A Sociolinguistic Study of Fagunwa/Soyinka’s The Forest of a Thousand Daemons

Idowu Odebode

Abstract


This study takes a sociolinguistic approach to analyze The Forest of a Thousand Daemons, a translation of the Yoruba text, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale (1938) which was authored by Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa, the greatest Yoruba novelist and translated by Wole Soyinka, a literary icon cum Nobel laureate. The work is premised on the fact that many literary and linguistic attempts at Fagunwa’s work have failed to benchmark the text with the speech act theory and the VARIES model simultaneously as we have done in this study. Fifteen excerpts from the text served as our data. Each datum is subjected to content and quantitative analyses based on relevant sociolinguistic variables of vocation (occupation), sex, age, religion, geography (ethnicity), age, education and socio-economic status. The data were further dissected according to the speech act theory by Austin (1962) in a bid to ascertain the validity of their illocutionary force(s). The study indicates that social institutions affect language (choice and use) a great deal and language, in turn, performs different illocutionary acts among various heterogeneous social groups in a speech community like the Yoruba, which is replicated in the text.

 


Keywords


daemons, speech acts, Soyinka, VARIES model, Yoruba

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.5p.147

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