European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies (EJELLS)

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Contemporary Northern Nigerian Literature and the Poverty Discourse: A Critique of Aliyu Kamal’s Hausa Boy (Published)

Literature plays numerous roles in the society: the cultural, the political, the religious, the economical, the social and the scientific (therapeutic). From the classical epochs to 21st century, writers have written and have been writing plays, poetry, novels, as well as short stories to educate, enlighten, persuade, warn and entertain their community, and sometimes the world at large. However, owing to the incessant changes in times, writers have to explore emerging themes such as migration, regional disputes, Aids, tribalism, terrorism, ethnic and religious violence, gender politics, institutionalized corruption and poverty for example. The aim of this paper is to explore the theme of poverty, as one of the contemporary thematic preoccupations in African literature in the 2I century, as portrayed in one of Aliyu Kamal‘s latest novellas, Hausa Boy. Set in the Northern part of Nigeria, Kamal ‘s prime concern is to demonstrate how some families in the country feel the deep and painful bite of abject poverty, which not only forces them to live from hand to mouth, but also makes it thorny for them to send their children to school. The end result is the children; particularly the young girls become street hawkers, a trade which endangers their life in the long run. The paper also wants to unveil that of the handful of the under-privileged children that have been to school, a significant number of them shamelessly drop out, owing to their parents’ inability to pay for their school fees. This further leads to the rising wave of the unemployment rate in the country. The paper reveals how poverty profoundly affects young men-women courtship, as it deters the former from fulfilling their cultural obligation of giving out some money token to their girl-friends and fiancées in each visit they pay to them as a sign of love. Yet, it is also a cultural practice, which causes the young men to suffer in Northern Nigeria’s contemporary reality.

Keywords: Discourse, Literature, Northern Nigeria, Poverty

Analysis of Polarity and Modality in Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Open Letters: A Critical Discourse Approach (Published)

This study is an analysis of the deployment of polarity and modality in the open letters of former president Olusegun Obasanjo. The study examines how Obasanjo has used language to construct meaning and convey his perspective on the goings-on in the Nigerian society. The study captures various scholarly works in the area of critical discourse analysis, which is the theoretical framework of the research and further incorporates this theory into the analysis of the data. Data analysis focuses on the assessment and evaluation of the writer’s deployment of polarity and modality in his narrative, and it thus revealed that the writer has dexterously used polarity to assume a position of neutrality, without tilting more or less to either the negative or positive; it has also revealed that the writer’s deployment of modality has helped him express his core concerns, expectations and objectives for a better Nigeria, through the use of certain modal verbs. The study further recommends that future studies should harness other areas of critical linguistics, such as transitivity, mood and intertextuality to help construe the ideational motivations of the writer.

Keywords: : Modality, Critical, Discourse, polarity

The Social Media, Human Dignity and Linguistic Violence in Cameroon: A Socio-Pragmatic Perception (Published)

Conflicts, violence, human rights abuses, and the influence of the social media are the most serious challenges the modern world and emerging democracies face today, and Cameroon, in which verbal and nonverbal violence, has become a daily social fact, is no exception. The language that we speak or write influences our cultural identities, and perception of our social realities. The aim of the present study is to collect and examine specimens of speech acts specific to acts of violence used by the social media practitioners as sociolinguistic facts in Cameroon, in order to analyse the different expressions that typify instances of use depicting verbal or linguistic violence in their discourse. The types of words, phrases and linguistic forms identified and analysed characteristically describe these texts as authentic lexicon specific to discourse of conflict and violence within Cameroon in the context of social tension and the Anglophone crisis. The objective being to create more public awareness on the devastating consequences of violence to unity, human dignity, insecurity, peace and living together in Cameroon. To handle complex sociolinguistic data of this sort, the mixed quantitative and qualitative methodology was used to collect online reports from content creators, trained and untrained media practitioners and to analyse these from a sociopragmatic perspective in order to describe its impact on the readers and Cameroonians in situ. The qualitative discourse analysis used was based on a combination of different theoretical frameworks including the Critical Discourse Analysis, Speech Act Theory, Semantic theories, communicative acts, and sociopragmatics relevant to pragmatically explain some of the vocabulary, frequently occurring in the corpus and characteristic of the lexemes of violence, referred to as linguistic violence. Note that words carry and transmit powerful vibrations and emotional energy discharges capable of igniting feelings of hatred, anger, insecurity, intolerance, bitterness, and consequently gruesomely unacceptable acts of human rights abuses. Equally, after the analysis, findings reveal that the different discourse types employ different performative speech acts and stylistic devices including connotation, imagery, symbolism, synonymy, polysemy, and neologism in the forms of verbal abuses, insults, minimisation, and stigmatisation that characterise the contemporary Cameroon society, which suffers from verbal abuses and indecent language use that communicates specific hate-filled and hurtful messages characteristic of linguistic violence in Cameroon, with an urgent need to be addressed. After the analysis, several findings reveal an unprecedented increase in violence and atrocities committed by both separatists and government military on the Anglophone population in particular and on Cameroonians as a result of the Anglophone crisis in violation of human rights and dignity. While suggesting the need to seek for a genuine and an inclusive dialogue, tolerance, the use of polite and decent speech acts, for peace to return is imperative, findings equally reveal that conflict and acts of violence has greatly enriched the Cameroon English language vocabulary, compounding old words to take on new meanings and introducing new words with connotative meanings from other languages like French, local and Pidgin English languages. 

Citation: Willie Mushing Tamfuh (2022) The Social Media, Human Dignity and Linguistic Violence in Cameroon: A Socio-Pragmatic Perception, European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, Vol.10, No.7, pp.24-120, 2022

Keywords: Conflict, Discourse, Human Rights, Perception, Social media, Socio-pragmatics, Violence

Ideology and Identity: Operating Together (Published)

Ideology and identity are inevitably ubiquitous in most discourse types. This mere pervasiveness, more precisely in political discourse, is presumably sufficient to generate much debate as to whether ideology and identity find their locus in context or in other constructs. In view of this, this paper’s main focus is manifold. It attempts to study Biden’s discourse (selected tweets) within a critical discourse analysis framework while deploying a qualitative method of analysis. Approaching this discourse genre from the latter perspective aims at identifying how both concepts interact to generate a better understanding of discourse. To dismantle the way meaning is construed, some discourse strategies (van Dijk, 2004) like the presentation of the ‘self’ and the ‘other’ are to be studied within context. Results show that Biden’s discourse is ideological and thus mirrors common identity goals. Moreover, positive self-presentation has been dominant in a daunting situation where most messages were purposefully rallying for all Americans.

Citation: Abidi Hajer (2021) Ideology and Identity: Operating Together, European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, Vol.9, No.7, pp.39-48

Keywords: Discourse, Identity, Ideology, Messages, self-presentation

Bog Poems as the Praxis of Seamus Heaney’s Poetics (Published)

Any full-length critical work on Seamus Heaney’s poetry indispensably or pertinently touches on his bog poems incorporated in Heaney’s first four poetry collections. Composed mostly in quatrains, these poems actually represent the essential Heaney and subsequently suffice to fathom his distinctive poetics in the Irish-English literary tradition. The first of these poems constitute Heaney’s archaeological discourse on the metaphorical grandeur of Ireland for its temporal and spatial features of bog while the later ones which raised Heaney to a greater prominence define his aesthetic and political stance during the Irish Troubles. In fact, Heaney’s bog poems have become windows into his oeuvre including his prose works too. This paper claims that the bog poems alone constitute Heaney’s distinctive poetics per se and make him perpetually relevant in literary studies. The corollary of this paper comes to the point that understanding the essential Heaney is grounded in the bog poems.

Keywords: Bogs, Discourse, Poetics, Seamus Heaney, the Troubles

Political Discourse: A Critical Discourse Analysis of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Inaugural Speech (Published)

Political speeches are many just as political forums and events are. This Paper Critically analyses the inaugural Speech of President Muhammadu Buhari which was delivered shortly after his swearing into office on the 29th May, 2015. In carrying out the analysis, Norman Furlough’s three dimensional Analytical Models was adapted. Following the model, the speech was subjected to description (text analysis), interpretation (processing/ analysis) and explanation (social practice and analysis). The result of the analysis showed that an inaugural speech is a revelation of plans and hopes in the new government. The speech analyzed particularly revealed the ideologies/ plans on which the new government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari intends to operate. The most important ones include good governance, strengthening international relations, foreign Policies and democracy, fight insecurity, corruption, and improve power supply and the nation’s economy.

Keywords: Discourse, Speech, and political speech, critical discourse analysis

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