The pragmatics of children’s representation in selected yoruba proverbs
The study primarily investigates children‘s representation in Yoruba proverbs, verbal forms of handed-down traditions known for their archetypal knowledge accumulated by people. How children are portrayed in this discourse is significant to the situational usage of proverbs for character molding and cultural value sustainer in any society: an area less explored by scholars. Purposively, fifty English medium children-related Yoruba proverbs were selected from the corpus of Nigerian proverbs with Mey‘s Pragmeme adopted to track children‘s representation in the discourse. The study reveals that children are represented as a prototype of homes, malleable, sustainers, innocent and delinquent. These are framed within contexts of societal collectivism and parenting; with inference, reference, metaphor and voice as contextual features. These project pragmatic functions of behaviour-regulating and responsibility-motivating practs. Largely, the foregoing cumulatively portrays children as heirs whose upbringing rests on homes and society at large. The study therefore concludes that the awareness of the above, expectedly, should aid appropriate usage of proverbs sine-qua-non to the proper indoctrination of children into adulthood for sustaining cherished cultural values, shape their worldview and enhance a sanitized society.
Keywords: Yoruba proverbs, Children‘s representation, Pragmeme, Indoctrination and Cultural values