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The main thrust of this thesis is to account for the strategies of Igbo address system with reference to greetings and rhetoric through a sociolinguistic study. Native speakers who were selected through cluster random sampling from seven Igbo speaking areas (Iòs)u¤ikwu¤a¤tq , E¤ziagx,@ Ɛòhx@gbo$,

Ɛòrq-X@@lqò, Qmx@maò, Xbx¤lx$-U¤@kwu and Iòkwe@re) were interviewed and observed on their use of greetings and rhetoric in Igbo for the collection of data. Data from secondary sources like textbooks, journals and internet were also used. In describing greetings and rhetoric in Igbo, the researcher adopted Hymes’ theory of ethnography of speaking. The investigation reveals that there are such forms of Igbo address system like appreciative, informative, persuasive and entertaining. The impromptu, extemporaneous, manuscript and memorized modes constitute the modes of address in Igbo. The research further portrays that setting (place and time), participants, purpose of speech/writing and norms of interaction are factors that govern the choice of mode of address, greetings and rhetorical devices in Igbo. The work shows such sociolinguistic significance of address system in Igbo as being a source of information, entertainment, conviction, appreciation, advice and a means of warning. It also identifies the different types of verbal (daily greetings, work-time greetings, greetings for appreciation, consolation etc.) and non-verbal (handshake, hugging, smiling, raising of eyebrows and waving) greetings in Igbo. Igbo rhetorical strategies like description, narration, explanation and persuasion are identified in the work. Igbo rhetoricians are observed to use such rhetorical devices as ‘schemes’ (repetition, diacope, epizeuxis, assonance, consonance etc.) and ‘tropes’ (simile, metaphor, personification, onomatopoeia, hyperbole and rhetorical question). The study equally reveals that the sociolinguistic significance of greetings in Igbo are greetings as mark of respect, conversation opener and closure, tools for establishing and re-inforcing inter-personal and group relationships and greetings as means of solidarity while rhetoric as a tool for persuasion and conviction, embellishment of speech or writing, judgment and expressing the moral and ethics of Igbo society form its sociolinguistic significance. This study recommends that in order to make our address successful in communicative acts, such factors as setting, participants, purpose of speech and norms of interaction should be considered.


1.0                                                               INTRODUCTION

This thesis comprises five sections. The first section is the introduction which consists of the background to the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, research questions, significance of the study, theoretical framework of the study, limitations of the study and scope of the study. The theoretical and empirical studies relevant to our work form the second section. The third section consists of the research methodology which is organized into the following sub- headings: area of study, study population, instrumentation, reliability of the research instrument, nature of data, method of data collection, problems encountered and method of data analysis. The fourth section is the analysis of data, while the fifth section constitutes the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations. These five sections as identified above are used to discuss the strategies of address system in Igbo with particular reference to greetings and rhetoric through sociolinguistic approach. Igbo as one of the languages that constitute the New Benue Congo family of languages is one of the three major indigenous languages in Nigeria. The language is spoken by the Igbo people who inhabit the South Eastern and some areas in South Southern part of Nigeria.

In this work, the address we studied is different from the address terms like Mr, Mrs, Prof, Dr, Your Highness etc. which are used to refer to people. The address we investigated in this work is address as a talk or act of speaking.

The tone marking convention adopted in the work is the PAN tone marking convention which states that contrasting tones are reflected while similar tones are unmarked. Also, where two high tones follow each other consecutively, the second high tone is a downstep.


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