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The Incidence of Redundancy in Nigerian Newspaper Editorials: The Conflict Between Accidental and Deliberate Selections

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The Incidence of Redundancy in Nigerian Newspaper Editorials: The Conflict Between Accidental and Deliberate Selections. 

ABSTRACT  

This work is centred on redundancy. It is a syntactic analysis of accidental and deliberate selections in newspaper editorials. It looks at the redundancy present based on the writer’s choice of linguistic units. Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech and Svartvik (1985) Ellipsis and Substitution (reduction) was used to expound varying levels of redundancy within the selected texts. Hornings’s (2001) classification of redundancy in syntax was used to categorize the selected texts. The study reveals that redundancy is a common feature of the English language.

It further reveals that redundancy is an efficient and effective tool in contextualization. The study showed that accidental redundancy has as a predominant feature, the absence of grammaticality. The research equally shows that some degree of redundancy was intentionally used by the writers for the purpose of emphasis. The research reveals that redundancy is an innate feature of language and performs a natural function of passing the writer’s message yet leaving room for the reader’s interpretation.

Virtually every text is read with some kind of noise in the environment either the lights, hand writing of the author, the size of the print, actual noise and or physical distractions on the part of the reader. Redundancy helps the writer’s central message to be passed within these situations though there is a huge difference between functional redundancy and distributional redundancy.

INTRODUCTION  

The concept of redundancy is often associated with superfluity and overabundance being thus perceived negatively in its general meaning. The notion has been present in linguistic debates since antiquity (Bauer; 2007:121), with a general meaning of abundance and also develops an extended meaning in the field of rhetorics where it is connected to pleonasm, accumulation, and repetition. All languages use redundancy in different ways and for contrasting ends.

Redundancy basically means the parts of language that could be done away with while allowing the meaning of the statement to remain basically the same. The idea of redundancy re-echoes Grice’s maxim of quantity and manner (Grice 1975:22): Make your contribution to the conversation as informative as necessary; do not make your contribution to the conversation more informative than necessary; be brief. Redundancy is the construction of a phrase that presents some idea using more information, often via multiple means than is necessary for one to understand the idea.

(Chiari, 2002:12) defines redundancy in Language as repetition of messages to reduce the probability of misinterpretation in transmission. Redundancy in language is a wide field with many subsets. But for most of these subsets, the basic themes are the same. With redundancy embedded in a language, the listener or reader will gain a greater understanding but aided comprehension, from the context of usage or their communal value associated to such a word or phrase. Redundancy both adds emphasis and impact. 

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CSN Team.

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