The Language of Eco-Poetry: A Linguistic Study of Selected Poems on the Niger Delta

Author: Kenneth Uche Chukwu
Department: English Language and Literature
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

This research is a study of the linguistic features of selected eco-poems on the Niger Delta. Eco-poetry in the study refers to poetry with strong ecological emphasis or message. Taken from this perspective, the study has examined the linguistic features of the selected poems, against the background of their relevance in the communication of the eco-literary messages about the Niger Delta. The study relied on linguistic scholars’ position about the inalienable relationship between language and communication, as well as language use and context to examine the selected poems as texts, and by implication, fields of language performance. In the study therefore, ecopoetry has been designated as a unique field of literary expression that holds potential for unique application of linguistic features which are explicable within the boundaries of established linguistic principles and theories. The linguistic theory adopted to analyse the data in this study is the Systemic Functional theory. However, based on certain fundamental factors that are associated with language performance in context, the study opted for eclectic an application of theoretical methods, where other relevant theories such as Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis and Stylistics offered help in critical arguments and use of metal languages. This is to ensure that relevant arguments necessary to account for the multidisciplinary nature of the data are accommodated. The analyses of data take the following levels of linguistic description: phonology, morphology, lexico-semantic, syntax, discourse and graphology. The conclusions of the study include, that, there is a strong interdependence between language and literature, where literature is taken to be a mode of expression. Again, it concludes that effective evaluation of the language of a text opens the windows to the understanding of its message(s). Furthermore, it concludes that literary writers make use of language in unique manners to communicate the context of their literary messages, eco-literary writers inclusive. Thus, Niger Delta eco-poetry bears unique manners of linguistic features that can delineate it as a context of language use.

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