Politeness Strategies in Selected Nigerian Newspaper Editorials : Current School News

Politeness Strategies in Selected Nigerian Newspaper Editorials

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Politeness Strategies in Selected Nigerian Newspaper Editorials.

ABSTRACT

This work examines the politeness features in selected Nigerian newspaper editorials— The Daily Sun, The Nation, and ThisDay newspapers. The study assesses how the various politeness maxims are exploited and violated in the selected editorials.

The researcher adopted Geoffrey Leech’s Politeness Principle (1983) model for the study. A text-based descriptive methodology was used to analyze the twelve editorials purposively selected from the three national newspapers, which formed the data for the study. The issues on the selected editorials border basically on politics, democracy, and other national issues in relation to the 2015 general elections.

Drawing examples from language use in the editorials, the findings reveal that the editors’ language use violated the politeness maxims such as the approbation maxim, tact maxim, agreement maxim, modesty maxim, and Pollyanna or consideration maxim, although sometimes the editors’ utterances obeyed the politeness maxims.

The study concludes that there were more violations of the maxims than their exploitation; hence, there is a great world of difference between the exploitation and violation of the identified maxims as the language used in the editorials deviated from the principles of politeness maxims.

This is consequent upon the editors’ bid to report events the way they are. In the light of the foregoing, the study, therefore, recommends that language users and editorial writers should be encouraged to learn, imbibe, and incorporate polite expressions in disseminating information to society.

By so doing, they will be able to uphold the maxims of politeness appropriately, irrespective of the situations confronting them.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page       i

Approval page    ii

Dedication iii

Certification      iv

Acknowledgments v

Abstract      vi

Table of Contents      vii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

  • Background to the Study 1
  • Statement of the Problem 5
  • Objectives of Study 6
  • Research Questions 7
  • Relevance of Study 7
  • Scope of Study 7

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

  • Literature Review 8
  • Summary of Literature Review 23

CHAPTER THREE: THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

  • Theoretical Framework 25
  • Research Methodology 39
    • Sources of Data 39
    • Data Collection 39
    • Method of Data Analysis 40

CHAPTER FOUR: POLITENESS STRATEGIES IN SELECTED NIGERIAN NEWSPAPER EDITORIALS

Section A: Exploitation of the Maxims   42

  • The exploitation of the Approbation Maxim 43
  • The exploitation of Pollyanna Principle or Consideration Maxim 45
  • The exploitation of the Tact Maxim 49
  • The exploitation of the Agreement Maxim 50
  • The exploitation of the Modesty Maxim 54

Section B: Violation of the Maxims    56

  • Violation of the Approbation Maxim 56
  • Violation of the Pollyanna or Consideration Maxim 60
  • Violation of the Agreement Maxim 62
  • Violation of the Modesty Maxim 63
  • Violation of the Tact Maxim 64
  • Honorifics 67

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS

5:1 Summary of Findings          70

5:2 Conclusion71

5:3 Suggestions      72

REFERENCES

Appendix

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Whether at creation or during evolution, language has been associated with human beings. It is undoubtedly one of the human traits; and its dynamism as an instrument of communication among human beings cannot be over-emphasized.

The creativity of language makes it possible to have novel words and structures. Its being species-specific gives humans the exclusive right to use it according to their wishes.

Language as a human phenomenon makes communication possible within the context of social activities like journalism, law, advertising et cetera. A lot of differences exist in the language use of these varieties, though they are all variants of the same language. Each variety is distinctly based on the social activities and context of use.

In every information flow, language plays a vital role. Information is transmitted by Nigerian print media chiefly by means of the English language.

Although the print media deals with divergent issues, one of their main tasks under a democratic rule is to ‘monitor the political life of the people and draw the attention of the public through effective use of language on how politicians are fulfilling their responsibilities to the [sic] society’ (Duyile Dayo 110).

The public, therefore, needs to be kept abreast with events and happenings within and outside their immediate environments.

REFERENCES

Abajo, Eunice. “Pragmatic Analysis of Political Interviews in Selected Daily Newspapers”. Unpublished M.A. Dissertation, University of Ilorin, 2011. Print.
Adedemeji, Mahfouz. Meaning in English: An Introduction. Ogbomoso: Critical Sphere, 2006. Print.
Afeez, Hanafi. Pragmatic Analysis of Selected Cartoons in Vanguard Newspapers. Unpublished Work, University of Ilorin, 2011. Print.
Agbedo, Uchenna. “A Speech Act Analysis of Political Discourse in the Nigerian Print Media”.
International Journal of African Studies, vol.10. 2008. 146-165. Print.
 Pragmatics of ‘Garrison Democracy’ as a Metaphor in Nigerian Print Media. Awka Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, 3. (2007): 72-74. Print.
Akmajian, Adrian et al. Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication. 6th ed.
New Dehli: Phi learning, 2012. Print.

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