Assessing the Language of the Jos Crises: Syntactico-Semantic Implications of Pronouns
AbstractLanguage signals diverse kinds of meaning in interpersonal and social relationships: it could express distance, exclusion, and alienation instead of friendship, inclusion and rapport. As a ready tool which can be manipulated to accommodate different communication needs, language is invaluable in dictating the dominant tone in social disorders and crisis situations. What is said or heard is crucial in either quelling or escalating tension during crisis. It is in the light of the above background that the authors wish to analyse the impact of the use of personal pronouns in the Jos crises. The paper posits that the use of personal pronouns in the course of the crises generated some gap that is tantamount to further disunity and division among a people that were hitherto united. It is suggested that some peace initiative that would primarily address the language use of members of the communities be instituted to enlighten people, and curtail the rift that may destroy the unity of the state in particular, and that of the nation in general.
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