Language and language use is not only a reflection of social realities but also acts as a recipe for shaping the social realities. Language use can make people perform a particular action, to make people think, say something in a particular way. Therefore, one can say that language can be used manipulatively by speakers to achieve their own self-interest and to influence the general interest of a social group who they represent. This paper was aimed at unraveling how these inherent potentials of the human language can be used to create inter-group conflict through hate speeches and stereotyping and how it can be effectively used to of checkmate conflict arising from hate speeches. Conflict arises when there are variations in these shared values of the two groups. This paper studied the manipulative use of language by leaders of various agitating groups in Nigeria like IPOB, Niger-Delta Avengers, and Boko Haram group. The paper x-rayed language use drawn from selected speeches of some social group actors with a view to analyzing its potentials to create a conflict situation or its resolution using the theoretical paradigm of speech acts theory and socio-cognitive approach of Critical Discourse Analysis. The findings of the study revealed that the social actors used their speeches manipulatively to portray the opposing group in the negative light with aim of influencing the way the group they represent view people outside their group. The study also revealed elements of stereotyping in social actor representations as witnessed in the speech acts of social actors, and also the deliberate attribution of negative actions to a group perceived to be a threat to the ideas of the group they represent. The researchers recommend that the study of language usages in the social media, novels, newspapers and other forms of text should be effectively applied in the study of other areas of research interest about social and national development issues. It’s also recommended that government should set up a regulatory body to censure comments in the text meant for public consumptions.
This work by European American Journals is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License