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A SEMANTIC ANALYSIS OF T-SHIRT INSCRIPTIONS

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A SEMANTIC ANALYSIS OF T-SHIRT INSCRIPTIONS

 

ABSTRACT

This study examined the Semantic Analysis of T-Shirt Inscriptions under the following perspectives: education, politics, advertisement and religion. It reviewed some scholar's works on the concepts of Semantics, Graphology and Inscriptions. The method and procedures involved in the evaluation of the stated objectives of the research work included random sampling with the use of questionnaires which were distributed to twenty people who wear T-Shirt's with educational, politics, religion and advertisement inscriptions in Lagos State - (Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government). The results of the findings of the four hypotheses generated were tested and the results were positive responses. This research work has therefore revealed the salient features of T­-Shirt inscriptions in human endeavor. To this end, T-shirt with inscriptions under the aforementioned fields are recommended to be produced in high quality as they serve various purposes ranging from enlightenment, information, moral enlightenment and advertisement.

CHAPTER ONE

1.1    Background of the Study

Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: Language form, language meaning and language in context. Language form refers to the surface features of language and how these are arranged according to the grammar of the language. According to Adebanjo X2008) in "Basic Issues in Discourse Analysis", language in use which cannot be restricted to the description of linguistic forms independent of the purpose or functions which their forms are designed to serve in human affairs. Our main focus in this study is on language meaning which is known as "Semantics", the study of language meanings deal on how language employ logical structures and real world references to convey, process and assign meanings as well as to manage and resolve ambiguity. Language is essentially a social phenomenon, the assertion is clearly foregrounded in the definition of M.A.K. Halliday cited in Bloor guage can be `woven' to express the intention of a writer. When people use language to express meanings, they do so in specific situations and the type of language that they use is usually influenced by the complex elements of those situations (pg. 14).

People who wore T-Shirt with inscriptions just like every other human being normally use T-Shirt inscriptions to express themselves. According to Babajide (2000), "Every human being is naturally endowed with capacity for language use for the expression of self and reception of others expressed messages. T-Shirt inscriptions could be seen as an informal way of non-verbal messages to its readers. and Bloor (1995) that Semantics according to Titi Adejumobi (2007) is the study of the meaning of words, phrases and sentences (pg. 32).       Crystal (1980) defines semantics as the study of the meaning of linguistic forms (pg. 315). Lyons (1981) also defines it as "the study of meaning". Oladipo L. et al (2000) defines ‘semantics' as the study of the word and morpheme meanings as the study of rules combining meanings.

We can then infer from the different definitions above that Semantics is the branch of linguistics dealing with meanings of words and sentences.  In semantics analysis, there is always an attempt to focus on what the' words

conventionally mean, rather than on what a speaker might want the words to mean on a particular occasion. This technical approach to meanings emphasizes the objectives and the general. It avoids the subjective and the local.

Semantics shows how the speech community of a particular language gives meaning to its speech sounds or vocal noise or-the representatives of the vocal noise in writing. It investigates and describes how each human language arrives at a system of a given meaning to its peculiar vocal

noise. Semantics as a science of meaning comes in readily to and establish the problem. Creative writers can be very good, powerful, effective or sometimes ineffective in their use of languages in their surface and deep levels of creating different meanings to suit their goals. Semantic explains the various types of meaning that exist within T-Shirt inscriptions.

Therefore, semantics is the science that studies the meaning of T-Shirt inscriptions. .

Most scholarly works on text like this have been on newspapers, headlines, speeches, semiotics and car stickers in purview of pragmatics and critical discourse analysis. However, this paper intends to consider a vital concept in linguistics. "Semantics to analyse T-Shirt inscriptions". This will serve as a theoretical framework to enhance our understanding of meanings with different T-Shirt inscriptions used by people. It will reveal the importance and effects of these T-Shirt inscriptions. It will also add to the few existing scholarly works on semantics.

T-Shirt inscription as Graphology is a branch of linguistics that studies writing and printing as systems of signs.         It is the study of the writing system of a language, the orthographic conventions that have been devised to turn speech into writing using any available technology (e.g. pen d ink, typewriter, printing press, electronic screen) . In modern English, the core of the system is the alphabet of 26 letters, in its lower case (a, b, c ... ) and upper case (A, B, C ... ) forms, along with rules which govern the way of spelling and capitalization which govern the way these letters are combined to make words. The system also includes the set of punctuations marks and the conventions of text positioning (such as headlines and indents), which are used to organize text by identifying sentences, paragraphs and other written units. (David Crystal 1987).

1.2    Statement of the Study/Purpose of the Study

1.      To identify and study T-Shirt inscriptions.

2.      To examine the stylistic nature inscriptions.

3.      To explore the similarities among the different T-Shirt inscriptions.

4.      To examine the various semantics associated with the different T-Shirt inscriptions

1.3              Research Questions

1.      What are the different T-Shirt inscriptions used as our data in this research?

2.      What are the methods of style used in writing the T-Shirt inscriptions under study in this research?

3.      What are. the similarities and differences among these T-shirt inscriptions?

4.      What are the semantics associated with the different inscriptions of these T-Shirts?

1.4    Research Hypothesis

HO1: There are significant differences among the various types of T-Shirt

          inscriptions used in our data.

HO2: There are significant differences in the stylistic methods used in

          writing the various T-Shirt inscriptions in our data.

HO3: There are no significant differences in the production process of these T-   

          Shirt inscriptions

H04: There are significant differences on the importance of these T-Shirt

          inscriptions.

1.5    Significance of the Study

There have been many research works which adopted semantics analysis approach to different areas such as advertisement, tourist, destination, images, cars, stickers etc. but none have filled the gap of T-Shirt inscriptions. So, it is the intention of the present writer to dwell on the application of the concept of semantics to analyse some T-Shirt inscriptions in order to fill the gap that is vacuum.

Due to the gap that has not been filled by the previous writers, the present writer intends to apply the concept of semantics:

Ø To study T-Shirt with religious, educational, political and advertisement inscriptions.

Ø To examine the various semantics associated with the different T-Shirt inscriptions.

Ø To study the stylistic nature of the T-Shirt inscriptions.

Ø  To examine the importance of these T-Shirt inscriptions in human endeavors.

It is believed that this study will educate the public more on T-Shirt inscriptions by throwing more light on the types,

meanings and importance of these T-Shirt inscriptions used by people.

1.6    Delimitation of the Study

This research work shall be limited to T-Shirt inscriptions under religion, advertisement, education and politics. education in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills and habits of a group -of people are transferred from one generation to the next through teaching, training or research. Education makes a worthy contribution to our lives by making us responsible citizens. It spreads awareness, informing us about our rights and the service that can access this is ,done through the use of educational T-Shirt inscriptions.

Religion is the study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions. (from http:/ www.thefreedictionary.com/theology retrieved on 10­-01-14).

Religion teaches morals and encourages good lifestyle in a society; this is achieved through the use of religious T-Shirt inscriptions.

According to William J. Stanton (2012), Advertising consists of all the activities involved in presenting to a group, a non-personal, oral or visual, openly sponsored message regarding dissemination through one or more media and is paid for by an identified sponsor.

The main importance of advertising is to inform its targeted audience/ customers about introduction of new products, update or changes in existing products or product related changes, information regarding new offers and schemes. This  seen on advertisement T-Shirt inscriptions. (from http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki Retrieved on 10th January, 2014).

Politics is the practice and theory of influencing other people on a civic or individual level. It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance-organized control over a human community, particularly a state.

Political T-Shirt inscriptions propagate and educate the people about the government of the day.

1.7 The processes involved in the production of T-Shirt Inscriptions

Printing inscriptions and images on T-Shirts is a complex process, when the paint is applied over the fabric. Modern technologies allow the application of almost any prints on textiles; inscriptions and drawings, logos and pictures, turning ordinary thing into one of the kind. T-Shirt with printing is an easy way to make a common week day colorful or to present an original gift for the holiday.

Printing inscriptions on T-Shirts involve the process of heating to produce the inscriptions.

In making high-quality printing on T-Shirts and fabrics, you apply print which is a thermal transfer using ordinary iron. The basis of this technology consists of placing the image on the fabric, using strong pressure and temperature.

Home-made printing involves buying a heat press to improve the quality. Digital printing on textiles (T-Shirt printing) allows the application of a variety of fabrics from natural to mix up.

Professional printing companies provide digital printing on black, white, colored and multi-colored t-shirts, sweater, shirts, etc. and the picture looks bright and realistic regardless 44 the type of textile type and its color. The unique organic water-based ink designed specifically for. textiles is used for printing on t-shirts which really "grow together" with fabric and the image remains imperceptible.

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