Yankah, Kwesi. The proverb in the context of Akan rhetoric: a theory of proverb praxis

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter One Studying My People: An Introduction

The Akan

Notes And References

Chapter Two Theoretical Framework And Assumptions




Rhetorical Function

Naming Of Situation

Rhetorical Bases

Rhetorical Risks

Notes And References

Chapter Three Context And Proverb Study: An Overview

Context And Proverb Study In Africa

Contextualists Of Dell Hymes' Influence

Problems Of Collecting


Notes And References

Chapter Four The Proverb And Akan Society





The Akan Proverb

Conceptual Problems

Extended Allusions

Tale As Proverb

Tale As Innuendo

Proverb In Other Genres

Proverb Channels

Visual Proverbs

Proverbial Action

Proverbs On Drum

Social Uses

Performance Motives

Notes And References

Chapter Five The Right Path Of Performance

Proverb Cues

Types Of Proverb Cue

Non-verbal Cues

Verbal Cues

Audience Evaluation

Strategies Of Critique


Notes And References

Chapter Six Creative Wit And The Proverb's Flight

Attitudes To Meaning


Strategic Manipulation

Source Formula

Factivity Formula


Manipulation And Meaning Change

Notes And References

Chapter Seven An Indigenous Theory Of Proverb Authorship




Context And Registration


Strategies In Conflict

Problem Of Novelty

The Skills Of Public Display

Current Events

Drama And Humor

Audience Participation


Notes And References

Chapter Eight Proverb Rhetoric And The Judicial Process



Judicial System


Performance Protocol



Notes And References

Chapter Nine A Theory Of Proverb Praxis: Concluding Remarks





Consequences Of Performance

Notes And References

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The proverb in the context of Akan rhetoric: a theory of proverb praxis

Published By: Original publisher Bern ; New York: P. Lang. 1989. 313 p.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Kwesi Yankah

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Akan (FE12)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Sociolinguistics (195); Semantics (196); Verbal arts (5310); Oratory (537); Texts in the speaker's language (901); Texts translated into english (902);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This is an excellent study on proverbs and their use in Akan society. Proverbs are widely used: in everyday conversation, popular songs, games, contests, sermons, and court oratory. Yankah gives examples of all of these uses. A native Akan speaker, he argues that proverb meaning is dependent on context and usage, or as the Akan say, ‘Without sleep there is no dream; without discourse there is no proverb.’ He examines proverb use with respect to styles, performance, creativity, and authorship. He discusses how proverbs are registered as mementos and kept on a string by proverb custodians.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 55

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. fe12-055

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1979-1984

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnographer-4,5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Ian Skoggard ;1999

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1979-1984

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Ghana

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Akan (African people)


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