A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Proverbs in Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not To Blame
Main Article Content
This paper examined the sociolinguistics of the proverbs in Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not to Blame. Proverbs form a notable part of both spoken and written discourse in real-life and literary situations. In the Yoruba speech community of Nigeria to which Ola Rotimi belongs and in which the play is set, proverbs are considered as multifunctional and flexible instruments of communication. They are employed to reflect social relationships and for performing routine communicative activities. These proverbs reveal the values of good conduct, respect for elders, the place of royalty, cordiality and cooperation for peaceful co-existence. Though some studies have been carried out on the use of proverbs in literary texts, the sociolinguistics of proverbs in this popular play by Ola Rotimi had not been explored as this paper sets out to do. The study adopted the historical-descriptive design. Data for the study were analysed using Dell Hymes’ Ethnographic acronym, “S-P-E-A-K-I-N-G” to show the nature or gender, age, class and contextual dynamics in the use of proverbs in the play. The study shows that there is male dominance in the use of proverbs; elders and leaders are more disposed to proverbial expressions than young and common individuals and proverbs are conditioned by the circumstances of their users. The researcher recommends that the study of African proverbs be introduced into the school curriculum to help growing children appreciate their culture and those of other people and avail themselves of the moral lessons that proverbs offer.
Adeyanju, Dele. “A Comparative Sociolinguistic Analysis of the Form and Function of Taboos in English and Yoruba” . Diss. U of Ilorin, 1998.Print.
Ajayi, Temitope M. “Ethno-Pragmatic Analysis of Verbal Indirection in Yoruba” JURNAL ARBITRER -VOL. 5 NO. 2, (2018):68-75. Print.
Bolaji, Ezekiel T. and Kehinde, Taye A. “An Analysis of the Proverbs the Yorubans Live By”. ERIC Online.(2017):1-14.Print.
Carter, Elena. “He Who Leaves in a Glass House should not Throw Stones”:Nikita Khrushchev’s Proverbial Speeches at the United Nations. Proverbium 32, The Year Book of International Proverb Scholarship, The University of Vermont, (2015):63-81.Print.
Coker, Oluwole. “Vulgar Typologies, Social Equilibrium, and Moral Ethics in Yoruba Proverbs”. Proverbium 33, The Year Book of International Proverb Scholarship, The University of Vermont, (2016):51-66. Print.
Daramola , Adeyemi. “A Semiotics of Aspects of English and Yoruba Proverbs”. The Journal of International Social Research. Volume 6, Issue 24,(2013):99- 107.Print.
Fanany, Rebecca and Fanany Ismet. Proverbs and Cultural Consonance. Proverbium 33, The Year Book of International Proverb Scholarship, The University of Vermont, (2016):121-142. Print.
Fasiku, Gbenga. Yorùbá Proverbs, Names and National Consciousness. The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online) Vol. 1, No. 4 (2006):50-63.Print.
Hymes, Dell. Language in Culture and Society . New York: Harper &Row. 1971. Print.
Mieder, Wolfang. Proverbs Are Never Out of Season: Popular wisdom in Modern Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. Print.
Odebunmi, Akin. “Pragmatic Functions of Crisis-motivated Proverbs in Ola Rotimi's The Gods Are Not to Blame”. Linguistik Online, (2008):1-15. Print.
Owomoyela, Oyekan. “Proverbs: Exploration of an African Philosophy of Social Communication”. Ba Shiru, Volume 12, (1981): 3-16. Print.
Rotimi, Ola. The gods are not to Blame Ibadan: Oxford University Press, 1971. Print.
Taiwo, Oluwaseun E. “ A Discourse-Structural Analysis of Yorùbá Proverbs in Interaction”. Colomb Appl Linguit J. (2016).71-83. Print.
Yusuf, Y and Methangwane, J. Proverbs and HIV/AIDS. Proverbium 20, The Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship, The University of Vermont, (2003):407-22. Print.