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
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 indirectly.
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.