DIALECTAL VARIATIONAL AESTHETICS AND LANGUAGE USE IN SELECTED PLAYS OF WOLE SOYINKA

DIALECTAL VARIATIONAL AESTHETICS AND LANGUAGE USE IN SELECTED PLAYS OF WOLE SOYINKA

ABSTRACT

Wole Soyinka’s literary works have received a lot of critical attention in Literary Circles particularly with regards to his obscure use of the English Language. Also associated with this is his apparent sytaxtic complexities which make most of his works incompressible. However the sociolinguistic study of his dramatic art has ignored the aspect of the playwright’s dialectal variational aesthetics. This study, therefore, explores the dialectical variational elements in selected play texts of the writer and examines their relevance to the thematic preoccupation of the writer. The study attempts various definitions of the concept Language as well as its supposed origin and goes on to discuss the controversy that surrounds Language especially the problem of meaning and meaning making and also whether thought comes before utterance and vice-versa. The thesis tries to show that African Literature is an archetype of African Orature and this has to bear semblance to the mother archetype. Theoretically the study utilizes sociolinguistic concepts such as Acrolects, Mesolects and Basolects as applied in the chosen texts. The Road, Beatification of Area Boy, From Zia with Love and Requiem for a Futurologist. The deployment of the three major dialectal concepts in the analysis of Soyinka’s drama has yielded a socio-linguistic theoretical model that is applicable not only to the works of Soyinka but other Nigerian and indeed, African Playwrights.