International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Yoruba Proverbs as Expression of Socio- Cultural Identity in the South-Western, Nigeria
OLANREWAJU, Felicia Titilayo Ph. D

The paper highlights the use of proverbial expressions as means for expressing some socio-cultural identities among the Yoruba people of south western Nigeria. Within the Yoruba traditions, values, and norms that are verbally expressed through proverbs, there are some inherent cultural traits that are easily identified with by both the speakers and listeners. For effective understanding of these proverbs, a brief historical background of the Yoruba ethnic group is considered. The theoretical framework used is on Diderik Baten’s Contextual Theory of Meaning. It holds that the meanings of sentences in terms of actions and observations are seen in relation to the functions performed relating to the background beliefs. The study reveals that proverbs are used directly, indirectly as tools for bringing out inherent traits that run through a particular group of people; the Yoruba are culturally unified with such traits as hard work, tolerance, perseverance, politeness, ethical norms and common sense. It is recommended that its study be given prominence in the curricular of schools and tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Proverbs are strong tools for identity among the peaceful nation.

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