Research Proposals

AN ANALYSIS OF GRAPHO-SYNTACTIC ERRORS IN THE LANGUAGE OF ADVERTISING IN NIGERIA

AN ANALYSIS OF GRAPHO-SYNTACTIC ERRORS IN THE LANGUAGE OF ADVERTISING IN NIGERIA

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page

Certification

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Abstract

Table of Contents

 

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION  

1.1    Background to the Study

1.2    Statement of the Problem

1.3    Purpose of the Study

1.4    Significance of the Study

1.5    Research Questions

 

1.6    Research hypotheses

1.7    Delimitation of the Study

1.8    Limitation of the Study

1.9    Definition of Terms

 

CHAPTER TWO:          REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

CHAPTER THREE:       RESEARCH METHODS

3.1    Area of the Study

3.2    Research Design

3.3    Population of the Study

3.4    Sample and Sampling Technique

3.5    Instrument for Data Collection

 

3.6    Validation of the Instrument

3.7    Reliability of Instrument

3.8    Administration of the Instrument

3.9    Method of Data Analysis

 

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

4.1    Data Analysis

4.2    Discussion of Findings

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION

5.1    Summary

5.2    Recommendations

5.3    Conclusion

5.4    Suggestions for further Study

References

Appendix

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1          Background to the Study

Undeniably, the language used in advertising campaigns plays a crucial role in shaping consumer perceptions and engagement (Belch and Belch). Particularly in Nigeria, renowned for its linguistic diversity and vibrant advertising scene, the language employed in advertisements not only mirrors cultural nuances but also significantly influences message effectiveness in a multilingual environment (Ogunsiji).

However, despite the creative efforts of advertisers, grapho-syntactic errors frequently occur, potentially compromising the intended message and diminishing the overall impact of advertising endeavors (McQuarrie and Mick).

 

AN ANALYSIS OF GRAPHO-SYNTACTIC ERRORS IN THE LANGUAGE OF ADVERTISING IN NIGERIA

Despite the acknowledged importance of linguistic accuracy in advertising, there remains a scarcity of empirical studies specifically investigating grapho-syntactic errors within the Nigerian advertising context.

Moreover, existing scholarly literature tends to focus on broader linguistic or sociocultural aspects of advertising, thereby neglecting the detailed analysis of language structure and syntax (Crystal). Consequently, a significant gap exists, necessitating a comprehensive examination of grapho-syntactic errors in Nigerian advertising.

 

However, through meticulous linguistic scrutiny and examination of authentic advertising materials, the research endeavors to offer valuable insights to advertisers, marketers, and communication professionals, enriching their understanding of language nuances in the Nigerian market (Solomon et al.).

Furthermore, by identifying prevalent errors and evaluating their impact on audience perception, this study seeks to guide strategic refinements in advertising practices, thereby enhancing communication efficacy and cultural resonance within Nigeria’s diverse consumer landscape (Nigeria Advertising Practitioners Council).

 

Hence, drawing upon a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates linguistic theories, advertising literature, and empirical research methodologies, this study strives to bridge the gap between linguistics and marketing communication. In doing so, it aims to foster enhanced comprehension and strategic sophistication in the domain of advertising language within the Nigerian context. An analysis of grapho-syntactic errors in the language of advertising in Nigeria.

Furthermore, advertising is basically a system of disseminating information about specific goods, services or ideas to a target audience by specified sponsors, through multi-faceted means.

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines advertising as: The action of calling something (a commodity for sale, a service offered or desired) to the attention of the public especially by means of printed or broadcast paid announcements (31).

 

Thus, advertising implies the techniques and practices used to bring specific products, services and opinions to public notice for the purpose of persuading the public to respond in a certain way towards what is advertised. In fact, advertising involves communication  and  communication  involves  language  use.

Without reservation, language is the major means of human communication and interaction. Nevertheless, Sapir explains language as … a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols (8).

 

Therefore, language forms the basis for all forms of human activities  and  interaction. Specifically, advertising  as  a  form  of  human interaction makes use of language and Brook says that “the words of advertising need to be chosen with care if they are not going to have ridiculous effects” (167).

 

In Nigeria, the language of the mass media is essentially English. This does not mean that our indigenous languages are not used in media advertising, but English is the main language of the mass media. The English language is non-indigenous to Nigeria, but it is one of the nation’s official languages and her lingua-franca.

 

The establishment of Lagos as a British colony in 1862 officially marked the advent of the English language to Nigeria, but there are traces of the existence of this language in Nigeria before 1862. Indeed, with the arrival of the Europeans in Nigeria for political, economic or religious conquest, there arose a need for communication between English and Nigerians from different ethnic groups.

 

The Europeans, according to Omolewa (in Uzoezie), had a very poor opinion of the vernacular which they considered neither very extensive nor of very high quality. So, these Europeans decided to use their own language in communication with Nigerians (163).

In fact, the first set of Europeans to arrive at the shores of Nigeria were Portuguese. They made contacts with some Southern Kingdoms such as old Calabar and the Empire of Benin, around the seventeenth century. The British traders were the next batch of Europeans who came to Nigeria.

 

In addition, according to Uzoezie, the British ousted the Portuguese and replaced the contact language with English as the language of diplomacy and trade (163).

Quoting Omolewa cited in Adetugbo, Uzoezie says that England also acquired the monopoly for slave trading along the West Coast of Africa by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 and the subsequent British success in the famous race to Nikki in 1884, and according to him, the ground was, thus, already prepared for the permeation of the English language along the coast and the hinterlands. Due to the contacts between the English language, Portuguese, and some indigenous languages, a form of inter-language (pidgin) emerged (164).

 

In 1862, the official annexation of Lagos as a British colony took place; thus, the British needed manpower badly for running its affairs of government in Nigeria, and having adopted English as the language it would utilize in government, they then had to teach the indigenes English in order to facilitate better interaction, understanding and governance. In 1882, the English language was adopted as the mode of instruction for training of the badly needed manpower. An analysis of grapho-syntactic errors in the language of advertising in Nigeria.

 

The missionaries who also came to Nigeria to spread the gospel had to use English. Also, they emphasized the English language as it related to religion. They introduced reading, arithmetic and writing (the 3 – Rs) to Nigerians as part of the strategies of conversion. Thus, they enhanced the spread of the language.

With the abolition of the trans- Atlantic slave trade in 1807, according to Eresimmadu and Arinze, many freed slaves returned to their native towns and states (17). These slaves had already learnt some English in their places of slavery. They took up jobs as interpreters and teachers and helped to spread the English language.

 

Furthermore, according to Udensi and Ike-Nwafor the desire for a good command of the English language was enhanced by the certification system of employment, whereby a credit pass in the English language was made a basic requirement for employment and for further studies (7). Thus, the English language became the language of government, the mass media, education, politics and also the lingua-franca of Nigeria. An analysis of grapho-syntactic errors in the language of advertising in Nigeria.

The use of the English language as the official language, according to Udensi and Ike-Nwafor, created problems for many Nigerians. These problems appeared in the form of errors in language usage at all levels – phonological, morphological, syntactic and graphological (8).

 

These errors came as a result of language contacts between English and the different mother tongues, the so-called vernacular languages. These languages are totally unrelated to English; there are a lot of disparities, for instance, in the phonemic inventories, syllabic structures, spellings and syntax. In speaking the English language, Nigerians, most times, infuse aspects of their vernacular languages, which appear as errors.

Thus, the coming together of over two hundred and fifty linguistic groups into a nation, the expansion of trade, the development of market economy, among other factors, made it imperative to replace traditional advertising (the use of town criers) with the modern approach, through English. Therefore, the main purpose of this study focus on an analysis of grapho-syntactic errors in the language of advertising in Nigeria.

 

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