Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2213-1272
  • E-ISSN: 2213-1280
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This study investigated lexical labelling of people and their actions in terms of ownership and non-ownership of territories by the Nigerian and Cameroonian newspaper reports on the Bakassi Peninsula border conflict, with a view to uncovering ideologies underlying the representations. Van Dijk’s socio-cognitive model of Critical Discourse Analysis which relates discursive practices to social and psychological dimensions was used to analyse instances of labelling in three Nigerian and three Cameroonian English-medium national newspapers. The analyses revealed that the newspapers generally labelled Nigerians in Bakassi as both owners (natives and indigenes) and non-owners (inhabitants and residents). Specifically, the Cameroonian news reports deployed more labels of non-ownership to project Nigerians in Bakassi as mere tenants and occupants of the region while the Nigerian news reports employed more labels of ownership to depict Nigerians as aboriginals and owners of the peninsula. The ideologies of economic interests and ancestral roots motivated the labelling of territorial ownership and non-ownership in both nations’ newspapers.


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