A SPEECH ACT ANALYSIS OF ALAROYE HEADLINES ON ABACHA'S DEATH

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Date

2011

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Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

Abstract

This paper attempts to examine the employment of pragmatics in indigenous print media, using Alaroye newspaper as a case study. The study's preoccupation is to investigate the appropriateness of the language used in describing and reporting the stories concerning the Nigerian former military ruler, General Sanni Abacha, after his death. It is observed that one of the most important and interesting aspects of the potential power of the media, from a linguistic point of view, is the way people and events are reported. Linguists have been interested in the relationship between how a story gets told, and what that might indicate about the point of view from where it is told. The theoretical framework to be adopted for this work is 'speech act' (an aspect of pragmatics; the field of linguistics that deals with language use).lt is pertinent to note, however, that speech act has contributed immensely to the study of language. Every kind of conversation, either transactional or interactional, involves some speech acts, which may either be felicitous or infelicitous. Hence, the instrument used~' for this study is a collection of a few Alaroye newspaper publications between June, 1998 (immediately after Abacha's death) and August, 1998. The work is, at the end, intended to establish whether the language used in reporting Abacha '5 demise was fair or not in the true expression of the circumstances surrounding his deeds in his lifetime and the subsequent reporting at his death.

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Keywords

Alaroye, Abacha, Language, Employment

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