Impoliteness strategies in the Facebook posts of Nigerians over the supreme court ruling on the 2019 Imo state governorship election

  • Chioma Deborah Onwubiko
Keywords: Language, Impoliteness, Facebook Posts, and Supreme Court ruling.


Political discourse is about the way people use language to communicate, dialogue, resist power abuse and maintain social goal. Facebook users use language to create social relationship and instantiate their roles via recreation, networking, social activism, political participation and protests. Thus, during these processes language can be used to cause offense, attack face and damage other people‘s character especially authority figures. The recent Supreme Court (SC) ruling over March, 2019 Imo State governorship election has prompted so many comments on the social media, which have not enjoyed scholarly discourse because it is a recent development. Most research works on impoliteness in political discourse have majorly focused on inaugural speeches, campaign speeches and reactions of the electorates on election matters. As a result, this study investigates impoliteness strategies found in the posts and comments of Facebook users over the SC ruling and their goals based on Culpeper‘s (1996) theory. This study is a descriptive research based on impoliteness strategies phenomena in written language. The data for this research were purposively sampled posts and comments that contained impoliteness strategies found on Facebook, posted from January 14th to 26th, 2020. The results of analysis show that from 17 posts and 4 comments collected, four strategies are found, among which are bald on record, positive impoliteness, negative impoliteness, and sarcasm or mock politeness. The most used strategy is bald on record impoliteness, it is also noted that the male folk are more forceful and direct in their deployment of impoliteness.

Keywords: Language, Impoliteness, Facebook Posts, and Supreme Court ruling.

*This paper was erroneously published earlier in another journal.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2734-3316
print ISSN: 1597-9482