Linguistic Tagging And Ideology In Selected English-Medium Nigerian And Cameroonian Newspaper Reports On The Bakassi Peninsula Border Conflict

ABSTRACT

Linguistic tagging, the labelling of people and their actions with particular sociopolitically-

grounded values, is an ideological denominator that plays a significant role

in media framing of conflict. Despite this significance, existing studies on the

Nigeria-Cameroon Bakassi Peninsula border conflict, which had concentrated on the

historical, political, legal and sociolinguistic dimensions, largely neglected an

exploration of the dynamics of linguistic tagging. Therefore, this study investigated

the linguistic tagging of people and their actions, and the underlying social, political

and economic ideologies in the Nigerian and Cameroonian newspaper reports on the

Bakassi Peninsula border conflict, with a view to uncovering the interactions between

the tagging and the ideologies.

The theoretical framework was a synthesis of insights from van Dijk’s sociocognitive

model of Critical Discourse Analysis, Halliday’s Systemic Linguistics and

the theory of lexical decomposition. Data were collected from three Nigerian

newspapers (The Guardian, The Punch and The Nigerian Chronicle) and three

Cameroonian newspapers (The Cameroon Tribune, The Post and Eden), published in

English between August 2006 and August 2010. These newspapers were purposively

selected on the basis of their wide virtual and non-virtual publicity on the conflict.

Out of a total of 650 news reports, 164 (87 Nigerian and 77 Cameroonian news

reports) were purposively selected and subjected to content, linguistic and descriptive

statistical analyses.

Five conflict-related themes, namely, terrorism, resistance, dispossession, suffering

and economy, which correlated with different forms of linguistic tagging, were

identified. Terrorism took lexical tags of violence, and resistance, the tags of

militancy. Dispossession and suffering took the tags of dislocation, and economy, the

tags of ownership. These tags featured emotive and evaluative adjectives and

intensifying adverbs. The themes of terrorism and resistance were tagged by transitive

clauses of action, while dispossession and suffering were represented by metaphors

UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN LIBRARY

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and verbs signifying mental conditions. Economic interests in the Peninsula were

represented positively while violence, militancy and dislocation evoked negative

connotations. Ostensibly to attract international support, Cameroonian newspaper

reports emphasised tags of violence (46.0%), militancy (37.0%), ownership (14.0%)

and dislocation (3.0%) while the Nigerian ones devoted more attention to tags of

dislocation (53.0%), ownership (36.0%), militancy (9.0%) and violence (2.0%).

Ideologically, the tags were motivated by specific values. The economic value of

consumerism motivated the tagging of ownership in both nations’ newspapers.

However, in the Nigerian reports, the values of social justice and altruism mediated

the tagging of dislocation while in the Cameroonian reports, the political ideals of

pacifism and patriotism triggered violence and militancy tags. Cameroonian reports

had a larger concentration of agentless passives (76.0%) than Nigerian ones (24.0%)

to obscure media bias. Nominalisations were deployed in the Nigerian reports

(54.0%) and the Cameroonian ones (46.0%) to play down media involvement.

There is a dynamic interaction between socio-political and economic ideologies and

linguistic tagging in the newspaper reports on the Bakassi Peninsula border conflict.

This interaction projected respectively social concerns and political rights and peace

in Nigerian and Cameroonian reports. Thus, an awareness of this interaction is

essential to the understanding of media reports on border conflicts.

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APA

IGWEBUIKE, E (2021). Linguistic Tagging And Ideology In Selected English-Medium Nigerian And Cameroonian Newspaper Reports On The Bakassi Peninsula Border Conflict. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/linguistic-tagging-and-ideology-in-selected-english-medium-nigerian-and-cameroonian-newspaper-reports-on-the-bakassi-peninsula-border-conflict

MLA 8th

IGWEBUIKE, Ebuka "Linguistic Tagging And Ideology In Selected English-Medium Nigerian And Cameroonian Newspaper Reports On The Bakassi Peninsula Border Conflict" Afribary. Afribary, 21 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/linguistic-tagging-and-ideology-in-selected-english-medium-nigerian-and-cameroonian-newspaper-reports-on-the-bakassi-peninsula-border-conflict. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

MLA7

IGWEBUIKE, Ebuka . "Linguistic Tagging And Ideology In Selected English-Medium Nigerian And Cameroonian Newspaper Reports On The Bakassi Peninsula Border Conflict". Afribary, Afribary, 21 Apr. 2021. Web. 23 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/linguistic-tagging-and-ideology-in-selected-english-medium-nigerian-and-cameroonian-newspaper-reports-on-the-bakassi-peninsula-border-conflict >.

Chicago

IGWEBUIKE, Ebuka . "Linguistic Tagging And Ideology In Selected English-Medium Nigerian And Cameroonian Newspaper Reports On The Bakassi Peninsula Border Conflict" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 23, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/linguistic-tagging-and-ideology-in-selected-english-medium-nigerian-and-cameroonian-newspaper-reports-on-the-bakassi-peninsula-border-conflict