A discourse pragma-stylistic analysis of invective expressions in Ghanaian politics


  • Maxwell Mpotsiah University of Education, Winneba
  • Isaac Adjei Forson Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
  • Emmanuel Antwi Fordjour Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
  • Charles Ofosu Marfo Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi




discourse, pragma-stylistic, invectives, Ghanaian politics


Decent use of language has been a common trademark in communication. It is such an aspect of human development that has been an important part in our societies since time immemorial. In recent times, this practice has contemptuously gone amiss due to our demanding need for democratic development. Recent development in politics in Ghana has witnessed a total change in the use of decent language to achieve the intended purposes in political communication. It is in this regard that the present study sought to examine the use of invectives in political communications in Ghana. The study adopted Fairclough’s (1995) Critical Discourse Analysis theory to analyse the data gathered, which spanned from 2011 to 2016 and were taken from statements made by politicians that had been covered as major news items in the print media and online networks. In all, one hundred and fifty (150) bulletins of such invectives were identified and further categorised into descriptive, attributive and symbolic forms. Our findings showed that many of the noted politicians in Ghana made frequent use of invectives to seek political recognition that will prepare them for better political fortunes should the party they represent come to power in the future. It was further identified that all of these invectives were meant to cause emotional and psychological pains and also to lower the social status of the affected individuals so as to make them politically ‘dirty’ and irrelevant.


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How to Cite

Mpotsiah, M., Adjei Forson, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I. ., Antwi Fordjour, E., & Ofosu Marfo, C. . (2021). A discourse pragma-stylistic analysis of invective expressions in Ghanaian politics. Ghana Journal of Linguistics, 10(1), 202–227. https://doi.org/10.4314/gjl.v10i1.335