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An Ideational Grammatical Metaphor of Narrative History in Chinua Achebe's 'There Was a Country'

Authors: Muhammed-Badar Salihu Jibrin, Chibabi Makedono Darlington

Abstract:

This paper studied Ideational Grammatical Metaphor (IGM) of Narrative History in Chinua Achebe’s There Was a Country. It started with a narrative historical style as a recent genre out of the conventional historical writings. In order to explore the linguistic phenomenon using a particular lexico-grammatical tool of IGM, the theoretical background was examined based on Hallidayan Systemic Functional Linguistics. Furthermore, the study considered the possibility of applying IGM to the Part 4 of Achebe’s historical text with recourse to the concept of congruence in IGM and research questions before formulating a working methodology. The analysis of Achebe’s memoir was, thus, presented in tabular forms to account for the quantitative content analysis with qualitative research technique, as well as the metaphorical and congruent wording through nominalization and process types with samples. The frequencies and percentage were given appropriately with respect to each subheadings of the text. To this end, the findings showed that material and relational types indicated dominance. The discussion and implications were that the findings confirmed earlier study by MAK Halliday and C.I.M.I.M. Matthiessen’s suggestion that IGM should show dominance of material type process. The implication is that IGM can be an effective tool for the analysis of a narrative historical text. In conclusion, it was observed that IGM does not only carry grammatical function but also an ideological role in shaping the historical discourse within the narrative mode between writers and readers.

Keywords: ideational grammatical metaphor, nominalization, narrative history, memoire, dominance

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