An Interpersonal Meaning Study of two Excerpts from Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun: A Systemic Functional Approach

Daniel T. Yokossi


Using the Hallidayan Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), this article seeks to carry out a theoretically founded analysis of two extracts from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun to decode both her world view and ideology behind her writing for a better understanding of the whole novel with a view to making her message accessible to the laymen. The quantitative research method employed by the study has helped to recap the linguistic features of the analyzed excerpts in a statistical table paving the way to their interpretation via the qualitative method. The study has interestingly arrived at impressive results. Among others, it is to be highlighted that Adichie has written Half of a Yellow Sun to get important messages across. To descend to particulars, the analysis has unveiled that unkindness, wickedness, violence, heartlessness and mistrustfulness are some of the evils that the Nigeria-Biafra war has resulted into. As a result, by writing this award winning novel, Adichie aims at giving advice to her contemporaries and, more precisely, to the Nigerian current and future political leaders for the country brighter future. Adichie’s selections of modality in the studied excerpts reveal the possibility of new developments of the bygone civil war. The high rate of circumstantial adjuncts has contributed to improve the texts experiential density, and complements other strategies used by Adichie to make her novel very well written in mode. Indeed, these are just some of the results the present research work has arrived at; more remain to be discovered in the section devoted to the interpretation of findings in this paper. The study has interestingly opened up to such further research horizons as experiential meaning, textual meaning, pragmatic transfer, code switching, code mixing to name but just a few of them.

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