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“They are demonstrating against SAP” – Abbreviations and social identity construction in select Nigerian novels

Esther Igwenyi
Florence Iwu


Scholarship on the Nigerian novel has shown the exquisite interplay between linguistic choices and social reality. Although extant studies on the use of language in the Nigerian novel, critics have paid negligible attention to how abbreviations are employed by Nigerian novelists to explore social reality in their writings. In attempt to fill this gap, we explain the mutually reinforcing medley between language and social reality with the aim of accounting for how Nigerian novelists employ abbreviations to construct and reconstruct social identities. Employing the analytical methods of critical discourse analysis (CDA), this paper studies the use of abbreviations in four purposively selected novels, namely, Waiting for an Angel, Love My Planet, Under the Brown Rusted Roofs and Arrow of Rain in order to show how abbreviations are deployed as linguistic techniques in the expression of social identity. Through critical textual analysis, this study contributes to extant scholarship on the interface between language and literature and between language use and meaning-figuration.

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eISSN: 1813-2227