Face Strategies in Ahmed Yerima’s Aetu
The concept of face is highly significant in interactions given that iteither mares or promotes interpersonal relationships among individuals in interactions. The significance is witnessed in the large volume of scholarly works it drawsin linguistic scholarship. Although existing pragmatic investigations have examined potent aspects of face from diverse perspectives, it is rare to come across a work thatinvestigates face strategies in a feminist oriented play as Ahmed Yerima’sAetu purposefully selected for it is rich in data. This study therefore sets out to examine the face strategies employed by Yerima to project his thematic preoccupations throughBrown and Levinson’s (1978/1987) face framework theory because of its easy adaptability and suitability to the data. We found that positive, negative, and bald on record are the face types that characterize the data. Thepositive face projects mutual respect, negative facesocial factors of power and social distance, andbald on recorddegree of imposition, all relative to Yoruba cultural ethics and practices. These are employed through designated linguistic choices as markers of politeness, respect and difference that are largely responsible for the responses that emanate from normal and extreme casesof politeness thereby showcasing the fact that the performance of politeness or impoliteness is foregrounded relative to emerging events and occurrences in the play. This studygives an insightinto the linguistic choices of politeness relative to the treatment of women in Yoruba culture thereby providing a template for the analysis of such inrelated contemporary African textual universes.
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