Speaking to the center: a postcolonial study of the English language in Okot's song of Lawino and song of Ocol
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This is a study of language appropriation and its significance in Okot's song of Lawino and Song of Ocol.Based on the postcolonial theory of literature, the study analyses Okot's English in the "songs" in the light of the postcolonial notions about foreign languages. Tthe theory condemns continued dependence on European languages like English, as an indicator of foreign cultural domination.However, several scholars have urgued that complete abrogation of the English language is not practical in the present need for both intertribal and international communication. A close analyis of Okot's English against this back ground reveals several characteristics that are worth further study: Okot's English language is different from the 'standard.' It is reflective of Acholi natural environment as well as the Acholi way of life.In essence, English, one of the languages of colonizers as been used to re-define the formerly colonized. This study is an exploration of the linguistic and sylistic devices used to achieve this. The study reveals that Okot has relied much on relexification, a device through he manipulates the system of meaning English language by giving familiar English words meaning vested in Acholi language.This device has proved different from the use of metaphhor, as meanings of words are not accessed through comprison and analogy but by reference to the source language.Okot has also fashioned his 'songs' aganist the style of Acholi oral songs a device that has affected the grammar and mode of speech. All these devices have had the effect of producing a form of English language that asserts Okot's Acholi identity and thus "speaks" to the centre. Okot demonstrates the fact that English language can be used in Africa after undergoing treatment that adapts it to African cultures. Therefore, appropriation is, a possible solution to the language question in Africa.