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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 articlewhich he titled “Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked: Re- defining the ‘New’ Nigeria Novel.
Therefore, this research attempts to analyse Traffickedusing 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’sTrafficked”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.
1.3PURPOSE 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 ProfessorChris Ezeigbo and they are blessed with three children.
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.
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