Language is a sort of code system, a carrier of information which is capable of transmitting only intended meaning whatsoever. It also reveals man’s socio-cultural beliefs and thoughts. The importance of language is for easy communication, expression and enlightenment. The traditional linguists believe that language has an intended meaning and that the recipient has only to understand that meaning by interpreting it to make communication work. In that case, the above information given about language means that we can deduce different meaning from the same language used in different contexts.
Sanusi (1996 p 8) states that “if you have not developed language, you simply don’t have access to most of human experiences, and if you don’t have access to experience, then you are not going to be able to think. That is, language is very important and cannot be removed from a community or else, the community is officially dead.
The reason for success in a community is being able to communicate intelligibly because it is difficult to function without language.
Through language, several acts are performed and there are possibilities that the writer of a handbill can cajole people to come to his church by putting up an upcoming event. This is where pragmatics comes in, the writer of a handbill has used some pragmatic elements in the construction of those handbills and this is what the researcher has decided to show to all.
Pragmatics is an important aspect in the use of handbills and posters because it is necessary to decode the messages embedded in the handbills. The linguistic encyclopedia (1990) defines pragmatics as “the study of rule and principle which govern language in use”. That is, pragmatics is the study of language use.
1.1 PURPOSE OF STUDY
Handbills and posters are well known by the people. It is here and there and people read them and just ignore some sentences that they see. In view of this, the researcher hopes to highlight these expressions and help bring out the meaning that they might have pragmatically. Doing this will help the writers and those reading them to know what a particular expression mean within and outside the context used.
1.2 SCOPE OF STUDY
The scope of this study will be limited to the important role played by pragmatics in the expressions/sentences used in these handbills and posters.
There are so many handbills and posters in the world today, but, the researcher has limited this study to some of the handbills and posters in Ilorin and also the researcher has narrowed it down to twenty (20) Christian handbills and posters only.
The research work is divided into four chapters for easy analysis. Chapter one introduces what the research work is all about. That is, the general introduction. The literature review makes up the next chapter which is chapter two.
The major data for this study will be gathered from some selected handbills and posters of Christian adverts in Ilorin. A total sample of twenty (20) handbills and posters will be collected and analyzed in chapter three (3). Chapter four (4) sums up the whole work with observations, summary and conclusions. Then the references end it.
Although, researches have been carried out in this field, the researcher aims to add more to what other researcher must have done. The researcher is willing to know if the expressions on those handbills and posters have other meanings.
This study will also help to promote the study of pragmatics in the field of language study. It will also serve as a guideline for students who might be interested in this field to know the effect of pragmatics on the expressions used in handbills and posters.
1.5 CHRISTAIN HANDBILLS AND POSTERS
Handbills and posters are used by so many people; they are used by music industries, beauty pageantries, schools, Muslims, Christians. Etc. but the researcher considers Christian/church handbills and posters most suitable for this research work.
Christians are people who believe in the Almighty God and worship him in church. They are headed by pastors, deacons, elders, priests, bishops, reverend fathers, etc. we have different kinds of churches in Nigeria, we have the Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals, etc. and each of these want people/Christians to worship in their churches. In order to achieve this aim, they do things like evangelism, crusades, praise nights, sharing of handbills etc. telling them about upcoming event/events or about their church services.
Most of these handbills and posters contain the names of their churches, host pastors, venue, time, themes, and other sentences to encourage them to come, some of these sentences include testimonies, words of encouragement etc. the main in general is to invite people to their churches in order to fellowship with them.
Handbills and posters are littered everywhere but just few will be selected for the progress of this work.
This chapter has been able to give a general introduction on language, Pragmatics and Christian handbills and posters. It also stated the purpose, scope, methodology, justification, of the research. It also gave us a little insight on Christian handbills and posters.
The next chapter will be a review of the works of various scholars based on the research.
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