Male Speech Pattern in the Plays of G.I. Nwaozuzu : Current School News

Male Speech Pattern in the Plays of G.I. Nwaozuzu



Male Speech Pattern in the Plays of G.I. Nwaozuzu.


The patriarchal society has long established men as  superior  to  women. Hence, the speech pattern of men has a profound  impact  on  our  understanding of each other in that men have always been dominating and at the helm of affairs in their respective societies and families.

They grew accustomed to being in charge and having complete control not only over women and slaves or properties, but even in the choice of language.

This situation often gives men wider freedom in the use of some language  expressions which could be seen as irresponsible or vulgarly  talk  when  spoken by women.

This research therefore, examines male speech  pattern  using the four Igbo plays of G.I. Nwaozuzu – Ome Ihe Jide Ofo; Ajo Obi; Nke  M Ji Ka; and Eruru respectively.

The study shows that male speech pattern in G.I. Nwaozuzu plays are not different from those in other plays. This  is  because the four plays used in the research explicitly show that there are specific speech patterns associated with male folk in the Igbo society.

This speech pattern of men sometimes, emanates due to some characteristic traits which men often exhibit. These traits  include  aggressiveness,  anger, craftiness, dominance, pride etc.

Besides, men skillfully use mediums such as proverbs, idioms, metaphor, metonyms, witty statements, etc. to express their mood or display their instincts and superiority over women.

Some of these characteristic traits reflective of male speech abound in the four plays of G.I. Nwaozuzu used for this study.

Consequently, the study examined  the  linguistics, morphological, grammatical, social and stylistic features  in  the four plays with regards to male speech pattern  within  the  Igbo  setting.

Another distinguishing element in the plays is the impact of male  speech  pattern on various roles and positions men occupy in their families and communities.

Despite the fact that some language expressions are usually associated with men and are perceived as male speech pattern, the playwright’s works under study make one understand that some female folks  can also speak in the same manner when ascribed the positions or roles of the male folks.

Conclusively, the positions, roles, attitude and speech pattern of  men are naturally bestowed on them right from creation.  This  endowment tends to make men superior in their approach to issues such as thinking in pattern of speech.

Men have outstanding records in terms of bravery, intellectual, skills, wisdom, self confidence, strength, aggressiveness, domineering attitude and often  intimidating.

These vices are usually reflected  in the male pattern of speech to make them look superior over their female counterpart in the society.


Title Page ———- i
Approval Page ——–ii
Certification ——– iii
Dedication ——- iv
Acknowledgement —– v
Abbreviation ——– vi
Abstract ———- vii
Table of Contents ———— viii


1.1 Background of the Study ————- 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem—— 4
1.3 Research Question ———– 5
1.4 Purpose of the Study ——– 5
1.5 Significance of the Study——– 6
1.6 Scope of the Study ——— 7
1.7 Research Methodology ——– 7
1.7.1 Research Instrument —– 7
1.7.2 Method of Data Collection ——- 8
1.7.3 Method of Data Analysis ———— 8


2.0 Review of Related Literature —-9
2.1 Speech Pattern ————- 9
2.1.1 Male Speech Pattern ——— 9
2.1.2 Female Speech Pattern —— 10
2.2 Factors Eliciting Male Speech Pattern ——— 12
2.3 Differences in Male and Female Speech Pattern— 15
2.4 Effects of Male Speech Pattern on Female Gender— 17


3.0 Male Characterization in Nwaozuzu’s Plays — 21
3.1 Gender- based Speech Pattern ——– 21
3.2 Factors Responsible for eliciting Male Speech Pattern ——- 26
3.2.1. Being Principles and Confident —– 26
3.2.2. Arrogance and Assertiveness —- 27
3.2.3. Craftiness ——– 28
3.2.4. Suspicion ——— 28
3.2.5 Egocentricity —– 29
3.3 Difference in Male and female Speech Pattern — 30
3.4 Effects of Male Speech Pattern ———– 32


4.0 Analysis of Male Speech Pattern in the Play —- 36
4.1 Linguistic Analysis——- 36
4.1.1 Idioms ———- 36
4.1.2 Metaphor —- 41
4.2 Morphological Analysis —– 45
4.3 Grammatical Analysis ——– 46
4.3.1. Antithesis ——- 47
4.3.2. Enclitic Appendage — 48
4.4 Social Analysis —————— 48
4.5.0 Stylistic Analysis —— 52
4.5.1 Use of Implicature Device —— 52
4.5.2 The Use of Rhetoric Device ——- 53
4.6 Setting —— 54


5.1 Introduction ———- 56
5.2 Findings ———— 56
5.3 Summary ———- 57
5.4 Conclusion —- 59
Recommendation —– 59
References ———– 60


1.1 Background of the Study

Linguistics is also  concerned  with various aspects of the  representation of gender in language. One of the earliest linguists to examine gender ways of speaking was Dane Otto Jespersen whose analysis dates  as  far  back as 1925,  and serves as a useful starting point in the exploration of the study of gender speech and its ideologies.

In  his article “The  woman” (1990),”women’s speech  is clearly deficient of men’s”. The reason for this value judgment could be that there was no adequate record of situation to serve as basis of his result of pre- conceived stereotypes.

Fifty years later, Robin Lakoff established a set of gender features that seems to be a confirmation of an existing power  imbalance  reflected  in linguistic expression (Lakoff :2004).

Although counting as one of the first –  if  not first – contribution to feminist linguistics, some of Jespersen’s sexist assumptions are carried over into her work.

Even though Lakoff’s data does not originate in empirical research, but is based on observations and introspection, this does not necessarily reflect the reality of the fe(male)  speech community.

The lexical gender markers introduced by her lack accuracy and stand as mere stereotypes, possibly rooted in women socialized role from the past.

She claims, for example, that women use weaker and almost sweet sounding swear words such as “oh—dear,” or “goodness”, whereas men use stronger expressions  such as “shit”, or “damn (Braun 2004:13)

In spite of the efforts and contributions worldwide of women, the old stereotypes that portray men as superior or domineering and  women as passive  or weaker vessels have continued  to  exist in today’s society.


Achebe, C (1981) No Longer At Ease (13th ed). Ibadan: Heineman Education Book Ltd.

Achebe (1984) Things Fall Apart (16th ed). USA:  Heineman  Education Book Inc.

Akoma (1988) Obidiya (7th ed) Ibadan: University Press Limited.

Braun, F. (2004) Reden Frauen anders? Entwicklugen und position in der linguistichen Gechlechterforschung. In Eichhoff – cyrus, karin  (ed) Adam, Eva and die Sparache. Mannheim: Dudenverlag 9 -26.

Carl, L.L (1998). Gender effect in social influence: paper  presentation  at Meeting of the Society for the Psychological Study  of  Social  Issues, Ann Arbor, M

Carli. L.L (1990). Gender, Language and Influence. Journal of Personality and social. Psychology 941 – 951.

Coates, J. (1986). Gender Differences in Communication. /public/213. Retrieved on July 17, 2012.

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