Artists, especially, cartoonists have made vigorous effort to portray the society by familiarizing people with the on-going events in such society. This work aimed at investigating how pragmatic elements could be deployed to properly interpret the ways in which cartoons and their utterances depict and satirize socio-political realities in Nigeria. In this regard, sixteen “pocket cartoons” were selected from Vanguard editions between June and Sep., 2010 and they were analysed using pragmatic elements such as speech acts, contexts, presupposition world knowledge, implicature, inference and deixis. It was discovered that utterances used in these cartoons were mainly “assertives” and ‘directives’ meaning that they (those utterances) signified the state of socio-political affairs in the country. We also found out that an utterance can have more than one ‘illocution’ and ‘perlocution’ and the perlocutions may vary with regard to the addresses. Indeed, it was noted that context and world knowledge were essential indices of understanding and interpreting cartoons.
Pragmatics is a shift from strict grammatical rules to a situational language use.It is a linguistic theory that studies meaning from the perspectives of language users, communication code and socio-cultural conventions. Hence, Mey (2007:6) asserts that “Pragmatics Studies the use of language in human communication as determined by the conditions of society”.
Cartoons are “Comic strips”. They create humour by portraying “observable characters in a society” (Bitner, 2003:306). Cartoons serve as a medium through which people are informed, educated and entertained by presenting societal happenings in hillarious manner. They are found in newspapers, magazines and newsletters.
Vanguard is a Nigeria Newspaper that centres on politics, education, sports, local and national news etc. It has a section named “pocket cartoon” which portrays socio-political events in the country.
With a view to studying pragmatics, Babatunde and Odepidan (2009) carry out a “Pragama- rhetorical strategies in selected speeches of President Olusegun Obasanjo (Former Nigeria President).Adetunji (2009) also conducts analysis of selected acts. However, they did not focus on non-verbal aspects of language.
This work is therefore, borne out of a desire to study the workings of pragmatics (including non-verbal language) in selected pocket cartoons from editions of Vanguard so as to discover how utterances used in these cartoons reflect Nigerian socio-political realities.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of Contentsv
1.1Purpose of the study2
1.3Scope and limitation2
1.5.0 Nigerian Newspapers4
1.5.1 Vanguard-A Nigerian Newspaper4
1.6 Summary 5
2.1.An Overview of Pragmatics6
2.2.0Goals of Pragmatics 7
2.3.0Theories of Pragmatics 8
2.3.1Speech Acts Theory8
2.3.3Intention and Inference Theory13
2.4.2 World Knowledge18
2.5.0Cartoons – Meaning and Brief History20
2.5.1Forms of Cartoons21
2.5.2Functions of Cartoons 22
Datum one 24
Data Discussion 56
SUMMARY, SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND
4.1Summary of findings58
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