A Socio-pragmatic Study of Characters’ Names in Wole Soyinka’s The Strong Breed

Idowu Odebode


This study attempts an onomastic analysis of Wole Soyinka’s The Strong Breed from a socio-pragmatic perspective. Six names of the major characters in the text are selected for the study. They are given an in-depth analysis based on Halliday’s (1978) socio-semiotic variables model among others. The study indicates that naming (by Soyinka) transcends the illocutionary act of labeling to bring into play the social indices of occupation, age, geography, ethnicity and religion. Out of five variables examined, religion has the highest frequency. This, therefore, proves the religious/scapegoat theme stressed in the work.  The study also indicates that names are meaning potentials and a good understanding of the author’s use of names is a great key that unlocks his perceived difficult text(s).


pragmatic, Characters’ Names,The Strong Breed

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.2p.127


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