It is always asserted that literary writers do not write in vacuums, they usually present literary work to serve as a mirror of life in order to evoke universal human experience, and most of the time, to relay things that happen to human beings. In the same vein, Mariama Ba ‘s So Long a Letter has been lexically and semantically presented, to reflect or imitate the realities of life. Therefore this study attempts a lexico-semantic study of Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter in order to reveal the author’s creative deployment of language to achieve her purpose in the text. In other words, the study examines how the author uses words to expose the ills of African society through the use of figures of speech, lexical relations and sense relation among others in the text, to develop the themes of political exclusion, evils of polygamy, sadness and loneliness, socio-economic degradation, betrayal, immorality, among others
Rosemary Ede’s debut play has, so far, not been subjected to intensive and extensive critical examination, particularly from a linguistic standpoint, to show how a new generation playwright has responded to and interpreted the onerous challenges of her postcolonial African society through the instrumentality or facility of language. with M.A.K. Halliday’s systemic functional grammar as the theoretical template, this study, therefore, investigates the lexico-semantic devices such as local signifiers (i.e. native proverbs and idioms, code-mixing and code-switching), figurations (i.e. simile, metaphor, alliteration), lexical repetition, and lexical relations (i.e. synonymy and antonymy), which have been deployed by the author to transmit or reinforce textual meaning and achieve aesthetic beauty. The study adumbrates the fact that the making of a literary text is a conscious artistic activity, since writers make deliberate linguistic choices from the vast range of options available to them to appropriately and effectively convey their visions and achieve requisite stylistic effects, in relation to social context or discourse situation.