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SEMANTIC ERRORS IN SELECTED RECENT PUNCH NEWSPAPERS

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RESEARCH INFORMATION

[icon type=”icon-pencil”]: SEMANTIC ERRORS IN SELECTED RECENT PUNCH NEWSPAPERS
[icon type=”icon-book”]: Chapter 1 – 5
[icon type=”icon-book-open”]: 52 Pages
[icon type=”icon-basket”]: #3, 000
[icon type=”icon-doc-line”]: Ms Word format

This study, SEMANTIC ERRORS IN SELECTED RECENT PUNCH NEWSPAPERS contains concise information that will serve as a framework or guide for your project work. The project study is well-researched for academic purposes and are usually provided in complete chapters with adequate References.

Keywords: SEMANTIC ERRORS IN SELECTED RECENT PUNCH NEWSPAPERS


RESEARCH BODY

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the study

Language use is a social activity and the study of actual instances of language that have been used, or being used by speakers and writers is the concern of modern linguists. Bringing together linguistic, sociological, and psychological insights over the years, socio-linguists, pragmatists, discourse analysts and text linguists have been able to show how language relates to the social context of its use and how meanings are made in everyday linguistic interactions. (Fishman, 1971; Austin, 1962; Halliday and Hasan, 1985; Sinclair and Coulthard, 2001). Language is boldly seen as a vehicle of interaction and a message conveyor. English is the official language in Nigeria. It is not only used as a medium of instruction in school, but as a means of disseminating information to the public, both the print and social media. This gives everybody a common ground to express their minds and give feedback. But do we get in a society like Nigeria where English, though a major language, is still trying to find its way through the heart of men.

Over time, because English is the second language (L1) of Nigeria, many learners find it hard to pronounce the words correctly or decipher the meaning. They then try to squeeze the meanings from the interpretation of their local dialect. This lead to errors in the framework of English language.As O’Connor (2003) noted that the errors of pronunciation that learners of English from different language backgrounds make are systematic and not accidental. This major change is considered to be a semantic error, especially when the errors affect the meaning.

Just like policies, meanings can be internally legalized. This is to show the meaning given to anything and also depends on the way one sees it. Over the years, the print media has been seen as a vehicle to promote the correct use of English, both in words and in meaning. A word incorrectly used may be misunderstood, and certainly offend the educated reader. In addition, a journalist who is careless with meaning usage or spelling is a nuisance to the sub-editor and a great danger to the reputation of his medium (Oguntunase, 1990). Worse still, as Candlin, cited in Oguntunase (1990) says, nothing is more destructive of self-confidence in a writer than uncertainty in the command of correct English; and to be caught in a serious grammatical error is to forfeit the confidence of the reader as well. In spite of this, wrong grammar is so commonplace in the Nigerian media that one wonders why correct semantic expressions have been thrown to the winds. Many journalists simply do not know the rules of English grammar and meaning, and they strictly disobey intentionally (O’Connor 2003), but in their bid to come down to the level only understood by their readers (Nigeria English). In Nigeria, we have often heard people talk about a “Nigerian English” and according to Ogu, J.N.(1992), Walsh, N.G. (1967) was among the first to draw attention to the existence of a variety of English language known as “Nigerian English”. Ogu quoted Walsh as saying that:

The varieties of English spoken by educated Nigerians,

common to mark off a general type, which may be called

Nigerian English (1992:88)

A sentence like “I gave the police man kola nut (bribe) before I was released”,can easily be used with the intention that the user of this language would understand better.

1.2. Statement of the problem

In the attempt to study Nigerian English, one realizes the extent of its deviation from Standard British English. It is the realization of the wide gap that separates Standard English from Nigerian English especially in the area of semantics that leads to the study of the Newspaper in Nigeria. As mentioned above, this work is primarily concerned with the semantic errors of selected recent Punch Newspaper in Nigeria.  It also examines the entertainment corner.It has been noted that some English language items have different meanings attached to them by Nigerians and boldly used by editors in several Nigerian media outlets and cultures.

These semantic deviations contribute largely to the poor development of standard grammatical competence and communicative competence among the Nigeria speakers of English as the meanings attached to these wordings and terms are more of those obtained in the Nigerian environment than those of core English features. This makes it difficult for a non-native of the Nigerian society to understand the utterances as well as give individuals who read to learn no chance to achieve their goal of learning the Standard English. In fact when a native speaker of English listens to these items, he gets an impression of series of familiar words associated with unfamiliar meanings. It is of a truth that semantic errors are not that obvious in English texts; it will only take people with good linguistic background to know these errors afore-sight. But notwithstanding, editors of media outlets should have a basic understanding of these errors.

1.3 Objective of the Research

It is the belief of readers that writers and editors are people who have vast knowledge of both English words and meaning. Hence, this work is aimed at identifying the semantic errors in selected Punch Newspaper and determining the possible reasons for the errors as well as the solutions. The objectives are as follows:

  1. To identify and examine the semantic errors in the Punch Newspaper
  2. To establish the existence of these errors
  3. To establish possible solutions to avoiding semantic errors in Newspapers

1.4 Research Questions

To guide this study, the following questions are formulated:

  1. What are the types of semantic errors present in Punch Newspapers?
  2. What is the likelihood of committing these errors?
  3. What are the solutions to these errors?

1.5 Scope of the study

Considering the fact that this study is mainly error analysis, and because the population is easily accessible from the researcher’s location, the scope will simply be Punch Newspaper from December 2016 to April 2017 (Strictly the entertainment corner).

1.6 Significance of the study

This work is very important, as it brings an awakening to the editors of all print media the understanding of semantics, thereby leading to a mighty decrease in semantic errors. It also awakens the media the application of error analysis. Lastly, it will add to knowledge about error analysis and semantics, especially in a setting like Nigeria.

1.7 Operational Definitions of Terms

Here are the key terms in this paper and some seemingly unfamiliar words.

Usage; usage problem/error: The way in which words are used in a language; difficulty/ mistakes in the use of English words.

Bad/Poor English: Incorrect usage.

Keywords: SEMANTIC ERRORS IN SELECTED RECENT PUNCH NEWSPAPERS



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