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This research investigates the features of discourse in the interaction among market women and their customers in Oba Market, Benin in Edo state. The study is restricted to the. spoken language as used by market women. This was done through the method of participant observation. The researcher was highly involved by tape-recording their voices during their business dealings. The raw data were collected in pidgin English but rendered in correct English and analyzed using Sinclair and Coulthard model of analysis developed in 1975. It was discovered that interactional talk is the bedrock behind every successful business transaction .Sales are made possible by these women through various techniques which they employed in form of clues, prompts, bids which, according to Sinclair and Coulthard, are means through which buyers are convinced to patronize their goods. Sales are eventually made possible as the end product of business transaction.
This study investigates the features of Discourse in the interaction Among Market Women in Oba market, Benin with their customers. Language is made up essentially of written and spoken modes. There are formats and methods of analysis attached to each of the modes.
The written language has a long history of analysis while the spoken form has
only recently gained attention in Linguistic analysis. Our interest in carrying out
this research is to further the development of the analysis of the spoken language.
In this introductory chapter, some key concepts, sub - themes and terminologies
used in the study will be presented.
1.1 Background to the Study
Many linguists describe language as the most important attribute of man.
Allenton (18) in his own view defines language as;
-----the fully developed natural human communication involved in transmitting ideas or information from person to person.
He sees language as a tool for information transfer.
Thomas and Wareing (6-9) in their book Language, Society and Power, postulate
that one of the obvious ways of thinking about language is that;
It is a systematic way of combining smaller units into larger units for
the purpose of communication, for instance, we combine the sound segments of our language (Phoneme) to form words(Lexical items) According to the rules of language we speak.
Language is essentially a rule-governed system of this kind, but there are other
ways of thinking about how language works. James Caper as cited in Obi- Okoye
(2) considered language as:
A system of communicating with one another using sounds, symbols and words in expressing meaning, ideas or thoughts.
Thus language can be used in many forms primarily through oral and written
communications. Equally body language could be used to communicate thoughts
In this work, we are interested in such questions as: What function does a given
utterance do? Is it a statement, question, command or response and how do the
Although, there were some linguists who saw language as a series of interrelated
levels mediating, and showing relationships between context and phonetic
substance as seen by Hallid
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