A Corpus-Driven Discourse Analysis of Ghanaian Presidential Inaugural Addresses


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships


Department of English


In its contribution to national discussions and research on Ghanaian political discourse, national identity, unity and development, this study investigates the inaugural addresses of four presidents in Ghana’s Fourth Republic viz. Fmr. Presidents Rawlings, Kufuor, Mills and Mahama. The overarching aim of this research focus is to show, through the language of the inaugurals, what and how the leaders have used their respective opportunities to construct various personal, socio-political and cultural meanings and identities. Based on a triangulation approach involving Corpus Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Systemic Functional Grammar, the study 1) offers a useful theoretical and methodological paradigm for doing political discourse analysis in Ghana , 2) highlights the utility of Ghanaian presidential inaugurals as important sites for various discourses about Ghana’s socio-political journey, and 3) provides a utile scholarly avenue for emancipatory discussions (and actions) on aspects of Ghana’s past, present and future political discourse.