International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Graphological Foregrounding in Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus
Ebi Yeibo, Comfort Akerele

There is a symbiotic relationship between language structure and language function, which is particularly exploited by literary artists to relate language forms deployed in their texts to their intended messages and visions. This is possible because of the inherent elasticity or malleability of language as a communicative tool which can be shaped or conditioned by the social or discourse situation. With M.A.K Halliday’s Systemic Functional Grammar as the analytical template, this study, therefore, discusses the paralinguistic devices such as length of the text, paragraph structure, punctuation marks, topography, etc, utilized by Chimamanda Adichie to complement verbal signifiers and foreground critical and strategic aspects of meaning in relation to context of situation and textual function in her Purple Hibiscus. The study adumbrates the fact that paralinguistic resources of language have pragmatic force, in the sense that they help writers to capture contextual or stylistic meaning, enhance textual appeal, and also aid scholars/readers to conveniently comprehend and interpret the ideological contents or propositions contained in their texts. It, therefore, concludes that any explication of the meaning of literary texts without due and careful recourse to the subtle nuances of graphological patterning, is less than adequate.

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