The first Conference on Language and Literature organized by the Department of English, University of Uyo was in April, 1998. The Conference was arranged to coincide with Professor Ime Ikiddeh's 60th birthday and so it was a special conference: one in Honour of Ime Ikiddeh at 60. The Conference attracted many scholars in the fields of Language and Literature. The papers in this publication are those which were presented at the Conference and/were later reshaped for this purpose. They cover general and specific language and literature areas as well as related matters. This publication was naturally expected before now. However, we are satisfied that the occasion of the Second University of Uyo Conference on Language and Literature has provided an appropriate opportunity for the public presentation of the proceeds of the first: Essays on Language and Literature in Honour of Ime Ikiddeh.
The first Chapter is the introduction written by Dr Luke Eyo and Prof. David Eka. It deals with a biographical profile of the ceiebrant Professor Ime Ikiddeh. The Chapter expresses the life and achievements of Professor Ikiddeh, sketching the points which make him a scholar of note, a Nigerian of distinction and a person known and admired by people like himself: the larger world of academia!
Prof. Ogude revisits the discomforting influence of the West in African Literature which has ied to what he has summarized as “a dependent mentality," and “a betrayal of African art." The address is singularly encompassing: it summarizes the celebrant's earlier views on the subject and sets on a note of optimism, the pedestal from which all the other papers in this publication may be assessed. The third, fourth and fifth papers by Prof. David Eka, Dr Luke Eyoh and Dr (Mrs) Inyang Udofot respectively are in the area of language. Prof Eka’s article comments on the identification of the key features in Wole Soyinka’s novel — The Interpreters— which the author learnt when Prof. Ikiddeh was his teacher. Prof Eka has now turned those features inside out, culminating in his discovery of the Soyinkaian penultimate pause patterning. Prof. Eka has indicated that he is the first scholar to analyze this pause patterning in Soyinka’s works.Dr Eyoh's paper examines and validates the cross cultural natuire of references in African and Nigeria literature narrowing down the matter to similarities between Ibibio and Ijo/Urhobo use of animal symbolism. The author makes the point in a gallant way, and with implication which no reader should miss, that literature mirrors the society and that African societies have a lot in common.
Dr (Mrs) Inyang Udofot's paper presents a sophisticated analysis of varieties of spoken English in Nigeria. The author's analysis is different from the earlier ones, which tended to be largely impressionistic. The author has broken new grounds in her triple employment of perceptual, statistical and acoustic (instrumental) devices to validate her conclusions.
The next two chapters are in areas other than language. In chapter 6 Dr Ashong discusses the importance and the problems of indigenous Nigerian language publications. The paper explains the issue of development, the role which indigenous Nigerian Language publications can play in it and makes recommendations regarding the best ways to achieve efficiency in the enterprise. In chapter 7, Dr (Mrs) Iniobong Uko analyzes Professor Ime Ikiddeh’s “A Bird's Lament” as a philosophical poem that focusses attention on two major problems: of uncertainty and of disunity. The poem is also shown to contrast the past that was easy and predictable with the “scourge” of the present and wonders what could explain this situation. The author of the paper achieves success not only through a detailed and scholarly analysis but aiso through a linkage of structure to meaning and variation of meaning.
The next two papers — chapters 8 and 9 by Dr Ekere and Dr (Mrs) Motaze respectively capture, in varying degrees, the essence of sounds and sound symbolism. Dr Ekere for instance, pays attention to imagery in ritual performance in Ibibio. The paper explores the rich poetic quality and the artistic brilliance in what he finds as his data, even though some of them, as the author explains, are inevitably lost in translation. The author uses 4 texts to capture various ievels of ideophone and their significance in Ibibio.Dr Motaze discusses orality in contemporary writing in Africa. The paper emphasizes the importance as well as the primacy of the oral medium. The paper emphasizes how contemporary writing has benefited from orality.
Chapter 10, the last paper in this publication, is written by Mr. Enoidem Udoh. It is an innovative paper that sets out to explain how Fine Art can be used to solve some national language problems. The paper focusses on visual representations which tell stories and are in themselves ‘louder than words."