Coinages and Slogans as Strategies for Identity Construction in the 2019 General Elections in Nigeria
Keywords:Coinages, Slogans, Identity construction, 2019 General Elections
The study investigates how coinages and slogans are political conduits used strategically by individuals in constructing their identities in the 2019 general election political discourse in Nigeria. The study adopted Norman Fairclough and Ruth Wodak‘s Discourse-Historical analysis model of CDA, together with Clusivity theory and Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics. Twenty four comments involving coinages and slogans that cut across popular subject areas of politics relating to the Nigerian 2019 general election between 2018 and 2019 are purposively sampled. Data for the study were retrieved from the Nairaland forum archives. The comments were sampled, scrutinized and analysed using the content analysis method. The use of coinages and slogans can be implicit or explicit. It was revealed that when constructing identity, political actors can employ coinages and slogans to reflect the notion of “positive self-representation” and “negative other-representation” established in Wieczorek’s strategies of Inclusion and Exclusion in Clusivity theory. Coinages and slogans are also used for different discursive strategies such as persuasion, negotiation, sarcasm and rhetorical questions. Political actors used coinages and slogans as political conduits to delineate and negotiate their political affiliations and dissociations and also to achieve, advocate, alter and (re)build their political ideologies and leanings in the 2019 general election in Nigeria.
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