Document Type : Original Article
University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
The characterizations of an individual are connected to the systems of committed beliefs and ideas of an associated group the person belongs- otherwise, the group representations. These representations relate implicit ideals, values, and relations that abound in political inaugurals, like the gubernatorial type, which has rarely received adequate scholarly attention in extant works- particularly from the socio-cognitive perspective. Van Dijk’s ideology, Halliday’s Systemic Functional Grammar, and Fauconnier and Turner’s Conceptual Blending guided the framework of the study. They imbued the form-function perspective of the analysis, as well as the explanations of group representations as discursive polarization in the speeches of three Nigerian governors. The findings establish six discursive issues that signal six ideological traits- which in turn indicate the divergence of discourse participants, through four grammatical processes (relational, material, mental, and verbal) in the data. The article argues that indirect collective behaviors are replete in political discourses, thus signaling the discursive divides, and the sharply contrasting discursive behaviors informed by group opinions and beliefs that abound in political inaugurals- hence illustrate the ongoing mental activities in various political language use situations.