PREACHING TAGS AS DISCOURSE INITIATORS FOR AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIAN PENTECOSTAL CHURCH CRUSADES
Unlike the existing linguistic studies of the religious texts that focus on examining the language of prayer, liturgy, sermons, religious adverts, electronic media evangelism, Quranic and Biblical Verses, religious chants and songs, this work was employed to examine the use of the preaching tags “Tell Me” and “Unspeakable Joy” as ostensive stimuli or discourse initiators for audience participation in the Southwestern Nigerian Pentecostal Crusades. The study helps fill the existing gaps in research in pragmatics and meaning exploration. Participant’s observation and cell phone were used for data gathering while Sperber and Wilson’s (1995) relevance theory serve as a theoretical framework in exploring meaning in the inferential communication. The findings revealed that deducing the encoder’s intension in the ostensive communication requires the use of saturation, inference, ostension, free pragmatic enrichment, reference assignment and disambiguation. Besides, for the audience to interpret the encoder’s intention there should be the existence of shared encyclopedic world knowledge between the participants.