DEVIATION IN STYLISTICS: A CASE STUDY OF ABUBAKAR ADAMS OTHMAN’S “BLOOD STREAM IN THE DESERT” AND NEREUS YERIMA TADI’S “VOICES FROM THE SLUM”
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1.0 Background to the study
Deviation, as Widdowson, (2014) characterizes, is an aesthetically purposeful distortion of standard language. Deviation is the energy at the back of foregrounding of all sorts. All great poetry is a product of one or other kind of deviation. In a liberal view of stylistics every utterance, sentence or expression, however simple or brief it may be, is a product of style resulting from deviation (Widdowson, 2014). Understanding of deviation increases the literal and the literary awareness of the reader. Prague school of poetry propounded the idea that poetry is bound to violate the norms of everyday language (Wales, 2012). Deviation is closely associated with 51 poetic languages. One reason is that in case of poetic language the tolerance of the unusual by the reader, whether phonological, grammatical, lexical or semantic, is very high (Malmjaer, 2013).
Poetry has always been a major component and the most intense of man’s literary activity in ancient and modern times. In addition to making use of language in a unique and creative way, poetry, as a form of literature, often mirrors the social, political, economic or cultural context which produces it (Osoba, 2013).From other angle, there are many similarities in language definitions. On the other hand, there are very technical uses of the word “language” which reflect the way in which the term has been applied figuratively to all forms of human behavior such as the language of writing, the media, Politics, music, law and advertising. Halliday, (2011: 332) also gives succinctly the function of language:
Language is used to express content. The speaker or speaker embodies language, its experiences of the internal world of its Consciousness, its reaction, its knowledge and its perception, as well as its linguistic acts of speaking and understanding.
Language stands out as the only phenomenon through which human being in certain speech community successfully interact and pass across information. Certain scholars have tried to define what language is; Henry, (2014) sees language as: “A shared, learned, arbitrary symbol through which human beings in the same speech community or sub-culture communicates and hence interacts in terms of their common experiences and expectations.” Odebunmi (2011, p.26) opines that “language is the rope that ties members of a speech community together in a continuing relationship”. He goes further to summit that “it is the common instrument that they draw on for socio cultural identification”. From this excerpt, language is portrayed as an inevitable phenomenon and the basis of mutual communication in man’s life. Language is glimpsed as an instrument for social identification and unity in a speech community. It is when they are able to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas using the same language that they can have understanding which is one of the foundations of unity.
Also, Duranti and Godwin, (2013) asserts that “Language is human vocal sound, or it is the graphic representation of signs, symbols, gesticulations and signals for the purpose of communication “In this regard, Man uses language in conveying meanings and tends to display different attributes and most cases different styles. These styles therefore, determine the language habits and language use utilized by certain individuals. This research therefore, intends to study the style used by Abubakar Adams Othman’s in blood stream in the desert and Nereus Yerima Tadi’s “voices from the slum”