European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies (EJELLS)

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Deviant Collocation As A Writing Technique In African Literature: A Stylistic Study of Helon Habila’s Measuring Time.


This paper appraises the use of deviant collocations in Habila’s Measuring Time. Ordinarily, collocations are words or expressions that naturally co-occur. But some literary artists have as a matter of fact made some incongruous blending for stylistic stand point and to unravel the ills in their environments. This inquiry adopts the systemic functional Grammar because it highlights the functions of language, the descriptive methods of data analysis, the primary and secondary data collection methods. It was discovered that language use depicts the afflictions of the people like the twins La Mamo and Mamo in the novel. Thus, elements of language as used in the Measuring Time stand for Habila’s ideological orientation. He therefore, uses deviant collocations such as personification, paradox, oxymoron, grotesque scheme, hybridity and so on to unearth the sense of fragmentation, despair and perplexity, which define his fictional Keti community, which is a paradigm for Nigeria and indeed Africa.

Keywords: African literature, Deviation and Collocation, Language, Style

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