Shared Knowledge and Communication: A Pragmatic Analysis of Taofiq Azeez’s Brigandage

Folorunso Oloruntobi, James Boaner Olusaanu


Pragmatics is the study of meaning as used in context and interpreted by the listener. Bearing the focus of Pragmatics in mind, this work adopts Cooperative Principles formulated by Paul Grice to analyse Taofiq Azeez’s Brigandage. The aim is to see how the cooperation between the characters facilitates communication in the text and to determine the extent to which the characters in the text observe the principles formulated by Paul Grice. This work also identifies the implicature generated by the characters as they break the maxims. That is, what meaning a character implies as he fails to observe the maxim(s). Some data were collected from the text and analysed. It was observed that interlocutors, as represented by the characters, strive to cooperate with each other but, for obvious reasons, flout the maxims; thus, implying additional meaning beyond what is explicitly said. The study revealed that non-observance of maxims does not impair communication owing to the fact that listeners, through shared knowledge, infer the implied meaning from the speaker’s contribution and this sustains communication.


Communication; Conversational Implicature; Cooperative Principle; Gricean Maxims; Satire

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