AFRREV LALIGENS: An International Journal of Language, Literature and Gender Studies

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Silence as a Communicative Discourse Act in Nigeria

EN Ugwu, SO Igene


Silence projects extra meanings that are culturally and socially significant. In discourse, it belongs to a larger category of non-verbal modes of  communication whose sincerity conditions include a particular psychological state of mind of the sender. This paper seeks to examine silence as a complete language with its own systems of encoding and decoding of messages from a sender to a receiver in an immediate context of situation. It then looks at the functional analysis of the various types of silences as illocutionary acts and perlocutionary effects. A more accurate interpretation of silence therefore, involves an understanding of the sender's intention as well as the context in which silence is used.

AJOL African Journals Online