Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

A speech act analysis of selected yoruba anthroponyms

Rahim Kajogbola Omoloso


This work employs a speech act approach to the analysis of Yorùbá indigenous names to emphasize that  they  are  not mere  labels.  Thirty eight Yorùbá indigenous names were classified into eight different groups,  using  factors  like  relationship  to  royalty,  acknowledging  the  greatness  of  Islamic,  Christian  or traditional  deities,  circumstances  or  events  at  birth,  family  vocation  or  profession,  infantile  mortality, importance of children to the family, ‘natural’ names and admonitions. From the analysis carried out, Yorùbá indigenous names were shown to perform speech acts like ‘assertive’, ‘directive’, ‘commissive’, ‘expressive’ and  ‘declaration’,  together  with  varying  sub4acts.  This  shows  them  to  be  utterances  that  derive" their" meanings  from  the  cultural  beliefs  of  the  Yorùbá  people,  rather  than  being  mere  labels.  Thus  their understanding  will  help  in  understanding  aspects  of  the  cultural  practices  of  the  Yorùbá  people  and, consequently, the people themselves.

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