A RELEVANCE THEORY ACCOUNT OF PROVERBS IN OVIM DIALECT OF IGBO, ABIA STATE, NIGERIA.

Published: JUNE 2021

Author(s):

John Odo Onu & Patience Obiageri Solomon Etefia

About Author(s):

University of Benin, Benin City

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Abstract

The study is a relevance theory account of proverbs in Ovim dialect of Igbo in Abia State, Nigeria. The study seeks to categorize Ovim proverbs into the male and female perspectives. Thus, it establishes the contexts of use and explains how the proverbs are understood by the hearer within the parameters of relevance theory propounded by Sperber and Wilson (1986). The study as a qualitative research is a survey research design, where data were collected through face-to-face interview and participant observation. A total of six elderly men and four elderly women were the informants used for the study. The data collected were categorized and analyzed using relevance theoretical model. The findings of the study revealed that there are proverbs that are targeted towards men and women respectively. Ovim proverbs function as an artistic expression of the people and cultural contexts are the right cognitive environment needed to process the proverbs.

Key Words: Proverb, pragmatics, language, relevance theory and context.