A Textual Analysis of Implicatures in Zaynab Alkali’s Prose Fiction

  • KBS Ashipu
Keywords: Zaynab Alkali, implicatures, The Stillborn, The Virtuous Woman


One of the most striking qualities of African orature is its economy of words which is shown in its ability to implicate meaning in a few words. As a result, the reader learns more from the setting of the work rather than from the language use to convey the episodes. The devices used to describe this technique of language use are often described as conversational and conventional implicatures. One of the African writers that experimented on these devices of language use is Zaynab Alkali, who has achieved in her works – "The Stillborn" and "The Virtuous Woman" the density and economy of words. This Writer examines in these novels the growth in the richness of meaning and density of implicatures in order to illustrate the effective use of language in works of fiction in an African cultural setting. Specifically, the writer discusses the effective use of these two linguistic terms-conventional and conversational implicatures are used in Discourse Analysis and Pragmatics to examine the level of interaction between discussants in actual life situation. Characters in a work of fiction too are often discussed as if they exist in actual life situation. Implicatures are references a reader or hearer draws from a writer’s or speaker’s intention over and above what is overtly written or spoken.

Key words: Zaynab Alkali, implicatures, "The Stillborn", "The Virtuous Woman"


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2141-4343