Topic and Focus in Dholuo Oral Speeches: Case of Givenness Hierarchy Framework.
As elements of information structure, Topic and Focus have developed scholarly interest in linguistic research. The main interest in this research is the spontaneous nature and the dynamism of oral speeches. This study therefore analyses how the categories of information structure, which is Topic and Focus, are encoded in Dholuo oral speeches using the givenness/newness hierarchy framework as the guiding theory. The study analyses the techniques of Topic retention, positioning of Topic and Focus in utterances. It also explores the relationship of Topic and Focus in Dholuo oral speeches and how the two categories of information structure change in the successive statements within the same speech. The area of interest is on how the listeners or hearers interpret the speeches pragmatically. It was found out that Topic in Dholuo oral speeches is marked using noun phrases, pronouns, and descriptive adjectival phrases. It was also observed that Topic retention in discourse is achieved through demonstratives, pronouns, repetitions and synonyms aided by the referential givenness/newness hierarchy framework. Focus was found to have two domains; the actual domain and the potential domain in Dholuo oral speeches. The data was collected through live recording from speakers in formal gatherings and Dholuo media stations. The data was then written down for easier analysis and subjected to the givenness/newness hierarchy framework
The following license files are associated with this item: