International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Reference Assignment and Character Indexing in Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus
Niyi Osunbade

Scholarly attention has been paid to Adichie’s works both from the literary and linguistic perspectives, with greater attention from the former. Within linguistics, her works have been studied from the stylistic and pragmatic angles, among others. This paper complements the pragmatic attempts in its adoption of Sperber and Wilson’s relevance theory (RT) to explore the role of reference assignment in character indexing in conversations in PH, exemplifying with twenty-five percent of the transactions in the novel. The findings reveal definite and indefinite reference markers and phoric references, which pragmatically serve to aid character presentation/indexing toward achieving cohesive effects in the advancement of the plot of the novel. The paper concludes that a study of reference assignment in the novel of Adichie facilitates access to referential-cum cohesive bond vis-à-vis meaning recovery in the text (and, by extension, of the genre of contemporary African prose in general).

Full Text: PDF