Bisilki: A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Kinship Terms in Likpakpaln (Konkomba)

  • Abraham Kwesi Bisilki Institutional Affiliation: University of Education, Winneba Current Status: Lecturer Mailing address: Dept. of Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Foreign Languages Education & Communication, University of Education, Winneba, P. O. Box 25, Winneba, C/R
Keywords: Sociolinguistic analysis, kinship terms, Likpakpaln

Abstract

This study, synchronically, describes and explicates the phenomenon of kinship terms in Likpakpaln, a Gur member of the Niger-Congo phylum, spoken mainly in the northern parts of Ghana. It focuses on the addressive usage of kinship terms. I use observation (both participant and non-participant) as a principal ethnographic data collection technique, supplemented by the semi-structured interview, informal conversation and my native speaker introspection. The analysis of data is informed by Dell Hyme’s ethnography of communication as a theoretical frame. Based on the data analysed, I argue that kinship addresses in Likpakpaln can be categorised into three major types: agnatic, matrilateral and affinal kinship address forms, of which matrilateral and affinal kinship addresses are by complementary filiation. I also show that communicative ends have a significant influence on the vocative usage of kinship terms in interlocution among the Bikpakpaam (the Konkomba people). I further argue that the repertoire of Likpakpaln kinship addresses and the pattern of usage of these kinship addresses in communicative interactions is greatly tied to the Bikpakpaam kinship structure and social universe. Finally, I observe that there is a perceptible level of intercultural intrusion on the kinship address terms used among the Bikpakpaam.

 

Key terms: Sociolinguistic analysis, kinship terms and Likpakpaln

Author Biography

Abraham Kwesi Bisilki, Institutional Affiliation: University of Education, Winneba Current Status: Lecturer Mailing address: Dept. of Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Foreign Languages Education & Communication, University of Education, Winneba, P. O. Box 25, Winneba, C/R

Bio Statement: Mr. Abraham Kwesi Bisilki holds a Bachelor of Education (Arts) and an M.Phil in Applied Linguistics from the University of Cape Coast and the University of Education, Winneba respectively. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Applied Linguistics of the University of Education, Winneba. Mr. Bisilki's researches are mostly in the area of sociolinguistics. These researches often explore sociolinguistic phenomena in Likpakpaln (Konkomba), an under-researched Gur language spoken mainly in the Northern Region of Ghana.

Published
2017-12-31
Section
Articles

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print ISSN: 2026-6596