Pragmatic Functions of Silence in Ola Rotimi's Kurunmi and Wole Soyonka's A Dance of the Forests


  • 1Eben Adefolalu Adeseke Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
  • 2Samuel Adabayo Omotunde Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
  • 3Joshua Taiwo Ajenifari Kings University, Ode-Omu, Osun State, Nigeria


Pragmatic Functions,, Kurunmi,, A Dance of the Forest,, Silence,, Silence to indicate Power.


The paper investigates the function of silence in conversation through two
selected play texts entitled Kurunmi by Ola Rotimi and A Dance of the Forests by
Wole Soyinka. The researchers believe that the functions of silence identified
in the texts are what obtains in real life interaction since play texts are close to
naturally occurring conversation. In analysing the data, the authors make use
of insight from the concept of context which means that it is the contexts in
which the silence occurs that are used in interpreting its functions in the
selected texts. The authors identified nine functions of silence in the play texts
among which five have not been documented in the literature. Among the
novel functions of silence discovered in the two play texts are: silence is used to
indicate the brief period of shock when one's interlocutor is trying to consider
the full implication of a piece of news; silence to indicate that somebody's
contribution to an ongoing discourse is totally strange or unexpected; silence to
indicate that one does not want to commit oneself to a specific response in a
communicative encounter where polar questions are asked; silence to indicate
that the response to the current speaker's question is not likely to be a
favourable one among others.

Additional Files



How to Cite

1Eben Adefolalu Adeseke, 2Samuel Adabayo Omotunde, & 3Joshua Taiwo Ajenifari. (2022). Pragmatic Functions of Silence in Ola Rotimi’s Kurunmi and Wole Soyonka’s A Dance of the Forests. BRICS JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, 12(1), 23-28. Retrieved from