A Critical Discourse Analysis of Modals in Nigerian Political Manifestos

Taiwo Oluwaseun Ehineni


This paper critically analyses the ideological uses of modals by Nigerian politicians especially in their electioneering campaign manifestoes designed to elicit favourable political support from the electorate. Methodologically, the data were collected from political manifestoes of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party (LP) and Barr. Rotimi Akeredolu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) used during their campaigns for the 2012 gubernatorial election in Ondo State. Using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), the study pinpoints the ideological underpinnings of the modals used by the politicians. The study reveals that modals such as 'will', 'shall', 'must', 'can', etc. are used by the politicians in both manifestoes for persuasion, obligation, to make promises, demonstrate political will/commitment, and solicit public support and manipulation. Significantly, this paper provides critical insight to the peculiar uses of modals in political contexts and avers that modals are not just linguistic elements, but most importantly, ideological tools.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v6i3.5589

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