CONTEXTS AND ACTS IN TODAY’S MARRIAGES: A CARTOON DIMENSION TO MARITAL CONFLICTS IN NIGERIA

Ibilate Waribo-Naye

Abstract


Marriage is a universal social institution recognised and respected all over the world and it is instrumental to a healthy society. It is nevertheless characterised by conflicts. The literature indicates studies on marital issues such as factors that contribute to social problems, diversities in marriage cultures, rituals, naming and so on. However, language scholars have not focused on the depiction of marriage in cartoons, especially the aspect of conflict among couples in this generation. This study, therefore, examines marital conflicts in the interactions of husbands and wives (Mr and Mrs) in Vanguard newspaper and their pragmatic implications for marital discourse in Nigeria. Mr and Mrs cartoons in the Vanguard newspaper have been identified as channels where conflicts among couples are brought to limelight through humour. The theory of pragmatic act by Jacob Mey was used to analyse pragmatic elements in the texts aided by linguistic features in foregrounding areas of conflict in the interactions. The data comprised 120 cartoons published at different times out of which 25 were purposively selected for analysis because of thematic recurrence. Ten practs: accusing, challenging, concealing, condemning, controlling, discontentment, eliciting, informing, threatening and warning were identified within three contexts, cultural, financial and social to principally interrogate norms and to subtly advocate gender equality. This shows that the cartoons do not merely convey utterances with semantic implications that provoke humour but also rely on contexts to perform acts in addition to understanding linguistic elements.

 

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Mr and Mrs, cartoon, context, pract, marital conflict

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