Word Choice Analysis of President Muhammadu Buhari’s May 29, 2015 Inaugural Speech: A Stylistic Study



Speech act, persuasion, political speech, Muhammadu Buhari, stylistics


Inaugural speeches are crafted to achieve interactive goals between the president elect and the electorate. Various analysis have been carried out on President Buhari's 2015 inaugural speech but very few have been focused on the speech act analysis of it; therefore, this study aims at examining the speech act models used in the speech with a bid to explicate the stylistic effects they have on the text and the readers. The study adopts J.L. Austin model of critical discourse analysis using speech act as the theoretical framework. The May 29th, 2015 inaugural speech of Muhammadu Buhari forms the data for the study. The text is subjected to discourse speech act analysis with a focus on functional grammar. Findings reveal amongst many that the speech has many lexical items that reveal the prevailing socio-political context of Nigeria. The verbal usages reveal/express the obligations, commitment, promise and proactive measure which the president hopes to make in order to ensure the general welfare of the people. The choice of pronouns and sentence type show the president’s readiness for an inclusive governance, unity and social cohesion. He metaphorically uses lexical items relating to war and growth to create a graphic image about the realities in the country with regard to social development and civil unrest which is bedeviling the country. The study concludes that presidential inaugurals are usually filled with covert ideological issues.





How to Cite

AJA, A. (2024). Word Choice Analysis of President Muhammadu Buhari’s May 29, 2015 Inaugural Speech: A Stylistic Study. Beyond Babel: BU Journal of Language, Literature, and Humanities, 6(1), 28–37. Retrieved from https://bbujollah.com/index.php/pub/article/view/23