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Speech Acts Analysis of Magical Realism in the Selected Works of Ben Okri

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dc.contributor.author Asadu, Emmanuela Uzoma
dc.date.accessioned 2022-03-08T16:31:42Z
dc.date.available 2022-03-08T16:31:42Z
dc.date.issued 2018-04
dc.identifier.uri http://repository.unn.edu.ng/handle/123456789/9438
dc.description.abstract Occasionally, language is endowed with a distinctly material presence, thereby, exemplifying “the power of words”. Speech act theory as a sub-field of pragmatics is concerned with the ways in which words can be used not only to present information but also to carry out actions. Speech act analysis can be done in a more radical way, and can be used as a model on which to recast the theory of prose narratives like magical realist texts. Ben Okri uses his prose narratives – The Famished Road and Infinite Riches to grasp the specific social and political conditions of the Nigerian Society. Being against oppression and exploitation, he is interested in sociopolitical problems of his country and sides with the dehumanized and the oppressed. So far, studies on his Abiku trilogy – The Famished Road, Song of Enchantment and Infinite Riches have mainly analysed the texts as magical realist texts and concentrations emerging mainly from familiar postcolonial paradigm. Observations have been made that none of these studies, especially those in Nigeria has focused on linguistic enquiries and investigations using discourse analysis and speech act theory. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to examine the extent to which discourse analysis and some pragmatic explanations can handle the linguistic expressions made in the novels and analyse how speech acts can achieve socio-political functions that seem not to be intended in the design of magical realism. The study adopted analytical method and descriptive design. The Famished Road and Infinite Riches remain the primary source of data while articles in journals, text books, thesis, online material, provided the secondary source of data. Interpretations of data were based on the linguistic framework of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) with a major focus on Speech Acts Theory and these exposed the hidden realities of power relations as well as the magical forces in human existence. The analysis examines in detail the nature of conventional means of speech act theory, and carefully treats these conventions as social phenomena, implicated in sets of social relations, embroiled in conflict and struggle. Findings reveal that Okri has succeeded in using the abiku concept to expose the social injustices and anormalies prevalent in his country. And that a major task for speech acts is to account for how speakers/characters can succeed in what they say and do despite the various ways in which linguistic meaning undermines use. The researcher argues that the power and force of speech acts are ascribed to them by the social institution of which the utterance of the speech act is part. And by focusing on the practical and institutional aspects of language use and probing them with an astute sociological imagination, using CDA and speech act theory, this research scrutinizes and highlights some of the conditions of language use and linguistic exchange in a way that is largely absent from the existing literature on the theory of speech acts. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Nigeria, Nsukka en_US
dc.subject Speech Act Theory en_US
dc.subject Magical Realism en_US
dc.subject Ben Okri, en_US
dc.subject Asadu, Emmanuela Uzoma en_US
dc.title Speech Acts Analysis of Magical Realism in the Selected Works of Ben Okri en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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