Gap-Filling and Meaning Recovery in Conversations in Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun

  • A Osunbade
Keywords: Gap-filling, meaning, conversations, Adichie, context-driven, explicatures


Adichie’s works have received scholarly attention both from the literary and linguistic perspectives, with greater attention from the former. Linguistic studies on her works have largely concentrated on Purple Hibiscus (PH), and they have been approached from the stylistic and pragmatic angles. This paper complements the pragmatic ones in its adoption of Sperber and Wilson’s relevance theoretic concept of explicature to carry out a pragmatic investigation of how gap-filling is used to generate explicit meanings with respect to Adichie’s thematic foci vis-à-vis discourse types in conversations in her Half of a Yellow Sun (HYS), exemplifying with twenty-five percent of the transactions in the novel. The findings manifest the recovery of the themes of inhumanity and ethnic conflict in Political Discourse (PD); corruption, especially infidelity and domestic conflict in Domestic Discourse (DD); and inhumanity and corruption in Social Discourse (SD) as part of the explicatures of characters’ utterances in the text. The paper concludes that this relevancedriven cognitive exploration of explicit information communicated by characters in conversations in Adichie’s HYS facilitates access to a context-driven espousal of political, social and domestic issues in this text; and aids the overall interpretation of the text.

Keywords: Gap-filling, meaning, conversations, Adichie, context-driven, explicatures


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eISSN: 1816-7659