CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF SELECTED PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL ADDRESSES OF THE FOURTH REPUBLIC OF GHANA

Gabriel Kwame Ankrah, Frimpong Dominic, Kwasi Opoku

Abstract


The study investigates two selected Presidential Inaugural Addresses (PIAs) delivered by John Agyekum Kuffour and John Evans Atta Mills. The objective is to identify the broad thematic outline of the selected PIAs, unravel the ideological positions of Kuffour of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) expressed covertly and also determine the possible areas of divergence and convergence in ideological standpoints of the two political heads. This is essential because, with the entrenchment of democratic cultures in Africa, the need for a deeper appreciation and application of ideological analysis of linguistic choices of political speakers pertaining to particular social contexts is critical. This study is rooted in CDA approach to discourse analysis based on Fairclough’s assumption that, discourse analysis aims at systematically exploring often opaque relationships of causality and determination between; discursive practice/events/texts and wider social and cultural structures, relations and processes. Investigating how such practices, events and texts arise out of and are ideologically shaped by relations of power and struggles over power; and to explore how the opacity of these relationships between discourse and society is itself a factor securing power and hegemony is another element of CDA as identified by him. (Fairclough, 1993) Specifically, this study attempts to expose covert ideology which is ‘hidden’ in the texts. Kuffour is found to be more direct in his discourse in espousing his capitalist ideology, condemning the previous government and also the one with least self-criticism whilst the study discovers Mills in contrast is not so direct, espouses socialism, less critical of others and sounds more conciliatory.

 

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critical discourse analysis, presidential inaugural speech, Ghana

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