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ERIC Number: ED516916
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 454
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-8037-6
Osundare's Intrigues of Tongues: Ways of Meaning in an African Bilingual Literary Corpus
Okunowo, Abayomi Victor
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder
Osundare's writing is generally acknowledged as coterminous with the contentious issues of language, style and meaning in Anglophone modern African literature, and because he is seen as representing a generation of African writers, this study highlights and analyzes aspects of Osundare's creative processes of meaning for his thematic project. Osundare's stylistic deployment of African (Yoruba) "socio-semio-linguistic life" frameworks (expressed in English as Second Language) evoked by material substance of language is most palpable in his deployment of metaphors, proverbs, word making, graphology, and bilingual features of language contact as components and tropes of poetic meaning. Analyzing these components of Osundare's writing is an attempt at characterizing his literary idiolect and its implications for the production and criticism of African literature. Written modern African literature, generally observed by scholars, is a victim of nineteenth-century European economic, political, cultural and linguistic vandalism. A major consequence is that by the time Europe packed her bags and baggage and physically left Africa, new politico-cultural matrices, which continue to define and make African historicism into the twenty-first century, based on images of the atrocities unleashed by Europe, had emerged. The use of European languages and the apparent reluctance of a section of mainstream African writers to use African languages to produce African verbal artifacts are among the politico-cultural matrices that had emerged. The issues of language, style and meaning in defining African writing have therefore become germane and central to the discursive endeavor in the epistemology of postcolonial African literature. The births of its modernity, the style of its production, the purpose of its content, the language of its communication and the identity of its canon have attracted a plethora of combative critical theorizing; nativist, Marxist, pragmatist, relativist criticisms and others abound. Critics like Chinweizu et al. (1983), Amuta (1989), Ashcroft et al. (1989), Epstein et al. (1998), Adeeko (1998), Okafor (2001), Smith et al. (2002), and Osundare (2002), among others, are examples. In all, the value of the arguments resides in communicating authentic African semiotics, liberating and claiming the canon of African literature within the comity of literary nations, along with the purpose, in relation to the primary society the literature is supposed to serve. Given the above ramifications, my study revisits the issues of language, style and meaning in African literature, expressed in English, through the lenses of Osundare's writing, seeking to analyze, in order to characterize the poet's literary idiolect, how proverb as metaspeech, metaphor as poetic device, bilingualism as consequence of language contact, aspects of linguistic descriptions of word-making, nominal group and graphology are deployed as tropes of poetic meaning for the purpose of themes and message. Within the larger fascinating cultural and literary language options of Osundare's poetry, which this study is about, I also analyze and illustrate how Osundare, negotiating the contesting ideologies on the vexed wisdom of using European languages, makes English co-function with Yoruba codes in communicating African semiotics and sensibilities, modeling meaning for message accessibility. I further explain how Osundare's means of meaning not only interweave Yoruba and English languages within a linguistic contact zone, but also manipulate the English language for aesthetic and creative communicative thematic purposes. My analysis indexes the rhetorical relevance of Osundare as an ESL Anglophone African writer. My objective is to enrich the hitherto mainly cultural critical criticism and direct more attention to a stylistic-cultural critical practice. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproductionis prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A