Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

New Yoruba idioms and idiomatic expressions: a new mode of expression in political arena

Dayo Akanmu


New idioms and idiomatic expressions, which are modern stock expressions, constitute communicative clogs in Yorùbá routine discourses because of their semantic complexity and deviant nature. Existing studies have established their scope of usage in Yorùbá music but have hardly addressed their communicative adaptability in politics. This paper investigated issues expressed with these idioms, context and strategies for using them in po litical arena. This is with a view to establishing their communicative and stylistic relevance in Yorùbá discourses. The paper adopted Mukarovsky ’ s theory of Standard Language because of its capac ity to explain the “differentia specifica” between the lan guage of everyday interaction and literary language. Data were collected from different routi ne communicative discourses of politicians and party members on radio, during political rallies or campaigns and were subjected to pragmatic and stylistic analysi s. Political issues were expressed using new idioms and idiomatic expressions in the following sociopolitical contexts: Eté for corruption/stealing; O j ú y ọ b o ̣ ́ for under achiever; Y ó ó w ọ l é e ̣ ̀ e ̀ ̣ k e n s i for deceit; Ó b o ̀ ̣ j e ́ ̣ t ì for collective support; Oyin ni o for a successful tenure; A j í m o ̣ ̀ b i for collective responsibility; Nàìjá for affection/disappointment and K á r í g o / K á r í k ọ o ̣ ̀ m ù for continuity and discontinuity. Nominalisation, Pidginisation and dialect expressio ns were the strategies employed for the formation of new idioms in this paper. These strategies were used to express different political happenings contextualized in underachievement, slo ganeering for support, deceit, and acceptance/rejection for second term in office respectively. New idioms and idiomatic expressions, used to express sociopolitical issues in Yorùbá routine communication, occurred in med iated and non - mediated contexts and were conveyed through nominalization, pidginisation, and dialect ex pressions. These idioms reflect dynamism and modernity - constrained stylistic choices in Yorùbá .

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