A Stylistic Analysis Of Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication

A Stylistic Analysis Of Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked


Stylistics is the study of literary and non-literary texts using linguistic and literary descriptions. The aim in this research work was a stylistic analysis of Akachi adimora-ezeigbo’s Trafficked. The study critically analysed the data through the use of some levels of stylistic description namely; graphology, morphology, syntax, lexico-semantics and cohesion. The study discovered that at the graphological level, the author used italics, comma and dash. Among these, it was found out that the author used italics for stream of consciousness in order to reveal the real intention of the speaker.

At the morphological level, it was noticed that the author only gave the full meaning of ‘OYSCO’,’WON’, etc which she introduced in the novel and takes for granted the full meaning of other acronyms. She also idiosyncratically employed more hyphenated compounding. The marked lexico-syntactic patterns used in the text are basically for emphasis. At the lexico-semantics level, proverbs was used to introduce the readers to the rich culture of the African society. Also, cohesive devices employed by the author were used to create links within the text. The conclusion to the work was that the employment of stylistic tools in the analysis of literary and non-literary text enhances better understanding of such texts and the authors.

Table of Contents

Chapter One

General Introduction

  • 1.1 Introduction to the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Purpose of the study
  • 1.4 Scope of the study
  • 1.5 Justification of the study
  • 1.6 Data description/synopsis of the novel
  • 1.7 Biography of the author
  • 1.8 Summary

Chapter Two

Literature review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 The Concept of style
  • 2.3 Stylistics
  • 2.4 Levels of stylistic description
  • 2.4.1 Graphology
  • 2.4.2 Morphology
  • 2.4.3 Syntax
  • 2.4.4 Lexico-semantics
  • 2.5 Cohesion
  • 2.6 Summary

Chapter Three

Stylistic elements in Akachi adimora-ezeigbo’s Trafficked

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Graphology
  • 3.2.1 Italics
  • 3.2.2 Comma
  • 3.2.3 Dash
  • 3.2.4 Capitalization
  • 3.3 Morphology
  • 3.3.1 Compounding
  • 3.3.2 Acronymy
  • 3.4 Lexis and syntax
  • 3.4.1 Parenthesis
  • 3.4.2 Anaphora
  • 33.4.3 Polyptoton
  • 3.5 Lexico-semantics
  • 3.5.1 Proverbs
  • 3.5.2 Simile
  • 3.5.3 Deviant words
  • 3.6 Cohesion
  • 3.7 Findings
  • 3.8 Summary

Chapter Four

Introduction, Summary, Recommendation and Conclusion

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Summary
  • 4.3 Recommendation
  • 4.4 Conclusion
  • References

Chapter One

General Introduction

1.1 Introduction

Stylistics, a branch of linguistics which developed from the ancient Greek rhetoric through the Swiss linguist, Charles Bally during the 20th century, is an aspect of language study that has attracted a great deal of attention from scholars. Young as this discipline is, it is open to so many fields of study most especially to related disciplines such as theory of literature, poetics and aesthetics, among others.

However, over the years, there have been various arguments among scholars about the application of linguistics to the analysis and interpretation of literary texts. This is because, “they operate at different levels that are hardly reconcilable”. Literary criticism on the one hand operates on terms of value, purpose and aesthetics while linguistic analysis focuses on phonetics, stress, syntax, and lexico-semantics (Kolawole, 2003, p.1)

In the words of Short (1996, p.1), stylistics is “an approach to the analysis of ‘literary texts using linguistic description”. Stylistics, from his submission deals with how literary and non-literary texts are analyzed through linguistic tools. As observed by Short, stylistics is both relevant in studying literary and non-literary texts. One of the prominent areas in literature in which stylistic theory could be of great benefit is in the study of a novel. This is so because the language employed by an author in a novel should help in contributing to the overall development of the text.

Trafficked, by Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo is a literary text that was written in 2008. The novel in 2009 received Honourable mention as Runner-up for the ANA/NDDC Flora Nwapa prize for women and also that same year, Chris Anyoku wrote an article which he titled “Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked: Re- defining the ‘New’ Nigeria Novel.

Therefore, this research attempts to analyse Trafficked using stylistics as the theoretical basis. The stylistic tools that will be used as mode of analysis include Graphology, Morphology, Syntax, Lexico-semantics and Cohesion.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

This study “A stylistic analysis of Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked” attempts to analyse the text using some stylistic tools. The problem this study hope to provide answers to is how these stylistic tools are used in the novel. By so doing, this study will show whether Adimora-Ezeigbo’s work is simply an exhibition of stylistic effects or these stylistic tools contribute to the overall development of the text.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The aim of the work titled “A stylistic analysis of Trafficked” is to examine how the author has used the linguistic and literary stylistic tools to convey meaning in her literary text. This research is not only to critically assess the stylistic tools that are employed by Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo in the text, but also to examine how the tools have in one way or the other contributed to its receiving honourable mention as runner up for the ANA/NDDC Flora Nwapa prize for women writing in 2009.

1.4 Scope of the Study

In this work, our focus shall include some of the stylistic elements found in the data. Graphological, Morphological, Syntactical and Lexico-semantic devices will be examined. Also, we shall examine all the cohesive devices found in the data.

1.5 Justification of the Study

This study, which is titled “A stylistic analysis of Trafficked” is being embarked upon because no study of this kind, to the best of our knowledge, has focused specifically on, or has been carried out on Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked because it happens to be the latest work of the author.

This work will therefore, be of great importance to up-coming researchers who will like to study the novel or explore the field of stylistics. Also, it will be of great benefit to studies in language and literature in general.

1.6 Data Description / Synposis of the Novel

Trafficked, is a novel written by Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo in 2008. The book dramatizes the story of a young lady, Nneoma, who is order not to marry Ofomata, her supposed fiancé flees from home and goes to Lagos in company of a friend. She is later, alongside five other ladies trafficked to Europe for prostitution under the pretense of working as a teacher.

After six years, she is deported to Nigeria along with some other trafficked young ladies. The deportees are taken to a rehabilitation centre, which is a non-governmental organization. Through the assistance of this NGO, Oasis Youth Centre for skills development (OYCSD), Nneoma is able to start her life all over again.

1.7 Biography of the Author

Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo was born and raised in Eastern Nigeria to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Adimora. She was raised partially in a rural environment and partially in the city. She therefore, combines these two factors as background and setting for her literary texts.

She studied English and literary studies at the University of Lagos and the university of Ibadan, where she obtained Bachelor of Arts (B.A), Masters of Arts (M.A) and PhD degrees. She also has a postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) from the University of Lagos.

Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo has received many literary and academic awards for her works among which is the NLNG prize for children’s literature which she won in 2007. Apart from publishing over forty-five academic papers in local and international journals, she has also published thirteen books for children out of which two have been translated into Swahili and Xhosa.

She is married to Professor Chris Ezeigbo and they are blessed with three children.

1.8 Summary

This chapter has given an introduction, the statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, the scope of the study justification, research methodology, data description and the biography of the author. In the next chapter, we shall review related literature to this research work.

Chapter Four

Introduction, Summary, Recommendation and Conclusion

4.1 Introduction

This study has examined the stylistic devices employed by Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo in her recent novel. Therefore, this part of the research work intends to reveal the summary, some recommendations for possible future research on Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked and conclusion.

4.2 Summary

This research work, “A stylistic analysis of Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked has been based on some elements of stylistics such as graphology, morphology, lexico-syntax, lexico-semantics and four cohesive devices. Chapter one is the general introduction of the study. It discussed the statement of the research problem, the purpose of the study, the scope of the study, the justification of the study, the description of data and the biography of Adimora-Ezeigbo. Chapter two provided various views on style and stylistics, some stylistic elements such as graphology, morphology, lexico-syntax, lexico-semantics and cohesion. Chapter three focused on data analysis using the stylistic tools that were reviewed in chapter two and provided some findings. Among the findings in the work were the use of italics for stream of consciousness in order to reveal the real intention of the characters at the graphological level, the idiosyncratically use of hyphenated compounding at the morphological level, the employment of marked lexico-syntactic patterns basically for emphasis, the extensive use of proverbs to show the africanness of the novel at the lexico-semantic level and the use of cohesive devices to create links within the text. Chapter four, which is the last chapter contains the summary, recommendations and conclusion.

4.3 Recommendation

Since no stylistic study has been done on Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked before our attempt in this study, other literary and non- literary scholars may study the text following other linguistic approaches such as pragmatics, discourse analysis, semantics, sociolinguistics, among the others.

4.4 Conclusion

General stylistics, which is a type of analysis that focuses on literary and non literary text, has been found to be a suitable theory for this study as it was used to examine how linguistic tools could be used in the analysis of a literary text using Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked as a case study. The employment of linguistic tools espoused the style used by the author in this text. In a nutshell, using stylistics as a tool has given an understanding, not only the meaning of words most especially, local words used in the text, but has also enabled the effectiveness of the use of linguistic tools in analysing literary texts.

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