Une Etude Syntaxique Et Semantique De L’oeuvre D’ahmadou Kourouma (Syntactic And Semantic Study Of Ahmadou Kourouma’s Work)

Ariole, V.C (2005)


This study has its roots in linguistics as the scientific study of language. The language studied is the French Language as used by Ahmadou Kourouma, an Ivoirien author. The corpus is made up of Kourouma’s four novels and a play viz: Les Soleils independances (1970) Monne, Outrages et Defis (1990), En attendant le vote des betes sauvages (1998), Allah n’est pas oblige, (2000) and Le diseur de verite (1998). Languages in this study are considered as stars with a dominant one like the sun. The dominant language in this study is French with other languages in Francophone West Africa exerting diverse influences and being influenced in turn. Kourouma has a Bambara/Malinke background; it is therefore argued that his background influences his use of French. It is a fact that his works are acclaimed by the French Academy and other Prize awarding bodies in the Francophone zone as original, exiting and dynamic. It is also a fact that the average. French man experiences difficulties in understanding him, hence, a need to study his works. Thus, the objective of the study is to promote a better understanding of Kourouma’s language (the malinke-influenced variant of French language) through the search for language universals and language specifics in his works; this tanta mounts to finding out the sources or causes of Kourouma’s acclaimed competence and the compliant about his incomprehensibility. It is hoped that this study will pen up possibilities for the adaptation of French for the Nigerian learners, for there are variation of French all over the world and in Africa in particular. It will also offer insights into how best language units may be organized in line with the theory adopted and its revelation of the valency of different types of nuclei vis-à-vis other linguistic elements for electronic translation purposes. For this study, we have adopted mainly a descriptive and contrastive linguistic approach supplemented by a stylistic appraisal. The theoretical framework adopted is structuralist cum functionalist. After a review of the literature on the subject, the following working hypotheses were formulated and tested: 1. Kourouma indeed deviates from the standard French syntactic norm; 2. Kourouma feels so constrained by the insufficiency of elements provided by the French language that he resorts of novel means in reaching his audience; 3. The French language is generally inadequate for expressing the thought of the African from a Milinke background; 4. Kourouma is indeed contributing to the dynamics of the French language 5. The Malinkes in fact understand and accept Kourouma’s uses of French and recognize them as peculiar to their language. A number of Malinke subjects were accordingly interviewed by means of structured questionnaire; this was done to add to the credibility of our analyses. At the end, it was evident that a lot of creativity abounds in Kourouma’s works so much so that all but one of our stated hypothesis were sustained. The first hypothesis was rejected because the creativity Kourouma brings into the French language could not be seen as a source of deviation but rather as a differential syntactic construct within the structural and functional conceptions of language and capable of opening up a new theoretical horizon in syntax.