In this study, we undertook a pragmatic study of newspaper comic
strips, using “Efe and Jude” as an example. Pragmatics deals mainly with
the use of language by a speaker and how the meaning can be interpreted
by the hearer. The aim of this research work was to examine the use of
language used by Efe and Jude and to explain what was not said by the
participants. This research used the random sampling technique to select
data from The Punch newspaper between the months of January 2010
and July 2010. We also applied the principles of pragmatics such as
Austin’s theory of speech act, Grice’s theory of implicature, Bayo
Lawal’s theory of context and Bach and Harnish’s theory of Mutual
Contextual Beliefs. The use of the elements of pragmatics such as
presupposition, participants, context, MCBs, Inference, Intention and
Implicature help in decoding the message (s) that are encoded in Efe and
Jude. At the end of this study, we discovered that directives are
largely used by Efe to show her superiority over Jude. We also found out
that the cartoonist made use of Efe and Jude to make the public aware
that the reversal of roles between couple in the family is a threat to
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.2. Purpose of the study
1.3. Justification of the study
1.4. Scope of the study
1.5. Methodology of the study
1.6. Data Description
1.7. Summary of the chapter
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.2. Definitions of Pragmatics
2.3. Theories of Pragmatics
2.3.1. Austin’s theory
2.3.2. John Searle’s theory
2.3.3. Bach and Harnish theory
2.3.4. Bayo Lawal’s theory
2.3.5. Grice’s theory
2.4 Elements of Pragmatics
2.4.2. Contextual Beliefs
2.4.7. Speech acts
2.5. Summary of the chapter
CHAPTER THREE: ANALYSIS OF DATA
3.4. Summary of the chapter
CHAPTER FOUR: SUMMARY, FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
Communication is an important aspect of human life. Man has been
known to communicate with himself, his environment and his fellow being
from time immemorial. Language is the means of communication through
which man communicates and its development has made human communication
powerful and relevant to human existence. Babatunde (2009, p100),
asserts that communication is the chief purpose of language and the
ability to use language for meaningful and purposeful interaction by man
is one great edge man has over every other living thing.
Lehman (1976, p4), sees language as a system for the communication of
meaning through sounds. Through language, we generate meaning and
information which can be exchanged between interlocutors to generate
communication because without communication, there will hardly be
survival in the society. Language is an art that is made up of an
arbitrary code in which intra and inter personal communication takes
However, human’s thoughts and perceptions are passed as a message to
the receiver who will store, process and change it into meanings.
Language is important in decoding meaning and the aspect of linguistics
that specializes in this act of meaning decoding is pragmatics. Yule
(1996, p127) defines pragmatics as “the invisible meaning or how meaning
is recognized even when it is not said or written”. He further
explained that for invisible meaning to be recognized, speakers must be
able to depend on a lot of shared assumptions and expectations.
Comics are any piece of entertainment that is funny. Therefore comic strips according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2000,
p222) are “series of drawings inside boxes (panels) that tell a story
and are often printed in newspapers”. It has been discovered that many
readers of comic strips widely known as cartoons read it because of its
funny nature without having a deeper understanding of the non-literal
aspect of the utterances.
Hence, the researcher will do a pragmatic examination of the drawings
and utterances by using the elements of pragmatics to analyze the
special ways in which language has been used to entertain and pass
across message(s) to the people or readers since pragmatics according to
Levinson (1983, p6) is “the study of those relations between language
and context that is grammaticalized or encoded in the structure of a
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study was to examine and reveal what is not said
by the participants in “Efe and Jude” and to examine the use of language
of this comic strip. This study was aimed at using the pragmatic
elements to examine the special ways in which language has been used in
“Efe and Jude” so that at the end of this study people will not just
read the comic strip for entertainment alone but have a fuller and
deeper knowledge of what the comic strip is trying to convey.
JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
This study was embarked upon because no study of this nature to our
knowledge has focused specifically on the pragmatic study of ‘Efe and Jude’ in The Punch
newspaper. The study was aimed at making the members of the public
understand utterance meaning and to make them know that utterances
always mean more than what is said.
The value attached to this work was based on the families that are
confronted with the issue of the reversal of roles where the man is
acting as the wife and the woman acting as the husband. This work will
also be of interest to sociologists who are studying human society.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
We limited our analysis in this study to the aspect of linguistics
that specializes in the act of decoding meaning which is pragmatics
using cartoons as our data. There are different kinds of cartoons but
this study based its analysis on a comic strip. This study intended to
take a look at the pragmatic study of ‘Efe and Jude’ in The Punch newspaper selected from the months of January 2010 to July 2010.
The analysis of this comic strip selected from The Punch
newspaper was done by using some pragmatic tools. These tools include
participants, context, presupposition, inference, implicature, speech
act, mutual contextual beliefs and intention.
Due to the size of the target population, the researcher made use of
random sampling technique. The comic strip, Efe and Jude were selected
from The Punch newspaper from January to July, 2010. The comic
strip does not appear regularly during the week but appears thrice a
week or approximately four times on Saturdays. Therefore, twenty
cartoons were selected to represent the entire population.
A cartoon according to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is “an amusing drawing in a newspaper or magazine, especially one about politics or events in the news”. Longman Active Study Dictionary defines cartoon as “a funny drawing or set of drawings in a newspaper or magazine”.
We can therefore conclude from the above definitions of cartoons that
it is an imitation of what happens in our society. Kunzle (2007, p1)
identified various types of cartoons but the most relevant to this study
is comic strip which is used to entertain the public on the things that
are happening in the society.
EFE AND JUDE
Efe, who is the speaker in most of the scenes of the comic strip, is
depicted as a huge woman who comes from the eastern part of Nigeria
because of her name. She is married to Jude but instead of the normal
husband and wife relationship, there is a sort of reversal in their
roles in the home.
Efe always acts as the husband while the husband acts as the wife.
Even though she is the wife, she provides every need of the family; she
provides the money for food, transport fares and every other essential
needs of the house.
The comic strip focuses on what is happening in the society with a
view of proffering solutions to the problem of the reversal of roles in
homes so that it will not be a constant occurrence which could be a
threat to the society.
It is believed in the society that a husband must always be the head
of a family but in the case of ‘Efe and Jude, the reverse is the case.
This makes the cartoonist use ‘Efe and Jude’ to make readers aware of
what is going on in the some families. It is also used to satirize women
who behave like Efe in the society.
SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER
In this chapter, we have attempted to define all our variables. We
stated the aim of the study, the reason why we have embarked on the
work, the limitation of the work, the methods that would be used in this
study and a brief description of our data. Having done these, we will
now move to the next chapter to review our related literatures.