Type of Document Dissertation Author Diarassouba, Sidiky Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-07092007-201344 Title TITLE: Establishment of Literacy Standards for an Oral Language: The Case of Nafara Discourse Patterns, Côte D’ivoire, West Africa Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Middle and Secondary Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Pamela S. Carroll Committee Chair Deborah Hasson Committee Member Jeffrey Milligan Committee Member Joseph Hellweg Committee Member Keywords
- Discourse Organization
- Oral Literature
- Discourse Analysis
Date of Defense 2007-03-02 Availability unrestricted Abstract
This study sought to establish the rhetorical pattern of a major folktale genre known as mu'urii, in Nafara, a dialect of Senari, one of the major indigenous languages spoken in Côte d’Ivoire. This study will provide a basis for addressing the root causes of impediments to French (L2) literacy in Côte d’Ivoire. This study used oral folktales as a means of elicitation and vehicle of investigation. Three questions guided the researcher in this project. Question One was concerned with setting the conditions for establishing the discourse pattern of folktales in Nafara, while Questions Two and Three addressed the educational implications of findings that emerged from Question One. The research was framed in terms of two main theoretical foundations: 1) Discourse Analysis as a theory of human communication, and 2) the ethnography of communication. Nafara was oral until the present undertaking came to life. Therefore, a methodological field test was carried out to check the feasibility of the study. During this phase, Nafara grammar and lexicon were described, as a prerequisite for any textual analysis. This methodological field proved very beneficial as it allowed for setting a sound ground for the full study, during which further scrutiny into the materials collected allowed the investigator to get a better synthesis of the linguistic system of the language under investigation, by carrying out a description and analysis of more substantive Nafara texts.
Discourse analysis was the major method of text analysis. It was supplemented with other methods, including ethnopoetics (an application of the ethnography of communication) and story grammar. Thus, using a combination of the foregoing methods, line, stanza, scene analysis and the narrative backbone of key events was identified to flesh out the discourse pattern in the Nafara genre in question.
Establishing the rhetorical pattern is tantamount to building a model that reflects the way the notional content of the tale is organized to convey cultural meaning. Thus, after giving a full description of the rhetorical pattern based on one version of each popular tales, sketches of the rhetorical patterns that emerged from other tales were contrasted and compared with the more elaborate ones. First, versions of the same popular tale were set against each other, then the researcher looked across all the six versions, showing areas of differences and commonalities. The foregoing showed that while versions of the popular tales greatly differed in terms of supporting materials, the core discourse pattern was found to be constant across all versions of the tales.
The researcher’s contention is that awareness of the Nafara rhetorical pattern can serve as a vehicle for French (L2) education in Côte d’Ivoire, as it can provide a basis for teaching French grammar and composition through comparison and contrast with Nafara (L1) patterns. Therefore, knowledge of Nafara (L1) rhetorical organization is essential if the issue of underachievement in French (L2) education is to be efficiently tackled. Findings of this study will also provide a springboard for promoting reading and writing in Nafara. Another much expected spillover effect of this study is that its results will also offer options to writers (both native and non-native) by making them aware of differential issues in composition, according to the language and audience in view. The present study aimed to provide additional information for enhancing language education and learning in general in Côte d’Ivoire.
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