A Lexico-Grammatical Analysis of a Funeral Oration: Michael Imoudu – The Struggle was Your Life
Funeral rites are among the oldest known rituals to man. One of such rites is the presentation of funeral oration. More than any other activity associated with burials, funeral orations highlight the personal characteristics of the deceased and serve as a means of reinforcing social bonds and status. The funeral oration selected for this study was presented by the president of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomole at the burial of the Union’s first president, Michael Aithokhamen Omiunu Imoudu. The speaker’s main objective is to recount the prominent roles the deceased played as the founding leader of the labour movement by means of which he championed the cause of the oppressed and positively impacted on the national life. This work attempts a lexico-grammatical analysis of the selected funeral oration. It explores how the grammar constructs reflect the general atmosphere pervading the context. It also analyses the clauses in the oration, using the semantic theory of Leech and the systemic functional theory of Halliday and Matthiessen. From the analysis, the trend of the speech reflects a predominant use of declarative and few imperative clauses. The role language plays in the oration is “constitutive” and the type of interaction is “monologic”. The medium of interaction is “spoken” with “phonic” channel and the speech is “persuasive”.