THE CONFLUENCE BETWEEN: AN OVERVIEW OF INTERACTIONAL SOCIOLINGUISTIC APPROACH TO DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
Human existence rests upon social interactions which exhibit the core values of every individual community as well as the norms of talk in the sustenance of effective communication and maintenance of interaction order. This means the social and cultural contexts guide the use and interpretation of language. This study attempts to x-ray the significance of Interactional Sociolinguistics (IS) to the study of human interactions with regards to how interlocutors work together to develop and negotiate meaning in interaction. Although IS is one of the approaches to discourse analysis, scholars are more inclined to other approaches (i.e. Conversational Analysis (CA) and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)) of investigating human interactions in Nigeria. Thus, the study examines the basic concepts of Interactional Sociolinguistics and portrays how these are operationalised in sample interactions in order to achieve successful and effective communication. Despite the fact that discourse analysts have not adequately paid attention to this particular approach in the Nigeria discourse studies, the study reveals that many scholars have done rigorous work in this area in other climes. Their studies show how interlocutors negotiate meaning through other socio-cultural knowledge apart from linguistic elements to avoid and remedy instances of miscommunication in human interactions/discourse through strategies such as contextualization cues and contextual presuppositions. This study therefore, reveals that IS is an approach to discourse analysis that sees talk/interaction as a social and cultural activity; hence the need for its inclusion in analyzing talks and interactions in the Nigerian discourse studies.