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Mgbakoigba: Journal of African Studies

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Encouragement proverbs and their discourse relevance: A case study of Oghe dialect of Igbo

Christian EC Ogwudile

Abstract


Proverbs are said to be the palm oil with which words are eaten. Nigerian languages grow vigorously or luxuriantly on the deployment of proverbs to ground their social import of numerous conversational exchanges. The Oghe people likewise particularly employ the use of these proverbs as a condiment to flavour and decorate or beautify their speeches, regardless of the general characteristics of the meaning of what is being discussed. Proverbs are the heart of language use among the Oghe people. In all the cultures of the world, proverbs exist and have invariable applications as garments of thought. Proverbs imbue the speaker with the ability to make his or her expressions more flashy and culturally relevant to the topic of discourse. This is the reason why Africans employ them in conversations to accomplish acts which cannot be realised by ordinary words. Be that as it may, certain proverbs in Oghe dialect of Igbo are used in different settings. Using the Use theory, the objective of this paper is to examine the competence level in the use of encouragement proverbs between the older generation of Oghe speakers and the younger ones. It is also to highlight some proverbs used in different settings in Oghe dialect of Igbo including encouragement proverbs and those that mostly use them. The data for the analysis were oral interviews and were gathered during numerous episodes of conversations among native speakers of the dialect under discourse. Related literature on the topic were equally reviewed. Findings show that most youth speakers lack competence in the use of proverbs let alone encouragement proverbs. It was equally found out that encouragement proverbs and proverbs generally motivate and make the speaker a good orator. It concludes by stating that proverbs are inevitable and that proverbs should be properly integrated in the day to day life of the people.



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