Semiotic Analysis of Vehicle Inscriptions on Selected Shuttle Buses in Oyo Town

Esther Olajumoke Adeagbo, Funmilayo Florence Amole, Kehinde Lois Shodiya


Vehicle inscriptions are letters, numbers and designs pasted up or written on vehicles to communicate specific meaning to the public. Previous studies on inscriptions in Nigeria have focused on semantics, semiotics and pragmatics features and investigated genres such as cloth inscriptions, posters, banners and car stickers. However, none of these studies has significantly explored the modes and common themes in meaning negotiation. The semiotic model used in this analysis is Halliday’s (1978) multisemiotics theory. The study found that the modes of the inscription in the selected shuttle buses are multimodal. Some inscriptions comprise of linguistic and visual, even spatial semiotic systems. All the linguistic semiotic systems are in written forms and they appear in English, Yoruba and Arabic languages. Common to all the shuttle buses is the colour; the plate numbers; and their brand.  The vehicles selected have the unique colour cream and brown, which the people of Oyo town use to identify the buses as commercial vehicles. Also, all the shuttle buses under study are of the same brand – Suzuki, and the same engine capacity- Carrier 1.3 which are boldly written at the back door. The study concludes that the inscriptions on shuttle buses in Oyo town has been used successfully by their owners (drivers) to communicate sensitive meanings to the public.


Semiotic Analysis, Vehicle Inscriptions, Shuttle Buses, Oyo Town

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.