Language and Style in Political Inaugurals: A Study of Inaugural Speeches of Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Nigeria (Published)
Scholarly works abound on political speeches but very few are on political inaugurals in spite of its distinctive stylistic features and communicative import. This paper adopts a combination of stylistics and Michael Halliday’s Systemic Functional Grammar as approaches to examine the patterns of language use in the inaugural speeches of Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State with the view to uncovering the specific stylistic choices that characterise the speeches and their pragmatic import. The speeches are characterised by lexical items (adjectives, adverbs, pronouns) which the speaker creatively deploys to promote his political programmes, and to present himself as a committed, sincere and responsible leader. There is a preponderance of declarative sentences and declarative mood which Mimiko engages in promising, assuring and stating to persuade and mobilise listeners. Topicalisation and graphology; testimonial argument and promising; and rhetorical forms are creatively organised to convey pragmatic information such as humility, respect, unity, responsibility and commitment.