Literary Etymologies of the Expressions for Appreciation and Plea in Ewe and Ga

  • Cosmas Rai Amenorvi
  • Benjamin Kubi
Keywords: Literary etymology, etymology, Ewe, Ga, culture, identity, literature, language

Abstract

This paper investigates the literary etymologies of the expressions for appreciation and plea in the Ewe and Ga languages of Ghana. Applying the theory of literary etymology, which is originally employed for onomata, to the everyday expressions of appreciation and plea of Ewe and Ga, the study brings to the fore salient points about these everyday expressions of appreciation  and plea. In both languages, it is discovered that the  expression of appreciation is deep, giving the one being thanked an elevated position over the one expressing the thanks. Besides, the language of expressing thanks in Ewe and Ga is double-pronged – one denotative or explicit and the other connotative or implicit. Generally, the expressing of thanks is hyperbolic. Similar metaphoricities are employed in the expression of plea in both languages. The one pleading for mercy is in a contextual asymmetrical relationship with the one to whom he or she pleads where the former is considered inferior and the latter superior. The two languages display an almost perfect reflection of each other in the literary etymologies of the expressions in question. This resemblance could be as a consequence that these languages belong to the same language family of Kwa and have lived side by side each other for a long time.

Keywords: Literary etymology, etymology, Ewe, Ga, culture, identity, literature, language

Published
2021-08-26
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 1016-0728