STRATEGIES OF IGBO ADDRESS SYSTEM A SOCIOLINGUISTIC INVESTIGATION OF GREETINGS AND RHETORIC

STRATEGIES OF IGBO ADDRESS SYSTEM A SOCIOLINGUISTIC INVESTIGATION OF GREETINGS AND RHETORIC

ABSTRACT

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 (………………………) 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.