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Title page
Table of contents

1.0       Background to the Study
1.1       Statement of the Research Problem
1.2       The Research Questions
1.3       Aim and Objectives of the Study
1.4       Significance of the study
1.5       Scope of the Study

2.0       Preamble
2.1       Review of Related Literature
2.2       The Concept of Stylistics
2.3       Some Approaches to Stylistics
2.4       Language and Style
2.5       Language and Humour
2.6       Humour and the Nigerian Pidgin
2.7       Authorial Review
2.8       Nite of a Thousand Laughs
2.9       Transitivity and Stylistics
2.9.1 Material Process
2.9.2 Mental Process
2.9.3 Relational process Intensive Attributive Process Intensive Identifying Process
2.9.4 Verbal Process
2.9.5 Behavioural Process
2.9.6 Existential Process
2.9.7 Circumstances
2.9.8 Circumstance of Extent and Location
2.9.9 Circumstance of Manner
2.9.10 Circumstance of Cause
2.9.11 Circumstance of Accompaniment
2.9.12 Circumstance of Matter
2.9.13 Circumstance of Role
2.10 Theoretical Framework
2.11 The Relevance of Transitivity Framework to the Analysis of the Language of Humour

3.0       Preamble
3.1       Source of Data
3.2       Sampling Procedure
3.3       Data Collection Method
3.4       Data Transcription
3.5       Qualitative and Quantitative Presentation
3.6       Analytical Procedure

4.0       Preamble
4.1       Presentation of Analysis
4.1.0 I GO Dye
4.1.1 A.Y
4.1.2 Klint De Drunk
4.1.3 Basket Mouth
4.1.4 Lepacious Bose
4.1.5 Gordon
4.2       Presentation of Frequency Tables
4.3       General Discussion
4.4       Findings

5.0       Preamble
5.1       Summary
5.2       Conclusion


One of the most intriguing things about language is its redeployment to accomplish a multiplicity of functions by different people in different places at different times. One of such functions of language is humour- making. People often make use of humour in social, political and cultural interactions through the skillful manipulation of diverse structures of language. Underlining the manipulative skills of a speaker or language user are peculiar and unique choices that are made. These choices are explainable by studying the linguistic style of the language user. To do this, stylistics, therefore, is an instrument with which style can be effectively studied. As a result, this research sets out to examine how and whether syntactic items can be used stylistically to achieve humour. Since analysis must be based on a particular linguistic theoretical construct, this study adopts functional linguistics as a theoretical mainstay for analysis. Since this theory offers a broad spectrum for analysis, the study further narrows down specifically to transitivity as presented in Halliday (1985).

Terminologies such as “participants, processes, circumstances” and their sub-types are used in classifying syntactic items. At the end of the analysis, it is discovered that interactants make a predominant use of “processes- the material process” to create humour. This is because an entity has to do something on another for humour to be possible. However, the

“processes”, which usually contain “participants”, are complimented by different “circumstances” to contextualise the utterance for humour. The completeness of the humour lies with the relationship between shared knowledge and the lexical choices of interactants. This shared knowledge connects the syntactic choices a speaker makes to context, resulting into humour.



1.0              Background to the Study

Natural language contains systematic variations on all levels of its structure, such as

phonology, morphology, lexicology and syntax. These variations offer the widest possibilities of language use to fulfill different communicative functions in various contexts. To identify, describe and analyse special and unique linguistic expressive means lies at the core of stylistics. This implies that certain language units bear stylistic markers, as they appear in particular contexts of human linguistic interaction.

Humour represents perhaps one of the most genuine and universal speech acts within human interaction. People often make use of humour in social and cultural interactions through the skillful manipulation of language. This manipulation is at diverse linguistic levels, such as lexis, phonology and syntax. In order to investigate these linguistic levels and other perceived extralinguistic factors at work in humour, stylistics is a useful tool. This is because this social activity uses the expressive means of language. Lawal (Olusegun and Adebayo 2008:66) recognises not just the various categories of language but also their use and usage in social functions. To him, “variety and variability are inevitable features of language which is a unique human attribute employed in widely differing circumstances for performing multiplicity of social functions”.

Humour being one of the social functions, is realized, using the variety and variability of language. These affect different categories of language, including the syntactic. To explain how and why certain structures of language can effectively be seen as marking out in terms of meaning, stylistics must be used as an inevitable basis for analysis. This is because it deals with the description of the technical aspects of language, such as the technicalities used in.....

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