A Lexico-Thematic Analysis of Selected Speeches of Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan
Political speeches have been studied from different linguistic orientations such as stylistics, pragmatics, lexico-semantics and discourse analysis. Analysing a political speech using a lexico-thematic approach is novel. This research carries out a lexico-thematic analysis of selected speeches of a former Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan. Ten topically and purposively selected speeches of Goodluck Jonathan constituted the data for the research. Eight speeches were drawn from Jonathan’s (2013) Determination Unspeakable: A Collection of Speeches, while two came from The Nigerian Tribune of 12 November, 2014 and The Guardian of April 1, 2015 respectively. The speeches were subjected to qualitative linguistic analysis using the framework of Systemic Functional Grammar. The Systemic Functional Linguistic considers the relationship between language and its function in social settings. It was discovered that Goodluck Jonathan’s speeches reiterated five main thematic preoccupations which centered on ‘peace’, ‘faith’, ‘progress’, ‘patriotism’, and ‘transparency’, and these themes were skillfully wielded through a careful selection of synonymous lexical relations to project and emphasize the consistent messages in the sampled speeches.
Keywords: Lexico-thematic analysis, President Goodluck Jonathan, speeches.