Pragmatic Analysis of Conceptual Mappings in Inaugural Speeches of Nigerian Presidents

Moses Aremu


This work examines the pragmatics of conceptual mappings in the inaugural speeches of Nigerian executive presidents between 1979 and 2015. The study adopts the Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) conceptual metaphor theory, Chartens-Black’s (2004) critical metaphor theory and modified model of Mey’s (2001) pragmeme. The findings reveal that Nigerian Presidents’ inaugural speeches are characterised by several metaphorical mappings such as characterizing an election as a battle, or a sport or a journey. Mappings in the text are used as pragmatic strategies for appealing, remembering, thanking, warning and promising.  The paper concludes that understanding cognitive metaphors in the text requires the knowledge of the participants’ shared cultural knowledge and world view.

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