A conceptual metaphor analysis of some Nigerian presidential inaugural speeches

  • Patricia Obiageli Oguegbu
  • Ephraim Chukwu


Presidential speeches are significant in many ways in that they always touch the lives of the citizens of the country who always pay attention to them. In most cases, the speeches attract formal discussions intended at interpreting and bringing them into proper focus. This study explores the use of conceptual metaphors employed in some Nigerian Presidential inaugural speeches with a view of ascertaining how certain abstract concepts reflected in the speeches can be appropriately understood through the application of more concrete ones using Lakoff and Johnson’s Conceptual Metaphor Theory. A qualitative approach is adopted for analysis of the inaugural speeches which constitute the data for the study. The result of the study showed that: abstract and less delineated concepts reflected in the speeches are better understood through the application of concrete ones; and that concrete concepts represented by words are  mapped onto abstract concepts which they associate with, towards determining the meaning expressed. The study concluded that these conceptual metaphors are used as linguistic tools which can be manipulated by politicians in order to promote their ideologies and  personal interests.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2006-6910