Pragmatic Analysis of African Proverbs and Idioms in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
CLAREP Journal of English and Linguistics (C-JEL)
Author: Osipeju, Babasola Samuel
Institution: Lagos State University of Education
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Africans don’t just talk; they have a way of saucing their sayings with ‘pepper’ to make what they say appealing and interesting to the ear. This is exactly what Achebe achieved in his first novel: Things Fall Apart. Proverbs, he said, is the palm oil with which words are eaten; and he allowed his characters to utilise them to show the wisdom in African culture, beliefs and tradition. What we did in this work was to consider those proverbs and idioms identified in the novel and subject them to the context of their usages, as well as examine the meanings these proverbs and idioms have among the people; in other words, their communicative relevance, meaning and implications. We adopted speech acts theory and pragmatics to aid our analysis and also did direct translations of the idioms from their original Igbo dialect to Achebe’s localised English translation. Our conclusion from the study shows that proverbs and idioms reveal the characters as deep thinkers; people who do not just talk, but talk only to achieve results. That aside, our findings also reveal the characters, represented by the Igbo people as thinkers, philosophers, rich in wisdom and experience. We see them as people who beautify conversations with words.
ISBN: 978-3-96203-247-0 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-96203-248-7 (PDF)