A LINGUISTIC INVESTIGATION OF AHMED YERIMA’S PARI

Published: JUNE 2021

Author(s):

SAMUEL EDEM

About Author(s):

Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil  Kano

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Abstract

The Nigeria polity, in recent years, has been threatened by unceasing insurrections that have continued to pose contemporary challenges to her political stability. This loathsome situation is shaped by the complicity of some complex social factors.  To this end, this study, from a linguistic perspective examines Ahmed Yerima’s Pari, a prism through which these complex factors are conveyed. The text illustrates how a Northern Nigerian family is thrown into utter anguish by the loss of their only daughter via the Boko Haram insurgency. Consequently, the study aims at achieving three goals. First, it showcases the despicable complicity of the government, individuals, and religion as social factors inducing insurrection. Furthermore, it showcases how these factors through language are enacted and shaped in the discourse. Such literary inclination establishes the ideology of the discourse through the motives in public power; and also, it conveys the writer’s ideological perspective on a ‘restorative approach’ as an alternative means of quelling insurgency rather than an obdurate approach that may compound it. Thirteen excerpts are purposively selected from the text and the language patterns and functions are examined through Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics. The study intends to enhance not only the understanding of readers’ conception of the influence of these complex factors but also the ideological role of the text in resolving the crisis.

Keywords: Nigerian polity, Boko Haram insurgency, Complex social factors, ideology, Restorative approach, Systemic Functional Linguistics