Because of the complexity of human language as a semiotic system, there has been a lot of discussion on linguistic expressions in conversational speech, especially the numerous types of silence or pause as a communicative act in narrative texts. This dispute is mostly about differing perspectives on nonverbal utterances and their significance in speech. Where verbal communication is common, nonverbal communication is seen as inarticulate and uncommunicative. In his novel ‘The Crown of Thorns,’ Asong Linus, on the other hand, makes good use of many sorts of silence as a more powerful technique of expression than words. Few writers have succeeded in using communicative silence to build the plot, characters, and workmanship as effectively as Asong Linus does in this novel. The purpose of this study is to emphasise the importance of silence as a powerful weapon in communication that is comparable to speaking and writing. It tries to show how spoken language can fail to communicate at times, and how silence can be a more effective means of communicating otherwise significant important thoughts and emotions. Silence, pauses, and hesitations are used as a supplement to vocal expression. The goal of this examination is to learn how to say and mean a lot without saying anything and still have a big impact. Pragmatics provides the way for a better understanding of how language is employed in context and, more specifically, how context influences our comprehension of specific linguistic utterances. To this purpose, after numerous readings of the novel, several forms of nonverbal communication silent actions were collected, evaluated, and analysed in order to highlight their relevance in diverse instances of use defined as communicative acts.
The use of silence, both brief and extended pauses, by some significant characters to communicate deep buried truth and feelings is given special attention. A variety of theories, including Critical Discourse Analysis, Sperber’s Relevance (RT) theory, and Austin’s Speech Act (SA) theory, have proven adequate and useful approaches for handling and understanding how members of the Nweh community use silence, pauses, and hesitation as linguistic utterances to effectively communicate deep feelings within the Nweh social and cultural contexts. Following the analysis, several findings can be highlighted, including the fact that silence and/or pauses as a stylistic device reveal the psychological state of speakers and demonstrate either awkwardness, appalling, embarrassment, defence, uncertainty and fear associated with deep feelings of frustration and anxiety, as well as a barrier that shuts down communication, but also move the conversational objectives forward establishing confidence, comfort, reflection, and a degree of peace, but also move the conversational objectives forward establishing confidence, comfort, reflection Finally, communicative silence is a useful tool for concealing intentionality, and by being silent, the speaker displays a different form of emotional reality, thoughts, and empathy, thereby developing and maintaining the existing social relationship. It also demonstrates that when confronted with new obstacles, silence emerges spontaneously as a response that allows a speaker to reflect and respond appropriately, ensuring that what is said and done is on target, clever, and valuable. Silence is more powerful than words in this literature.
Willie Mushing Tamfuh
Department of English, FALSS, The University of Ngaoundere, Ngaoundere, Cameroon.