Language Techniques and Literary Devices for National Messaging in President Buhari’s Democracy Day Speech




language techniques, literary devices, national discourse, national development, national integration


That language is used to convey a broad sense of meanings and that the meanings that are conveyed with language are moulded by our immediate social, political and historical conditions are safe assumptions about the efficacy of language. This paper discusses language techniques and literary devices for national messaging to ascertain their functions in national discourse. To achieve this aim, the study examines purposively sampled excerpts from Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s Democracy Day speech on June 12, 2019, using insights from practical stylistics. This is to determine whether the language and literary devices have been deployed effectively to the speech’s content. The language and literary devices observed were reference items, to signal solidarity and inclusivity; evidential clauses, to consolidate the argument raised; capitalisation, to foreground the issues discussed; name-calling, to ridicule political opponents; the praise tactic, for self-promotion and positive representation, the blame-game tactic, to evade responsibility and denigrate previous administration; hasty generalisation, to advance personal agenda; and allusion, to draw knowledge from historical events. The study submits that the aforementioned devices, depending on how they are used in communication, can either foster or jeopardise national integration. Consequently, it recommends that national discourses be cautiously constructed using pertinent linguistic and literary devices.

Author Biographies

Isaiah Aluya, Bingham University Karu

Isaiah Aluya (Ph.D. in English, Senior Lecturer) is currently working at Bingham University. His research interests include stylistics and discourse analysis.

Samuel Edem, Nigeria Police Academy

Samuel Edem (Ph.D. in English, Associate Professor) is currently working at the Nigeria Police Academy. His research interests include stylistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis.


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How to Cite

Aluya, I., & Edem, S. (2023). Language Techniques and Literary Devices for National Messaging in President Buhari’s Democracy Day Speech. Baltic Journal of English Language, Literature and Culture, 13, 4–17.