Lexical Cohesion in Non-fictional Narrative as Discourse: A Study of Ngugi Wa Thiong’O’s Decolonizing the Mind

Amaechi Uneke Enyi, Edwin Chiekpezie Orji

Abstract


The study was a linguistic examination of the use of lexical cohesive devices in Ngugi Wa Thiong ’O’s Decolonising the Mind- an autobiography. The study was aimed at revealing how Ngugi - an African L2 writer, deployed lexical cohesive devices to achieve cohesion and coherence and how this has contributed to the meaning of his non- fictional essay. The study was guided by the theoretical framework of Halliday’s tripartite metafunctions of language: the ideational, the interpersonal and the textual, with closer inclination to the textual metafunction that deals with text creation. Cohesion is understood in this study as a textual strategy deployed in language use to unify sentences into a text (a unified whole), that renders the speech or writing both readable and meaningful. A total of 29 excerpts, selected from relevant sections of the essay were descriptively analysed. Our analysis revealed that Ngugi made effective use of lexical cohesive devices to tie his text together, thereby succeeded in passing his message clearly to his readers. Our findings also showed a preponderant use of reiteration (near synonym) - 13 times, and repetition -8 times, by the writer, probably to achieve emphasis. Other lexical devices deployed by the writer to achieve various textual and communicative functions include: antonyms 4 times; superordinate/hyponym, 2 times; and complementaries and co-hyponym, 1 each, in crafting his essay, in which he tells a real- life story of his people, his culture and his heritage. Ngugi, by his effective use of cohesive devices along paradigmatic and syntagmatic axis, has demonstrated that an African writer can also, through the medium of biographical writing, project, not only his ideology, but also the exultation of his people, his culture and his inheritance by a skillful and near – native use of the English language. The study made a case for a systematic teaching of cohesive devices at all levels of education as that will improve reading and comprehension and the aver all communicative competence of L2 learners of English.

Keywords


Cohesion, Discourse, Narration, Non-fiction, Reading Comprehension, Text

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bankole, M.A., and Ayoola, M.O. (2014). Mood and Modality in Christian Magazines: A systemic Functional Analysis of Christian Women Mirror. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 4(14) 138 – 149.

Berzlanovich, I. (2008). Lexical Cohesion and the Organization of Discourse (1st year Report). Centre for Language and Cognition. Groningen: University of Groningen.

Enyi, A.U. and Ononiwu, M.C. (2015). Texture, Textuality and Political Discourse: A study of lexical Cohesion in Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan’s Inaugural address, May, 2011. Australian International Journal, 6(5)77-86.

Fontaine, L. (2013). Analysing English Grammar: A Systemic Functional Introduction.UK: Cambridge Press

Gaertz,l. and Suneeti, P. (2017). The writer’s world: Essays. USA: Pearson

Greenblatt, S. and Abrams, M.H. (2006). The Norton Anthology of English Literature 8th(ed.), Vol. 2. NY: Norton and Company.

Gutkind, L. (2012). You can’t make this stuff up: The complete guide to writing creative non - fiction: from memoir to literary Journalism and everything in between. USA: Da Capo Press.

Halliday, M.A.K. and Hasan, R. (1976). Cohesion in English. London: Longman.

Klarer, M (1999). An introduction to literary studies. London and New York: Routledge.

Klebanor, B.B. and Shamir, E. (2006). Lexical Cohesion in Texts: extraction methods and application. Asian Journal of Humanities, 4(6) 12-26.

Lounsberry, B. (1990). The Art of Fact: Contemporary Artists of non-fiction. USA: Greenworld Press.

M.A.K Halliday and Matthiessen, C. (2004). Introduction to Functional Grammar (3rded): U.K. Oxford University Press

Mazzeo, J.J. (2012). Writing Creative Non-fiction: course guide book. USA: The Teaching Company

Osisanwo, W. (2003). Introduction to Discourse Analysis and Pragmatics. Lagos. Femolus-Felop Publishers.

Stokes, N. (2004). Applications of lexical cohesion analysis in the topic detection and tracking domain (PhD dissertation), Department of Computer Science. University College Dublin: Dublin.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijels.v.7n.3p.83

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies  

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.