19.3841, Diss: Disc Analysis/Text/Corpus Ling: Ayoola: 'A Critical Discourse...'

Mon Dec 15 19:41:51 UTC 2008

LINGUIST List: Vol-19-3841. Mon Dec 15 2008. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 19.3841, Diss: Disc Analysis/Text/Corpus Ling: Ayoola: 'A Critical Discourse...'

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Date: 15-Dec-2008
From: Kehinde Ayoola < kayoola at oauife.edu.ng >
Subject: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Reporting of Some Niger-Delta Issues in Selected Nigerian Newspapers, 1999 ? 2007


-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2008 14:39:51
From: Kehinde Ayoola [kayoola at oauife.edu.ng]
Subject: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Reporting of Some Niger-Delta Issues in Selected Nigerian Newspapers, 1999 ? 2007

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Institution: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife 
Program: PhD English Language 
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 2008 

Author: Kehinde Adewale Ayoola

Dissertation Title: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Reporting of Some
Niger-Delta Issues in Selected Nigerian Newspapers, 1999 ?

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                     Text/Corpus Linguistics

Dissertation Director(s):
Wale Adegbite

Dissertation Abstract:

This study examined the setting, topics and participants that were
projected in the content and context of reports on the Niger-Delta in
selected Nigerian newspapers. It examined the salient linguistic features
employed by the writers in their presentations and critically analysed the
pragmatic and discourse strategies employed by the participants in the news
reports. These were done with the aim of proposing an analytical framework
for describing and interpreting Nigerian print media-political discourse.

The data comprised reports that centred on Niger-Delta issues in three
national newspapers, namely The Punch, The Guardian and The Vanguard; and
three community newspapers, namely The Tide, Niger-Delta Standard and The
Telegraph between 1999 and 2007. Five to ten reports per year were randomly
selected for analysis from each of the publications resulting in a total of
273 samples. Field trips were undertaken to selected towns and villages in
the Niger-Delta region for the purpose of familiarisation with the setting
and a better understanding of the issues at stake. Photographs of
significant places that support the topics of the discourse were taken.
Both individual and institutional perspectives in the data were identified,
classified and analysed using a three-layered pragma-linguistic theoretical

The results revealed that discourse participants from different sides of
the Niger-Delta conflict often slanted their public pronouncements in a
manner that promoted their positive sides, on the one hand, and the
unflattering sides of their opponents, on the other hand. Discourse
participants engaged one another on the pages of newspapers using
adversarial lexical items and collocations to gain political advantage over
one another. The findings also showed that the context of domination and
its resistance could be seen in the morphological and grammatical choices
of the discourse participants. Evidence of bias and partisanship in the
news reports showed that journalists and the media houses they represented
played active roles as participants in the conflict. In their quest to gain
political advantage over their opponents, Niger-Delta discourse
participants also resorted to several pragmatic and discourse strategies,
such as the force of logic, the use of figures and percentages, the
persuasion of science, interdiscursivity and intertextuality, rumour
mongering, name calling, dysphemism, obfuscation and flattery.

The study concluded that the pragma-linguistic analytical framework
enhanced accurate description and interpretation of media political
discourse and therefore could equip the reading public and discourse
interpreters with the appropriate tools of identifying nuances of meaning
that would otherwise have eluded them. 

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