Topic: Grice’s Conversational Implicature: Implicitness in identity and ideology-Driven Discourses in Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease

Published: September 2019

AuthorsAdaoma Igwedibia & Chijioke Michael Augustine

About Authors: Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Enugu State, Nigeria

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Chinua Achebe’s novels have undoubtedly stood the test of time especially in terms of scholarship and academic relevance. They have, no doubt, been subjected to series of studies by many scholars especially through the lens of literary and critical analysis, but with very little commitment to the pragmatic principles. The problem which this research recognizes, therefore, is that Achebe’s No Longer at Ease has not been studied and interpreted on the basis of Grice’s theory of Conversational Implicature (with its attendant Cooperative Principle) which comprised the four maxims of: Quality, Quantity, Relation and Manner. Consequently, this study is an attempt to discovering and eliciting the implicit meanings that characterize the identity and ideology-driven discourses of the major and some minor characters in Achebe’s No Longer at Ease, and how these implicit meanings could be useful to the overall interpretation of the text. It also seeks to ascertain the extent to which these maxims are flouted by the interlocutors (i.e. the fictional characters) in the course of their conversational exchanges. Ten different conversational encounters of the characters were extracted and analyzed based on the aforementioned theory. The result shows that Grice’s maxims of quality and quantity were the most flouted, followed by the manner maxim, with that of relevance being the least flouted.

Keyword: Grice, conversational implicature, implicitness, cooperative principle, maxims, flout, discourses.