act theory of J.L Austin, utterances both written and spoken have a particular effect it should have on the listener. Many researchers have written on political campaign speeches and a universal trend in them – propaganda in Nigeria. The researcher feels that the related works previously done on the field of enquiry did not probe into the underlying intentions beneath the speaker’s mind neither did they succinctly address the effect the utterances make on the audience- the electorate. This makes the undertaking of this research important. The researcher also observed that the perlocutionary thrust of language use on the aspirants and the electorate with regard to campaign of calumny (propaganda) is yet to be fully studied. With this in mind, this study uses the Speech Act theory of J.L Austin to show that language has a great effect on both the voters and contestants as observed during the 2015 general election in Nigeria. This research takes into consideration most especially eight selected writings of party loyalists of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (APC) during the 2015 presidential election. Data collected for this research spanned from the buildup of the campaign process in August 2014 to the eve of the elections in March 2015, feared in many quarters as the last Nigeria would ever had.

Key terms: perlocutionary thrust, propaganda, political writings, 2015 general election.


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