A Discourse Analysis of Luo Traditional Dirges
The Discourse Strategies in Dirge Music Performance
Fred Ochieng’ Atoh
University of Nairobi
This study investigated the discourse strategies which the dirge singer uses to communicate with his audience. It was based on the dirge by the Luo people of Kenya. The study analysed the use of language in song as spoken text with a view to examining the emerging linguistic patterns and discourse characteristics of song text which facilitate effective communication. It was premised on the argument that the spoken text bears certain similarities with the written text and also expresses its meaning through additional properties of speech such as paralinguistic and contextual elements. It was assumed that the song discourse structure can be effectively analysed using the Discourse Representation Theory (DRT) since it provided the tools to analyse textual progression within the discourse and how discourse strategies are distributed and applied to help construct a harmonious discourse structure. To deal with non-linguistics performance features, a Cohesion approach was used as a subsidiary tool within the DRT. The research was largely library and field based. The materials were transcribed into textual forms for analysis and discussions. Non-participant observation was used because the data was mainly in the form of recorded and transcribed musical material that did not require elaborate field observation.
ISBN 9783862889174. Linguistics Edition 117. 254pp. 2018.