International Journal of English Language and Linguistics Research (IJELLR)

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A Deictic and Non-Deictic Analysis of the Language of the Petty Trader on the Douala-Melong Highway in Cameroon


The aim of this paper is to examine types of deictic and non-deictic categories used by the Petty trader on the Douala-Melong highway. It also looks at the role they play in the marketing of goods. This work stems from the fact that indexical expressions of person, time, place, discourse, social and non-indexical expressions such as prayers, songs, facial expressions and body language play an important role in the dissemination of information. This is because they extend and give further explanations where nonverbal communication is limited; thereby become more effective. This study is of great value in language use in the sense that it demonstrates how Petty traders use deictic and non-deictic categories to woo potential customers to buy what they are selling. This research uses a qualitative research design. This is because the researcher culled some messages from Petty traders hawking on the Douala-Melong highway in the month of August and September, 2023. Insight was drawn from Levinson’s (1983) theory of deixis. The findings indicated that five types of indexical expressions; person, time, place, discourse and social were used. The study also demonstrated the use of non-deictic expressions such as prayers, songs, body language and facial expressions. These elements helped in persuading the public to buy what these Petty traders market.

Keywords: Cameroon, Language, Petty trader, deictic analysis, highway

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