A Comparative Analysis of Syntactic Complexity in the Use of Relativization in Soyinka’s Season of Anomy and Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah
This paper employs the framework of Keenan-Comrie Case Hierarchy to compare syntactic complexity in the use of relativization in Soyinka’s and Achebe’s novels. The Keenan-Comrie Case Hierarchy suggests that an evaluation of the role of the relative pronoun with respect to the other elements in the clause in which it occurs could reveal aspects of syntactic complexity. Given the claims of literary critics that Soyinka is syntactically more complex than Achebe, the study hypothesizes that Soyinka would show a greater use of the more complex oblique relatives than Achebe. Data for the analysis are the first 50 clause-complexes in the novels. The finding shows that there is no significant difference in syntactic complexity between Soyinka and Achebe on this measurement of syntactic complexity.
Keywords: Keenan-Comrie Case Hierarchy, syntactic complexity, relativization, Soyinka, Achebe
Adopting Digital-Driven Approaches to Literary Studies
In recent times, research and scholarship in response to the seismic tides of change taking place in our contemporary world is now been conducted via online virtual space necessitating the gradual abandoning of the print culture. Although in Nigeria, this new way of doing academic and intellectual business has not really caught on in comparison with the so-called “African Average”, due in large part to infrastructural backwardness and lack of motivation and incentives, it is strongly believed that literary studies in Nigerian universities must embrace digitalization. To this end, therefore, this paper reviews the state of affairs in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions with regards to e-learning and e-pedagogy and proffers salient solutions to the identified challenges facing literary education under the new digital regime.
Key Words: Digital, Humanities, Literary, Education, e-pedagogy
Where Are the Natives?: Mongo Beti’s Mission to Kala as Parody of Authenticity
Kayode Omoniyi Ogunfolabi
This article reengages Mongo Beti’s Mission to Kala as a retrospective conversation with colonial discourses of the authentic Africa, a perspective that aims to depict Africa to fulfill metropolitan audience’s desire for consuming exotic images of distant and purportedly different people. Set within the theoretical contexts of Paul S. Landau’s “Empires of the Visual: Photography and Colonial Administration in Africa” and Manthia Diawara’s In Search of Africa, it analyzes colonial civilizing mission. Through the satirical device of parody, the novel destabilizes the colonial desire for pristine, pure, and timeless Africans and instead privileges a hybrid appropriation of colonial culture, thereby mitigating the prejudiced colonial gaze.
Keywords: authentic, parodic, colonial, native, appropriation
Text and Performance Deviations in Efua Sutherland’s The Marriage of Anansewa and Toyin Abiodun’s The Trials of Afonja
A common notion among the audience is that a good performance must be explicitly faithful to its text. Studies on African dramatic texts and performance have illustrated the points of convergence between dramatic texts and their stage performances. However, few of these studies have investigated the reasons for the deviations of the stage performances from the dramatic texts. This study was, therefore, designed to examine the points of divergence between selected African dramatic texts and their stage performances with a view to foregrounding the reasons for the deviations of the dramatic texts from their stage performances. Stephen Greenblatt’s New Historicism was adopted as the theoretical framework of the study. Two Anglophpne African plays, Efua Sutherland’s The Marriage of Anansewa and Toyin Abiodun’s The Trials of Afonja were purposively selected due to their African regional representation and the demonstrable deviations between these texts and their stage performances. Close reading of the dramatic texts was done. The video recordings of the stage performances of the two plays were reviewed. Data were subjected to literary and performance criticisms. Four divergent features were identified. They were rupturing of the sequence of incidents, coalescing of scenes, addition and removal of scenes and characters, and the infusion of songs. Directors of stage performances deliberately and pragmatically deviate from dramatic texts without prejudice to the storyline nor the historicity of the text. Hence, the divergence between text and performance is creativity.
Keywords: Dramatic text, performance fidelity, Anglophone African drama, stage performance, directors
Who is this ignorant soldier?: A post-colonial reading of Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Sozaboy
This paper is an attempt at a postcolonial reading of Ken Saro-Wiwa’s novel, Sozaboy, which in his own words is written in “’rotten English’, a mixture of Nigerian pidgin English, broken English and occasional flashes of good, even idiomatic English” (Author’s Note, Sozaboy, 1994). In this piece, I identify Saro-Wiwa’s novel as an indifferent account of the historical happening in Nigeria between 1967 and 1970. The novel emphasises “the rule of darkness” where “some peoples were the imperialists and others the imperialized in history” (Brantlinger, 857), a situation that led to the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates of Nigeria in 1914. Applying A. T. George’s theory of anomaly, the paper considers the characterization of Mene (herein referred to as Sozaboy) as a deliberate attempt to re-create history from the point of view of a partisan judge, the author. The perennial struggle for relevance by perceived minority ethnic groups of Nigeria brought under the control of three main or dominant groups by a colonial fiat remains a major concern in post-independence Nigeria. The paper also examines the role of colonisation and the discovery of oil in the Niger Delta area of the country towards the end of colonial rule as major factors that contributed to the struggle for supremacy among the people of Nigeria in the early years of independence. It also examines the incursion of the military into governance of the newly-independent state as a catalyst for internal struggle, political instability, corruption, mutual hatred and wanton destruction of life and property. The new country witnessed these in the early years, leading unavoidably to the Nigerian-Biafran War. It is argued that Sozaboy, though not a true canon for the post-colonial rendition of Nigeria’s history, is “anti-war,” and provides adequate inspiration for retooling Nigeria.
Keywords: Biafra, Niger-Delta, Nigeria, Oil war, Postcolonial, Rotten English
Representations and Interpretations of Femme Fatale in William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and Wole Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest.
Helen Kokei Bassey
This paper explores representations and interpretations of femme fatale in William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and Wole Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest. It leverages on the debate about why some women are regarded as dangerous and destructive on account of their alluring beauty, for which they are labelled femme fatales. It argues that Femme fatale is a subversive title with which beautiful and alluring women are labelled, thus regarding them as the reason for the destruction of men attracted to them without giving due consideration to the relationship between pleasure and gratification derived from femme fatale, and that such could be choices which are more potent in the consequential tragedy of men than the beauty and love of women. The paper adopts a Visionary Radical Feminism perspective in its examination of the above texts in order to establish and show how ideological undertones of patriarchy underpin the oppression, stereotyping, misrepresentations and misinterpretations of some women because of their beauty.
Keywords: Femme Fatale, Visionary Radical Feminism, Patriarchy.
Linguistic Polarity and Presidential Campaigns: A Review of 2019 Town Hall Series on NTA, Nigeria
Tolulope Deborah Iredele
This study investigates linguistic polarity in Nigerian presidential campaigns from a Critical Discourse Analysis theoretical framework. It focuses on language use in the socio-political domain and sets to examine polarity markers in the 2019 town hall series on NTA, Nigeria. The study evaluates matchet-market indicators exploring divergent and cross purpose ideological frames reflected in the linguistic constructions of aspirants. Using a purposive sampling method, the paper identified four political parties on the scale of prominence and participation on the editions of “The Candidate” and exploited the relevance of pronouns and language intensification to validate claims. The study shows that the first person plural pronoun we (and variant) is the most frequently used pronoun in presidential campaigns rating 76.60% compared to the third person plural pronoun they (and variant) with 23.40%. Negative remarks rated 25% while the negator – not used for specific accusations scored 29.17%. The import of pronoun is used to unravel dimensions beyond the traditional substitutionary function while language intensification strategy is used to explore the cognitive framework and emotional/attitudinal disposition concealed in the utterances of the speakers. Essentially, politics strives to reduce tensions between needs and social realities, and language a critical tool in the negotiation of power. This study therefore recommends that political aspirants inform/persuade the electorates without creating, foregrounding or intensifying divisive lines for the furtherance of democracy, good governance and national unity. Courteous use of language should be embraced regardless of political leanings.
Key words: Linguistics, Polarity, Presidential Campaigns, Town Hall Series, NTA, Nigeria