Descriptions as a Functional Semantic Tool in Ike’s Our Children Are Coming

Muhammed-Badar Salihu Jibrin


This paper discusses the manner in which Ike, the author of Our Children are Coming uses character-descriptions as a tool for message projection in his novel. It adopts the systemic linguistic approach to the study of texts which bothers much about functionality. It relies on the model designed by Adejare (1992) and Jolayemi (2000) in which texts are bifurcated into First Order and Second Order. In Second Order texts, they assert, there exists a message which is projected through three different levels of meaning projection. Descriptions of characters constitute one of the features used in meaning projection at their third meta-level of interpretation of meaning. The paper discusses the different ways in which characters such as Chu Nwoke, Justice Okpetum, Mrs Edo, Chief Olabisi, Apolonia and Archdeacon Obi were described by the author to project the message of human apostasy in the text, the fact that humans are a combination of good and evil as exhibited in the Nigerian elitist materialism. 


Descriptions; Apostasy; Systemic Text-linguistics; Semiotic variation and Message projection

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Jibrin, M. B. S. (2012a). A systemic text-linguistic study of selected Nigerian novels. (Ph.D dissertation). Zaria: Ahmadu Bello University. Unpublished.

Jibrin, M. B. S. (2012b). A Study of Syntactic and Lexical Functionality in Ike’s Our children are coming. Anyigba Journal of Arts and Humanities (AJAH), 11, 85-96.

Jolayemi, D. (2000). Language and style: A systemic textlinguistic study of Olu Obafemi’s plays. In O. Duro & E. O. Enessi (Eds.) Critical studies and reflections on Olu Obafemi (pp.115-133). Ibadan: Kraft.



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