A study of conceptual metaphors in two selected presidential inaugural speeches in Nigeria

  • Patricia Obiageli Oguegbu
  • Ephraim Chukwu


Conceptual metaphors continue to receive scholarly attention from discourse analysts taking political discourse seriously. This study therefore extends the current knowledge by examining conceptual metaphors in two selected presidential inaugural speeches of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan with a view of determining the underlying conceptual metaphors used to depict good governance, nation building and a promise for a better tomorrow. The study’s theoretical impetus is Lakoff and Johnson’s Conceptual Metaphor Theory. The results of the investigation show conceptual metaphors such as journey metaphors that depict good governance which includes "a Journey defines a path"; "Difficulties are barriers and burdens"; "Policy making is a Journey" etc, Building metaphors depicting nation building such as "nation as builders";, "Nation is a building; and War metaphors depicting a promise for better tomorrow such as "corruption is war, politics is war"; "Social evils are enemies" etc. The study further revealed that these conceptual metaphors are used by the presidents to heighten emotional impact and show themselves as those that care more for the interest of the people above their political ambitions. The study concludes that conceptual metaphors are vital resources for construction of persuasion and motivation in presidential inaugural speeches.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2006-6910