International Review of Humanities Studies

International Review of Humanities Studies


This essay appraised linguistic features in selected utterances of some prominent and leading Nigerian politicians during political rallies held between October and December, 2022. These utterances, which serve as data for this paper were extracted from some Nigerian tabloids like NaijaNews.com, Opera News, Politic.nigeria.com, RealMedia, Vanguard News, Voice of the People (VoP) and www.thisdaylive.com. In linguistics, utterances are viewed as unit of speech. The significant meaning of speech, therefore, embeds in the utterance which may provide a basis for social positions and further interpretative actions or decisions by the listener. The data for this study were eleven (11) purposively selected excerpts collected from some Nigerian media outfits. The selected data were appraised and analyzed from the linguistic perspective of John Langshaw Austin’s speech act theory, although other linguistic insights are gleaned from other speech act analytic scholars. The speech theory of John Langshaw Austin emphasizes on meaning embedded in an utterance. His speech act is interested in what the speaker’s or the writer’s intention is, and what he or she does with words but not necessarily the meaning of words within the utterance. The essay revealed that political rally utterances are purposeful utterances laced with vituperations, repetitions, and choice codes meant to persuade and manipulate the electorates against their perceived opponents. These social political attributes, negative in the manner of approach, present contemporary Nigerian politicians as desperados whose intentions are to grab political power by all means. Therefore, the essay recommends constructive criticism and politeness in political rally utterances when doing things with words in order to reduce and curb unnecessary political hatred, social battery, democratic mayhem, oppositional killings and anarchy caused by unethical political utterances.


Austin, John Langshaw. How To Do Things With Words, London: Clarendon Press, 1962.

Boucher, Geoff. “The Politics of Performative: A Critique of Judith Butler” In: Parrhesia, Number 1, 2006. (pp 112-141).

Butler Judith. Giving an Account of Oneself, New York: Fordham University Press, 2005.

Fairclough, Norman. Discourse and Social Change, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1992. Koestler, Arthur : https://quotefancy.com/quote/1278286/Art Morson, Gary Saul. Bakhtin Essays and Dialogues on his work, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.

NaijaNews.com, Tuesday November 16, 2022

NaijaNews.com, Saturday November 27th, 2022

NaijaNews.com, Friday November 26th, 2022

Nardis, Fablo de. “Politics and Society” In: Understanding Politics and Society, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2000. (pp 1-38).

Opera News, December 2, 2022

Opera News, December, 13th, 2022

Politic.nigeria.com, by Adeola Bodunrin, December 6th, 2022

RealMedia (via 50minds News), by Dr. Enikuomehin, December 27, 2022

Searle, John Rogers, Manfred Bierwisch & Ferenc Kiefer. Speech Act Theory and Pragmatics, Holland : D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1980.

Searle, John Rogers. Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Vanguard News, October 23, 2022

Vanguardngr.com, November 15, 2022

Voice of the People (VoP) FM, Newspaper Review, October 20, 2022,

in Opera News Voice of the People (VoP) FM, December 27, 2022,

in Opera News Wilson, John “Political Discourse” In: Deborah Schiffrin, Deborah Tannen, Heidi E. Hamilton(eds.) The Handbook of Discourse Analysis, New Jersey: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 2001

www.thisdaylive.com, October 11, 2022