Socio-Pragmatic Features of Borana Proverbs

  • Mulki Mohamud
  • Anashia Nancy Ong’onda
Keywords: Borana language, pragmatics, Pragmatic meaning and functions, cultural values


The richness in proverbs in Borana language is enormous. Borana language has set principles that are endowed and reinforced by different proverbs. Moreover, proverbial texts have cultural implications and are influenced by present social circumstances. However, little has been mentioned about Borana proverbs aesthetic background and the situations in which they are performed. Moreover, proverbs communicate in an obscure way and have comprehension difficulties since they are structurally complex, couched in paradigmatic forms and embody truisms representing thought of people. This paper was therefore set to analyze the socio-pragmatic features of Borana proverbs. The objectives of the study were to; describe the pragmatic meaning and function of Borana proverbs and to determine how Borana culture is reflected and maintained in the linguistic structure of Borana proverbs. The study applied the relevance theory of pragmatic. The study employed a descriptive research design. The target population was the Borana speakers in Garbartulla Sub County. A sample size of 50 participants was sampled using purposive sampling and a corpus of 100 proverbs. The methods of collecting data were interview schedule and focus group discussions. Data analysis was done through qualitative analysis. Thematic analysis was used to analyze Borana proverbs in terms functions and meanings. The findings also show that language in proverbs, functions and unique structural markers and that the meanings of proverbs are context dependent. The study illustrates how ethnographically relevant cognitive and evaluative themes can be encoded in proverb form.