A CORPUS-ASSISTED CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF MODALITY IN SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION CAMPAIGNS IN NIGERIA

Mohammed Ayodeji Ademilokun

Abstract

This article examines modal resources in the mediatised discourse of social transformation  in Nigeria with a view to showing how they are strategically used to code interpersonal meanings for enhanced and impactful delivery of messages of social transformation in the nation. Data for the study comprises texts on aspects of social transformation campaigns in Nigeria in the context of democracy, anti-corruption crusade, insecurity and domestic violence compiled as small corpora. The data comprises texts produced by government and non-governmental actors consisting of speeches, radio commentaries, jingles, printed texts, interviews, tweets and online newspaper comments and covers the period from March 2013 to March 2018. The five-year span was informed by the wide gamut of negative realities in the nation during the time frame which led to increased mediatisation of social transformation messages. Corpus-assisted critical discourse approach was employed for data analysis, using Fairclough’s (1989, revised 2015) dialectical relational approach, the corpus linguistic tool of Antconc, chi-square test on R-Studio and normalised relative frequencies. Data analysis revealed that the different participants in the discourse characteristically used different modal resources to reflect their power on the one hand and resistance on the other and to capture the intensity of their views and feelings on the actions required for Nigeria to experience genuine social transformation. The study concludes that even though the discourse is largely ideational, modal resources are deployed for emphasising the urgency and seriousness of the issues in the ideational contents of the discourse.

Keywords

corpus linguistics; critical discourse analysis; modality; Nigeria; social transformation campaigns

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