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The patriarchal society has long established men as superior to women. Hence, the speech pattern of men has a profound impact on our understanding of each other in that men have always been dominating and at the helm of affairs in their respective societies and families. They grew accustomed to being in charge and having complete control not only over women and slaves or properties, but even in the choice of language. This situation often gives men wider freedom in the use of some language expressions which could be seen as irresponsible or vulgarly talk when spoken by women. This research therefore, examines male speech pattern using the four Igbo plays of G.I. Nwaozuzu – Ome Ihe Jide Ofo; Ajo Obi; Nke M Ji Ka; and Eruru respectively. The study shows that male speech pattern in G.I. Nwaozuzu plays are not different from those in other plays. This is because the four plays used in the research explicitly show that there are specific speech patterns associated with male folk in the Igbo society. This speech pattern of men sometimes, emanates due to some characteristic traits which men often exhibit. These traits include aggressiveness, anger, craftiness, dominance, pride etc. Besides, men skillfully use mediums such as proverbs, idioms, metaphor, metonyms, witty statements, etc. to express their mood or display their instincts and superiority over women. Some of these characteristic traits reflective of male speech abound in the four plays of G.I. Nwaozuzu used for this study. Consequently, the study examined the linguistics, morphological, grammatical, social and stylistic features in the four plays with regards to male speech pattern within the Igbo setting. Another distinguishing element in the plays is the impact of male speech pattern on various roles and positions men occupy in their families and communities. Despite the fact that some language expressions are usually associated with men and are perceived as male speech pattern, the playwright’s works under study make one understand that some female folks can also speak in the same manner when ascribed the positions or roles of the male folks. Conclusively, the positions, roles, attitude and speech pattern of men are naturally bestowed on them right from creation. This endowment tends to make men superior in their approach to issues such as thinking in pattern of speech. Men have outstanding records in terms of bravery, intellectual, skills, wisdom, self confidence, strength, aggressiveness, domineering attitude and often intimidating. These vices are usually reflected in the male pattern of speech to make them look superior over their female counterpart in the society.


Title Page
Table of Contents

1.1       Background of the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Research Question
1.4       Purpose of the Study
1.5       Significance of the Study
1.6       Scope of the Study
1.7       Research Methodology
1.7.1    Research Instrument
1.7.2    Method of Data Collection
1.7.3    Method of Data Analysis

2.0       Review of Related Literature
2.1       Speech Pattern
2.1.1    Male Speech Pattern
2.1.2    Female Speech Pattern
2.2       Factors Eliciting Male Speech Pattern
2.3       Differences in Male and Female Speech Pattern
2.4       Effects of Male Speech Pattern on Female Gender

3.0       Male Characterization in Nwaozuzu’s Plays
3.1       Gender- based Speech Pattern
3.2       Factors            Responsible for eliciting Male Speech Pattern
            3.2.1.   Being Principles and Confident
            3.2.2.   Arrogance and Assertiveness
            3.2.3.   Craftiness
            3.2.4.   Suspicion
            3.2.5    Egocentricity
3.3       Difference in Male and female Speech Pattern
3.4       Effects of Male Speech Pattern

4.0       Analysis of Male Speech Pattern in the Play
4.1       Linguistic Analysis
            4.1.1    Idioms
            4.1.2    Metaphor
4.2       Morphological Analysis
4.3       Grammatical Analysis
            4.3.1.   Antithesis
            4.3.2.   Enclitic Appendage
4.4       Social Analysis
4.5.0    Stylistic Analysis
4.5.1    Use of Implicature Device
4.5.2    The Use of Rhetoric Device
4.6       Setting

5.1       Introduction
5.2       Findings
5.3       Summary
5.4       Conclusion



1.1        Background of the Study

Linguistics is also concerned with various aspects of the representation of gender in language. One of the earliest linguists to examine gender ways of speaking was Dane Otto Jespersen whose analysis dates as far back as 1925, and serves as a useful starting point in the exploration of the study of gender speech and its ideologies. In his article “The woman” (1990),”women’s speech is clearly deficient of men’s”. The reason for this value judgment could be that there was no adequate record of situation to serve as basis of his result of pre-conceived stereotypes.

Fifty years later, Robin Lakoff established a set of gender features that seems to be a confirmation of an existing power imbalance reflected in linguistic expression (Lakoff :2004). Although counting as one of the first – if not first – contribution to feminist linguistics, some of Jespersen’s sexist assumptions are carried over into her work. Even though Lakoff’s data does not originate in empirical research, but is based on observations and introspection, this does not necessarily reflect the reality of the fe(male) speech community. The lexical gender markers introduced by her lack accuracy and stand as mere stereotypes, possibly rooted in women socialized role from the past. She claims, for example, that women use weaker and almost sweet sounding swear words such as “oh---dear,” or “goodness”, whereas men use stronger expressions such as “shit”, or “damn (Braun 2004:13)

In spite of the efforts and contributions worldwide of women, the old stereotypes that portray men as superior or domineering and women as passive or weaker vessels have continued to exist in today’s society. Despite men’s use of strong expressions as claimed by Lakoff in Braun (2004:13), women continued to strive to be equal with their male counterparts. In social circles, there is an underlying difference in the speech pattern of men and women. The men are assertive, interjecting with authority and humour, while the women on their own part are receptive and on defence. This has kept the old belief alive through generational transfer and associations.

The representation of genders in fiction falls into the category of how genders express themselves or are being expressed. Spender (1990:93) addresses the issue of men being the ones who made the world which women must inhabit. Such restrictive language forces women into a system of personal expression that is not necessarily true of their nature and this has been addressed not only by linguists, but also literary critics. For example, as early as the first half of the 20th century the writer Virginia Woolf in Women and Fiction (Woolf, 1990), and The Angel in the House (Woolf,2004). In the above texts, Woolf addresses the struggle women writers experience because they are limited by the conventions of writing that has been created by the minds of men. Woolf felt that to write freely and according to their female nature, women have to learn to break out the role society expects of them. Hence, gender speech pattern is to a certain degree, confronted with the problem of an existing gender stereotypes and clich├ęs in the society. Based on the dynamic approval and the concept of doing gender, styles of communication are classified as “masculine” or feminine”.

Generally in plays, authors use stylistic devices to bear on their chosen characters to behave in a particular way in a situation in order to achieve the desired results or effects. As the plays try to mirror real life situation so do the characters, their roles and the language they represent. There is, therefore, the tendency for playwrights to ascribe roles, characteristics and language reflective of society to characters in their plays. The characteristics, roles and language reflected in plays tend to delimit women on gender basis. In plays, characters are meant to play roles that correspond to their gender stereotypes and even in languages. According to Unoka (2010:763), male dominance has been pre-eminent from the time of the earliest written historical records. From the Bible to the traditional Hindu customs, the story has always been the same. Male dominance over the female counterpart is predicted on the biblical creation story in Genesis, chapter two. God fashioned the women from the rib He removed from the upper thorax of the man, Adam. This means that from nature, men were not created to be equal with women. Primacy of creation gives men an ordained superiority over their women counterparts. The material for the creation of the women was not taken from Adam’s head as to depict equality with the women counterparts. It was not taken from the man’s foot as to make the woman an object to be trample upon, but taken from a rib near his heart and created a being to be cared for, cherished and loved. The Bible book of........

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