Language is the only unique endowment
from God to humans, which makes us totally different from other
creatures. Though, these other creatures have a language, yet they do
not communicate exactly the same way as humans do.
Discourse, an aspect of language, to the
discourse analysts, means actual instances of communicative action,
using language. Discourse is not absolutely focused on language as an
abstract system. It is seen as linguistic communication involving
transaction between a speaker and hearer in an interpersonal activity in
which its form is determined by its social purpose.
Discourse can be in the form of
conversation, it may also be in written or spoken form. Discourse for
instance, deals with spoken language, which occurs naturally, such as
interviews, conversations, speeches and commentaries. Examples of
written discourse include essays, chapters in a book, road signs and
notices, etc. Discourse analysis on the other hand is a systematic
examination of discourse focusing on the constituent units and
structures of sentences of specific texts that is, grammatical relations
such as subject-verb-object, up to the level of text.
Conversation, another type of discourse,
as has been mentioned in this section is an example of discourse.
Conversation generally involves an exchange between two or more people
in which each participant may produce more than one utterance and each
contribution builds upon previous contributions either directly or
Dramatic texts are made up of
conversations, more technically referred to as dialogues. This research
will study some of the conversations in Midnight Hotel by Femi
Osofisan to show its relevance to culture, and religion. In achieving
this, discourse tools like role-sharing, adjacency pairs, discourse
markers, presupposition, implicature and most importantly, context will
be used to achieve a coherent discourse analysis of the dramatic text.
1.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This research primarily aims to investigate the discourse features in Femi Osofisan’s Midnight Hotel. Its objectives are:
- To give a clear picture of how discourse analyses can be used in the interpretation of texts.
- To show that conversations need to conform to the context of the interaction.
- To bring to the awareness of the keen observer, the pattern of conversations.
- To give a sound knowledge of such techniques on which effective conversation can be built.
To the best knowledge of the researcher
Discourse Analysis as a theoretical construct has not been used in
analyzing Midnight Hotel by Femi Osofisan. The researcher came across
only two researches carried out on the proposed play. They are “Satire
as a Social Art
The Comparative Study of Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again and Osofisan’s Midnight Hotel” Obuh, S. (2007) and “The Moral, Social, and Political Decadence in the Nigerian Society: A Case Study of Femi Osofisan’s Midnight Hotel” (Rufus,
G. (2013). Neither of these two deals with the specific focus of this
research work. This study is therefore justifiable as it seeks to
investigate the social, political, cultural issues that are inherent in
the text. It is also believed that the study will be an additional work
in the study of Discourse Analysis, especially at the undergraduate
1.4 SCOPE AND DELIMITATION OF STUDY
This research is centered with analysing the discourse features in Femi Osofisan’s Midnight Hotel.
The analysis will be limited to the Elements of Discourse Analysis such
as discourse topic, participants, turn-taking, adjacency pairs,
discourse interruption, and role-sharing. There are several approaches
to discourse analysis but the researcher will employ the use of some
Pragmatic concepts of Discourse Analysis such as Context (linguistic,
socio-cultural, physical, psychological), presupposition, inference,
1.5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
This study is a discourse analysis of Midnight Hotel
by Femi Osofisan; it belongs to the genre of drama. The text has a
total of 331 exchanges. A random sampling was conducted and every 22nd
exchange was chosen, starting from the 2nd exchange to the 24th, and it
went on till the 331st exchange. This makes a total of fifteen (15)
exchanges. This selection is appropriate as it is unbiased, and it is
considered effective for the purpose of accessibility, thematic
coverage, and for comprehensive data analysis.
The data analysis will be presented in
an exchange structure format. An analysis will be carried out on each of
the fifteen (15) data to allow for easy readability and comprehension.