A Contextual Appraisal of Agatu Proverbs

Published: September 2019

AuthorsJohn Moses Ocheje, John Ngbede Oyishoma, Yakubu Jacob Umaru

About Authors: Department of English,Nasarawa State University Keffi, Nigeria.  Department of English and Linguistics, Federal University, Dutse. Department of Languages and Linguistics, Nasarawa State University Keffi, Nigeria

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Like many other cultures in the world, Agatu people of Benue State, North Central geopolitical zone of Nigeria hold the use of proverb in high esteem. Proverbs are used mostly during conversation so as to convey some underline messages that are meaningful in the particular context of usage. This paper appraises Agatu proverbs from a contextual perspective. Though proverbs are so many, they are not used at random, but certain situations call for their use. There are many contexts that Agatu proverbs can be used, this paper identifies and discusses five contexts which include: marriage, funeral, family, warning and ritual. The researcher uses participant observation and interview methods in collecting data for this study. This is consequent upon the fact that the techniques allow the complete involvement of the researcher in the situation that is being researched. It was noticed in the paper, that proverbs are used in different contexts in Agatu and that they are not used in isolation rather; they are used in different situations. Proverbs therefore are as vital as the message communicated since they are integral and point to both background of the speakers and hearers. Agatu proverbs are pivotal in communication. They serve as a vehicle for effective communication among the Agatu people.

Keywords:  Contextual, Proverbs, Culture, Agatu