A Study of Proverbs as Culture Carriers in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

A Study of Proverbs as Culture Carriers in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
CLAREP Journal of English and Linguistics (C-JEL)

Author: Ojumah Sylvanus Uwamaka
Institution: University Of Delta, Nigeria
Email: sylvanus.ojumah@unidel.edu.ng 


The paper is a study of selected proverbs as culture carriers in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. It makes a linguistic inquiry into how words were used to perform different functions and reveal the richness of Igbo culture in Things Fall Apart. Proverbs are a means of interaction between characters and a reflection of the culture. Based on the principles of pragmatics which comprise making utterance, context of utterance, meaning and effect, proverbs used in the novel as means of communication between diverse characters, were analysed to display the traditions in which the vocabularies epitomized utterance acts or constituted actions. The study is Quantitative based. Eleven randomly selected proverbs from Achebe’s Things Fall Apart were offered according to the class of speech act. These were analysed and discussed. The analysis was done based on context of utterance, meaning and the speech act. The illocutionary forces or meanings and the perlocutionary acts or possessions of the proverbs were also stated. Findings reveal among others that proverbs in Things Fall Apart accomplished diverse roles such as representing utterance acts and constituted actions. The conclusion shows that proverbs constitute an aspect of Igbo discourse, form part of the Igbo language catalogue and express the Igbo culture lucidly. Also, proverbs possess illocutionary characteristics by encompassing meanings.


proverbs, culture, communicative skill, speech acts.

Pages: 107-126
ISSN: 2698-654-X
ISBN: 978-3-96203-308-8 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-96203-309-5 (PDF)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.56907/gl4vnq45