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There have been interests over ages in studying how people communicate during interaction. This interest has lead to the emergence of discourse analysis which has the aim of studying how people communicate using sentence or clauses. In view of this, Naira has no gender, a play by OluObafemi, was selected in order to study and interpret how speeches were formed in the conversation between and among interlocutors in the play. Six transactions, which serve as our data were selected from the book for proper discourse investigation. Our Analysis revealed that role sharing, implicature, presupposition are important factors during interaction and affect inference. Therefore during discourse the linguistic properties of utterances or sentences are not only the determining factor for inference, rather, other factors that are not linguistic are also important in analyzing discourse.


Contents                                                                        Page

Title page                                                                                 i

Certification                                                                                      ii

Dedication                                                                               iii

Acknowledgements                                                                  iv

Abstract                                                                                   v

Table of contents                                                                      vi



  • Introduction 1
  • Aims and Objectives 3
  • Justification 4
  • Scope and Delimitation of Study 5



2.0     Preamble                                                                        6

2.1     Definitions of Discourse                                                 7

2.2     Pragmatics in Discourse                                                 12

2.2.1 Speech Acts                                                                    13

2.2.2 Classification of Speech Acts                                          16

2.3   Tools in Discourse Analysis                                             19

2.3.1 Context                                                                           23

2.3.2 Implicature                                                                     25

2.4     Conclusion                                                                     27



  • Introduction                                       28

3.1     Data Analysis                                                                 28

3.2     Conclusion                                                                     55



4.0     Summary                                                                       56

4.1     Findings                                                                         57

4.2     Conclusion                                                                     58

4.3     Bibliography                                                                  60



Discourse to the discourse analysts means actual instances of communicative action in the medium of language.

According to Blommert (2005:2) as cited in Johnstone (2008:2) discourse is the meaningful symbolic behavior in any mode. Discourse is not totally focused on language as an abstract system. Instead discourse is interested in what happens when people apply the knowledge they have got from language that is based on their memories of things they have seen or heard.

Discourse is also a conversation that is formal in nature. It can be in a written form or a spoken form of expression. Discourse analysis deals with spoken language, which occurs naturally and this can be found in interviews, conversations, speeches and commentaries. It also deals with the structure of written language which can be found in essays, chapters, road sings and notices.

Discourse is also seen as a linguistic communication and a transaction between a speaker and a hearer involved in an interpersonal activity in which its form is determined by its social purpose.

However, discourse analysis as a relation to a more traditional form of linguistics which is focused on the constituent units and structure of the sentence and which does not concern  itself with an analysis of language use. Discourse analysis in contrast to formal linguistics, is concerned with translating the notion of structure, from the level of the sentences i e grammatical relations such as subject –verb – object, to the level of longer text.

Conversation generally involves an exchange between two or more people in which each participant may produce more than one utterance and each contribution builds upon previous contributionseither directly or in directly.

Discourse analysis focuses on the analytical process in a relatively explicit way. What differentiates discourse analysis from other sorts of study that bear on human language and communication is not found in the way they try to answer them. That is, they analyse discourse by examining aspects of the structure and functions of language in use.

Longer stretches of discourse can be divided into parts using various criteria and then particular characteristics of each part can be looked in to by the discourse analyst.

Division in discourse analysis can be made according to who is talking, for example where the paragraph boundaries are, when a new topic arise, or where the subject ends and the predicate begins.

Olu Obafemi’s Naira has no Gender being a dramatic piece of work will be subjected to adequate discourse analysis which is the focus of this research work.


The main purpose of this research is to give a clear picture of how discourse analysis can be used in the interpretation of text and how speeches are formed in a conversation in conformity to the context of the interaction.


The study of discourse analysis cannot be over emphasized as different scholars have gone a long way to bring out the importance of this study. Cutting in her book Pragmatics and Discourse (2002) has used structural, cultural, interpersonal background contexts and intertextuality to analyse a conversation among university students from different backgrounds.

Johnstone in her book. Discourse Analysis (2008) has worked on how discourse is shaped by various kinds of structural conventions and how structural conventions are influenced by what speakers use discourse for. She also worked on how grammar and discourse intersect.

In this research Naira has no Gender will be subjected to adequate discourse analysis. The conversations of the characters will be analysed using the features of discourse analysis.


This research is centered on analyzing the discourse in Olu Obafemi’s Naira has no Gender. Other materials relevant to the study will be used but the issues to be discussed will be based on the play by Olu Obafemi.



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