A Multimodal Semiotic Study of Selected Political Rally Discourse of 2011 Election Campaigns in Southwestern Nigeria


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships




The study examined selected political rally discourse for the 2011 elections in Southwestern Nigeria. It examined the linguistic resources used in the discourse, analysed the visual resources used, explored the relationship between the verbal and non-verbal elements of meaning in the discourse and unpacked the socio-political realities reflected in it. This was done with a view to characterising the discourse and unpacking features of the current political practices and culture in Nigeria. The data for the study spanned talks, songs, surrogate languages, costume etc, obtained from the political rallies of the strongest two political parties in the six States in Southwestern Nigeria toward the 2011 general elections. Participant observation method was employed by the reseacher and his assistants to record the discourse at the rallies using appropriate research instruments. Lemke's multimodal semiotic theory, Halliday's systemic functional linguistics and Agu's African musical analysis paradigm were adopted as theoretical framework for the analysis of the data gathered due to the multimodal orientation of the study.The study seeks to demonstrate that political rally discourse has unique mutating features which define Nigerian political practices and contribute to the political development of the Nigerian nation.