Are Nigerians Title-Drunk? A Critical Discourse Analysis of Stances and Ideological Strategies on Honorifics in a Nigerian Twitter Discussion
Keywords:Honorifics, Stance, critical discourse analysis, ideological strategies, Nigeria
Through an online debate on Twitter (now X), the study critically explores ideological stances on honorifics in a workplace context, the underlying goals projected by online stance-takers, and the discursive strategies employed to express these ideological positions/goals. Data was gathered from comments randomly sampled from Twitter (now x) threads created by three Nigerian online actors: Dr. Dipo Awojide, Naija, and #ourfavonlineDoc based on a tweet by @iam_temmy. The data was examined within the purview of Du Bois’s (2007) stance triangle and the framework of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) by van Dijk (2004). The study’s findings reveal that stance-taking processes engaged by online actors are characterized by ideological moves such as negative actor description, norm expression, irony/sarcasm, lexicalization, and authority, among others. While some online actors support the author of the stance object on the sociocultural significance of honorifics in conversations between low-power and high-power actors, other online actors disagree with supporters of the author of the stance object. The study concludes that Nigerians leverage social media platforms to potentially reinforce linguistically conveyed sociocultural values on one hand and on the other hand, challenge the long-existing sociocultural norms that uphold power relations in the broader Nigerian sociolinguistic horizons. This adds to previous findings on the ideological voices expressed on social media platforms.
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