Proverbs in wellerisms

Fionnuala Carson Williams
2007 Acta Ethnographica Hungarica  
This paper presents a qualitative literary investigation on wellerisms (a subtype of proverb) in Nzema-a language spoken in the Western part of Ghana, West Africa. The study aimed at ascertaining whether the need to factor them (wellerisms) in conversation would be based on their context of use. It also investigated as to whether wellerisms in Nzema proverbs had metaphorical messages and implications which would transcend beyond their literal meaning. Findings confirmed Yankah"s (1989)
more » ... h"s (1989) assertion that there cannot be a use of proverb without context. The paper also argues that, wellerisms in Nzema are interwoven with literary features and behaviours, especially "metaphor". They were found to perform didactic functions (teach morals) and discourage human attitudes which societies frown upon. Structurally, wellerisms in Nzema were noted to be short and pithy but retained their central messages and implications even from generation to generation. Above all, they were seen to touch on all aspects of human life.
doi:10.1556/aethn.52.2007.1.7 fatcat:5lnl7wdyrbcb3k6sbneqbqt5xe