Vol. 58 No. 3 (2010)
Research Article

The Social Use of Yorùbá Personal Names

Published 2010-09-01



This study examines the principles and practice involved in the clipping of Yorùbá personal names based on the preference of either the addressee or the speaker. It also illustrates the pragmatics and discourse roles of Yorùbá names among the contemporary Yorùbá people. The study, which is descriptive, draws its data from the previous studies on Yorùbá personal names, some Yorùbá textbooks, recorded utterances, election posters and participant observation. The study shows that the social functions of Yorùbá personal names include, among others, caution, power, a play on words, nostalgia, love, echo, joy, disappointment, sorrow, encouragement, and invigorating remarks. It is also pointed out that Yorùbá personal names can be used in greetings or as greetings, and the use depicts that the Yorùbá are a loving, caring, and accommodating people who express their affection, affinity, intimacy, and friendliness even in their greetings.


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