Language and society in text: Ahmed Yerima’s Pari

2020 IJRSE – Volume 9 Issue 4

Available Online: 29 June 2020


Adebola, Adebileje*
Redeemer’s University, Nigeria (

Daniel, Florence
Redeemer’s University, Nigeria (


This paper carries out a descriptive analysis of the systematic functions of language in the society as captured in a text. It foregrounds the fact that language effectively mirrors events and cultures of peoples far beyond their location to a global audience without necessarily living among them. The paper illustrates the interwoven nature of language and the society through text by analysing a play, Pari written by Ahmed Yerima. Pari depicts the woes and cries of some typical Nigerian families whose daughters were abducted by Islamic extremists, ‘Boko Haram’ in Chibok, a village in Northern Nigeria. Extracts from the text are analysed based on (Hymes, 1974) ethnography of communication theory which among other things is concerned with ‘the description and understanding of communicative behaviour in specific cultural settings’ (Saville Troike, 2003, p. 2). Using the SPEAKING acronym, ten extracts purposively selected from the speech events of the major participants (actors and actresses) in the drama text are analysed. Such language functions as informing, questioning, commanding, persuading and promising are revealed in such states of mind as serious, sorry, agitation, excitement and relaxed. These acronyms have strong implications for teaching and learning as they aid an instructor in achieving far-reaching results in a classroom setting in that they leave the students saturated with a thorough knowledge of the topic of discourse and in this case, a literary text.

Keywords: language; society; culture; ethnography; text



Cite this article:
Adebola, A., & Daniel, F. (2020). Language and society in text: Ahmed Yerima’s Pari. International Journal of Research Studies in Education, 9(4), 19-29.

*Corresponding Author