Full Project – Socio-semantics analysis of slangs and phrases used in some selected Naira Marley songs

Full Project – Socio-semantics analysis of slangs and phrases used in some selected Naira Marley songs

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1.1 Background to the Study

Language is a dynamic and ever-evolving entity that reflects the socio-cultural context in which it operates. The usage of slang and phrases within the realm of popular music is a fascinating area of exploration, as it not only serves as a lens into contemporary linguistic innovation but also as a mirror reflecting the cultural dynamics and values of specific social groups. This study embarks on a journey into the world of socio-semantics, specifically focusing on the analysis of slangs and phrases used in selected songs by the prominent Nigerian musician, Naira Marley.

Slang is a type of informal language that is characterized by its creativity, novelty, and ephemerality (Agha, 2017). It is often used to express solidarity with a particular group or social class, to create a sense of intimacy, or to simply make language more fun and expressive. Slang terms can be derived from existing words or phrases, or they can be completely new creations.

The use of slang in music has been studied by a number of scholars. For example, Eckert (2020) examines the use of slang by working-class youth in Detroit. She argues that slang is a way for young people to assert their independence from adults and to create a sense of community among themselves. Similarly, Bucholtz (2021) examines the use of slang by African American girls in urban schools. She argues that slang is a way for girls to express their femininity and to resist dominant social norms. In the Nigerian context, Ogbodo (2015) examines the use of slang by Nigerian youth on social media. He argues that slang is a way for young people to express their creativity and to connect with other young people from all over Nigeria.

Naira Marley’s songs are known for their unique style and often include the use of slang and phrases. They have gained popularity among a wide audience in Nigeria and beyond, and have been the subject of much analysis and discussion. Naira Marley’s songs have been praised for their ability to capture the spirit of contemporary Nigerian youth culture, while also reflecting broader social and cultural trends.

Many of Naira Marley’s songs have also been the subject of controversy due to their explicit lyrics and themes, and their perceived influence on youth culture. Some critics have argued that Naira Marley’s music promotes negative values and encourages criminal behavior, while others have defended it as a reflection of the realities of contemporary Nigerian society.

Overall, Naira Marley’s songs are an interesting case study for the analysis of language use in popular music, and offer insights into the ways in which language is shaped by social and cultural factors.

Socio-semantics is an interdisciplinary field that investigates the intricate relationship between language and society. It draws from various disciplines, including linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and semiotics, to delve into how language constructs and conveys meaning within a given social context. The central premise of socio-semantics is that language and society are mutually constitutive, meaning they continually shape and influence one another. It underscores the notion that language is not static but evolves within social frameworks.

One of the pivotal theories within socio-semantics is the socio-semantic network theory, which posits that language and society are deeply intertwined. This theory views socio-semantic networks as frameworks that connect social actors with the semantic content they produce and share. These networks offer a means of understanding how social groups are established and maintained, how knowledge and ideas are disseminated, and how social change is propelled or resisted (Blommaert, 2010). For this study, socio-semantic network theory provides a solid foundation for exploring how Naira Marley’s songs contribute to the construction and maintenance of contemporary Nigerian youth culture.

Another significant socio-semantics theory is the socio-cognitive theory of meaning, which emphasizes that meaning is a product of the interplay between individuals and their social surroundings. This theory asserts that the meaning of words and phrases is not fixed but is constructed through social interactions, contextual nuances, and the social identities of the people using them. In the context of Naira Marley’s music, this theory is highly relevant for understanding the fluid and context-dependent nature of the slangs and phrases he employs (Cameron, 2012).

Slangs adoption in discussion is becoming inevitable especially among university students who have created slangy words to represent almost every situation in their colleges. Secondary school students, as well as other members of the society are not also left out in the use of slangs.   Slangs are words or phrases that get invented every now and then. They also get old and when this happens, its usage amongst people reduces or even stops. This is why new slangs always bring about the dumping of the old ones. Slangs are communication codes that are used by people in order to suit their During informal interactions among youth, especially between Nigerians, slangs usually come up in conversations in reflection to the Nigerian culture and language, especially the Pidgin English, Yoruba and Igbo languages (Odogwu, 2018). Slangs are easy to understand and in terms of their production, it can be said that they are formed by giving new meanings to an already existing word or coining a totally new word as a whole. These slangs or slangy expressions can be formed by individuals, or groups of small or great influence. Slangs are being formed and used across the world, Nigerians are not left out in this not just because they are following the international trend of using slangs, but because they have always proven to be unique in whatever they do, that non-Nigerians gets amused by them. From their inventions of dance moves to slangs that take over the streets.

Slangs that are widely used by several people are usually formed by celebrities, who all have the platforms to  use in making the slangs popular and acceptable nationally and even beyond the shores of the country. This does not mean that non-celebrities do not form and use slangs, it only depicts that the well-known people, or popular entertainers have an upper hand at making the slangs popular. Nigeria music artists are not left amongst entertainers who come up with new slangs and they have been among the major forces behind the invention and spread of slangy expressions or slangs across the nation through their music and its videos. Artists like Davido, Wizkid, Burna boy, Mohbad, and Naira Marley remain notable for the frequent creation and spread of new slangs in their music. Several slangs have been popularized by Naira Marley in his various songs like Tesumole, Kojosese, First time in America among others.This study then aims to semantically analyse different slangs that have been used in some selected Naira Marley’s songs.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Slangs are becoming more than viral conversation in today’s society. It is becoming a daily expression in various communication context by young, old, man, woman among others in the society. Notably, hip-hop artist Naira Marley has popularized many slangs in his music. Most of the slangs he popularized are being used in conversation by many people. The usage of slangs in communication has a strong bearing on the communication mode. However, many people don’t understand the inherent meaning of some slangs used in Naira Marley music. Thus, this study tends to unveil the meaning of some slangs he has popularized.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. To identify the slang and phrases used in Naira Marley’s songs and analyze their linguistic properties.
  2. To examine the socio-semantic functions of the language used in Naira Marley’s songs.
  3. To explore the ways in which the language used in Naira Marley’s songs reflects contemporary Nigerian youth culture.
  4. To assess the impact of Naira Marley’s music on the attitudes and behaviors of Nigerian youth.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What popular slangs and phrases does Naira Marley used in his music?
  2. What is the inherent meaning of some slangs and phrases used by Naira Marley in his music?
  3. What specific linguistic features characterize the slang and phrases used in Naira Marley’s songs, and how do they contribute to the socio- semantic functions of the language?
  4. What socio- semantic functions do slang and phrases serve in Naira Marley’s songs, and how do they reflect contemporary Nigerian youth culture?

1.5 Scope of the Study

This research work uses four Naira Marley songs with which slangs and phrases will be extracted. The extracted slangs will be semantically analysed. Some elements of semantics such as intention, presupposition, inference, and context will be used in the analysis. This restriction is due to many elements of semantics, some which are gotten from semanticsand other related theories. Therefore, this study will be within the stated elements to achieve precision and efficiency.

1.6 Justification of the Study

This research work is specifically done to pinpoint some slangs used by Naira Marley in his music alongside their causation and meanings. This work intended to serve as a guide to researchers  in various field of study wanting to have more knowledge on musical slangs. It will advance the existing Fields of knowledge and thus helpful to   students, lecturers, artists among others in the society in their knowledge search.Research on musical slangs can be helpful to students, lecturers, and artists in several ways. Firstly, it can provide a deeper understanding of the language and culture of music, allowing students to develop a stronger appreciation for the art form. This knowledge can also be useful to lecturers in developing more effective teaching strategies and materials for their music courses.

Secondly, research on musical slangs can be useful to artists in developing their craft and communicating more effectively with their audiences. By understanding the nuances of musical slang, artists can create music that is more authentic and resonates more deeply with their listeners. This can lead to greater success and recognition in the music industry.

Finally, research on musical slangs can be valuable to scholars and researchers in related fields, such as linguistics, anthropology, and sociology. This research can provide insights into the ways in which language and culture intersect, and how these intersections shape our understanding of music and its role in society. By advancing our knowledge in this area, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the role of music in our lives, and develop more effective strategies for teaching and communicating about this important art form.

Even more important, this study will serve as a veritable source of knowledge for entertainment industry and thereby help them in their course o

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Full Project – Socio-semantics analysis of slangs and phrases used in some selected Naira Marley songs