Sociocultural Implications of Nzema Proverbs Relating to Children and Adults

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Mohammed Yakub


Proverbs are witty and metaphorical statements in which many didactics and moral values are concealed. Many studies, especially in the African context, have examined the societal perceptions of gender via proverbs. However, little is known about how children and adults are stratified through proverbs. The significant role of Nzema traditional proverbs in redirecting the paths of members of the society and maintaining social equilibrium requires attention in the literature of paremiology. Adopting Sharifian’s (2011) cultural linguistics framework, this study explores how children and adults are portrayed in Nzema proverbs. The analysis is based on 17 proverbs purposively selected from primary and secondary sources. The data demonstrates that children are not adamant and recalcitrant by default; rather, they have other acceptable behaviours which the society embraces. It is revealed that intelligence is not attributed to adults only; rather, children also display a certain level of intelligence, though they sometimes act as immature and inexperienced. The article also shows that the Nzema child is brought up to desist from intruding into adult discussions, especially when uninvited. The study concludes that the advisory content of this category of proverbs has helped to reshape the conduct of deviant individuals in order to promote peaceful societal coexistence. 

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How to Cite
Yakub, M. . (2022). Sociocultural Implications of Nzema Proverbs Relating to Children and Adults. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 25, 176–196. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Mohammed Yakub, Department of Akan-Nzema Education, University of Education, Winneba


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