Gender and Sexuality Linguistic Taboos: A Case of Mɔ and Nnyabi in Ewe and Mampulli

Authors

  • Cosmas Rai Amenorvi Department of Languages and General Studies, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana
  • Gertrude Yidanpoa Grumah Department of Languages and General Studies, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana

Keywords:

African culture, Ewe language, gender, identity, Mampulli language, sexuality, taboo words

Abstract

This paper investigates the cultural underpinnings that govern the use or disuse of sexually explicit Ewe and Mampulli verbs and nnyabi (have sex) among native Ewe and native Mampulli speakers. A longitudinal study approach and interviews were employed to collect data over a twelve-month period among Ewe speakers of Aflao in the Volta Region of Ghana and Mampulli speakers of Nalerigu in the North East Region. Findings reveal that the cultural underpinnings that govern these taboo words are, first, the Ewe and Mampulli cultures regard sex act as a sacred thing and that using such explicit words in talking about it is too raw and uncultured; second, both cultures are patriarchal or male dominant; third, they permit polygamy but frown on polyandry; finally, the two cultures frown on homosexuality. This study provides a window into the Ewe and Mampulli cultures, and by extension the African culture, as regards the topic of sexuality. Moreover, it would enable the reader to fathom why the dominant African culture’s position on homosexuality is not a question of hatred but of culture clash.

Author Biographies

Cosmas Rai Amenorvi, Department of Languages and General Studies, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana

Cosmas Rai Amenorvi is a lecturer of English and Academic Writing and Communication Skills at the Department of Languages and General Studies of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana. He has been teaching and investigating English, Linguistics, Literature and Communication for more than a decade now. He couples as a poet, novelist, language editor and proof-reader. His research interests are in the areas of English Phonology, Sociolinguistics, Semantics, Literary Criticism, Discourse Analysis and Contact Linguistics.

Gertrude Yidanpoa Grumah, Department of Languages and General Studies, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana

Gertrude Yidanpoa Grumah is a lecturer of English and Communication Skills in the Department of Languages and General Studies of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana. She has taught Communication and English for about eight years now. Her research interests include Communication and Technology, Sociolinguistics, English Phonology, and Discourse Analysis and Language Preservation.

Dimensions

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Published

2020-06-01

How to Cite

Amenorvi, C. R., & Grumah, G. Y. . (2020). Gender and Sexuality Linguistic Taboos: A Case of Mɔ and Nnyabi in Ewe and Mampulli. Hybrid Journal of Literary and Cultural Studies, 2(3), 6-26. Retrieved from https://royalliteglobal.com/hybrid-literary/article/view/127

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Articles