A Socio-semiotic Multimodal Analysis of the Register Used by Basketball and Handball Secondary School Players in Trans Nzoia County
Basketball and handball are among many sports activities enjoyed by youths in upper primary, secondary, tertiary institutions, colleges and universities. Every sport has its own special register and it can be very difficult for the uninitiated or outsiders to understand it. In many competitions involving any sport, you will come across many phrases, words, terms and expressions used by coaches, players, referees and spectators to communicate among themselves or describe the sport itself. This register used in competitions of basketball and handball can be baffling and confusing to many people. The nature of basketball and handball games and its linguistic setting is what makes this register specific. The purpose of this study is to show how the register used by basketball and handball players in Trans Nzoia County can be investigated using a social semiotic multimodal approach. Semiotics is a science of how people use signs and symbols to generate meaning and therefore social semiotics multimodal theory capture the use of combination of different semiotic modes in a social context in order to generate meaning. This study sought to establish whether or not signs comprise the register used by basketball and handball players and the role context plays in decoding the meaning of this register used in basketball and handball courts. The research project was carried out in basketball and handball courts during term one and two secondary schools games competitions. A sample of 51 basketball and handball coaches (both male and female), 30 basketball and handball referees (male and female), 45 basketball and handball players (male and female) and 36 (male and female) basketball and handball fans were interviewed during zonal, sub-county, county, regional and national championships. This data was processed and examined against the tenets of the socio-semiotic multimodal theory and conclusions were made. The research findings established that signs comprise the register used by basketball and handball players and that the meaning of words and phrases used in basketball and handball courts are context dependant.
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