The Sociolinguistics of Congratulatory Messages in Nigerian Newspapers (Published)
Congratulatory messages are a type of greeting in which members of a society express their joy and happiness to one another as a result of an accomplishment, success, or good fortune. Several studies have been conducted on oral greetings from both pragmatic and sociolinguistic perspectives, with little attention paid to written forms. The goal of this paper is to look into the connections between the sociolinguistic behaviours of Nigerian (L2) English speakers in newspaper congratulatory messaging and the specific social norms, values, and beliefs they convey. The paper will investigate the structural patterns as well as the functions of these messages, to determine what kind of sociolinguistic information they attempt to communicate. The framework for the paper is Ethnography of Communication. Data were subjected to sociolinguistic analysis. Findings reveal that English has a distinct cultural element in relation to the society where it is adopted as official or additional language. Social interactional norms in the Nigerian context emphasised status and power instead of solidarity. The sociolinguistic import of these messages conveyed sociocultural orientations to spirituality, adulations, and veneration of the aged, and solicitation. The results discussed in this paper have implications on how people think about the value of studying language as a communicative instrument in relation to the society in which it is used and the sociocultural function it tries to perform.
Keywords: Ethnography of communication, Greetings, Society, Sociolinguistic behaviours, sociocultural norms