Cognition of Metaphorical Text in President Muhammadu Buhari’s Inaugural Speech
The paper investigates metaphorical text used in the Nigerian political discourse and processes involved in the interpretation of metaphors. It demonstrates that understanding of cultural context plays a vital role in the cognition of metaphorical text.
Political discourse has gained prominence in Nigeria and a crop of literature has emerged from different fields of study to discuss how the discourse has presented issues prevalent in the country at different political epochs. Political discourse uses figurative language such as metaphor, simile, metonymy, paradox, irony and antithesis. The use of figurative language raises issues on interpretation and cognition of political discourse. This study investigates cognition of metaphors used by President Muhammadu Buhari in his inaugural speech on his assumption of office as the president of Nigeria on 29th May, 2015, which was identified as data and collected through media monitoring. Theory of lexical concept and cognitive model (LCCM) propounded by Vyvyan Evans was employed for analysis. The study concludes that metaphors are used in political discourse to encode ideological belief; interpretation of ideological views in the metaphorical text contributes towards cognition of the metaphor in political discourse; a metaphor is an embodiment of ideologies which could not be easily interpreted in a literal sense; linguistic contents in the metaphor and their relationships contribute towards interpretation and cognition of metaphors, and metaphors in Nigerian political discourse address Nigerian contemporary political issues.