CONVERSATIONAL IMPLICATURE IN A NIGERIAN CHILD OF 8 -10 YEARS.
This study focused on conversation between a Nigerian child of about 8 years with his mother/ caregivers that give birth to implicature. The aim of the study was to find out whether implicature, a coined pragmatic concept is a natural and recurrent thing in children while conversing. The study also seeks to find out whether implicature is acquired or learnt. The instrument used to gather data were observation and interview. The collection of data was through diary and video recording of the conversations between the child and the mother/caregivers. Recordings of what the child produced were done on weekly basis for a period of 3 months where conversations in different contexts in daily activities took place with the child’s interlocutors. It was a longitudinal study where a total of six excerpts were randomly selected for critical analysis. The researchers recorded what the mother/ caregiver said mostly in English since that was the mode of communication between the child and the mother. The nature of communication was in the form of questions to the child at different contexts and as the child responded, the implicature often came from the child as a result of the child’s responses to the questions he is asked. The theoretical framework adopted for the analysis for this work is Grice’s (1975) theory of cooperative principle. The result showed that the process of producing conversational implicatures occurred by flouting maxims and showed that as long as man (adult or child ) communicate implicature would always be there.
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