Experiential metafunction: representing environmental degradation
Keywords:ecological degradation, environmental poetry, experiential meaning, language grammar, language issues, linguistic analysis, linguistic evidence, linguistic framework, transitivity system
The constant exploration and exploitation of crude oil in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria had had a negative consequential effect on the entire ecosystem of the region. This has been a source of national and international concern and has attracted the attention of scholars from several disciplines, within and outside the region. Creative writers were not left out and this had given birth to which poetry was one of its most prolific genres. Though regional, the literature in general and poetry, in particular, had attracted myriads of attention from eco-literary criticism while the language of the poems had been understudied. Therefore, this study is a linguistic analysis of Niger Delta environmental poetry. Seven poems were purposefully selected from Tanure Ojaide’s Songs of Myself: Quartet (2015) and Nnimo Bassey’s We Thought It Was Oil but It Was Blood (2002). The Hallidayan Transitivity system of the Experiential meaning of the clause was adopted as a linguistic framework to show how the ecological realities of the region were encoded in the structure of the clause. The study revealed that the nature of the processes and the participants’ roles aptly encoded ecological degradation in the structure of the clause.
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