Linguistics, Literary Studies and Communication: A Digital Perspective
By: Thompson O. Ewata
University of Africa, Toru-Orua Bayelsa, State, Nigeria
Memunat O. Mahmud
Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria
Kayode S. Ariyo
Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria
It has been compiled in honour of an accomplished scholar, Professor ’Demola Jolayemi. He has become renowned in recent years especially for having brought electronic resources to bear upon the study of the phonetics and phonology of Nigerian English. He has thus added to the growing body of research in this field and helped to place it upon a firm experimental basis.
The festschrift brings together forty-five well-researched and insightful papers written by Professor Jolayemi’s colleagues, friends and students. Covering a wide range of topics, they come under three headings: Language, Literature, and Education. The first of these accounts for more than half of the papers, which is perhaps natural and inevitable in view of Professor Jolayemi’s research interests.
This first section addresses critical areas in linguistics, stylistics, semiotics, pragmatics, and content analysis. It starts with an unusual, fascinating paper by Prof. Fúnmi O. Olúbọ̀dé-Sàwẹ̀, titled: Imagining nanotechnology in fiction: Today’s dream, tomorrow’s nightmare? Concerned with the scientific interests of the literary imagination, it shows how nanotechnology is now being imagined in literature. In contrast, the second paper, Plain English versus legalese in deeds of sub-lease: A comparative analysis of comprehensibility by Dr Babatunde I. Awe, has a practical thrust. It attempts to investigate the differences in the comprehensibility to lawyers and non-lawyers of legalese and plain English versions of a legal document, and also the attitudes of lawyers and non-lawyers to plain English as an alternative to legalese. In Chapter Three, Gbenga J. Joseph examines the areas of convergence and divergence of literary stylistics, literary criticism and linguistic stylistics as conceptual and analytic frameworks of literary discourse and variety of language-use.
Literature serves many functions in the society. As a mirror of the society, it gives an image of that society, which may be true or distorted, either in reality or perceived as distorted by the society as a whole. As a lamp, literature helps us to imagine alternative realities or new pathways in which we may walk. George Orwell’s 1984, a prognostication of governments’ intrusion into citizen’s privacy has become a reality in our day: with the emergence of the “Internet of Things”, Orwell’s Big Brother is now truly watching us. Against the backdrop of literary imagination becoming scientific reality, this paper investigates how nanotechnology has been and is being imagined in literature. 120 works of fiction in different media: movies and movie series, novel, comics/other media, cartoon, computer games, short story, are analysed to provide answers to the following questions: is nanotechnology imagined as a force for good or evil? How legitimate are these “prognostications” in the light of current realities? Literary conceptualizations of nanotechnology are ambivalent at best, and horrifying at the worst. This leads us to conclude that the prospects of nanotechnology give us a cause to pause.