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A SYNTACTIC ANALYSIS OF THE SELECTED CHARACTERS IN RICHARD WRIGHT’S BLACK BOY

A SYNTACTIC ANALYSIS OF THE SELECTED CHARACTERS IN RICHARD WRIGHT’S BLACK BOY

Format: Ms Word Document| Pages: 85|Price: N 5,000| Chapters: 1-5

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INTRODUCTION

Allan (1986: 214) says that: the meaning of a sentence is composed from the meaning of its constituent clauses and their connectives, the meaning of a clause is composed from the meaning of its constituent phrases, the meaning of a phrase is composed from the meaning of its constituent words and those in turn from the meaning of their constituent lexemes and morphemes. Language is a means of communication and it enables man to have self-expression, that is, to express what man means, (Babatunde, 2002). It helps to fulfil certain purposes intended by the speaker or writer. It is a way to reflect the intention and in shedding light on the psychological state or emotional disposition of either the writer or speaker (Lawal, 1997)). It is the state of the mind of the speaker that will indirectly or directly dictate the choice of his words which can be connotative or denotative in meanings. Wales (1997) defined semantic as ‘the study of linguistic meaning of words and sentences’, while Yule (2005) saw semantics as ‘the study of meaning of words, phrases and sentences’. It entails the conceptual and associative meanings of words. Lexis is simply called ‘word or in a general technical term ‘vocabulary’ or ‘diction’. To linguists, lexis has to do with words available in the language, that is, the choice of words that are organised to produce meaningful sentences.

To do a semantic and lexical study of two characters of R. Wright’s Black Boy, we need to understand different lexical items and their meanings shown through the two characters chosen from the novel. Both co-exist and it is through them that a writer communicates to the reader. Without meaningful lexis, there will be no social interaction. Thus, the absence is explained by Cruise (1991) when he said ‘The distinctive property of signs is the ability to convey meanings’ and that ‘the combinatorial characteristics of words in utterances are constrained not only by their meaning but also by their grammatical properties.’

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