Feminism(s) and masculinity(ies) are central concerns in gender studies, while queer studies, initially marginalised, is currently receiving greater attention in the West. But, in Africa, the queer, especially homosexuality, has received little creative and critical interest. This study would, therefore, fill the gap created by the dearth of literature on the subject. Homosexuality, the umbrella term for gay, lesbianism, bisexuality, transgender and other “sexual disorders”, denotes same-sex relationship, ranging from phatic communication to erotic communion and marriage. It is also considered a psycho pathological condition. This study investigated the portrayal of homosexuality in four purposively selected African prose: Jude Dibia’s Walking with Shadows; Wame Molefhe’s Go Tell the Sun: Achmat Dangor’s Bitter Fruit, and Tatamkhulu Afrika’s Bitter Eden, with a view to determining the portrayal of homosexuality, the reasons for positive or negative portrayal, the attitudes of homosexuals and heterosexuals to one another.

The methodology employed for the study was qualitative. This entailed a descriptive analysis of the chosen texts across the four regions of Africa: North, South and West.Three of the authors are males.Queer and Deconstruction literary theories guided the study. Queer theory was employed to determine the sexual status of the identified characters, aided character portrayal and representation and helped in the analysis of the prevalent attitude of Africans to homosexuals. Deconstruction provided alternative views of characters; destabilised the binary oppositions between male and female, men and women straight and gay and demonstrated the fluidity of gender.

The study revealed that homosexuals are stigmatised in the chosen texts. Gays are castigated as mere sissies and wrecks.In Walking with Shadows, Chika and Chinedu scold Adrian for beingso scared of plays common to boys. Furthermore, heterosexuals and homosexuals hate one another and homosexuals would combat homophobia by communicating their world-view, using irony. In Bitter Eden, Tony, a producer and homosexual, employs majorly active homosexuals as homosexual characters on stage. Moreover, few of the characters in the selected texts are portrayed as congenital (biological) homosexuals. In Go Tell the Sun, Kgomotso comes as a “biologically wired” lesbian, while Tom, Douglas, Danny and Tony are presented as circumstantial (cultivated) homosexuals in Bitter Eden. Tom becomes gay, following pressure and intimidation by Douglas. Kate is portrayed as a past time lesbian in Bitter Fruit. The study equally discovered that homosexuals could, at least, be pitied, and that the negative portrayal of homosexuals follows the African belief that homosexuality is unorthodox, forcing homosexuals to employ “escapism”. In Go Tell the Sun, Kgomotso commits suicide, while in Walking with Shadows, Adrian migrates to America.

The study concluded that despite the presence of homosexuality in Africa, it is still largely a closet phenomenon. Furthermore, the largely heterosexual African society still looks at same-sex relationship with indignation. However, it is the visibility of homosexuality that attracts homophobia. It is recommended that African writers should not glorify homosexuals in their works and that homosexuality should, at the least, remain in the closet.

Keywords: Homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender, pedophilia and homophobia

Word Count:498


Content                                                                                                Page

Title Page                                                                                        i

Certification                                                                                        ii

Dedication                                                                                 iii

Acknowledgements                                                                                 iv

Abstract                                                                                       v

Table of Contents                                                                   vi

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                                     

1.1       Background to the Study                                             1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                             5

1.3       Aim and Objectives of the Study                                        6

1.4       Research Questions                                                         7

1.5       Significance of the Study                                              7

1.6       Scope of the Study                                                        7

1.7       Justification for the Study                                          8

1.8       Methodology                                                        8

1.8.1    Justification for Choice of Selected Texts                        8

1.9       Theoretical Framework                                        9

1.9.1    Queer Theory                                                                   9

1.9.2    Deconstruction                                                11

1.10     Operational Definition of Terms                      12

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE                                           

2.1       Origin of Homosexuality in African Oral literature        13

2.2       Homosexuality and First /Second  Generation of African Writers 13

2.3       Homosexuality and Popular Culture             16

2.4       Homosexuality and Globalisation                   17

2.5       Homosexuality and Contemporary Writers/Society 19

2.6       Homosexuality, Homophobia and Social Beliefs         22

2.7       Homosexuality and Rape                                           25

2.8       Homosexuality and other Sexual Disorders in Literature     26

2.8.1    Bisexuality                                                   26

Content                                                                                                     Page

2.8.2    Transgender                                                                    27

2.8.3    Transexuality/Transexualism                                               27

2.8.4    Trans-man and Trans-woman                  28

2.9.      Homosexuality and Environment                    28

2.10     Queer as a Literary Theory           29

2.10.1  Deconstruction as a Literary Theory 31


3.1       Synopsis of  Jude Dibia’s Walking with Shadows                     34

3.2       Baptism and “Death” as Initiation into Homosexuality in

Walking with Shadows                                                             35

3.3       ‘Othering’ and Cultural Siege: Homophobia as a Ruthless Weapon in Walking with Shadows                                                   37

3.4       Homosexuality is a Long Walk to Freedom in Walking with Shadows  40

3.5       You are Victims of Neo-Colonialism:  Heterosexuals Charge at Homosexuals in Walking with Shadows                            41

3.6       Synopsis of Wame Molefhe’s Go Tell the Sun       44

3.7       Trapped in the Body: Marriage as an Alibi in Go Tell the Sun 44

3.8       Traditions, Roles and  Stereotypes in  Go Tell the Sun               47

3.9       Death as a Metaphor for Rite of Passage in  Go Tell the Sun       49


4.1       Synopsis of Tatamkhulu Afrika’s Bitter Eden    52

4.2       Homosexuality: a Case of the Hunter and the Hunted in  Bitter Eden   53

4.3       Transcendentalism: Homosexuality as a Communion in  Bitter Eden   55

4.4       Emasculation as Macho Weakling: Homosexuality as a Failed Venture in  Bitter Eden                                                                                               57

4.5       Locked in the Sub-conscious: Homosexuals as being Biologically “Wired”  in Bitter Eden                                              59

Content                                                                                           Page

4.6       Synopsis of AchmatDangor’s Bitter Fruit                       60

4.7       Lesbianism as a Metaphor for Hospitality in Bitter Fruit        61

4.8       Be Courageous Enough to Face the Truth – the Demand on Gays in Bitter Fruit                     62

4.9       Homosexuality, a Mark of Frailty in Character in’s Bitter Fruit   64


5.1       Summary                                         68

5.1.1    Summary of Findings                                         69

5.2       Conclusion                                             73

5.3       Recommendations                                                                                 74

5.4       Contribution to Knowledge                        73

5.5       Suggestion for Further Studies               74

References                                                                                                                 75



  1. Background to the Study

Homosexuality denotes same-sex relationship or same-sex marriage. (Pollack, 1998: 207; Thompson, 1994: 357; Sarason and Sarason, 2002: 248; Aldrich, 2003:50; Allman, 2001:20) McMahon and McMahon (1982: 30) and (2011:245) state that homosexuality is that kind of sexual relationship between two members of the same sex. It involves a drive towards a member or members of the same sex.

But Nnachi (2011) sees homosexuality as a psychopathological condition. He argues:

The most basic definition of homosexuality is abnormal sexual attraction towards the members of the same sex. Thus, a homosexual may be considered a person with sexual desires directed wholly or in part towards members of the same sex. (p.245)

At the heart of homosexuality is desire and people are believed to be “wired” differently to nurse and pursue different desires. In the first place, it is suggested  that every literary text is in some way about desire and in the end one loves one’s desire and not or what is desired (Bennet and Royle, 2009:208).This corroborates the view earlier expressed by Pollack (1998:206) where he recounts an encounter with a young boy:

Being different, being gay…..I always knew I was different from the other guys, seventeen year old Bill explained to me. Whenever I went out to the movies with friends, most of the other guys were just dying for a cute girl to sit next to them. Nobody else seemed to realize it, but I was really hoping a good-looking guy would sit next to me. I don’t think anybody had any idea what I was going through.                                                                 (p.206)                                                                                    

Being homosexual, or gay, therefore, implies that a boy or girl, when he or she grows into adulthood, will primarily feel attracted, in a romantic sense, to other men or women. For instance, rather than falling in love with women and longing for a woman as a spouse, gay men fall in love with other men and hope to find a man with whom to share their adult lives. Again, just as heterosexual or straight boys do not ‘decide’ they are going to be heterosexual and as adults do not ‘choose’ a heterosexual lifestyle, homosexual boys do not ‘decide’ to be gay and, as adults, do not ‘choose’ to live a homosexual existence (Pollack, 1998: 207).This view is, however, problematic. This is because it seems to have foreclosed the option of choice open to humankind, of possibilities and even what people see as opportunities as life unfolds through growth. This view is supported by Thompson (1994:380) when he avers that homosexuality is a sexual orientation that goes arm in arm with sexual politics. Homosexuality is a form of rebellion. “It is the revolution nobody noticed”(Thompson,1994:380).Homosexuality is the dividing line between what societies presume to be “normal” (straight) and abnormal sexual behaviour. The subject is, today, assuming a very daring dimension. Pollack (1998:xxii) notes that “Boys today are in serious trouble, including many who seem “normal” and to be doing just fine. Confused by society’s mixed messages about what is expected of them… many feel a sadness and disconnection they cannot even name.”

Sarason and Sarason (2002) hold this view:

Homosexual behaviour is sexual behaviour with a member of one’s own sex. Homosexuals are individuals who prefer to engage in sexual activity with members of their own sex over an extended period. Female homosexuality is often called lesbianism… In recent years the term gay has been used by homosexuals to describe their life-style because they feel that the term has fewer negative implications than homosexual.  (p. 247)

Viewed alongside heterosexuality, homosexuality does not have a long history. According to Bennet and Royle (2009):

The first entry for homosexual in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is from 1892. Critics such as Joseph Bristow have demonstrated that a critical appreciation of a play such as Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) is crucially dependent on an understanding of the historical emergence of a homosexual lifestyle at the end of the nineteenth century… While  the term homosexual can refer to both men and women, its entry into the English Language in the late nineteenth  century did not result in a sudden visibility for lesbians, however. (p. 209)    

This phenomenon started to generate both fear – homophobia – and interest, queering into a new subject or lifestyle that is a radical departure, not only from patriarchy, but also from heterosexuality which has been the norm over time. In deconstructing  heterosexuality, Sarason and Sarason (2002:248) remark sharply, “In the bad old days,…homosexuality was considered a mental illness.”Homosexuality, undoubtedly, started off in the closet. It, most probably, came into the open in Sodom. Consequently, the Bible reports that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:1-25). According to the Bible, God forbids it, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination” (Lev. 18:22). It is a crime that attracts the death penalty:

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.(Lev. 20:13)

Moreover, a curse is placed on Sodomy /bestiality while culprits are to be put to death (Lev. 20:15; Deut. 27:21). Thousands of years later in the New Testament (of the Bible), homosexuality is seen as nothing but sexual aberration, with dire consequences (Rom. 1:27; I Tim. 1:10; Rev. 21:8).

            The word homosexuality first appeared in the English Dictionary in 1892 (Bennet and Royle, 2009: 208). Gay-related issues and activities are considered third wave feminism. Feminism itself has been traced to the publications of Mary Wollstonecraft (1792) and John Stuart Mills (1809), according to Sotunsa (2009:1). But the world had to wait until the 1960s for an open confrontation with homosexuality (Thompson, 1994:1). Thompson observes that the publication of The Advocate, a magazine published in the United States of America (1967/68), gave voice to gay interest and tips on a number of issues. Thompson says:

The tips, however, were for gay white men only; The Advocate wholly ignored people of color and almost never referred to lesbians, addressed their issues, or did anything to cultivate their participation. (p.1)

Thompson’s  Long Road to Freedom (1994) is a compendium on homosexuality. Thompson himself is gay. Gay Pride Day was celebrated in New York City’s  Central  Park in 1970 (Thompson, 1994:33). Acting Up (the struggle for integration of homosexuals into the mainstream) was to follow in 1987. “Paradoxically, while 1987 was the year that gays and lesbians moved more heavily into the mainstream, it was also the year that heavy protest action against mainstream enterprises was launched (Thompson, 1994:307).Then came 1990, Year of the Queer (Thompson, 1994).  Thompson puts it this way:

If it aint on the six o’clock news, it aint news. In 1990,NBC, CBS and ABC couldn’t avoid us anymore. Week after week, we were six o’clock news… Twenty years, of gonzo gay activism had paid off handsomely in  the “year of the queer”, self proclaimed queers, disempowering the old slur by reclaiming it as an affirmation, upstaged the more traditional approaches to activism pioneered by national organizations and gay activities in the decades after Stonewall. With the assistance of seasoned media-savvy  activists like Larry Kramer and Muchelangelo Signorile, queer street fighters shrewdly positioned themselves to refocus the world’s televised view of homosexuality. (p.357)

Today, in America, most parts of Europe and other parts of the world, homosexual relations are legal. For example, May 17 is International Day against Homophobia (first celebrated on May 17, 2005 in more than forty countries) and “gay pride parades” are common in Europe and America (Kimmel and Messner, 2009:327).However, Africa is yet to come to terms with homosexuality. It appears that no one is openly comfortable with the subject. Thus, while the West is busy expanding the frontiers of same-sex relationships, Africa appears to be dissipating a lot of energy in the opposite direction (Thompson, 1994, xvii; Sarason and Sarason, 2002: 269; Nnachi, 2011:251 and This Day, Tuesday, 20 September 2016: 43).

With the exception of South Africa, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Africa are very limited in comparison to many other areas of the world. Thirty-eight of 53 African nations criminalise homosexuality in some way. And some African leaders like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Yahyah Jammeh, former Gambian President, claim that homosexuality was brought to the continent from other parts of the world (Nnachi, 2011). Nnachi observes:

In Sudan, Southern Somalia, and Mauritania homosexuality is punishable by death. In Uganda, Tanzania and Sierra Leone, offenders can receive life imprisonment for homosexual acts. Egypt slams a jail term of up to 17 years on homosexuals. (p.252)

Moreover, in Nigeria, Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition ) Act 2013 is already in force. The Act reads in part:

1(i)       A marriage contract or civil union entered into between persons of same sex:

(a)        is prohibited in Nigeria.

2(2)      No certificate issued to persons of same sex in a marriage  or civil union shall be valid in Nigeria.

(3)        Only a marriage contracted between a man and a woman shall be recognized as valid in Nigeria.

4(i)       The registration of gay clubs, societies and organizations, their sustenance, processions and meetings is prohibited.

(2)        The public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly is prohibited.

5(2)      A person who registers, operates,  or participates in gay clubs, societies, or directly or indirectly makes public show of same sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.

Homosexuality has been seen as a queer specie world over, although the perception varies from place to place. This explains why it is dogged by fear – homophobia. Homophobia is the irrational fear and hatred of those who love and sexually desire those of same sex (Pharr, 1998:453). One who is homophobic may be called a homophobe. Lehne (2009: 325) defines homophobia as the “irrational fear or intolerance of homosexuality. Although both men and women can be homophobic, homophobia is most often associated with the fear of male homosexuality. This fear is a mixture of revulsion, apprehension, contempt, prejudice, aversion and antipathy, resulting in homosexual panic.

Citing online sources, Lehne (2009) says:

Homophobia is the fear or poor treatment of homosexuals. Coined by George Weinberg, a psychologist, in the 1960s, the term homophobia is a blend of the word homosexual and phobia from the Greek word phobos, meaning “fear” or “morbid fear”. The word “homophobia” is often used together with the word “transphobia” in documents explaining human rights violation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgander(people)-LGBT. (p.326)

In Africa where gay activities are muffled, literature remains a most veritable tool of probe. This is because the literature of a people is always revealing; it has been likened to a wonderland (Drake, 1971:v) The writer has also been described as the conscience of his society (Franco, 1970). Franco observes further:

The artist has a special responsibility towards society. The writer is increasingly considered as a man of conscience; his personal awareness makes him testify to the truth as he sees it, a truth which means facing his own and his national circumstance with unflinching honesty. (p.225)

The corollary is that literature mirrors society. Therefore, texts will be chosen across some selected regions of Africa – North, South and West – for the purpose of probing gay practice and lesbianism in Africa. The texts are:

  1. Walking with Shadows by Jude Dibia (2005);
  2. Go Tell the Sun by Wame Molefhe (2011);
  3. Bitter Eden by Tatamkhulu Afrika (2002) and
  4. Bitter Fruit by Achmat Dangor (2001).
  1. Statement of the Problem

Over time, it has largely been assumed that human society has not only been designed to be patriarchal, but also heterosexual. Feminism is winning the war against patriarchy, but homosexuality is still being repelled with fury by individuals, groups and organisations. While the resistance is abating in the West, the opposite is the case in Africa. Due, perhaps, to phobia, not much has been done in this emerging field of study by African writers, literary scholars and critics.

Yet, Sharonrose (1998:467) argues that bisexuality is far from new. In the article, “Myths /Realities of Bisexuality” Sharonrose observes that bisexuality has been recognised and practiced since ancient times, but only recently has it emerged as a political identity in US sexual politics. Masculinity, feminism and, of late, homosexuality have been focal to gender studies. Even in Africa, masculinity and feminism have received remarkable attention. The result is seen in the volume of works on these subjects. But very scanty work has been done by African writers and critics on same sex matters.

Elliot, Mcfarland, Granite and Peckan (1970:1) argue further that all serious literature is concerned with universal themes – that is subjects which touch all normal men’s lives; spiritual not material; justice rather than food distribution; love rather than sex. Great themes touch our strongest emotions. In our time, literature (like architecture) has become more international. Homosexuality is fast benefitting from globalization, touching all men’s and women’s lives. It can no longer be ignored. The questions of identity and homosexuality have a good deal in common as they both constitute humanly important themes today, in politics and literature. This position is in consonance with that canvassed by Elliot, et al  (1970: XVI) when they posit that “There are a great many things to say about what literature is, but they must all include two essential points. It is a special way of talking, and it is about humanly important themes.”

The present study, therefore, attempted to fill some gap created by the dearth of literature on this form of prose which will also serve as spring-post for further enquiry by writers, researchers and critics. This is because homosexuality is fast becoming one of the great themes in world literature – themes such as the question of truth, the nature of justice, the meaning of greatness, fate and free will, love and hate, good and evil and the question of identity, among others.

  1. Aim and Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study was to investigate the portrayal of homosexuality in selected African prose. The specific objectives are to:

  1. find out the ways in which homosexual characters are portrayed in the selected African novels;
  2. determine reasons for negative or positive portrayal of homosexual characters;
  3. find out the attitudes of heterosexual and homosexual characters to one another in the selected texts;
  4. examine how the characters become homosexuals, that is, is it biological, cultivated or circumstantial and
  5. investigate issues of homophobia in the selected texts.



As a social phenomenon, language reflects all aspects of human endeavor. The various reflections have been investigated in different sociolinguistic studies. However, few of such studies have employed the discourse analytical approach to investigate literary texts. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of sexism and power dominance on selected drama texts through a linguistic lens on sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. Existing studies have shown that the aim of studying conversations in literary texts is to uncover how characters understand and respond to one another during conversations based on their gender or that of their interlocutors. Therefore, this study investigated the discourse features of men and the women’s utterances in Femi Osofisan’s Altine’s Wrath and Wole Soyinka’s A Play of Giants.

The two texts for analysis were purposively selected due to their thematic thrust with gender issues. A total number of three hundred and fifty (350) utterances in 40 conversations involving men and women in the selected literary texts were purposively selected as the data for analyses. The study employed the discourse tools of participants, turn-taking, adjacency pairs, interruption, speech errors, exchanges, directive acts, informative acts, elicitation overlaps in analyzing the data.

The result revealed that utterances in the context indicated an undeniable evidence of sexism and power dominance. The instances of turn-taking, and speech error showed abundance of a high level sexism and power dominance such as when Lawal told Aina that women no longer have a place in the society, that it is the men’s world. The utterances by Lawal is used to show a high level of sexism.  The analysis also showed that women are regarded as mothers, wives, and their roles are reflected in their manner of speech. Examples include, when Lawal told Mariam that the only thing Altine understands is sweep the house, cook the food, wash napkins and mop the floor, that anything outside that is zero. The analysis revealed that men use more of speech errors, elicitations, directives, interruptions, overlap, and repair mechanisms while women use more of informative during conversations.

The study concluded that women’s utterancesare less direct than men’s powerful language. It was recommended thatfurther sexism studies should be done from other linguistic perspective such as a conversational analysis of sexism and power dominance in selected Nigerian prose,a lexico-semantic analysis of sexism and power dominance.

Keywords: Conversations, Sociolinguistics, Discourse, Sexism, Power dominance


Content                                                                                                                       Page

Title page                                                                            i

Certification                                                                                      ii      

Dedication                                                                               iii

Acknowledgements                                                                  iv          

Abstract                                                                v

Table of Contents                                                  vi 


1.1 Background to the Study                                                   1         

1.2 Statement of the Problem                                    5         

1.3 Objective of the Study                                                                 6

1.4 Research Questions           6

1.5 Significance of the Study             6

1.6 Scope of the Study           6

1.7 Theoretical Framework                                                        7

1.8 Authors’ Biography                                                  8


2.0 Introduction                      10

2.1 The Concept of Sociolinguistics   10

2.1.1 Social Variables             12

2.2 Sociolinguistics and Discourse                 14

2.3 Socio- Cognitive Discourse Analysis        15

2.3.1 Discourse and Text                    15

2.3.2 Discourse and Social Practice                16

2.4 Sociolinguistics and Language Use                      17

2.5 Language and Society                  18

2.6 Language and Culture      19

2.7 Language choice and Gender                   20

27.1 Language and its Related Ideologies                 21

Content                                                                                            Page

2.7.2 Language and Solidarity                                                              22

2.7.3 Politeness and Gender               22

2.8 Some Sociolinguistic Issues in the Field of Language and Gender 23

2.8.1 Power in Gender Relations                    24 Factors for Determining the Differences in the Male and Female Speeches  25 Community Practice               27 Discrimination and Sexist Language Practice                        28 Implication for Language Planning                30

2.9 Discourse Analysis            31

2.9.1 Discourse Features                     34

2.10 Review of Literary Texts for Analysis         37


3.0 Introduction          39

3.1 Data Collection     39

3.2 Data Presentation  39

3.3 Sampling Procedures and Analysis           39

3.4 Data Analysis        40



4.0 Introduction          41

4.1 Participants                                               41

4.2 Turn-Taking                                                                      43

4.3 Adjacency Pairs                                                   46

4.4 Speech Error                                                                48

4.5 Overlap                                                               50

4.6 Elicitation                                                                          52

4.7 Informative Act                                                                   53

4.8 Directive Act                                                                     54

4.9 Repair Mechanism                                                                         55

4.10 Exchange                                                            55

Content       Page



5.0 Introduction          56

5.1 Summary                                                         56

5.2 Conclusion            57

5.3 Recommendations                                                         57

5.4 Contribution to Knowledge                                                          58

5.4 Suggestion for Further Studies     58

References                                                                                 59



1.1       Background to the Study

From the beginning of the 20th century, men and women have been generally viewed as occupying sharply different roles in the society; a woman’s place was in the home as wife and mother; while a man’s place was in the public sphere. Men had legal powers over the lives of their wives. Sexism and power dominance exist in a completely different context of cultural norms, political, social rights and institutionalized rules. Even in the Bible, there is a belief that men are superior to women and should control all important aspects of society. Male superiority is displayed in the following passage from the New Testament:

But I will have you know, that the head of every man is Christ;and the head of the women is the man…for the man is not ofthe woman. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man (1Cor 11:3-8)

From birth, parents all over the world treat boys and girls differently. According to the traditional Islamic laws, three groups of people are not eligible for legal and religious equality: unbelievers, slaves and women. The slaves can become free, the unbelievers can become believers, but a woman can do nothing to change her status. She was permanently doomed to her second class status (Lewis, 2002). Far and wide, women experience the blatant forms of sexism.

When people talk about themselves or ask for information about others, they are using language in order to exchange facts or opinions. Language is used by human beings in social contexts to communicate their needs, ideas and emotions to one another. Language is a human vocal noise or the arbitrary graphic representation of this noise, used systematically and conventionally by members of a speech community for the purpose of communication (Osisanwo, 2003). From this definition, it is clear that language is a human phenomenon. Language is purely human and a non-instinctive method of communicating ideas and emotions by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols (Sapir, 1921). Language, as Sapir rightly says, is human – only humans possess the ability to communicate through language and all normal human beings possess it.

Language gives shape to people’s thought; it controls their entire activity. As the most important tool for human beings, it not only reflects the realities of the society, but also has various functions to strengthen and maintain social existence. Thus, for a long time feminists and sociolinguists have shown interest in describing the differences in language use between the two sexes. This dissertation examines the effect of sexism and power dominance through a linguistic lens.

Sexism, refers to a set of attitudes towards people of a particular sex that judges or belittles them on the basis of their gender, or that perpetuates stereotypical assumptions about gender roles. Nowadays, the term is most often used to refer to discrimination towards women (Davis, 1985). According to Wardhaugh (2010), gender is a fact that we cannot avoid, it is part of the way in which societies are formed around us. Sexism is a belief that one sex is superior to or more valuable than another. It imposes limits on what men and women can and should do as separate entities. Sexism in a society is commonly applied to the women and girls. It functions to maintain patriarchy, or male domination through ideological and material practices of individuals and institutions that oppress women on the basis of sex. A common form of socialization that is based on sexist concepts teaches particular narratives about traditional gender roles for men and women. According to such a view, women and men are opposite, with widely different and complementary roles: women are the weaker sex and less capable than men, especially in the realm of logic and rational reasoning. Women are regulated to the domestic realm of nurturance and are emotional and therefore cannot be good leaders in business, politics and academia.Chukwuma ( 2000) opines that:

Patriarchy has established male dominance not only in the home especially in terms of inheritance, but in all facets of human existence, social  order or itself dictates and enacts genderisation of work; some kinds of work are allotted to women as cooking, washing, cleaning and housewifery in general and light farming (p. 6).

Tuttle, Blood and Lakey (1983:p 17) defines sexism thus: “Sexism is a complex mesh of practices, institutions and ideas which have the overall effect of giving more power to men than women’’.Patriarchy has accorded so much power to men; it is the actual power structure built around men’s domination of women and the ability to influence important decisions such as political and economic decisions. According to Johnstone (2002), power is a situation in which a subordinate respects the superior and as a relationship that is asymmetrical, with one person, a superior, controlling the subordinate.

                Wartenberg (1990) defined power as getting someone else to do what you want them to do (p. 12). Also, Max Webber, defines power as “the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance”. Women in African society are still largely regarded as passive or weak and as sexual objects. A majority of African societiesare immensely patriarchal which means that societal norms tend to value the male and relegate the female. 

In the social domain, African women have borne the brunt of cultural traditions, many of which have been described as oppressive, and which limit the advancement of women.  Male dominance has been cited as a major obstacle to gender equality.  Friedl (1975) defines male dominance as “a situation in which men have highly preferential access, although not always exclusive rights, to those activities to which the society accords the greatest values, and the exercise of which permits a measure of control over others” (p. 7).  It is significant that Friedl recognizes that men are favored in terms of accessing certain economically and socially significant materials and rights, such as access to land and property.  These institutions and positions in communities play a role in elevating men over women.  These asymmetrical relations are also highlighted by Divale & Harris (1976)they define male dominance in terms of an “institutionalized complex” consisting of “asymmetrical frequencies of sex-linked practices and beliefs” (pp. 521-538). The practices and beliefs, in this case, would instill prestige to the status of the male gender and devalue the contributions and capabilities of females.

Sanday (1981) looks at male dominance from two angles.  First, is the “exclusion of women from political and economic decision-making” and second, “male aggression towards women” (p. 164).  Sanday measures this aggression using five traits:

  1.  expectation that males should be tough, brave, and aggressive;
  2.  the presence of men’s houses or specific places where only men may congregate;
  3.  frequent quarrelling, fighting, or wife beating;
  4.  institutionalization or regular occurrence of rape; and
  5.  raiding other groups for wives. 

Sanday suggests that the presence of thesefive traits in a society indicates a high degree of male aggression.

During the seventeenth century, those who opposed the participation of women in politics mainlyclaimed, “women, by virtue of their nature, lacked the capacities required of free and equal individuals and citizens and so posed a threat to the state” (Pateman, 1985, p. 8).Women were portrayed as lacking reason, which made it impossible for them to participate in the public sphere:“only masculine beings are endowed with attributes and capacities necessary to enter into contracts, the most important of which is ownership of property in the person; only men, that is to say, are ‘individuals’ (Pateman, 1988, p. 5). Women, in other words, were not seen as “free and equal ‘individuals’ but natural subjects. According to Marx, power no longer constitutes the ‘right of the sovereign’, or the ‘power of the state’ in relation to (equal and free) citizens, but a specific form of class domination. Power is always class power, the power of one class, (or a coalition of classes), of the ruling class, over the others, the dominated classes of the society. This power, which stabilizes on the basis of dominant social structures, is reproduced within class antagonism and the struggle of the classes. The specific unity of society is, therefore, inseparable from the unity of the specific classes  which is unsure within the class struggle.

Plato and Aristotle, two of the most influential philosophers in the ancient Greek world, both had radical views on the nature and capabilities of women. Many of these views were similar, yet somehow Plato became a champion of the female cause, while Aristotle was labeled a male chauvinist. Plato, in The Republic, argues that women should be able to take on the same social roles equally with men in his ideal state. His ideas are based upon the view that women and men have the same nature with respect to acting as guardians of the state, except that one is weaker while the other is stronger.  Aristotle on the other hand, returns women to their traditional roles in the home, being subservient to men. There is no equality in nature for Aristotle, he declares: as regards the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject. And the same must necessarily apply to all mankind.

Aristotle believed that women were inferior and described them as ‘deformed males’. In Cynthia Freeland’s catalog  she quotes ‘Aristotle says that the courage of a man lies in commanding, a woman’s lies in obeying; that ‘matter yearns for form, as the female for the male and the ugly for the beautiful; that women have fewer teeth than men, that female is an incomplete male or ‘as it were, a deformity’. Aristotle believed that men and women naturally differed both physically and mentally. He claimed that women are ‘mischievous, less simple, more impulsive, more compassionate, more easily moved to tears, more jealous, more querulous, more apt to scold and to strike, more prone to despondency and less hopeful, more void of shame or self-respect, more false of speech, more deceptive, of more retentive memory and more wakeful, more shrinking and more difficult to rouse to action’ than men. This is Aristotle’s thought towards the male and the female. At no point did Plato deny that there are no differences between the sexes- his idea on equality lies solely in the nature of humans. He does not pretend that women are physically capable as men, nor does he deny that women are better at tasks like weaving. He said that ‘giving the same training, education and opportunities, suitable women could be equally suited to the position of guardian to their male counterparts’. Plato said that women are physically weaker than men, but should not be prevented from being trained.   

1.2       Statement of the Problem

In the African society, sexism manifests daily in different ways. Many societies have continually compromised women’s freedom, dignity and equality through cultural stereotypes. The nature and forms of gender social stereotypes have been captured in various forms of literary and linguistic studies. However, there is little attention paid to the sociolinguistic approach to such concerns, especially from socio-discourse analytical perspective. Therefore, this study investigates the explication of sexism and dominance in selected Nigerian drama.

This study is therefore different from other previous analysis of authentic texts because it is an investigation of literary drama texts the findings of which will be unique and contribute significantly to sociolinguistic knowledge due to the fact that drama is the closest to reality of all literary genres.       

1.3         Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to find out the sexism and power dominance from the linguistic perspective of language use in Altine’s Wrath and The Play of Giants. The specific objectives are to:

  1. identify and explain sexist language use in the selected texts;
  2. examine from linguistic perspective how the writers portray the oppressive and    discriminative nature of sexism in the society; and
  3. investigate the effects of sexist language use in the texts.

1.4       Research Questions

In line with the objectives of the study, the following research questions are posed:

  1. How do characters use sexist language in the selected texts?
  2. From what linguistic perspective have the writers portrayed the oppressive and discriminative nature of sexism in the society?                                
  3. What are the effects of sexist language portrayed in the selected texts?      

1.5       Significance of the Study

             It has been observed that many studies on gender have been carried out based on the way participants understands themselves, there is little attention paid to the sociolinguistic approach to such concerns especially from socio-discourse analytical perspective. Therefore, this studyinvestigates the explication of sexism and power dominance in Osofisan’s Altine’s Wraths and Soyinka’s A Play of Giants and this study  would serve as a reference material for sociolinguistics, discourse and sociology researchers.

1.6 Scope of the Study

            In order to utilize a well structured and organized language use that is spontaneous as typical of the spoken text, this study has utilized language purposively selected samples from the drama text selected. Two African drama texts were selected. They include; Osofisan’s Altine’s Wrath and Soyinka’s A Play of Giants.

1.7       Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework this this study is the model of  Discourse Analysis by Michel Foucault (1997) which sees discourse as a form of social action that plays a part in producing a  social world including knowledge, identities and social relations and thereby maintaining specific social patterns. It also focuses on power relationships in society as expressed through language and practices.

Discourse is the general idea that language is structured according to different patterns that people’s utterances follow when they take part in different domains of social life. This discourse analysis is not just a one approach, but a series of interdisciplinary approaches that can be used to explore many different social domains in many differenttypes of  studies. Fairclough (1992) states that : “Discourse for me is more than just language use: it is language use, whether speech or writing, seen as a type of social practice’’ (p. 28). However, discourse is still deficient in the sense that it does not effectively cater for visual language which is an important part of discourse whichencompasses written text, spoken text, textual graphics as well as images. Discourse analysis can be seen as an explicit, systematic account of structures, strategies or processes of text or talk in terms of theoretical notions developed in any branch of the field.Foucault’s view is that subjects are created in discourse. He argues that discourse is not the majestically unfolding manifestation of thinking, knowing, speaking subjects or as Steinar Kvale (1992) expresses the position ‘the self no longeruses language to express self, rather language speaks through the person. The individual self becomes a medium for the culture and its language’(p. 36).

1.8Author’s Profile: Femi Osofisan

Femi Osofisan was born in 1946 in Erunwon village in Ogun state, Nigeria. He is a prolific critic, poet, novelist and playwright, whose work mainly attacks political corruption and injustice. He was educated at the university of Ibadan, Dakar and Paris. He has also worked as a professor of Drama since 1985 at the University of Ibadan where he spent most of his adult career. Osofisan was the General Manager and Chief Executive of the National Theatre Lagos. He has won prizes from the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) for both drama (1980) and poetry (1989) and in 2004 he was awarded the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM), the highest academic prize in Nigeria. 

Author’s Profile: Wole Soyinka      

Oluwole Akinwande Soyinka was born on the 13th of July 1934 in Abeokuta in Western Nigeria, at the time still a British colony. His father Ayo was a school supervisor and his mother Eniola a shopkeeper, both well-respected members of the local community. Although Soyinka was brought up in an English-speaking, Christian environment, his parents belonged to the Yoruba tribe, and the family often visited the father’s ancestral home in Ísará, a traditional Yoruba community. When Soyinka was twelve, he went to Ibadan to study at the prestigious Government College, and at 18 he enrolled at the city’s new university. After two years, he moved to England to study English Literature at the University of Leeds, where he specialized in drama tutored by the distinguished Shakespeare critic G Wilson Knight. In 1957 Soyinka received his BA and enrolled for a Master’s degree, but abandoned it to work in the theatre. He moved toLondon and started working as a script-reader for the Royal Court Theatre, and a year later produced his first play, The Swamp-Dwellers, at the University of London Drama Festival.

During his involvement with the Royal Court, he also wrote work for their regular one-night ‘productions without décor’, in which he also acted. Meanwhile, both The Swamp-Dwellers and his new play, The Lion and The Jewel, were produced in his native Ibadan. n 1960, Soyinka received a Rockefeller grant which enabled him to return to Nigeria to study African drama. He founded a theatre company, 1960 Masks, for whom he both directed and acted in several productions of his own plays. In 1962 he was appointed lecturer in English at the University of Ife, and at around the same time, he alsostarted to write critical and satirical commentary on the political situation in Western Nigeria.

Over the next few years Soyinka continued to write and direct a wide range of plays, from comedies to politically minded plays. He also organized an improvisational ‘guerrilla theatre’, wrote for radio and television, and published both his first novel and his first collection of poetry. In 1967, during the Nigerian civil war, Soyinka wrote an article in which he proposed a cease-fire. For this, he was accused of sympathizing with the Biafran rebels, and imprisoned for treason for nearly two years. Soyinka spent much of his prison time in solitary confinement, and has described his traumatic experience in the collection Poems From Prison, and the autobiographical novel The Man Died. Afterhis release from prison, he went into voluntary exile, and spent some time in Ghana where he became editor of a leading intellectual journal. In 1975 he returned to Nigeria, and was appointed Professor of English at the University of Ife.

Soyinka continued to write plays, critical essays and film scripts, and in recognition of his achievement, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1986. By this time, his plays were being produced all over the world. He has worked as a guest lecturer at several universities world-wide, including Cambridge, Sheffield and Harvard, where he received an honorary doctorate in 1993.




Migration over the years has become a recurrent theme in contemporary African literature. Existing studies on migration have focused mainly on the female gender in discourses of migration and gender. Literatures on gender and migration have evaded critical study of the experiences of both males and females. This study therefore investigated the experiences of both sexes in migration narratives.

A qualitative approach was used in this study. This entailed in-depth analysis of the selected texts from the four regions of Africa: North, South, East and West. To create the desired gender balance, two of the authors are male while two are females. Postcolonialism and Postmodernism theories were employed in the analysis of the texts. Postcolonialism was applied in the analysis of the characters’ interactions with one another while Postmodernism was used in the analysis of the characters as it relates to the new society they find themselves.

This study revealed that the male characters have their masculine ego subdued in the diaspora while female migrants experience freedom to pursue and actualize their dreams despite initial challenges. In The Beautiful Thing that Heaven Bears, Sepha becomes timid and suffers inferiority complex in his relationship with Judith. In Brooklyn Height, Hend resists all sexual advances, sticks to her moral standing and eventually achieves her dreams. Effects of migration include distrust and breakdown of traditional African communal life. In A Squatter’s Tale, Obi distrusts Happiness when he finds out that Happiness lied to him about the fees for the papers. Obi also suffers rejection from Ego who ordinarily would have accommodated him if they were to be in Nigeria. Coping and survival strategies adopted by Africans in diaspora include aping American looks and accent; procurement of fake documents; and contract marriages. In We Need New Names, Fostalina adopts American outlooks and appearances. She changes her meal and exercises in-front of the television to become slim like the American women. Role reversal occurs socially and in gender relationships. In Beautiful Thing that Heaven Bears, Berhane who had a driver driving him back in Ethopia, became a taxi driver in America and Sepha, the very vocal man, lost his manliness to Judith as she played the “man” in their short lived romance.

The study concluded that postcolonial disillusionment affects migrants and their gendered relations. It recommended that migrants should maintain their traditional communal living ethos even in diaspora, they should maintain their identities, work on the decolonisation of their minds.

Keywords:     Gender, disillusionment, migrant, politickingand transnational

Word Count: 414

                                 TABLE OF CONTENTS

Content                               Page

Title Page                                                                                  i

Certification  ii                                                                                                                                              

Dedication                                                                                            iii        

Acknowledgements                                                                                  iv

Abstract                               vi                                                                                            

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                                                         

  1. Background to the Study                                                            1                 
    1. Statement of the Problem                                                       2
    1. Objective of the Study                                                               3
    1. Research Questions                                                             3
    1. Scope of the Study                                                                  4
    1. Significance of the Study                                                        4
    1. Methodology                                                                               5

1.7.1    Justification for Choice of Texts                                   5

  1. Theoretical Framework                       6


2.0       Introduction                                                                                        10

2.1       Typologies of Migration                                 10

2.2       Theories of Migration                                 11

2.2.1    Macro theories of Migration                                     11

2.2.2    Micro theories of Migration                             13

2.3       Reasons for Migration                                   14

2.3.1    Global Systems                                                    14

2.3.2    Political Economy                                                     14

2.3.3    Structural Constraints and Facilitators                      15

2.4       Gender in Migrant Studies                                16

Content                               Page

2.5       Gendered Experiences of Migrant                           19

2.6       Gendered Experiences in African Migrant Narratives          22

2.7       Review of Related Literature on Selected Texts                                                        25

2.7.1    Ike Oguine’s A Squatter’s Tale                                        25

2.7.2    Dinaw Mengestu’s The Beautiful Thing that Heaven Bears         26

2.7.3    Bulawayo No Violet We Need New Names        26

2.7.4    Miral al Tahawy Brooklyn Height                                28


3.1       Background of Dinaw Mengestu: The Beautiful Thing that Heaven Bears   29

3.1.1    Synopsis of The Beautiful that Heaven Bears               29

3.1.2    Role Reversal in The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears   30       

3.1.3    Sepha’s Battle for Identity and Placement              37

3.1.4    Tucking Away the Past and Berhane’s Survival Instincts     39

3.2       Background of Miral Al-Tahawy: Brooklyn Height               40

3.2.1    Synopsis of Brooklyn Height                       41

3.2.2    Portrayal of Gender Roles in Brooklyn Heights           42

3.2.3     The Listening Friendship                                        45

3.2.4    Hends Quest for the Breath of Independence                            46

3.2.5    Emilia’s quest for friendship                                           46

3.3       Traditional Gender Archetypes and Transnational Life   47       


4.1       Background of Ike Oguine: A Squatter’s Tale       49

4.1.1    Synopsis of Ike Oguine’s Squatter’s Tale         50

4.1.2    Gender Politicking and the disillusioned migrant in Squatter’s Tale  51

4.1.3    Obi’s Success Finding Mission                                56

4.1.4    The Dreams and Schemes of Uncle Happiness                   59

4.2       Biographical sketch of NoViolet Bulawayo: We Need New Names 60

Content                               Page

4.2.1    Synopsis of We Need New Names                         60

4.2.2    Gender Politicking and the colonised mind in We Need New Names      61

4.2.3    Migration and changes in Gender Relation                   65

4.2.4    Beyond Darling’s “American Dream”                 65

4.2.5    The Disillusionment of Aunt Fostalina            67


5.1       Summary                                               69

5.1.1    Summary of Findings                             69

5.2       Conclusion                              72       

5.3       Recommendations                                      73

5.4       Contribution to Knowledge                  74

5.5       Suggestion for Further Studies                         74

References                                                           75       



  1. Background to the Study

Due to the volatility in the political terrain in African states, migration of the citizenry has been on the increase daring all odds just to escape from political violence and victimisation and also seeking for greener pastures. Constantly, African writers have narrated their experiences and memoirs alike. Some of such memoirs are based on personal experiences of the writers while others are either fiction or observations of the writes. In all, migration remains a recurrent theme in the current literary circle and has been broadened with close relation to other fields and areas of interest such as gender, child development and so on.

In the politics and governance of migration, migrants are studied in the new nations of settlement they occupy. However, in according preferences and conditions of service and living, migrants are assessed based on gender. There are therefore militating factors in the life of the immigrant that arise as a result of gender politicking and gender roles. The migrant narrative is arguably one of the best ways to understand these influences. According to Marita Eastmond (2007;248), “Placed in their wider socio-political and cultural contexts, stories can provide insights into how forced migrants seek to make sense of displacement and violence, re-establish identity in ruptured life courses and communities, or bear witness to violence and repression”. The effects of gender politicking further come into play in the making of decisions “in the workplaces of immigrants, in neoliberal or welfare state policies towards migration or foreign-born populations, in diasporas, and even in the capitalist world system” (Donato et al. 2006: 6) as well as other areas involving the migrant. 

Migrant narratives usually focus on international migration and the ordeal of the migrant seeking for a better self or a better tomorrow in countries other than theirs. And the narrative perspective is usually the scenario whereby the migrant writer that engages extensively in the literary preoccupation of telling migrant stories is a migrant or have been a migrant at one point in life. Therefore it is safe to say that the migrant writer usually writes from experience, that is, in fictionalising stories he or she may have witnessed while a migrant. So in effect, a study of migrant narratives reflects the reality of the migrant’s new milieu.

An understanding of what it is to be an international migrant is essential. In the apt description by Mary Chamberlain (1998):

International migrants are by definition global people whose horizons and allegiances, education and enterprise, family and friendship are both portable and elastic. What, finally, unsettles about international migration is that it internationalizes the nation-state and globalizes identity. Fluidity, not fixity, characterizes the migrant, contemporary nomads and cultural gypsies.

The effect of international migration internationalizing the nation-state according to Yurick (1995:205) is that “Newly emerging states had to make political choices upon which all aspects of national and economic survival depended and to position their autonomy not merely within a regional perspective, but a global one.” The outcome of this new global order is that “trade emerged not as .a precursor to territorial and imperial expansion, or as an economic lubricant but as a display of ideological finery, to sell and seduce”.

This idea of ‘selling and seducing’ in the type of trade that largely accommodates the migrant is an offshoot of gender politicking in effect. The purpose of this research therefore is to examine portrayal of gendered experiences in African migrant narratives. In view of this, migrant narratives and “oral histories can tease out ways in which gender differences impact on, or are impacted by, transnational lives” (Chamberlain & Leydesdorff  2004:227).

  1. Statement of the Problem

 Several decades back, studies on gender and migration has essentially focused on the female folk. The female migrant has technically been used to imply or connote gender in gender and migration based researches. Researchers in gender and migration field had focused more on female migrants owing to the assumption that women migrate to accompany or reunite with their breadwinners and in other cases migrate to escape the largely patriarchal society or seeing migration as another means of securing greener pasture especially for single mothers.

Nonetheless, gender is the biological reality that there are two sexes. Over time, gender discourses as it relates to migration has focused more on the female gender and subjugated the experiences of the male gender in its discourses. This has led to a dearth of critical work on the real focus of gender migrant experiences as encompassing both sexes. There is therefore a need to fill this vacuum and examine the entire migration process as a gendered phenomenon by studying in detail migrant narratives and the militating effects of gender politicking and gender roles in the lives of all the migrant characters they present. This study unlike previous researches focuses on both the male and female gender without downplay on the male counterpart.




Existing studies in different spheres of human endeavour have focused on the negative and destructive potentials of conflict. The scanty attention by literary scholars on conflict as a constructive force implies a gap in knowledge. This study, therefore, investigated the issue of conflict, its forms, bases, positive effects and internal mechanisms for improving inter-personal relationship in the home in selected African texts.

The methodology adopted was qualitative. Four literary texts that represent two generations of African writers were purposively selected based on their thematic relevance to the study. The study was guided by psychoanalytic and post-colonial theories with indepth focus on characters’ conscious and unconscious actions and the socio-economic situations in which they exist.

Findings revealed forms, bases, positive effects of conflict and internal mechanisms for improving relationship in the home in the selected texts. In Chukwuemeka Ike’s Our Children are Coming, the forms of conflict discovered are political, behavioural and ideological, the bases for conflict were sexual immorality, laziness, selfishness and possessiveness of parents, the positive effects of conflict was of social structures creation, the internal mechanisms for improving relationship in the home were trust, flexibility and acculturation. They were ideological and psychological forms of conflict in Sons and Daughters, the bases for conflict were generational gap and misplacement of trust, the positive effects of conflict were unity and socialization, the internal mechanisms for improving relationship in the home were compromise and trust. In Measuring Time, the forms of conflict discovered were behavioural and ideological, the bases for conflict were, negligence, unrestricted desire and father’s wound, the positive effect of conflict was personal development of individuals, the internal mechanisms for improving relationship in the home was discovered to be equal parental love and shared positive power. The forms of conflict in Fetters and Choices were ideological, and behavioural, the bases for conflict were servile disobedience, selfish motive and mother’s wound. The positive effects of conflict generally were improved mutual understanding, mutual respect, personal growth and development.

The study concluded that conflict is inevitable and exists in different forms, for different bases and diverse positive effects and recommended that the preoccupation of the destructive nature of conflict should be de-emphasised, so as to exclude domestic conflict from stigma.


Content                                                                                                                    Page

Title Page                                                                                                                   i

Certification                                                                                                               ii

Dedication                                                                                                                 iii 

Acknowledgements                                                                                                   iv  

Abstract                                                                                                                     vi

Table of Contents   vii                                                                      


  1. Background to the Study                                                                               1
    1. Statement of the Problem                                                  7
    1. Objective of the Study                                                          7
    1. Research Questions                                                                8
    1. Significance of the Study                                         8
    1. Scope of the Study                                                                 8
    1. Justification for  the Study                                  8
    1. Methodology                                                               9

1.8.1    Justification for Choice of Selected Texts                            9

  1. Theoretical Framework                                                                                   10
    1. Post-Colonial Theory                                         10
    1. Psychoanalytical Theory                                             11                   


  • Introduction                                                                                                    12
    • The Concept of Conflict                                 12
    • Forms of Conflict                                                              18
    • Conflict and Gender                              24
    • Conflict and Ethnicity                                                   26
    • Marital Conflict                                                                27
    • Conflict and Sibling Relationship                             33
    • Organisational Conflict                                          35

Content                                                                                                                    Page

  • Scholarly Review on Selected Texts                                          37





  • Our Children are Coming by Chukwuemeka Ike                            39   

3.1       Synopsis of the novel                                                                                      39

  • Leadership at Family level in Our Children are Coming 40
    • Generational Gap Friction on Leadership in Our Children are Coming        45
    • Childhood Emotional Forces in Our Children are Coming 49                   

3.2.0    Sons and Daughters by Joe Graft                                   51

3.2.1    Synopsis of the play                                                                                        51

3.2.2    Leadership in the Family in Sons and Daughters             51

3.2.3 Inter-Generational Clash in Sons and Daughters                 54

3.2.4    Aaron and Maanan’s Emotional and Psychological outburst in Sons and Daughters                                              55

3.2.5    Misplacement of Trust and Betrayal in Sons and Daughters 56



4.0       Measuring Time by Helon Habila                                              57

Content                                                                                                                      Page

4.1       Synopsis of the Novel                                                                                     57

4.1.1    Socio- economic State of Keti                                                                        59

4.1.2    Parenting and Negligence in Measuring Time               62

4.1.3    The Burden of Forgiveness: Revenge as Psychotherapy in Measuring Time                                                                                              66

4.1.4    Individuation and Mamo’s Jealousy in Measuring Time 66

4.1.5    Lamang’s Unrestricted Unconcious Psyche in Measuring Time 67

4.1.6    Emotional and Psychological Disintegration in Measuring Time 68

4.2.0    May Nwoye’s Fetters and Choices                                   70

4.2.1    Synopsis of the Novel                                                                                     70

4.2.2    Poverty and Negligence in Fetters and choices            71

4.2.3    The Battle of the Inner Man: Blessing’s and her Psychology of Rejection in Fetters and Choices                                                                72

  4.2.4 Unrestricted Unconcious Psyche in Fetters and Choices    73


5.1       Summary                                                                                                        76

5.1.1    Summary of Findings                                                                         76

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                       82

5.3       Recommendations                                                                                          83

5.4       Contribution to Knowledge                                                                            83

5.5       Suggestion for Further Studies                                    83

            References                                                                                                      85



1.1 Background to the Study

The structure and quality of relationships between family members are fundamental elements of family functioning and a major influence on the well-being of parents and children. The introduction of the world comes through a primary group: the family; it is the institution where in one has the most contact and the one from which one traditionally receive the most emotional support. We depend on family for our early nurturance and socialization, and one cannot survive without them. Societies depend on families to carry out certain vital functions, such as socialization of the young and regulation of sexual activity. Family relationships between wife and husbands, parents and children, brothers and sisters or more distant relatives can be warm and fulfilling but they equally can be full of the most extreme tension, driving its members to despair and imbuing them with a deep sense of anxiety and guilt. Conflict between family members seems to be a mystery, but it is not conflict itself that that is dangerous to relationships; it is the manner in which the conflict is handled. Individuals need relationships in which their identity can continue to develop. They need privacy, flexible roles, especially that which incorporate individual change.

Overtime, conflict poses a great threat to international security in many dimensions. The devastating effects on country’s national image, unity and economy are obvious. Often the quest for freedom and other social factors emanating from a country’s post-colonial experience act as cardinal cause of conflict. While conflict manifests itself in various dimensions, the position of researchers have been to depict conflict and its subsequent causes and effects from different perspective especially as a negative phenomenon .Conflict exists in virtually all spheres and works of life in organization, marriages, sports, politics, and even the family, living with others increases the opportunity for all types of interaction, both pleasant and unpleasant and in this case, the emphases is on the unpleasant as exemplified by conflict.  In the family, Parent and child conflicts can occur for many reasons. When conflict occurs, the entire family can be thrown into emotional turmoil. Resolving a parent and child conflict requires the participation of all stakeholders involved.

Communication is a very important tool in resolving conflict. “When parenting, we need to listen to our children and consider their input,” says psychologist Dr. Longhurst. Understanding why a parent child conflict occurs and how to resolve it can help bring harmony back to the entire family. Struggles between parents and their children are common manifestations of family life. In fact, families may have more conflict than other social groups. Prior theory and research regarding Western, individualist cultures suggests that as such contact and interdependence between people increases, conflict becomes more likely and more frequent (Braiker and Kelley:1979). However, in Eastern collectivist cultures, the increase in conflict may not result in such situations due to a preference for non-confrontation (Chua and Gudykunst :1987).

As with marital relationships, an average degree of conflict between parents and children in America is difficult to determine, although there are estimates (Montemayor: 1986). The frequency of conflict appears to be linked with child development. For example, the highest number of conflicts – mother-child interactions – occurred with two-year-olds versus children who were eighteen months or three years old (Dunn and Munn: 1987). Among adolescents, conflict interactions tend to increase until about the age of fifteen, and then subside in later adolescence. Developmental psychologists state that child development is in different stages and these stages are characterized by qualitative differences in behaviour. There are a number of different views about the way in which psychological and physical development proceed throughout life span. In addition to individual differences in development, psychologists generally agree that development occurs in an orderly way and in different areas. It is a branch of psychology that attempts to explain the development of humans over time both in the micro sense as they develop from babies to mature adults, and in the macro sense, as the culture itself evolves through the years and decades. Jean Piaget one of the foremost figures in developmental psychology and credited for being the first to elaborate a stage theory and to argue that all humans develop through a similar path, progressing through recognizable stages each with definable characteristics and psycho- social goals that must be met if one is to progress to the next. One of the most interesting facets of the stage theory is its proposition that children learn by constructing knowledge through experience, as opposed to it being directly imparted by environment, or being innate and instinctual.

Beyond conflict frequency, one of the most rudimentary features of conflict is whether an issue is engaged or avoided. Engagement involves overt, verbal confrontation. Avoidance can take many forms, including withholding complaints, evading discussion of sensitive issues, and defensively withdrawing from a conflict discussion.

Another important dimension of conflict concerns its positivity or negativity (Sillars and Wilmot: 1994). Some behaviours are relatively positive in sentiment and affective in tone, such as conciliatory statements, supportive comments that validate the other’s point of view, attempts to understand the other’s position, and so on. Negative behaviours are disagreeable, inflammatory, and sometimes hostile. Examples include demands, threats, insults, and defensiveness. Distressed families exhibit more negative conflict behaviours, greater reciprocation of negative emotions and behaviours, and a lower proportion of positive behaviours compared to non-distressed families (Montemayor: 1986).

An important feature of parent-child relationships that may affect the negativity of conflicts is that the relationships are not voluntary. In other words, children do not pick their parents. Like marriage partners, parents and their offspring develop considerable intimacy. More so than spouses, however, parents and their children are “bound” in a family relationship, which can serve to intensify serious conflicts between them, and family disputes often represent underlying relational struggles regarding power or intimacy (Emery: 1992).

Regardless of the “involuntary” nature of parent-child relationships, family conflict has the potential to positively impact children. Specifically, childhood conflict interactions can contribute positively to personal and social development. Moreover, parents can develop their negotiation skills in conflicts with their children. To save such positive rewards from conflict interactions, family members need two basic skills for conflict management: flexibility versus rigidity and the ability to manage conflict without escalating the severity of the problem.

Clearly, the study of these general features of parent-child conflict contributes to understanding the concept of conflict. Additionally, one important theme consistently emerges in discussions of these general features: development. Focusing on how parent-child conflict evolves as children (and parents) age provides a more thorough picture of the phenomenon.

Some research indicates that parent-child relationships tend to deteriorate in families marked by high levels of marital conflict (Hess et al: 1979). Since studies have found that good parent-child relationships are associated with high self-esteem (Coopersmith: 1967), it seems likely that a deteriorating parent-child relationship partly mediates the effects of inter parental conflict on children.

The family is a group consisting of one or two parents and children. According to Dudley Weeks in The Eight Essential Steps to Conflict Resolution “a family is an area in which diversity is important” (28) One may ask how diversity is seen in a family. The point is that although a family provides an equal environment for all of its members be it father, mother or children, each of them perceive situations in unique ways. In this case as long as each member of the family does not try to impose his opinion or idea unnecessarily on another the relationship between them stands a better chance of growing and remaining healthy.

In a society for instance Africa, relationships are not taken for granted. A lot of relationships are found in a society no matter how small those involved are. In these relationships, two or more persons are involved. As human beings, we have individual differences and usually like it to be respected. In this respect, anyone involved in a particular relationship who tries to impose his ideas or opinions on the other may not be helping their relationship. These relationships that exist in a community amongst peer groups, colleagues, neighbours, etc. at one time or the other tend to need something from one another as humans. The ability of one to satisfy the other’s needs goes a long way in strengthening their relationship. But in a situation whereby these needs cannot be met, it is seen as maltreatment of the person directly involved. The neglect of needs in a relationship does a lot of harm to that relationship.

In all the relationships in a family, the parent-child relationship is the most outstanding. Although, it is either a good or a bad relationship, there are some perceived reasons that determine how good or bad the relationship will be. Needs are very important. It is in everyone’s dictionary. They are conditions we perceive and cannot do without. They are essential in the development of relationships. According to Dudley Weeks, “the most fulfilling and mutually beneficial relationships are those in which the needs of both parties are met” (30). In the family therefore, if the needs of the children or parents are not met as and when due, it could be seen as an act of cruelty towards the affected person, parent or child.

Again, maltreatment of a child can be seen in terms of neglect: physical, verbal or emotional neglect and it also applies to the maltreatment of the parent. Neglect typically involves a failure on either party to provide for the others basic needs, such as food, care, shelter, protection and supervision (Campbell: 1992).The neglect of these needs in a relationship causes conflict among the persons involved. According to Joseph Folger (1993) and Marshal Scott Poole (1993), in Small Group Communication Theory and Application,Conflict is the interaction of interdependent people who perceive incompatible goals and interference from each other in achieving those goals”(41).To Dudley Weeks, conflict can be resolved in so many ways one of which is to build a shared positive power. Every relationship involves power, because individuals, groups often limit the way they use and perceive power, they tend to use it as means of controlling or manipulating others. To resolve or avoid conflict that already exist or might exist sometimes, the parties involved in the relationship in question must share and build a positive power to exercise it reasonably for it not to be a means of intimidating, controlling or manipulating others.

Gary and Lundbeng (1995) in I Don’t Have to Make Everything All Better wrote extensively on “parent-teen conflict”, managing it constructively. According to them, “teens and their parents have conflict” (3). How these conflicts are managed is critical; if these conflicts are not managed constructively, families are likely to divide. Behaviour and conflict degrade and criminal conduct may follow. Parents always see their children as children when the child wants to be treated as a teenager. In this case, the child is struggling for his independence, yet most times he is unwilling to assume the responsibility that comes with being an adult. The child wants to make his own rules as he now finds it difficult to follow the family rules. Most times, parents find it difficult to allow the child the freedom he wants. This is all part of the parent-child growing up together, conflict system.In the parent-child relationship, handling the conflicts that arise either destroy that connection between the persons involved or build it depending on how the conflict is handled. According to Gary and Joy Lundberg (1995:6), Parents and teens care about each other, openly acknowledging and managing parent teen conflicts constructively. In the relationship between them parents and their children share a lot of things in common apart from their biological resemblance, they share things like frustration, stress, pressure times, disappointment, financial stress and fear of failure.

Communication has been discovered as an essential tool in relationships. According to Gary and Joy Lundberg (1995:25), “when communication starts treading down, emotional tension increases, communication becomes more difficult and constructive conflict resolution more difficult” (13). Therefore in a relationship the level of communication between the persons involved helps them to understand themselves better. The understanding between them keeps their relationship healthy in the sense that each one knows what will make the other annoyed and avoid it. As defined in the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary Sixth Edition, communication is the “activity or process of expressing ideas and feelings” (230); going by this definition, any relationship without effective communication which helps those involved understand themselves the relationship is built on a shaky foundation. Parent-child relationship is not an exception; their relationship must be built on a solid foundation that is communication.

Furthermore, a relationship without discipline does not do those involved any good. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary Special Price Edition, defines discipline as “training or control”, often using a system of punishment, aimed at producing obedience to rules, self-control. Relationship may not have any definite system of punishment as means of training or control aimed at producing obedience to rules but one that obviously has is the parent-child relationship. Parent should not confuse discipline with punishment, punishment most times do not result to what a parent expect. Beating, blaming, belittling, threatening, slapping, scolding, name dropping are methods of punishment, which are generally ineffective. These methods of discipline will only subdue the child. As a system of discipline, it is better the child is allowed to learn from his own mistakes and take corrections himself. This method of discipline causes a child to be scared of his parents and this reduces effective communication between them thereby hampering or hindering their relationship. Curiously, one may ask what makes either a child or parent brutal or to neglect the other person’s need? How does the attitude of either party affect the other and the relationship that exist between them? These questions can only be answered by examining the society where these relationships exist.

This study therefore goes beyond the causes, and negative effect of conflict which seem to be the specialization of scholars in examining conflict in various spheres of life. The aim of this research is to examine conflict in parent child relationship, the positive effect of these conflict and the measures to be taken to improve relationship in the home. To achieve this objective, this study engages some selected novels from African writers of both the 19th and 21st centuries in order to ex-ray the fact that conflict in the family especially among parents and their children is a recurrent phenomenon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

A generally accepted understanding of conflict with regards to its causes and manifestations continues to be the concern of humanists, including literary artists. Literary writers of the 19th and 21st centuries depict conflict according to their personal and geographical background. This tendency arises from the multi-dimensional manifestations of conflict. The problem of this study stems from the fact that most scholars have rested continuously on the negative effect of conflict, more so there is generally a paucity of research on the texts for the study, especially in relation to conflict in family relationship without recourse to the positive effects of conflict. This therefore leaves a stigma on domestic conflict.




 The Ethnography of a linguistic text is a sociolinguistic approach to determine the communicative competence of the text. A lot of speech events have been studied using Dell Hymes Act of SPEAKING. However, there is a dearth of such studies on the socio-political columns of Nigerian Newspaper especially using the ethnographic theory to determine the level of communicative competence in it. Therefore this research applied the level of communicative competence of the socio-political columns in Nigerian newspapers using the ethnographic communication theory, in order to demonstrate the extent to which ethnography of communication can be used to determine effective communication.

  The data for this study are limited to five newspaper columns in five major national newspapers namely: ‘Return of Austerity’ by Steve Nwosu in the Column “Frank Talk” of Daily Sun (2014); ‘The Republic of Deception’ by Tony Afejuku in the column “In and Out” of Nigerian Tribune (2016); ‘Father andSon’ by Sam Omatseye in the Column “In Touch” of The Nation (2016); ‘On the Matter of the dog named Buhari’by Abimbola Adelakun in the column “Thursday with Abimbola Adelakun of The Punch (2016); and ‘The Mark ZuckerbergVisit’ by Reuben Abati in The Guardian (2016). Thus, the speech community for this work is the columnist and their readers.

The ethnographic studies of the various columns have been undertaken with respect to the four components of communicative competence. The analyses revealed that although the selected columnists employed different styles and approaches to communicating their ideas, they all shared some common traits. Some of the traits include the use of rhetorical questions, coinages, code switching and code mixing. Grammatical competence in terms of the use of tenses, repetitions, use of conjunctions, sentence construction, punctuation marks, choice of words; Sociolinguistics competence in terms of codes-witching and code-mixing, coinages; Strategic competence in terms of the use of humor, personification, lengthy paragraph, rhetorical questions, use of allusion, socio-cultural contexts and Discourse competence in terms of consistency in italicizing, cohesion and coherence.

  The study finally concluded that the socio-political columns of the five Nigerian Newspapers reflect the various features that constitute the four components of communicative competence. The overall contribution of the study to scholarship is underscored by various forms of interpretation into the communicative traits and competence of the speech community. Further studies in the area of economic, religious columns of other newspaper source.

Keywords:     Socio-political, Ethnography, Columnist, Grammatical competence, Speech community,


Content                                                                                        Page

Title page                                                                               i

Certification                                                                 ii

Dedication                                            iii

Acknowledgements                                           iv

Abstract                                                             v

Table of Contents                                             vi

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                                     

1.1       Background to the Study                          1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                       4

1.3       Objective of the Study                                                             5

1.4       Research Questions                                          6

1.5       Scope of the Study                                          6

1.6       Significance of the Study                                7

1.7       Theoretical Framework                                         8

1.8       Conclusion                                                      9

Content                                                                            Page


2.0       Introduction                                                              10

2.1       Discourse and Discourse Analysis                            10

2.2       Sociolinguistic Approach to Discourse Analysis                 13

2.3       Ethnography and Ethnography of Communication and Communicative Competence                                      16       

2.4       Speech Community: Political Columnists and their reader      20

2.5       Conclusion                                      22


3.0     Introduction                                            23

3.1     Method of Data Collection                    23

3.2     Method of Data Analysis                      24

3.3      Review of each Socio-Political Column                                     24

3.4      Analysis of Questionnaires                        25

3.3      Conclusion                                                      25


  •       Introduction                                                                    27

Content                                                            Page

4.1       Contextualization of the columns.                                    27

4.1.1    “Father and Son” By Sam Omatseye                         27

4.1.2    “The Republic of Deception” By Tony Afejuku           28

4.1.3    “On The Matter of the Dog Named Buhari” By Abimbola Adelakun        29

4.1.4    “Return of Austerity” By Steve Nwosu                         30

4.1.5    “The Mark Zukerberg Visit” By Reuben Abati                  30

4.2       Ethnographic Analyses of  the columns                     31

4.2.1    The use of Tenses                                                           31

4.2.2    Punctuation Marks                                               32

4.2.3    Repetitions                                                   34

4.2.4    Use of Conjunctions                            34       

4.2.5    Sentence Construction                                                           35       

4.2.6    Choice of Words                                                     37

4.2.7    Code-mixing and Code-switching                            39       

4.2.8    Coinages                                                                      39

4.2.9    Rhetorical Question                                                    40

4.2.10   Use of Allusion                                                            41       

4.2.11     Lengthy Paragraph                                          42

Content                                                                                  Page

4.2.12   Personification                                                       42

4.2.13   Socio-cultural Context                                          43

4.2.14   Use of Humour                                                         43

4.2.15    Consistency in Italicizing                                           44

4.2.16   Cohesion and Coherence                                                      45

4.7        Review and Analysis of Questionnaires                     46


5.1       Summary                                                                   50

5.2       Conclusion                                                       53

5.3       Recommendations                                                          53

References                                                                            55

Appendices                                                     58



1.1   Background to the Study

This research is an attempt to embark on an ethnographic study of socio-political columns in selected Nigerian Newspapers, with the aim of demonstrating the applicability of ethnography of communication to the selected socio-political columns. Ethnography is a broad area of scholarship in social science and anthropology, where culture and society are structurally and functionally analyzed. According to Wardhaugh (2006), the function of an ethnographer is “to observe first-hand how a group of people behave in their natural settings” (p 249). In terms of its genesis, ethnography is rooted in anthropology but is said to have become useful to sociologists and linguists over time (Denzen & Lincoln, 2011).

This study is therefore predicated on the sociolinguistic approach to ethnography rather than its root, which is centrally anthropology. More specifically, the discussions in the study touched on discourse analysis and sociolinguistics, which were aspects of linguistics that deal with functional and contextual examination of language. It seeks to explore Hymes’ idea of the ethnography of communication as a means to understanding language in use rather than language as a set of structural rules, focusing on the ethnography of communication as theoretical frame work. The ethnography of Communication, a 20th Century conception developed by Hymes is essentially a sociolinguistics approach to analysis of discourses (Olateju, Oyebode & Ademilokun, 2014). The ethnography of communication relates ethnography the description and structural/functional analysis of society and culture with language, which is a cultural tool that helps people share knowledge such as arts, morals, beliefs and everything acquired by man in every human society.

Furthermore, this interesting area of communication/linguistic studies is an approach to understanding society, culture and the reconstruction of a given ethnic or distinct group of people within a society. Cameron (2001) stated that the ethnography of communication could be perceived as an application of ethnographic methods of anthropology and sociology to the communication pattern of a group of people. Communicative competence is described as the overall knowledge of a user of language in terms of not just syntax, morphology and phonology but also in various social contexts. In other words, it is not enough to be sufficiently knowledgeable in rules that govern grammar, words and phrases. Language users must also understand appropriate contextual application of language to have attained what Hymes described as “communicative competence”.

It is noteworthy that before constructing the act of SPEAKING Model with the purpose of creating a template with which linguists could understand the culture of an ethnic group through the communicative process, Hymes had brought up the idea of communicative competence in reaction to Chomsky’s idea of competence and performance. According to him, people can construct utterances that are ungrammatical yet socially appropriate (Hymes, 1989). Factoring the social context within which language is used underscores the essence of communicative competence. Although Hymes conceptualized communicative competence, the four areas that make up communicative competence were developed by other linguists such as Canale & Swain (1980). This study examined the four factors of communicative competence areas in the selected columns, with the overall goal of understanding the communicative competence of socio-political columnists in Nigerian Newspapers.

This study sprouted from a desire to further understand Language use and communicative competence within a group of people in the society, or more specifically, a specific speech community. While scholars have argued that language is more than communication (Atupa, 2011), the core function language performs in society is to act as a medium through which people share ideas and feelings. One important inference that can be deduced from this is that language cannot function outside the society just as much as the study of language cannot be limited to the usual functional/structural areas of linguistics.

As a further development to Noam Chomsky’s transformational grammar as well as other scholars’ theories in morphology, phonology, semantics and pragmatics, language studies have taken a social science slant which has led to the emergence of studies such as sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. This progression was, of course, ignited by a reason which (Jaworski & Coupland, 1999) described as the need for linguists to understand the threads that run through language, meaning and society. 

Moreover, the issue of performance and competence, which after Chomsky theorized, led to an understanding that language use and effective communication has many variables that transcend structural and transformational grammar. These variables, having been considered by a good number of linguists since Hymes demonstrated that meaningful consideration of competence in communication must recognize the functionality of language.

Consequently, this study examined socio-political columns with focus on functional aspects of language studies, primarily, pragmatics, sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. It will rely on the ethnography of communication, specifically communicative competence, for critical assessment of the primary discourse data. The subfields, Sociolinguistics and discourse analysis is discussed in detail in chapter two of this study.

Although there are various scholarly definitions of discourse analysis, two of the lot helps to create a meaningful background to this research work. Discourse analysis, as defined by (McCarthy, Matthiessen & Slade, 2002), is the analysis of language in its social context a definition that helps to situate this research as sociolinguistics. Likewise, (Fairclough, 1992) states that discourse is “more than just language use: it is language in use, whether speech or writing, seen as a type of social practice” (p. 28).  While both agree to discourse analysis being a study of language as a social tool, (Fairclough, 1992) specifies that the discourse could be in speech or written.      

The term, the ethnography of communication, when first conceptualized by Hymes, was ethnography of speech. The idea borders on the examination of language use within the wider context of the socio-cultural practices and beliefs of members of a speech group or speech community. Through ethnography of communication, Hymes established a system (SPEAKING) whereby the linguistic competence of an ideal speaker is measured not merely by producing grammatically correct sentences but also by considering the appropriate socio-cultural contexts within which language is used.

Since Hymes, various scholars have theorized on ethnography as it relates to language studies and communication. For instance, Canale and Swain (1980) conceived certain components that define communicative competence. The components were later expanded by Canale (1983) to include: Grammatical competence, discourse competence, sociolinguistic competence and strategic competence. Invariably, Canale’s proposition concluded that communicative competence of a language user is determined by all four components. It is against this background that the researcher proposed to conduct the theory of the ethnography of communication in selected newspaper column using Canale’s model of communicative competence.

In addition, the study recognizes political columnists and their readers as comprising a speech community which has various unique contexts of language use. It is generally understood that a speech community is perceived not merely by common language shared by members of this community but mainly by common linguistic norms and contexts (Atupa, 2011). One can therefore propose that a speech community is not necessarily physical. What is paramount is for the community to share idiosyncrasies and rules for conduct of speech. This research will attempt to demonstrate the linguistic norms common to political columnists and their audience. In addition, it will endeavor to demonstrate the application of the ethnography of communication to written texts.         

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The application of the ethnography of communication to research endeavours is not uncommon in language studies since Hymes proposed his SPEAKING Model. In fact, researchers in linguistics and philosophy of language have applied the Model to numerous speech communities with meaningful findings that continually validate its usefulness. Besides, language students with interest in sociolinguistics, discourse analysis and pragmatics all over the world have sufficiently conducted researches on the SPEAKING Model. This study took a departure from Hymes’ SPEAKING approach to the ethnography of communication but retain its objective of demonstrating that communicating effectively is influenced by both linguistic competence and communicative competence. It will essentially attempt to use Canale’s (1983) model of communicative competence as tool for the ethnography of communication.

There is no gainsaying the fact that despite the fact Hymes conceived the idea of communicative competence, it was developed as a theory by other linguists over time. Unlike Hymes’ act of SPEAKING, the ethnography of communication theory using the four components of communicative competence has not been fully explored in relation to the diverse speech communities that abound in Nigeria. This research seeks to apply the ethnography of communication theory using communicative competence to socio-political columns, though with a certain audience that makes up the speech community (the columnists and their readers), in order to demonstrate the extent to which ethnography of communication can be used to determine effective communication.




Gender and language differences are integral field of study in sociolinguistics that accounts for the way language is used in the society and the choices people make when speaking. This is usually complemented by pragmatics. A number of studies have been done on gender and language differences, however, there appears to be inadequate research on the socio-pragmatic investigation of gender and language differences in these African literary texts; Ama Atta Aidoo’s Change and Chimamanda N. Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun and applying Speech Acts and Mood system as analytical tool  of study. Therefore, the study investigated the language differences of both genders and how they relate to context in the selected texts.

The study employed both the qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis to foreground the differences in the language choices of both. Using the purposive random sampling technique, a total of twenty inter-gender dialogues were selected from Ama Atta Aidoo’s Changes andChimamanda N. Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. For data analysis, the research employed Speech Acts by J. L. Austin and J. Searle and Mood Systems tool as propounded by M.A.K Halliday.

Findings showed diverse language features in utterances made by male and female interlocutors in the selected African texts. It was discovered that within the socio-cultural context of love, marriage and family events, men and women language differed. In Changes, male interlocutors used more indicative interrogatives, directives, tag questions and minimal responses while female interlocutors used more indicative declaratives, imperatives, assertives and expressives hedges, polite expressions and intensifiers. In Half of a Yellow Sun, male interlocutors used more indicative declaratives, commissives, expressives, intensifiers, vernacular, polite expressions and hedges while female interlocutors used more indicative interrogatives, assertives, directives, tag questions and minimal responses. Within physical, socio-cultural and psychological contexts as identified in the texts, it was discovered that socio-cultural context dominates the texts in form of marriage and family events.

The study concluded that males interrogate more while females expressed more of simple, polite but emphatic sentences. However, the study discovered that context is the ultimate determinant of human language choices.

Keywords: Gender, Speech Acts, Mood System, Inferior Language and Superior Language

Word Count: 475


Content                                                                                                                       Page

Title page                                                                                                                    i

Certification                                                                                                                ii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iii

Acknowledgements                                                                                                    iv

Abstract                                                                                                                      v

Table of Contents                                                                                                       vi

List of Tables                                                                                                              vii

List of Figures                                                                                                             viii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                               

1.1       Background to the Study                                                                               1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                                                               2

1.3       Objective of the Study                                                                                   3

1.4       Research Questions                                                                                         3

1.5       Scope of the Study                                                                                         4

1.6       Significance of the Study                                                                               4

1.7       Justification for the Study                                                                              5

1.8       Theoretical Framework                                                                                   5

1.9       Synopsis of the Selected Texts                                                                       6

Content                                                                                                                       Page

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE                                           

2.0       Introduction                                                                                                    8

2.1       Language and Gender                                                              8

2.2       Language and Culture                                          9

2.3       Social Root of Gender Language Differences                            10

2.4       Gender and Language Differences                                   11

2.5       Sociolinguistics                                                                                               13

2.6       Sociolinguistics and Gender Language Differences   15

2.7       Sexist Language and Linguistic Discrimination      20

2.8       Studies on Language and Gender                                 23

2.9       Women and Men Language Differences        25

2.10     Relationship between Sociolinguistics and Pragmatics 28

2.11     The Concept of Pragmatics                                    29

2.12     Speech Acts Theory                                                                                        30

2.12.1  J.L. Austin’s Contribution                                                                              30

2.12.2  Searle’s Contribution                                                                                      32

2.13     The Notion of Context                                                                                   33

2.14     Systemic Functional Grammar                                        36

2.14.1  The English Mood System                                                                              36

2.15     Relationships between Speech Acts and Mood Structure        39

Content                                                      Page

2.16        Conclusion                                                                    41


3.0       Introduction                                                                                                    42

3.1       Method of Data Collection                                                                             42

3.2       Data Presentation                                                                                            43

3.3       Tools of Analysis                                                                                            43



4.0       Introduction                                                                                                    44

4.1       Socio-Pragmatic Features in Changes and Half of a Yellow Sun 44

4.1.1    Mood System – Interrogatives, Declaratives and Imperative 44       

4.1.2    Speech Acts – Assertives, Directives, Commissives, Expressive and Declarations                                                                                             52

4.1.3    Gender Language Features – Hedges, Intensifiers, Tag questions, Vernacular etc.                                                                                                61

4.2       Contexts in Changes and Half of a Yellow Sun   67

4.3       Summary Analysis of Changes                                          70

4.4       Summary Analysis of Half of a Yellow Sun                             72

4.5       Summary Analysis of Changes and Half of a Yellow Sun    74


5.0       Introduction                                                                                                    81

5.1       Summary                                                                                                         81

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                      83

Content                                                                                                                       Page

5.3       Recommendation                                                                                            84

5.4       Contribution to Knowledge                                                84

5.5       Suggestion for Further Studies                                           85

REFERENCES                                                                                                                86


Table                                                                                                                           Page

1 Summary Analysis of Changes by Ama Atta Adioo                            70

1.1 Mood Summary                                                                                                    70

1.2 Speech Acts Summary                                                                                          71

1.3 Gender Language Summary                                                  72

2 Summary Analysis of Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie  72

2.1 Mood Summary                                                                                                    72

2.2 Speech Acts Summary                                                                                          73

2.3 Gender Language Summary                                             74

3 Summary of Ama Atta Adioo’s Changes and Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun      74

3.1 Mood Summary                                                                                                    74

3.2 Speech Acts Summary                                                                                          75

3.3 Gender Language Summary                                         75

                                                          LIST OF FIGURES

Figure                                                                                                                          Page

1 Mood System Chart                                                                                                 39

2 Summary Analysis of Changes by Ama Atta Adioo                              76

2.1 Mood System                                                                                                        76

2.2 Speech Acts                                                                                                          77

2.3 Gender Language Features                                                   77

3 Summary Analysis of Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun   78

3.1 Mood System                                                                                                        78

3.2 Speech Acts                                                                                                          78

3.3 Gender Language Features                                           79

4 Summary Analysis of Ama Atta Adioo’s Changes and Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun                                                                      79

4.1 Mood System                                                                                                        79

4.2 Speech Acts                                                                                                          80

4.3 Gender Language Features                                             80



1.1       Background to the Study

A crucial distinction between human beings and animals is to a large extent the way we communicate with one another. Human beings use words to express emotions, thoughts and information of any kind. In each language use, words are constructed in a particular way and it is inspiring to know that when studying written or verbal words, it is quite possible to ascertain whether a word belongs to one gender or another even when the person has no clue about the gender of the one communicating.

Language, according to Osisanwo (2008:1), is human vocal noise or the arbitrary graphic representation of this noise, used systematically and conventionally by members of a speech community for purposes of communication.  It is important to know that language is a human attribute. It has a graphic representation which is in form of text, used in different ways by members of a society to communicate their feelings, intentions, fears, anger and roles.

Language is a means of communication used by people of the same sex or opposite sex to accomplish such functions as ordering, promising, arguing, and so on. In essence, any communicative function needs to be carried out within a context, which may either be situational, interpersonal or social and cultural. In the process of communication, language users are expected to be in possession of two sets of capabilities: They should have knowledge of the forms of language they use and must know how to use this knowledge in negotiating meaning. In order to clarify meaning, the speakers and hearers or writers and readers should be able to interact meaningfully as context influences meaning.

Gender and language have become an interesting topic which linguists have investigated over time. Early studies in linguistic anthropology see Lakoff (1973, 1975) J. Coates (1988), Fishman (1980), Zimmerman (1975) and many others looked at the differences between women’s and men’s speeches across languages to identify distinct female and male language features. Focusing on the findings by Lakoff (1975), among speakers from similar social class, women tend to use more standard and formal language forms which are characterized by, intensifiers, hedges, tag question sentences, minimal responses, exclamation remarks, polite expressions and indirect expressions. While men use more of vernacular, taboo words, proverbs, command expressions, interruptions, strategic language in order to control conversations and less minimal responses to mention but a few. Lakoff in his book Language and women’s place concludes that women’s language is inferior while men’s language is superior. According to the findings, the difference in men and women’s language features reflects a power imbalance between the sexes

However, according to Lakoff (1975), there are different views why men and women possess different language features. To him, women belong to the minority group which is oppressed and marginalized and women belong to different subcultures, and their differing conversational styles reflect these subcultures. Also is the view that women’s language is weak, hesitance and lack confidence. As a result, women’s language features present women as powerless, incapable of holding power and of presenting their point of view forcefully.

Holmes (1992:16) posits that “the aim of sociolinguistics is to move towards a theory which provides a motivated account of the way language is used in a community, and of the choices people make when they use language”. Dong Jinyu (2014) states that the main content of sociolinguistics is the study of the relationships between language and society that is; it majors on the study of language structure and social context.

Bucholtz (1999) in his own view emphasizes that what is needed in the study of the differences in gender language is a form of analysis which is less focused on the individual woman or man and trends of speech in the society as a whole, but more focused on the way context and individual mutually shape the manner in which the interaction takes place. This study therefore, investigated the differences in gender language use of interlocutors as it relates to context in the selected text – Ama Atta Adio’s Changes and Adichies’ Half of a Yellow Sun.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Different scholars have recognized and taken interest in the language use and creative prowess of Ama Atta Aidoo’s Changes and Chimamanda’s Half of a Yellow Sun.  However, most of the studies available on these literary texts are mostly on theme, creative processes and aesthetics; little attention is given to linguistic studies like socio-pragmatic investigation of the language difference of genders and how it relates to context. This study investigated the different language features of the interlocutors, contexts, speech acts and mood types of male and female characters in the selected texts, hence the question, do women in all contexts truly reflect powerless language as opposed to their male counterparts? The study adopted insights from Wardhaughs’ theory of “difference” in the language differences of genders.




 Scientific study of language and its implication in analysis of court judgement is yet to be given as much scholarly attention as other legal genres.Most of the work that has been done so far on Appellate Court Judgements (ApCJs) focus more on stylisticanalysis and do not investigate the import of meta-linguistic meanings. Correspondingly, most studies on power relations in the courtroom dealt with the asymmetricalrelations of power. As a result, the language of the courtroom has been rated explicit and asymmetric.Therefore, this study investigated the linguistic and the meta-linguistic features in terms of symmetrical and asymmetrical relations of power in selected Nigerian ApCJs.

The study adopted the propositional and meta-propositional frameworks to analyse six APCJs from the Nigerian Weekly Law Reports (1999-2004).Purposive random sampling technique was employed in selecting two leading Judgements from each of the stratified groupings of the three types of appellate judgements: murder cases, human rights abuses and property crimes. Out of the 1,129 sentences that form the data,110
sentences selected through nth sampling technique of one of every sentence form the sample size.Using the Systemic Functional Grammar Theory,the tools of analysis employed were Pragmatic markers (pms), politeness theory, speech act theory and componential analysis, to discover their pragmatic marker types, the face types, lexical components, speech act types and their various implications.

These analyses revealed that although ApCJs were linguistic, they were replete with meta-linguistic contents.Utterances in thetexts comprised two distinct parts:  propositional contents (the basic messages); and meta-propositional contents (the linguistically encoded clues exploited by the judges in  signalling their potential communicative intentions).The meta-propositional contents were signaled by four variants of pragmatic markers: basic, commentary, discourse, and parallel markers. The linguistic politeness findings revealed that ApCJ asymmetrically relate powers in disallowed appeals but symmetrically relate power in allowed appeals. The Componential analysis revealed that appellate judges achieved                   
psychological plausibility of their stances through precise diction. The direct speech acts types were retrodictives, assertives, informatives; direct requestives, performatives assertives and verdictives. These showed that the language of ApCJs functions directly for: reporting, asserting, informing, requesting and pronouncing verdicts, while it  
indirectly informs,asserts, concedes, directs, requests, dissents and ultimately judges.  
Thus, ApCJs themselves depend extensively on re-contextualizedlinguistic elements taken primarily from different texts, especially from the lower court judgements.                                                                                                         

In conclusion, the language of ApCJs was not only propositional, meta-propositional, symmetrical but also asymmetrical (four diagonal intricacies that facilitate    logical appellate adjudication and verdicts).Applied linguists should critically investigate other meta-linguistic meanings in the legalese.

Keywords: Linguistics, Propositional, Meta-propositional, Appellate Court Judgements.Word Count: 422.



TitlePage                                         i

Certification                                                                   ii

Dedication                                                                                   iii

Acknowledgments                                                                         iv

Abstract                                                                                      v

Table of Contents xii

List of Tables

List of Figures                                                                                xiii


1.1.Background to the Study                                            1

1.2. Statement of the Problem                                                  3

1.3.Objective of the Study                                                                                     4

1.4 Research Questions           5

1.5 Significance of the Study                              5

1.6. Scope of the Study                                                                                               6

1.7Theoretical Framework      6

1.8. Justification                                                    9

1.8.1 Justification for the Study                                 9

1.8.2. Justification of the Choice of Data                                  9

1.8.3 Justification for the Appropriateness of the Theories9

1.9.Operational Definition of Terms                                  



2.0. Introduction                                          11

2.1 Conceptual Model                                                                 11

2.1.1.The Concept of Language 11

2.1.2 Language and Law as Data for Linguistic Study 12

2.1.3 Functions of Language in Law           13

2.2. Linguistics/Linguistic Analysis                                                15

Content                                                                                                   Page

2.2.1. Linguistics as a Science                                                            16

2.2.2 Levels of Linguistic Analysis                                                      17

2.2.3. The Scope of Linguistics                                  18

2.2.4   Aspects of Linguistics                                                                 19

2.3. The Concept of Grammar                                                       20

2.3.1 Systemic Functional Grammar                                                   20 Language, a Functional Tool    20                 The Concept of Text 21 and Genre Analysis   22                                                  Pragmatics.                                                                         24

2.4.1. Origin of Pragmatics                                                                                         24

2.4.2. The Scope of Pragmatics                                                                                  26

2.4.3. Speech Acts Theory:                                                                                         27 Austin’s Model                                                                                               30 Searle’s Model 31 Bach and Harnish’s Model                                                          33 Allan’s Speech Acts Model     34 Thomas’ Speech Acts Model                                                               36

2.5. Linguistic Politeness Theory                                                                  36         

2.5.1. Lakoff’s Politeness Model  37

2.5.2 Geofrey Leech’s Politeness Model                               37

2.5.3 Brown and Levinson’s Politeness Model  

402.6 Pragmatic Markers                  

482.7 Semantics                                                                                                          

552.7.1 Definitions of Semantics                                       

552.7.2 Componential Analysis                                                    56 of Componential Analysis

562.8.The Courtroom           

572.8.1 Types of Courts in Nigeria

582.8.1.1 The Court of Appeal and its Jurisdiction 58

 Content                                                                                                  Page

2.8.2 Courtroom Language    

602.8.2.1 The Nature of Legal English           

612.8.2.2 History of Legal English                                  61

2.8.3. A Review of Studies on Language and Law                      66

Law                                                               66


3.0 Introduction                                                                                 70

3.1 Research Design                                                        70

3.1.1. The Explanatory Mixed Method                                          70

3.2.Population                                                                                                 71

3.3. Sample Size and Sampling Technique                                                  72

3.4 Method of Data Analysis                                                       72

3.5 Framework of Analysis                                                  73

3.6 Levels and Tools of Analyses                                             74


4.0 Introduction                                                                          79

4.1The Linguistic Analysis andInterpretation ofJudgement One:

       Richard Igago versus the State                                   79

4.2.The Linguistic Analysis and Interpretation of Judgement Two (B):

Brigadier Adekunle V Rockview Hotel                    

1264.3 The Linguistic Analysis and Interpretation of Judgement Three (C): Lotus Plastics Limited Versus Nigeria Ports Plc and Elder Demster Agencies.          


5.0.Introduction                                                                                     156

5.1 Variants of Pragmatic Markers in the Appellate                                    157

5.1.1 Discussion of the Functions of the Pragmatic Markers           160

5.2 Findings on the Face Saving and Face Threatening Acts            161

5.3 The Significance of the Face Saving and Face Threatening Acts         163

5.4 Findings,Componential Analysis                                           163

5.5 The Speech Acts Types in the Appellate Judgements                 164

5.5.1 The Direct Speech Acts                                              164

5.5.2. The Indirect Speech Acts Types in the Judgements 165                                                                             

5.6. Discussions on the Import of the Preponderant Speech acts    166

Content Page

5.7. Linguistic Divergences between Appellate Courts    
JudgementsAllowed, Partly Allowed And Disallowed.168

5.8 Summary of the Findings                                                               170


6.0 Introduction                                                                                   

1726.1 Summary                                                                                                                                 

1726.2 Conclusion

1736.3 Recommendations                                                175

6.4 Suggestion for Further Studies                             176

6.5. Contributions to Knowledge       176
References 178



 1:Allan’s Speech Acts Model                                      35

2: Illustration of the Pragmatic Markers.                       50

 3: Population and Sample Size of the Study                                              72

4: Allan (1986) Speech Acts Model as a Tool of Analysis                            76

5: Findings on the Variants of the Pragmatic Markers                  158

6: Findings on the Frequency Distribution and Percentagesof Face
Saving and Face Threatening Acts 163
7: Direct Speech Acts in Percentage 166

8: Indirect Speech Acts in Percentage167

9: Linguistic Differences between Appellate Courts
Allowed, Partly Allowedand Disallowed              170


 Figure                                                                                      Page

 1:  Diagrammatic Figure of the Scope of Linguistics: Language and Grammar       19                                                                                                            

          2:  Diagrammatic Figure of the Role of Pragmatics to Linguistics. 27

          3:  Figure on the Degree of Face Threatening Acts.  43

          4: Types of Courts in Nigeria.      59

          5:A Linguistic Model for Analyzing the Selected Appellate.75



1.1Background to the Study

 Language as a means of communication has linguistic features that are peculiar to different contexts of use. The study of these unique linguistic features is important for defining and creating the different genres of linguistic texts. Hence, it is reasonable to talk of variations of language such as the language of law, or legal document, the language of religion, the language of institutionalized aggression or the military, the language of agriculture etcetera. Linguists have deemed it fit to study different genres as well as understand how language functions in those fields in order to either standardize specific linguistic symbolizations or perform certain appropriate functions that are pertinent to the existence, definition and survival of the institutions and their members (Mey, 2001).

The profound linguistic nature of the legal institution has propelled several studies on English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in the 1960’s and inspired many linguists to study language use in specific contexts (Chenge 2008) including the legal context. Accordingly, there are diverse studies on courtroom language. Nonetheless, the Nigerian Appellate court judgementis yet to be subjected to adequate meta-linguistic scrutiny-especially for its pragmatic traits. Therefore, the specific concern of this work is on the language of appellate court judgement with a focus on investigating how appellate judges exploit language in performing the legal functions of overruling, modifying or accepting the judgements of lower courts.

One major problem with the Appellate court judgement (ApCJ) is that every meaning must be linguistic including the writer’s intention which is meta-linguistic. Furthermore, (ApCJ) is expected to clearly and objectively convey decisions without any sense of partiality. Nonetheless, the appellate judge is still charged with the responsibility of convincing other court participants of the veracity and correctness of his/her stance(s). The question is: How neutral/unbiased is the judge’s language. Recourse to the linguistic analysis of the appellate court judgement would suffice.

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It is about understanding the system of language. The aims of linguistic science are both theoretical and practical. McMenanim (2002:36) posits that linguistics is theoretical because linguists discover the underlying rules and patterns of language and then describe them in the languages of the world. This means linguists look for language characteristics that are present in all languages (universals), as well as features found only in certain language families or individual languages. The description of the universal and distinctive features of the languages of the world constitutes the focus of universal grammarians.

Whereas the goals of linguistics are also practical since they attempt to use linguistic knowledge for the purpose of improving speakers and languages. For instance, linguistic knowledge can be used for language teaching, language acquisition skills, forensic applications, etcetera. From the foregoing, linguistics is descriptive not prescriptive. This means its goal is to understand and describe language and languages, not prescribe rules for correct and appropriate usage. It is on this descriptive premise that linguists are poised to apply linguistic theories to language use in different fields like Agriculture, Education, Medicine, and Law as in the instance of this present study where language is applied to the language of law.

The Application of linguistic methods to different professional fields is of interest to       
linguists for several reasons. Every field of profession has its   linguistic variations. These variations are the bricks for achieving the style and purpose of a text. In the same vein, linguistic variations are vital tools for contextualising a text- since every text-type exists with an intended purpose. Consequently, the purpose of a text, determines the linguistic variations and contextual features of that text.

The study of language variations has fascinated many linguists to focus their attention on investigating language features evident in different specialised fields of enquiry. One of such areas where the application of linguistics is gaining topical attention is Forensic Linguistics (FL). FL is an aspect of linguistics that studies language and law or involves the study of language in the context of the law. On the other hand, the field of language and law is a subfield of Applied Linguistics (APL) ‘which involves the application of linguistic theories and analyses to language issues in the real world’ (Jordan 2002:7). Thus, APL involves a wide range of subjects from language acquisition, language learning to language and gender issues and from orthographic questions, translation and literacy to language and law. However, the concern of this present study is on language and law. Precisely, the study investigates the nature and function of language in selected Nigerian Appellate Courts Judgements.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

 The critical role of language in the courtroom has attracted and propelled many linguists to investigate the nature of legalese in general. Some of the relevant studies on the nature of the language of law include discourse of lawyers and clients (Maley et al, 1995; Haley, 1997). Discourse of trial Lawyers (Stygall, 1994), Discourse of courtroom questions (Hale, 1999; Berk-Seligson, 1999; Ridgney, 1999; Farinde, 2008), Language of Jury instructions (Levi, 1993; Jackson, 1995; Tiersma 1995; Dumas, 2000) and others. Nonetheless the foci of most of these literatures have been on asymmetrical relation of power in the language of courtroom discourse and stylistic study of language, which is, identifying language habits of speakers with the purpose of identifying those features which are restricted to certain individual’s use of language in certain kinds of social contexts. These imply that analysis of meta-propositional meanings (or the unsaid) in court judgements and symmetrical relations of power in general is still lean

Therefore, this present study investigates speaker meaning as encoded linguistically and asymmetrical relations of power in the courtroom. This is pertinent because constructing meanings in Appellate court judgements is not a simple task. Explaining this, Crystal and  Davy (1969:192)posit that ‘whoever composes a legal document must take the greatest pains to ensure it ‘says’ (mean) exactly what  he wants  it to say (mean)and at the same time give no room for misinterpretation’. They further elucidate on the assertion further:

The word ‘say’ is important in this context, because when a document is under scrutiny in a court of law,  and if a composer happens to have used language, attention will  be  paid only to what, as a piece of natural language, it(the text) appears actually to declare; any intentions of the composer which fails to emerge clearly are not usually considered in arriving at what the document means and if the composer happens to have used language which can be taken to mean something other than he intended, he has failed in his job.

Going by Crystal and Davy’s explanation above, language use in legal discourse is structured not only to express the literal meanings but also intentional meanings which both must be absolutely linguistic/propositional. Clarity from the foregoing means the content of the text should denote exactly what the writer intends. By extension, meanings in appellate court judgements must be derivable from the linguistic contents and not other resources. The question is: what meta-linguistic clues are derivable from the selected appellate court judgment?

Furthermore, appellate court judgement being a non-fictional text is expected to be objective and unbiased. Therefore, appellate justices in their choice of languagetry to be neutral but in the actual sense, are there no linguistic evidences of bias?

In summary, this current study fills these gaps- firstly; beyond the linguistic meanings, it investigates the meta-linguistic meanings in the texts with a view to bringing to the fore the linguistically encoded clues which the appellate judges exploit in signalling their potential communicative intentions. Secondly, in order to authenticate that appellate judges not only use language to dominate laymen in court but also their fellow judges, the study investigates the symmetrical relations of power in the language of Nigerian appellate court judgements.

1.3. Objective of the Study

The general aim of this study is to describe the language of the Nigerian Appellate Court Judgements and find out how they are linguistically constructed in order to either uphold or reject the lower court judgement.

The specific objectives are to:

(1a) identify the variants of and frequency distribution of pragmatic markers exploited by
        the appellate judges in the judgements;

 (1b) identify the most preponderant pragmatic markers and discuss their functions 
        as exploited by the appellate judges in signalling their intentions;

(2) discover the extent to which the appellate judges, in up-holding or rejecting the lower
      court judgement, threaten or save the faces of the trial court judges.

(3) determine the functions of the face saving acts and the face threatening acts exploited by
     the justices and other courtroom participants in the selected Appellate judgements,

(4) ascertain the categories of lexical items employed in stance-taking and their significance. 
(5) investigate the kinds of speech acts exploited in the construction of the Appellate court 
      judgements and state the most preponderant speech acts and

(6) identify the functions of the identified speech acts.

 1.4.Research Questions

Based on the  objectives, the research questions for this study are:

(1a) What are the variants of and the frequency distributions of the pragmatic markers  
        exploited by the appellate judges in the Appellate judgements?

 (1b) Which pragmatic maker is the most preponderant and what are the functions of the
    identified pragmatic markers exploited by the appellate judges in signalling their

(2) In order to uphold or reject the lower court judgement, to what extent do the appellate 
      judges threaten or save faces in the selected Appellate court judgement?

(3) How significant are the FSAs and the FTAs in the construction of the selected Appellate

(4) What categories of lexical items are employed in stance-taking and of what 
       significance are they?
 (5)(a) What kinds of speech acts are exploited in the construction of the Appellate court 

     (b)What is the frequency of distribution of the speech acts types identified in the
         judgements and which speech acts type is the most preponderant?

 (6) What are the imports of the identified speech acts in the Appellate court

1.5   Significance of the Study

  This study is significant first and foremost as it stands to expand the frontiers of research in language and law, most especially in Nigeria and Africa at large. Research on language and law still deserves more attention in Nigeria as a developing nation and in Africa at large.

Secondly, the findings of this study would be of significant benefits to legal practitioners and laymen who hardly can read court judgements and make sense of them. Legal professionals would observe how linguists can construe/ interpret   meanings in judicial documents. Judges will further learn the science of words and be more sensitive in the use of it.

Since every genre has its own typical information structure and text-forming resources, this study will objectively present the information structure, the linguistic or text-forming resources that characterise the Nigerian appellate court judgements. It reveals how the linguistic and meta-linguistic elements are structured to perform their communicative functions. On the whole, it will reveal the role of language in the complex task of writing a court judgement. The study objectively explains what judges do with words and the imports of their choice of words on case outcomes. It is important to investigate how language is used for building court judgements and how it provides justification for the same in court judgements, because it is possible for a judge to contradict against his/ her conclusion. As found in the instance of Dixon diaries (cited in Blackshield 2012: 7) who on completing his written judgement, found that he had reached the opposite conclusion to that which he expected to reach.

  Significantly, this research brings to fore the need for legal practitioners to employ the services of linguists in the scrutiny of their judgements and legal documents in order to eliminate conflicts and misunderstandings. The study also has an underlying pedagogical motivation in that the results would be of great value and interest to the Nigerian students of English for Legal Purposes (ELP), the lawyers practising foreign legal affairs and Forensic Linguistics students. Lastly, this research would establish the relevance of linguistic analysis to legal discourse in general and court judgements in particular. Consequently, this will encourage other researchers to carry out further research as to how language is used to mean in the legal institution.

1.6 Scope of the Study

 For the purpose of this study, only written appellate court judgements, rather than transcribed judgements or other types of judgements are examined. The analysis carried out in this study is a linguistic analysis and not a legal or philosophical one. Also, the study analyses only the leading judgements of the selected judgements.

1.7 Theoretical Framework

The study adopts the propositional and meta-propositional frameworks. In accordance, the study is hinged on the fact that language conveys explicit/propositional meanings and implicit or meta-propositional meanings. On the bases of the frameworks the following theories were adopted: the Speech acts theory, Politeness theory and componential analysis and Pragmatic markers.

 From the theories four claims underpin this study.  The first  is that every text is constructed with words (comprising atoms and components).The second claim is that Appellate judgements have speech actions (speech acts) which have direct/propositional content (meanings derivable from the literal words used in the text) and indirect/meta-propositional meanings (that is the intended meaning of the speaker).The third assumption is that the speaker’s intention can be decoded through pragmatic markers and componential meanings of the lexical markers used in the propositional content of the text. Four, the study assumes that the illocutionary force of a sentence has the capacity to either save or threaten the hearer’s face.

J.L Austin’s Speech acts theory (1962) states that ‘utterances are acts’. Also, Adegbija (1989) making reference to Searle, Kiefer and Bierwisch, claims that the ‘speech acts theory starts with the assumption that a minimal unit of human communication is not a sentence or another expression, but rather the performance of certain kinds of acts such as making statements, asking, giving orders, describing, explaining, apologising, congratulating, passing a verdict, etc.’.

There are divergent views as to the various types of speech acts types that exist. However, there are three major classifications. They are: locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary act. A locutionary act is an act of saying or producing basic linguistic meanings.  Hence, expressions such as ‘It is my breakthrough season.’ Joke dealt with me.’ ‘James is a boy.’ are locutionary acts since they are grammatically correct and have specific linguistic meaning.

On the other hand, an illocutionary act is the intended meaning of an utterance. It is the actual action performed by saying something. Explaining this, Yule (2006), submits that it is an act performed through the communicative force of an utterance. For instance, the expression ‘I am hungry’ is an act of saying. However, the illocutionary act could be to request for food from the addressee. In essence, locutionary acts are simply semantically and grammatically correct utterances which mean exactly what the semantics and grammar of the words therein portend, while illocutionary acts are meanings beyond the grammatical and semantic surfaces. Rather, they are intended meaning of the speaker or what the speaker intends to achieve with his utterance. The intention of speaker a judge who utters a direct retrodictive act like ‘the appellant hit the deceased with a shovel on the head could be to: clarify, point out, allege, or to establish a rationale for reaching a decision, etcetera.

The perlocutionary act, which is the third layer of meaning, it is the effect that is produced by the utterance or the locution on the hearer. Some typical examples of perlocutionary acts are these: inspiring, persuading, convincing, intimidating, deciding, condemning, sentencing etc. Thus, when a judge makes an assertive utterance like: ‘the trial judge carefully considered the evidences before him’ his intention might be to convince the hearers or to commend the trial judge in question, or otherwise. Whatever effect the utterance has on the hearer is the perlocutionary effect. This tool is not employed in the analysis of the data of this study because as far as the data of this study is concerned it is impossible to assess or measure the effect of court participant utterance on one another.     

 On the whole, the speech acts theory denotes that words are not just meant for ‘saying’ but for performing certain ‘social acts. Precisely, Allan’s Model has been selected for the analysis of the study data .The application of speech acts theory is quite appropriate as it will enable the researcher to account for the various messages and impressions the speakers in the appellate court judgements have conveyed.

Politeness theory was also applied for the analysis of the selected Appellate judgements. The word ‘politeness’ simply means ‘courtesy’ or ‘respect’. Brown and Levinson (1983), defining Politeness theory posits that for communication to be successful and not breakdown the interlocutors must show awareness of   one-another’s public self-image/face. In other words, a speaker must recognise the personality of his listener and show respect for it through his choice of language. If the speaker fails in doing this, the listener might be unwilling to listen and their might be breakdown in communication. Brown and Levinson’s submission implies that speaker must show respect to other court participants’ faces, but to what extent do judges do this when they build judgements? This is one of the questions this study seeks to answer by applying the politeness theory to the study data.

 In summary, the theoretical framework is deemed appropriate as the Speech acts theory will account for what appellate courtroom participants most especially the Appellate judges do with language. Also, the theory will enable the researcher to establish how direct and indirect propositions are exploited by the participants in building reasonable and convincing Appellate judgements. The politeness theory on the other hand would enable the researcher to account for the role of face saving and face threatening acts in the Appellate judgements. 




          This study investigated the impact of language laboratory for effective teaching and learning of Oral English in some selected secondary schools, the study examined the teachers’ attitude to improving oral English on students.

          The researcher used questionnaires to collect data from 36 teachers of English Language in the four selected schools n Ilorin West Local government of Kwara state.

          Chapter one is the introduction which comprises; the background, purpose of study, significance of study. Chapter two is the review of literature while chapter three focuses on methodology; that is design, population, instrument for data collection. Chapter four is on analysis, discussion of findings and chapter five deals with conclusion and recommendations.



Assessment page…………………………………………………………..i

Title page………………………………………………………………….ii

Approval page…………………………………………………………….iii




Table of content…………………………………………………………….vii


  1. Background of the study…………………………………………….
    1. Statement of the problem…………………………………………….
    1. Purpose of study……………………………………………………..
    1. Significance of the study…………………………………………….
    1. Scope of study………………………………………………………..
    1. Research questions…………………………………………………..
    1. Definition of terms…………………………………………………..


2.1     Introduction ………………………………………………………….

2.2     Nature of Speaking…………………………………………………..

2.3     classroom speaking activities………………………………………..

2.4     use of language laboratory……………………………………………

2.5     language Laboratory…………………………………………………..


3.1     Introduction……………………………………………………………

3.2     Research Design………………………………………………………        

3.3     Area of Study…………………………………………………………

3.4     Population of Study……………………………………………………

3.5     Sampling and Sampling Techniques……………………………………

3.6     Research Instrument ……………………………………………………

3.7     Method of Data Collection……………………………………………….

3.8     Method of Data Analysis…………………………………………………..


4.1     Introduction……………………………………………………………….

4.2     sex of the teachers ……………………………………………………….

4.3     Qualification of English Teachers…………………………………………

4.4     Teaching Experience of Teachers………………………………………….

4.5     Analysis of questionnaires……………………………………………..



5.1     Introduction……………………………………………………………..

5.2     Discussion of findings……………………………………………………

5.3     Implications of study…………………………………………………….

5.4     Conclusions ……………………………………………………………….

5.5     Recommendations …………………………………………………….…..



Appendix I …………………………………………………………………..

Appendix ii……………………………………………………………………..



The theme of this study aim at finding out the impact of language laboratory for effective teaching and learning of oral English in Junior Secondary Schools in Ilorin West local Government of Kwara State.

Language according to Webster’s Encyclopedia English Dictionary: is the body of words and systems use by people who are the same community or nation, the same geographical area or the same cultural tradition. Language is human speech either spoken or written. Whenever there is a human society, there is a language.

Lieberman (1984) argues that human language is built on a biological based that is present in other primates, and that both humans and animals have laurite neural mechanisms which are matched to their respective sound producing mechanisms.

Yet most linguists will readily agree that only humans have language proper and that the possession of language put humans at considerable advantage compared with others species.

English is one of the major languages out of about 5000 estimated language spoken in the world. About 200years ago, English was simply the language of less than 15 million peoples. Today, however, English is used by more than 300 million people. English is one of the most influential and fast growing languages spoken across the globe. Today, English is used in several countries, in the United States, America, Canada, New Zeeland and some parts of West African Countries. Equally, about half of the world’s scientific and technical journals as well as newspapers are printed in English. The spread of English is further enhanced through the establishment of British council and United States information services by the British and U.S. governments respectively with centers and libraries in various countries including Nigeria. All these factors have therefore made it easy for anyone who understand and speak English, and move around major cities in the world to communicate effectively with one another.

According to Anibueze (2007), English language is a lingua franca. As lingua franca, it is the language for unification. English language had remained a very important tool for socialization and bureaucratic activities in Nigeria, since the day of colonialism.

In Nigeria today, English remains the language of the country, students can hardly make commendable progress in their studies without adequate mastery of English through which most of the course in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions are taught and examined.

Oluikpe (2005) stated that the basic criteria for assessing students proficiency in writing and speaking are generally control of the basic grammatical categories such as punctuation, tense, number and gender etc.

Language Teaching in Nigeria had some deficiencies. The reason for this deficiency is our English teachers who are not well trained and also non-professionals.





1.1         Background to the Study

The North East (NE) Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria covers close to one-third (280,419km2) of Nigeria‘s land area (909,890km2). The zone comprises 6 states: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe ( National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2011). The six states have not been entirely carved out based on geopolitical location, but rather states with similar cultures, ethnic groups, and common history were classified in the same zone (Eze, Okpala, Cyril, Ogbodo & Joseph, 2014). North-Eastern State is a former administrative division of Nigeria. It was created on 27 May 1967 from parts of the Northern Region, its capital was the city of Maiduguri. Additionally, the Zone shares international borders with three countries: Republic of Cameroon to the East, Republic of Chad to the North East and Niger Republic to the North. NBS (2010) Statistics show that, the North East of Nigeria has the worst socioeconomic conditions in the Country. Its average absolute poverty rate put at sixty-nine percent (69.0%) is above the national average of sixty point nine percent (60.9%). This characterizes the Zone as having the highest rate of poverty in Nigeria which was one among the many causes of insurgency coupled with the rate of unemployment in the country. (James, 2006) (See Figure 1).

Insurgency refers to a violent move by a person or a group of persons to resist or oppose the enforcement of law or running of government or revolt against constituted authorities of the state or of taking part in insurrection. The study looked at the insurgence of Boko Haram and insurgence as an act of terrorism. From the foregoing, is a crime against public order because it is a pattern of internal disturbance and tension that poses serious problems which threatens the nation, the advent of terrorism and insurgency is not just a transitional political and violent phenomena but one that threatens family cohesion
having uprooted and destabilized many families. Terrorism and insurgency have engendered a growing dimension in the political and religious disconnections among groups with adverse effects on a number of families globally. Njoku and Nwachuku (2015) noted that in the North East, Nigeria, especially in Bornu, Yobe and Adamawa states (declared states of emergency), there have been the adverse effects of terrorism and insurgency which have led to complete desertion of villages which are prone to attacks by terrorists and insurgents.








1.0 Background to the Study

Paralanguage is an aspect of non-verbal communication that emphasises body language and voice nuances as a means of expressing thoughts and feelings. The use of paralanguage is rarely a conscious action; people express themselves in it each day more often than they care to remember. Body language often conveys meaning just as much as spoken words do. Good communicators also have the ability to gauge how their own paralanguage affects others. They also have the ability to alter it so as to gain the trust of others and project confidence (Paschalis 2013). Also, paralanguage varies depending on the context and there are significant differences across cultures in the way and extent to which people communicate through context. Context is important in communication, but it is relatively more important in some situations than others especially in relation to paralinguistic communication. Ignorance of context usually leads to misunderstanding and conflicts (Hall 2002).

There is something universal about the verbal expression of words across cultures but the gesture that follows an utterance might vary. For example, the meaning of the word ‗go‘ in the English language is somewhat the same across continent of the world be it Europe, Asia or Africa without diverse interpretation. This shows that there is no alteration in the interpretation of verbal words across cultures. However, utterances are often accompanied by certain gestures that are not fixed. These gestures vary from one individual to another and they hold several levels of meaning which is what this research examines.

The ultimate aim of movies is to convey certain messages by stimulating reality in a manner that appeals to the viewer‘s sense of reality. This is why their labels and posters are imbued with a great deal of suspense which highlights the viewer‘s curiosity. In essence, a movie should be able to clearly communicate messages across to its audience via verbal and non-verbal means.

Verderber et al. (2009), point out that the most important areas of non-verbal communication are three; namely: Body Language which is called the Kinesics Communication, characterized with using facial expressions, body movement and postures; Physical Environment which is also known as Proxemics Communication, aided with the usage of available space, distance or proximity to other people in the communication scenario and lastly Haptics which is a form of touch behaviour that come into play during interaction. These three areas of non-verbal communication cannot be overlooked especially in movies because they are vital in understanding the messages that movies intend to convey.







Literary writers convey their personal experiences in the society through literature, deploying the recourses of language, the scientific study of which is referred to as linguistics. In linguistics, language is studied at the phonological, syntactic and lexico-semantic levels. This study, which focuses mainly on discourse analysi on Wale Okediran’s Strange Encounters, a satirical novel, examines the significant syntactic features in the novel, and explicates how Wale Okediran, a Nigerian novelist, utilizes them to convey the themes of corruption and injustice in the Nigerian society. He also condemns such vices and their perpetuators in totality, suggesting ways of correcting them for the growth and development of the society.



Background to the study

Wale Okediran’s Strange Encounter is a Nigerian novel with the social problems of Nigeria as its major thematic preoccupation. Okediran exposes and denounces the societal ills and advances measures towards correcting them. The author also advocates positive changes for the reformation of the society, in order to promote sustainable development in all facets of life. Okediran x-rays the Nigerian society, exposes and denounces the alarming rate of corruption in the different fields of human endeavours.

That cases of corrupt practices abound in every facet of life in the country, especially among our leaders is a common knowledge. The Nigerian Observer of Tuesday August, 20, 2013 reports in the article ” Corruption: Nigeria in Global Perspective”, that ”It is an incontrovertible veracity that since the inception of the Nigeria’s fourth republic, the nation has come under scrutiny over corruption. That every facet of life in Nigeria is being ravaged by corruption is no longer a subject of debate” (16). The report also discloses that Nigeria’s performance is poor in the areas of equitable distribution of resources, acceptance of the rights of others and level of corruption (16). From all indications, corruption is the greatest problem of Nigeria, and also the major cause of underdevelopment. It is, therefore, a serious matter that demands serious and urgent attention the transformation and development of the nation, therefore, demand total eradication of correction. The novel, Strange Encounters is an engaging and provocative statement about a people in urgent need of moral rejuvenation” (blurb). Okediran exposes various instances of moral decadence in the health sector, judiciary and police force, and the adverse effects of such corrupt practices on the growth and development of the nation. He also advances the measures to be adopted to curb the menace, in order to promote sustainable development.









Languages have ways of forming new words. Word formation is a significant area of linguistic studies. Prasad identifies nine processes of word formation in English which include: compounding, duplication, derivation, back formation, conversion, clipping, acronym, blending and multiple formations (64). The concern of this work is on derivation of nouns from verbs which is within the tenets of derivational morphology.

Morphology refers to the study of the internal structure of words and of the systematic form-meaning correspondences between words (Booij 22). Derivation is a morphological process that results in the formation of new lexemes which is achieved through affixation, according to Lyons quoted in Bauer (27). Generally, derivation in linguistics is a process of forming a new word on the basis of an existing word. This could be from any word class to another. But we are interested in how nouns are derived from verbs. For instance, from ‘govern’ and ‘fail’, we derive ‘government’ and ‘failure’ respectively. It, therefore, stands in contrast to inflection which forms grammatical variants of the same word as with determine/determines/determining/ determined (Crystal 138).

The fact that there exist different languages in the world is a clear pointer and indication that the structures of languages differ throughout the levels of linguistic analysis. Besides, languages belong to families and are therefore grouped considering their typologies and genealogies. The Ibibio and English languages are two distinct languages belonging to the Niger-Congo language family (Udoh 34) and the Indo European language family (Encyclopedia Americana 731) respectively. Since this work is a contrastive study of derivation of nouns from verbs in English and Ibibio languages, it is pertinent to introduce Ibibio for clarity purposes, considering the fact that English is a world language.

The Ibibio is both an ethnic group and a language within Akwa Ibom State which occupies the South-South geo-political zone of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This ethnic group constitutes the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria, after the three major ones with a population of about four million. They speak Ibibio as their mother tongue and inhabit the South Eastern part of the country (Essien ix). It is the largest ethnic group in AkwaIbom State with fifteen out of the thirty-one local government areas speaking this language. As such, Ibibio is regarded as the state language (Udoh 35).

Genetically, the Ibibio language belongs to the Benue – Congo sub-family which in turn can be traced to the Niger-Congo family, one of the largest language families in Africa, according to Greenberg’s classification. By this classification,

Ibibio shares a common ancestry with the lower cross group of languages as Udoh (34) asserts.

On the historical development, the Ibibio language is as old as the people, dating back to centuries ago but with a recent history as a written language, according to Essien (x), after much frustrated attempts to attain orthography. Several attempts at making Ibibio a written language met with setback. Thus, the language remained unwritten and unofficial for decades until 1983, when with the sponsorship of an Ibibio cultural organization, Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio, the language received express approval of its orthography by the Ministry of Education of the then Cross River State of which Akwa Ibom was a part.








The global spread of the English language led to the position that is now true: that there is no copyright in the use of English since the language no longer belongs numerically to speakers of English as a mother tongue. The effective ownership of any language in effect rests with the people who use it. However multilingual they are, the major advances in sociolinguistic research over the past half century indicate clearly that languages are shaped by their use. And for English, the users number up to seven hundred million, living in every continent of which less than half are native speakers. Statistically, native speakers are in a minority, and thus in practice for language change, for language maintenance, and for the ideologies and beliefs associated with the language in so far as non-native speakers use the language for a wide range of public and personal needs  (Brumfit 2001:116).

This extract highlights the historically unique position of English in the world, the fact that non-native users of English now outnumber native speakers and the argument that the power to adapt and change the language rests with the people who use it. It reminds us that English is used by both plurilingual and monolingual people alike. We should no longer think that English is still ‘based on a single metropolitan culture, nor is it any longer felt to carry with it implications of political dominion. Evidence of this worldwide phenomenon of language contact, variation and change can be seen through such designations as World Englishes, Modern Englishes, New Englishes, to mention just a few (Jenkins 2003:117).

The concept of New Englishes came into existence many decades ago but when Gerry Abott made reference to this concept in 1981, he thought of varieties of language that develop in countries where English is a second language. By implication, India, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria have developed varieties that are part of the New Englishes. The need for territorial expansion and the demands of international  politics, trade, science and technology have established English as a world language. Nigeria, like many other nations of the world is part of the global network of information and communication technology. What happens in other parts of the world is of great interest to Nigeria just as what happens in Nigeria is of great interest to the world. English remains the most popular language for this kind of intercommunication and interaction. For this reason, English is not just a second language in Nigeria but one that is crucial for the survival of Nigeria as a nation and also for the maintenance of the Nigerian balance in the world economic order, (Onuigbo and Eyisi 2008:72). No wonder much has been invested in the stabilization and standardization of English language education and usage in Nigeria. It is for this reason that Oluikpe (1997:18) and others are committed   to the existence of a Standard of English usage that is characteristically Nigerian.







1.1 Background of the Study

Each new narrative work arrives not unannounced, but comes laden with echoes from the literary tradition. For already occupying deserved spaces in the estate of world literature are narrative texts which, in broad terms, are either tragic or comic. Although fictional, the novel—a subtype of narrative—comprises a real world with its nexus of relationships: a language, characters and incidents. Not only does this inter connectivity lay bare the organic structure of the work (its textuality and originality), it prompts thought. To study a novel means to dissect, or rather, in Derridean terms, deconstruct the concatenation of incidents found within the narrative text, all in an effort to grasp the movement of thought. This is so because literature, as a symbolic form, to borrow Paul Ricoeur’s expression, “gives rise to thought” (Conflict of Interpretations 299). Hence a close reading results in what Martin Heidegger has called ‘unconcealment.’ The Heideggerian word is his translation of the Greek aletheia (Poetry, Language, Thought 36). The disclosure of beings, one in particular, constitutes the concern of this research. The being in question is that of a hero, Meursault, the tragic hero of Camus’s magnum opus. There exist, as always, questions concerning the identity of a tragic hero, inquiry into his being and individuality as he suffers constraint. The peculiarity of a tragic hero’s predicament gives rise to this study.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Literature is “an inexhaustible source of new critical discoveries” (Northrop Frye 17). As a kind of art, it never comes into being ex nihilo. Many a thing goes into it, namely human experiences, historical accounts, myths, bits from the literary tradition and so forth. Nonetheless, the closing reading of an individual work of art is not to be done in relation to any of the above, save for the world of literature. Furthermore the literary tradition echoes mythology unceasingly, and vice versa. Two Greek gods, Apollo and Dionysus, constitute the guiding principles of Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of the underlying will to power. The latter is considered the first tragic hero.  Achilles of The Iliad, for instance, is a Dionysiac mask; in fact “all the famous figures of the

Greek stage, Prometheus, Oedipus, etc are merely masks of that original hero, Dionysos” (Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy 51). This deity embodies the “erring, striving, suffering individual” (Nietzsche 52). Thus an understanding of this Dionysiac condition provides new insights into the being, or nature, of the tragic hero of The Stranger. The above mentioned condition is made manifest—or possible even—by an opposing force: the Apolline.








This long essay assesses the theme of class conflict in Suzanne Collins’ the hunger games trilogy. It serves to highlight class conflict as the central idea Collins presents in her novels. It employs Karl Marx’s class conflict theory and Antonio Gramsci’s hegemony as tools aimed at identifying the underlying strife between the two classes in Panem. It also assesses the inequalities and labour exploitation that give rise to the struggle while also analysing the many tactics employed by either classes in their bid to subjugate the other.








1.0      Introduction. 1

1.1      Thesis Statement 1

1.2      Definition of Key Terms. 2


2.0 Background…………………………………………………………………………………3


3.0 Literature Review.. 5


4.0 Theoretical Frameworks. 6

CHAPTER FIVE    ……………………………………………………………………………….9

5.0 Critical Analysis of the Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. 9


6.0 Conclusion. 22



Suzanne Collins’ the hunger games trilogy is easily counted as one of the most successful young adult series ever written. The three novel series brings to life many characters that are set in a dystopian society filled with many trials and tribulations. The novels present a well written and imaginatively crafted account of a teenage girl’s unwitting success in defeating the social injustices that are rampant in the world she lives in and the people responsible for them. One of the most interesting aspects about the trilogy comes in the form of the thematic connotations that are derived from a complete reading of the series. Collins, it would seem, intends to comment on many issues that range from the inequality between the rich and the poor, to the notion of suffering as entertainment, and other ideas like the importance of appearances. The world she creates gives a dramatic view of society and flawlessly comments on the many social, political and economic issues that are faced by communities today. The theme that is most prevalent in the trilogy is that of class conflict. In all three books, Collins keeps with the notion of the strife between the rich and the poor members of the society.








Prior to the introduction of western education in Nigeria, education was mostly informal closely linked to this oral and informal approach was a system of assessment which was based on careful observation. However, with the arrival of western education in Nigeria, two methods of assessments namely: internal and external assessments. The former was the type of examination or test conducted at the end of every schools term and sometime, every two weeks during the school year. It evaluate the pupils performance during the conducted, it is generally the result of the end of the sessions examination that is used for valuable judgment on the pupils performance. This is also known as the end of the terms examination, this form of assessment is still carried out today in our primary schools with modification it include “The continuous assessment system”. The later type of examination which operates in our school system is called the external examinations. It is conducted by external bodies order than those in the (teachers). It is external because no input was made by them in the learning process of the pupils directly in form of the teaching examples abound today that is junior NECO examination, the abolished common entrance examination and the junior secondary school examination conducted by the state ministry of education for the JS III Students. These forms of evaluations had its limitation which grossly affected the child’s learning and comprehension process. The system tool recognition of the cognitive domain of learning while neglecting the other two-affective and psychomotor domain. It also had no feed back mechanism that reported on the pupil’s area of weaknesses. More so, it gave scanty information inform of terminal reports sheets to parents which does not really portray the child’s overall performance and it usually lead to examination malpractice as strong emphasis are laid on the passing to promote. In view of the above unhealthy and incomplete methods of evaluation and its attendant disadvantages.






Obviously, it has been brought to mind that racism is one of the major issues in Black American literature and has triggered concerns over the years. This study will attempt to make readers realize these themes in Richard Wright’s Black Boy by analyzing the concept of racial segregation of Black in America. We will examine the historical perspective of Black writing narrative and the effects of racism, which include poverty, hunger assault etc. and the ways through which the blacks reacted to racism. We can claim that Black American literature was written to oppose racism and oppression in all ramifications and also to gain self pride and identity.




Racism changes its form, as well as strength, over time and from place to place. It manifests itself in different forms in Australia today. Indeed, it is this changing quality of racism which makes it difficult to identify and challenge, and which helps make racism so contentious an issue today. First, people are identified as members of a group because of their physical appearance, culture or ethnic origin, real or supposed. Secondly, they are judged according to the presumed characteristics of that group. Thus people are being labelled, and those labels are often on the basis of stereotypes of the group (Cardwell, 1991). Stereotypes are generalised images of people in a particular group or category, which are held whether or not most, or even some, people in that category fit the image. We are constantly categorising people and things, and making generalisations about them, for we have neither the time nor the information to make new judgments each time we meet an individual or enter into a new situation. However, stereotypes are relatively fixed generalisations, which are reinforced by selective perception and selective forgetting — we notice characteristics or behaviour which confirms our views; we overlook or rationalise away the many exceptions (Beaver & Harold, 1974). Hence stereotypes are exaggerated or distorted pictures of others. Even where they reflect elements of truth, these are usually misinterpreted, or combined with inaccurate and derogatory images. This is made especially easy because we hold stereotypes about many groups without having any personal experience of them (Brown, 1969).






The research topic on: “The Teaching of Primary science (PR. SC) (also know as Integrated Science (ITS) in the junior secondary Schools ITS)in the primary schools, Problems and Prospects: A Case Study of Some Selected Primary School in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State”. The objective/purpose is to determine how the teaching of Integrated Science has feature in the school curriculum as the case may be. Some literature review was made in the area of teaching science on the topic. Questionnaires were distributed and collected from respondents, the data and information collected were analyzed. Findings from the research showed that:

  1. The teachers should identify the prescribed strategy of teaching integrated science; couple with the use of adequate teaching aids, inquiry experimentation, field trips and so on.
  2. The major problem inhibiting effective teaching of integrated science is inadequate trained teachers in the field. Therefore, there is need for urgent attention for training and retraining for teachers in Integrated Science i.e. through seminar and workshops and in-service training.
  3. The Integrated Science as a subject is included in the curriculum as a core subject in all the schools sampled (prospects)


Title of Research                                                                      i

Approval Page                                                                          ii

Declaration                                                                              iii

Dedication                                                                               iv

Acknowledgement                                                                    v

Abstract                                                                                   vi

Table of Contents                                                             vii-viii


1.1   Introduction                                                                     1

1.2   Statement of the Problem                                                4

1.3   Significance of the Study                                                 6

1.4   Delimitation                                                                     7

1.5   Definition of Terms                                                          7

1.6   Hypothesis                                                                       8


2.0   Literature Review                                                             10

2.1   Definition of Science                                                                10


3.0   Research Methodology                                                     20

3.1   The Design                                                                       20

3.2   The Sample                                                                      21

3.3   The Instrument                                                                        21

3.4   Data Collection                                                                        21

3.5   Analysis of Data                                                               22

3.6   Validity of Instrument                                                      22


4.1   Data Analysis                                                                   23


5.1   Summary

5.2   Conclusion

5.3   Recommendations






The science curriculum at any time and place is determined by the existing theories and ideas about the nature of science. Because such theories and ideas have varied from place to place and from time to time, even for the same place; the science curriculum and its introduction have never remained static. Several programmes have been set up in various parts of the world to develop science curriculum and teaching, with an aim to suit the prevailing situation in such areas.






Stylistics is the study and interpretation of texts from a linguistic and literary perspectives. This work was done to examine the basic linguistic features that have been used by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in The Thing Around Your Neck to pass some messages across to the readers and the society. A functional approach was adopted, an approach where particular note is taken of the stylistic function, effect and thematic significance of linguistic features in a literary text. The stylistics tools employed were morphology, graphology, phonology, syntax, lexico-semantics and point of view. After applying these tools the novel, it was discovered that language is an integral part of any work of art and that the success of a work depends on how the writer has been able to manipulate language. Adichie had effected changes through a systemic use of language which helped a better understanding of her work.




1.1       Introduction

1.2       Statement of the problem

1.3       Purpose of the study

1.4       Scope of the study

1.5       Justification

1.6       Methodology

1.7       The Author

1.8       Data Description



2.1       Introduction

2.2       The concept of style

2.3       Historical Development of Stylistics

2.4       Criticism and the meeting point of linguistics and literary stylistics

2.5       Stylistics

2.6       Levels of stylistic study

2.6.1    Morphology

2.6.2    Graphology

2.6.3    Phonology

2.6.4    Syntax

2.6.5    Lexico-semantics

2.7       Point of view

2.8       Conclusion



3.1       Introduction

3.2       Morphology

3.3       Graphology

3.4       Phonology

3.5       Syntax

3.6       Lexico-Semantics

3.7       Proverbs

3.8       Point of view

3.9       Findings

3.10     Conclusion


Summary, Recommendation and Conclusion





  Stylistics is the study and interpretation of texts from literary and linguistic perspectives. As a discipline it links literary criticism and linguistics. A stylistic analysis entails studying in details the features of written or spoken texts and stating what functions they perform in the context of the texts. The features chosen from any text are dealt with in three ways; identification, description and purpose. The method of analysis is purely scientific.






This thesis is concerned with feminist aesthetics carving out the motherist theory in the title The role of women in the Socio–economic development of Nigeria using Buchi Emecheta as an example. It is a common knowledge that most Nigerian culture gives more cognition for the “men”in the society than the women.This study however aims at examining and analysing Emecheta’s text The Joys of Motherhood, written by Buchi Emecheta, as it enumerates in themes , characterisations and plot construction.This study shows the travails of a women being subjected by her tradition. It also how the culture of a society gives more room for the man than the woman.Nigerian women however in their society has proved to be more than bench warming spectators,even in the midst of  their male dominated professional congregations.This research is aimed at promoting further related feminist studies in Literature.


Title Page                                                                                                                    i

Certification                                                                                                                ii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iii

Acknowledgements                                                                                                    iv

Abstract                                                                                                                      v

Table of Content                                                                                                         vi


1.0 Introduction.                                                                                                         1

1.1 The Economic Contribution of women in Nigeria.                                               3

1.2 The Social Contribution of women in Nigeria.                                                     4

1.3 Statement of the Research Problem.                                                                     7

1.4 Purpose of Research.                                                                                            8

1.5 Justification.                                                                                                          8

1.6 Scope of the work.                                                                                                9

1.7 Methodology.                                                                                                       10

1.8 Data Description.                                                                                                  10

1.9 Biography of Buchi Emecheta.                                                                             11


2.0 A Review of feminist theory.                                                                               15


3.1 The Feminist Role in the plot construction                                                           29

3.2 The family setting of Emechetas The Joys of Motherhood                                  33

3.3 Theme and Feminist technique in Characterisation.                                             35


Conclusion.                                                                                                                 47





CHAPTER ONE              



Traditionally the experience of marriage and motherhood dominates the life and identity of women in Africa.Women were left behind to mind the home and children.Traditionally it is believed that the life of a woman is distinct,pure and counted to be unstained.She could be classified as peaceful,without and within as an entity.She was economically dependent,as she only fulfills her role as a wife, a mother and a builder of home.  It is believed that an African woman should be involved in domestic duties like farming task and skilled craft production. The assumed psychological belief that women are second to men has made women to be deprived equal political post with men in the society.