This chapter introduces the background of the research topic and describes its scope in addition, the purpose and justification for the study are also discussed. It concludes by giving the biography of the author of the text.
1.1 Background to the study
Man is the most superior and unique of all the creatures in the entire creation, in terms of his wisdom, action, thought, though some animal or insects have been found to be wiser. Example is ant, man and animal share the same biological functions such as movements, growth etc.
However, what makes man different from animals is language, which is used for communication with members of their species. The animal system of communication are fixed example Dog Barks, Goat bleats etc. Thus, man is the only creatures that uses language intentionally and habitually (Crystal 1997:40).
Language allows interaction between human beings through the means of talking, this “Talk” is termed “Discourse”. Discourse is a verbal interaction. Hence, discourse analysis emerged from such talks whose meanings have to be analysed.
Harris (1952) sees discourse analysis as continuing descriptive linguistics beyond the limit of a single sentence at a time and for correlating culture and language. Discourse analysis came about due to the need of linguists to study the underlying principles of everyday interactions.
Stubbs (1983) defines Discourse analysis as an attempt to study larger linguistic units like conversational exchange or the study of interactive language including how language is used in social context. Discourse analysis studies words and their relation to situation in which they are made so as to facilitate hearer’s response. In Discourse analysis, we study how one can use an utterance or an expression to transform a message through meanings. Its general usage has to do with conversation and holding forth on a subject.
It is believed that the system of communication in speech and writing is language. As a result, human language is said to be communication when language users are able to use appropriate words in an appropriate social context. So, the desire to achieve communicative competence in a language.
In a nutshell, Language communicates meaning and meaning gives information. The intention of any language is to give meaning and the meaning is processed to information. The analysis of discourse is necessarily, the analysis of language in use (Brown and Yule 1983). Discourse analysis is committed to the investigation of the inter-relationship that exists between language and language is use. Discourse analysis no doubt identified those element functions and attempt to analyse them through the use of the discourse techniques which unfold the process of turn-taking, topic change, topic negotiation, presupposition, inference, implicature, participant, message, context etc. are more prominent in drama texts than the other genres of literature, due to the peculiar nature of drama texts. This resourceful elements of discourse will be applied to analyse the play text: Sizwe Bansi is Dead
A DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF ATHOL FUGARD’S SIZWE BANSI IS DEAD
TABLE OF CONTENTS Title Page i Certification ii Dedication iii Acknowledgments iv Table of Contents v Abstract ix CHAPTER ONE: 1.0 Introduction 1 1.1 Background to the study 1 1.2 Purpose of the study 3 1.3 Justification for the... Continue Reading
A DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF ATHOL FUGARD’S SIZWE BANSI IS DEAD CHAPTER ONE GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1.0 Introduction This chapter introduces the background of the research topic and describes its scope in addition, the purpose and justification for the study are also discussed. It concludes by giving the biography of the author of the text.... Continue Reading
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