Published on International Journal of Social, Politics & Humanities
Publication Date: July 10, 2019
Mwinwelle, Peter; Adukpo, John & Mwinwelle, Rainer
Department of English Education, University of Education, Winneba
Department of English Education, University of Education, Winneba
Department of English, Valley View University, Techiman Campus
Journal Full Text PDF: The Use of Lexical Cohesive Devices (Selected Ghanaian University Anthems).
The linguistic analysis of anthems has been given attention in previous studies from various linguistic approaches such as pragmatics, pragma-stylistics and stylistics. However, most of the research works that border on anthems are mainly concerned with national anthems of various countries. This study, therefore, aims at investigating how lexical cohesion is used in selected university anthems. To achieve the main goal of the study, four Ghanaian public university anthems are analysed underpinned by the lexical cohesion theory by Halliday and Hassan (1976). The results reveal that among the types of lexical cohesive devices, repetition and collocation are predominantly used to make the anthems lyrical which creates rhythm to draw the attention of listeners in order to make the anthems memorable while superordination is least used to minimise lexical variety in order to make the anthems less wordy. The study concludes that university anthems employ lexical cohesive devices such as repetition, synonymy, antonymy, collocation and superordination to achieve certain purposes such as directness, emphasis, rhythm and appeal in the process of negotiating meaning in their use of language.
Keywords: Linguistic analysis, analysis of anthems, lexical cohesion, university anthems, anthems lyrical & lexical cohesive devices.
Various groups and associations have core values that serve as unity ties among them. These core values are usually encoded explicitly the in the vision and mission statements of such groups. The university community is one of such groups who are usually identified by their commonality in goals. The word university originates from the Latin word universitas which refers in general to a number of persons associated into one body, a society, company, community, guild or corporation. In modern usage, the word has come to mean an institution of higher education offering tuition in mainly non-vocational subjects and typically having the power to confer degrees. One means by which universities showcase what they stand for is through the use of anthems.
Karen (1989) postulates that anthems can be traced to the Ancient Greek tradition of praising the deities which was later on adopted by other countries in the world. Anthems were adopted by nations due to the amazing expressiveness of anthems when performed in public and sung by the mass. Moreover, as the modern international political system emerged in the 19th century, every state saw it obliged to have a national anthem for diplomatic occasions. The adaptation of anthems by nations is consistent with the general view that the nation‐state is sacred and the anthem therefore serves as an altar to praise. Since it was first adopted by nations, the term national anthem has grown into an umbrella term for any kind of anthem. Oluga, seng & Rajoo (2015, p.11) aver that “the word anthem and national anthem are sometimes used interchangeably and synonymously, whereas, they are not exactly the same”. The disparity between national anthems and other types of anthems is that, national anthems are purposely written and composed for various countries with while other forms of anthems are institutionalized in nature such as university anthems, football club anthems, companies’ anthems and other associations. An anthem according to Kellen (2003, p. 166) refers to “the words that must always be sung, that have always been sung whose words and tune seem like permanent signs thereby making entities like nations appear permanent”. Grancea and Blaga (2013) also define an anthem as a solemn song of literary and religious significance. Anthems usually praise heroes, historical figures and claim divine, national or institutional spirit. Anthems contribute to the representation of a country or institutions, to the creation and strengthening of national or institutional solidarity. Singing the anthem has a major psychological effect upon masses, due to its enhancement of national or institutional commitment.
Universities just like countries also adopt anthems to serve as institutional symbols which unite and challenge members to rise to the task for which for which these universities are established. University anthems are therefore recognized patriotic songs with standard duration and dignity representing the identity of universities and usually employed by leaders of universities as instruments of cohesive bond among members of the university community and a means of reinforcing targeted goals of the university. Most universities have songs or poetic verses that serve the purpose of filling its students with feelings of solidarity and are played at official functions. Just as countries have national anthems and other national songs, universities also have their anthems and other songs about the university. Such other songs of the university may include anniversary songs, departmental songs, hall songs and many others. A university anthem is a song that is revered by the people of the university community and is granted privileges and recognition by the laws of the university. There are occasions when singing of the university anthem can be declared compulsory whereas a university song is optional and is not sung at university ceremonies. University anthems are granted official status by the university and sung at all university ceremonies such as graduations, matriculations, games and other university ceremonies.
Language is flexible and it has elastic edges which provide users the opportunity to manoeuvre it in order to interpret their psychological states or thoughts. These rough edges of language are stylistically employed by literary writers such as musicians to express their thoughts. University anthems therefore employ the use of language and music. They study of the use of language in university anthems therefore establishes an interface between language and music.
Language plays a pivotal role in all facets of the human life. Virtually every activity of the human being requires the use of language. Language does not exist in a vacuum, since it is always contextualised (Akindele and Adegbite, 1999). Language exist in society and society also exist in Language (Adeyanju, 2002). Society therefore becomes the broader context of the use of language. There are different aspects of society where language plays obligatory roles. One of such aspects of society that is strongly linked with language is music. The relationship between language and music is very intricate because music serves as a judicious medium of transmission of language from generation to generation. The relationship between music and language is symbiotic since both have a verisimilitude effect on each other. In this vein, music can serve as a medium for presenting language so as language can also serve as a medium for presenting music. Music therefore employs language to perform a plethora of functions such as entertaining, informing, uniting and educating. Due to the inseparable and intricate link between language and music, music is seen as a universal tool for presenting language.
2. Review of Related Literature
Quite a good number linguistic studies have been carried on anthems. Some of these studies include Souza (2006) who carries out an appraisal analysis of the construal of interpersonal meanings in the discourse of twenty-four (24) national anthems written in English with the specific objective of identifying and analyzing the main attitudinal resources the anthems’ authors utilize to construe and negotiate feelings with their audiences using the Appraisal theory by (Martin, 1997) as theoretical framework. The results his reveal that the national anthems’ authors try to align readers around shared feelings of love for their nations grounded on a recontextualisation of the field of national identification with respect to evaluations of familiar sentiments.
Bangura (2011) also conducts a pragmatic analysis of the African National Anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, within a linguistic theory framework by Levinson (1983) in order to illuminate the ideas underlying the anthem’s text by discussing the use of deixis, presuppositions, implicatures and speech acts in the anthem respectively. The results of his study show that the anthem’s text clearly shows that anthems contain deep meanings that one cannot identify just by merely reading the lines of the anthem.
Dze-Ngwa (2014) examines from the historical perspective a review on rethinking Cameroon’s National Anthem and the challenges to internal cohesion. The results indicate that, unlike other national symbols, the country’s anthem rather breeds discord instead of promoting concord and harmony among a people who had been torn apart by colonial masters and reunited.
Mustafa (2015) examines the use of semantic framing of nationalism in the national anthems of Egypt and England in order to render the basic constituents of the frames used. The findings reveal that despite the different scenes represented in each anthem’s frame, nationalism typically actives the frame of people, place, power and principles and that nationalism still summons the same frame of a society of people gathered in one place sharing the same principles and governed by the same power.
Oluga, Seng & Rajoo (2015) carryout two studies on national anthems. In their first study they employ a critical discourse analytical approach in analysing the paradox of the quest for global peace and the linguistic violence of some countries’ national anthems. Their findings reveal that the anthems of many nations exhibit linguistic violence and encourage using arms, shedding blood, going to war and paying supreme sacrifice which sharply contrast the United Nations’ mission of creating peace and unity among member states. In their second study, they conduct a Socio- cognitive critical discourse analysis of manipulative figures used to convey linguistic violence in twenty-one (21) national anthems. The study reveal that national anthems of many nations that are in the forefront of the global condemnation of violence of all forms have portions or expressions that propagate various forms of linguistic violence which advocate attacking opponents, going to war, shedding blood and sacrificing lives which diametrically contradict contemporary yearnings for global tranquility, peace and harmony.
Voros, Osvath, Vincze, Pusztay, Fekete, & Rihmer (2016) conduct a content analysis of a transcultural aspect of suicidal behaviour in the first verses of six selected national anthems. The results of their study indicate that anthems of countries with lower suicide rates tend to contain relatively more positive contents, emotions and intentions, while in the anthems of countries with higher suicide rates more ambivalence, denial, loss or even aggressive and self-destructive implications were found.
3. Statement of the Problem
Cipriani (2015) avers that the code employed in an anthem cannot truly represent the composition of the music. This implies that linguistic studies on anthems differ from the musical analysis of anthems. Since linguistic items are the linguist’s object of analysis studies such as (Souza, 2006; Bangura, 2011; Dze-Ngwa, 2014; Mustafa, 2015; Oluga, Seng & Rajoo, 2015; Oluga, Send, Rajo, 2015; Voros, et al, 2016) have been carried out on national anthems from varied linguistic perspectives such as pragmatics and critical discourse analysis. Literature indicates that university anthems have not received attention in terms of linguistic research. University anthems just like national anthems also employ the use of language in context in order to transmit some information across to build solidarity among members of the university’s community hence the need to also analyse them from the linguistic perspective. It is based on these premises that the study examines the use of lexical cohesive devices in selected Ghanaian University Anthems.
4 Research Questions
a. What lexical cohesive devices predominate in the selected Ghanaian University Anthems?
b. What communicative functions are encoded in the lexical cohesive devices used in the selected Ghanaian University Anthems?
5. Purpose of the Study
The study seeks to identify the predominant lexical cohesive devices and their communicative implications in the anthems of the selected Ghanaian Universities.
6. Theoretical Framework
The study employs Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) lexical cohesion theory as framework to analyse the use of lexical cohesive devices in the selected Ghanaian University Anthems. Halliday and Hasan (1976) use the term lexical cohesion to refer to the various types of semantic relationships created by a writer’s choice of lexical items and grammatical structure to produce the sense of a text. In a similar vein, Baker and Ellece (2011) define lexical cohesion as a way of achieving cohesion by way of repeating the same word or phrase or using chains of related words that contribute towards the continuity of lexical meaning. Lexical cohesion is very important since it serves as a linguistic glue that pools lexical items into relationships. Halliday and Hasan (1976) further divide lexical cohesion into two categories: reiteration involving repetition, synonymy, and hyponymy then collocation as the second category. Reiteration pertains to the repetition of a lexical item, either directly or through the use of a synonym, a superordinate or a generally related word while collocation pertains to lexical items that are likely to be found together within the same text. “Collocation occurs when a pair of words are not necessarily dependent upon the same semantic relationship but rather they tend to occur within the same lexical environment” (Halliday and Hasan, 1976, p. 286). The closer lexical items are to each other between sentences, the stronger the cohesive effect.
The qualitative research design and the textual analytical approach are employed in the analysis because the study systematically identifies textual evidence to validate conclusions on the overall communicative implications of language use in the selected anthems. The data is made of lyrics of four selected Ghanaian University Anthems. These universities are the University for Development Studies (UDS), University of Cape Coast (UCC), University of Ghana (UG) and University of Education, Winneba (UEW). The population of the study consists of all the anthems of Ghanaian Universities. The sample of this study is composed of anthems of four of the five main or traditional universities in Ghana. The anthem of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is left out although it is a traditional university because its anthem is an adopted Christian hymn. Each anthem is given an abbreviated code: UDSA, UCCA, UGA, UEWA) and further coded into lines. The UDS anthem is made up of eleven (11) lines, UCC anthem seven (7) lines, UG anthem fifteen (15) lines and the UEW anthem thirteen (13) lines. The data is analysed based on Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) lexical cohesion theory. The identification of the lexical cohesive devices is done by isolating and coding the lines in each of the selected anthems. The various types and sub-types of lexical cohesive devices are identified within and between the coded lines in the respective anthems.
8. Results and Analysis
The results of the analysis are explained first by identifying the predominant cohesive devices used in the address, followed by the analysis of the communicative functions encoded in the identified cohesive devices used in the anthems. The table below illustrates the cohesive devices used in the anthems and their respective frequencies.
Table 8.1 Frequency of occurrences of lexical cohesive devices used in the selected anthems
Lexical Cohesive Devices UDS UCC UG UEW Total Frequency Total Percentage
Repetition 10 7 14 10 41 60%
Synonymy 1 0 1 4 6 9%
Antonymy 0 1 0 1 2 3%
Superordinate 1 0 0 0 1 1%
General word 1 1 0 0 2 3%
Collocation 3 3 5 6 16 24%
Total 68 100%
As can be seen from the table, the total number of cohesive devices used in the selected Ghanaian University Anthems is sixty-eight (68). Repetition appears to be used the most predominantly with a frequency of forty-one (41) representing 60% of the data analysed. The second most frequently used in the address is collocation with a frequency of sixteen (16) representing 24%. The third frequently used device is synonymy with a total frequency of six (6) representing 9%. Antonymy and general word follow with a frequency of two (2) each representing 3% for each respectively. Superordinate is the least used with a frequency of one (1) respectively representing 1%. Repetition and collocation together form about 84% of the data analysed indicating that the selected anthems are dominated by repetition and collocation whereas superordinate words are the least used.
8.1 Lexical Cohesive Devices in the selected Ghanaian University Anthems
The analysis of Lexical Cohesive Devices in the selected Ghanaian university Anthems has indicated a dominant use of lexical cohesive devices to cement words, sentences and ideas together as whole in order to inspire members to aspire to achieving the vision, mission, core values and special mandates of these universities. Lexical cohesive devices are also used in order to make the anthems well crafted, articulated and tightly knit into coherent and memorable pieces of discourse that can be easily be memorized by members and sung off head at any point in time especially at official gatherings of each of these universities. The analysis is carried out along the two main types of lexical cohesion which are reiteration and collocation.
It should be stated from the outset that reiteration is an umbrella term that embraces five components namely: repetition, synonymy, antonymy, superordinate and general word. These devices are deployed to convey emphasis and to tie the constituents of the discourse together.
The first constituent of reiteration is repetition which is in turn sub-divided into two types viz: partial repetition and total repetition. As a matter of fact, both types have been used in the selected anthems, though with differing frequency. In this regard, total repetition was by far the most used type of repetition in the anthems. Details are going to be sketched and presented below.
8.4 Partial Repetition
Partial repetition of words appears in the selected anthems in different shades. It is presented mainly through the use of the words which share a stem but vary in the employment of prefixes or suffixes and, therefore, vary in their parts of speech or words that may share the same prefixes or suffixes but differ in their stem. Parallelism is also used as a form of partial repetition in the selected anthems. The examination of the selected anthems indicate that the use of partial repetition was very limited, especially when compared to total repetition. These forms of partial repetitions are identified and discussed below.
The partial repetition develop-development is used in the UDS anthem to foreground the main mandate of the university as one that is mainly established to specifically develop the northern part and the entire country as a whole by. The use of the word development in the first line UDS line 1 and moving on to use the word Develop in the last line UDS line 11 is stylistically meant to carry the core mandate for establishing the university through from the beginning to the end of the anthem. The partial repetition teach-teachers is also used in the UCC anthem to spell out the main objective of setting up the University of Cape Coast which is to train teachers. This creates a sense of connection between the ideas expressed in UCC line 1 which is successively passed onto UCCA line 2. The use of this form of partial repetition in the anthem therefore helps link up different portions of the anthems together in order to reiterate the goal for establishing these universities as seen in lines below:
• Uniting the people in development. UDSA line 7
University for Development Studies, UDSA develop our land. UDSA line 11
• UCC, UCC, we are the teachers of the nation UCCA line 2
We learn to teach; we find and pass UCCA line 3
Another subtle form of partial repetition comes with a variation in the stem of words but a similarity in their prefixes and suffixes. The analysis of the anthems reveal a limited use of this type of partial repetition. The verbs practicalizing, uniting, inspiring and providing are partially repeated in that they differ in the stem but are similar in the suffix –ing. These partially repeated verbs are used in the UDS anthem to present the university as one whose effect on development, the people and education is continuous and perpetual. The repeated forms unite the various functions of the university (practicalising, uniting, inspiring and providing) together as one idea. The use of the -ing forms also enhance the rhythmic patterns in the anthem to improve its musicality as presented in the examples below
• Practicalizing education for life. UDSA line 6
Uniting the people in development. UDSA line 7
Inspiring every mind, every heart and every hand. UDSA line 8
Providing the best of higher education. UDSA line 9
The last form of partial repetition that is dominant among the other forms of partial repetitions in the anthems is the use of parallelisms. Parallelism is the elegant and aesthetic use of language to place equal linguistic structures side by side in order to establish a relationship between or among them. For instance, there is a reinforcing connection among the words mind, heart and hand as used in UDSA line 8 which gives structure to the anthem and also appeals to the ear which draws human attention to the anthem. The other parallel constructions create a foregrounding effect which contributes to the cohesion of the text by uniting the earlier parts with the foregrounded or repeated parts of the anthems as presented in the following examples:
• Inspiring every mind, every heart and every hand. UDSA line 8
• We counsel, we guide that all may be enlightened UCCA line 4
• As we climb the hill of learning UGA line 6
As we prepare to face the world UGA line 8
• To nobler thoughts, to nobler words, to nobler deeds, UEWA line 6
And to nobler heights; UEWA line 7
•By the Power UEWA line 10
By the Power of God. UEWA line 11