Linguistic construct of songs of the Ham of Nigeria: A genre analysis

  • Philip Hayab John
  • Marianna W. Visser


The article examines the texts of songs of the Ham of Nigeria, a minority group, whose social links originate from kinship with a commonly held ancestry, to establish how such a relationship could be explicated in the content of the songs people from the society engage with. The study seeks to demonstrate the relationship between language and culture and how relevant linguistic analyses of the various strands of discourse inform the choices members of the Ham community make in everyday speech. The theoretical background which views the genre as a ‘goal-oriented communicative act’ forms the conceptual framework of the study. The article opens with a contextual summary of the world of the Ham and justifies the research as bordering the field of sociolinguistics. The other outlook institutes the premise to grasp the notion of ‘genre’ as ‘recurrent patterns of values, which enact the social practices of a given culture’. Next, the study offers an in-depth analysis of five songs written in Hyam, the language of the Ham, with a translation in English for the benefit of a global readership.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614