The beauty of insult among the Ewe people

Authors

  • Emmanuel Dogbey College of Languages, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana
  • Esther K. Mbithi Department of Literature, Linguistics and Foreign Languages, Kenyatta University
  • Pascal Kpodo College of Languages Education, University of Education, Winneba
  • Oscar Macharia Maina Department of Literature, Linguistics and Foreign Languages, Kenyatta University

Keywords:

ewe

Abstract

Among the Ewes, insult is a mark of linguistic competence and culture consciousness. People receive praise for knowing how to insult. There are context-appropriate insults and there are context inappropriate insults. The consideration of a particular utterance as an insult is dependent on the communicative situation. The medium through which insult as a verbal art is performed is varied and diverse among the Ewes and every native speaker is groomed right from childhood to appropriately engage in the performance of insult. This study conducts an aesthetic analysis of insults among the Ewes. The study draws data from four native speakers each from the Anlo, Tongu and Ʋedome dialect groups of Ewe. Data was collected through interviews, observations and native speaker intuitions. The study establishes that insult is not only a verbal art but also a verbal game that is played by the speakers, and that how well one can play this game marks the linguistic competence and cultural literacy of the speaker. The study also finds that literary devices such as simile, metaphor, exaggeration, synecdoche among others are employed in insult performances. Verbal and nonverbal acts including varied kinesics, silence, songs are media for the performance of insult amongst the Ewe people.

Dimensions
Arif, A. (2001). A descriptive image of personality. Delhi: Pugnit Veema.
Caliver C. (2004). Racism and Identity. London: Pelikan.
Charles, B. (1991). Ethics and communication. USA. Pruebastorytel.
Forson, A, I. Fordjour, A, E., Tettey, A. L., & Oteng-Preko, E. (2017_‘Stylistic analysis of Akan insults: source, style and typology’, International Journal of Management and Scientific Research, Vol. 1, Iss. 4, pp. 148-161.
Sika, L. (2014). African culture and values. Ho: Mawu Press.
Geraldo, P. K. and Azasoo, K. (2005). Mastering literary criticism. Accra: Yamens.
Guveslt. R. (1984). Verbal outburst and control. http//verbal-outnurst-and-control-/html.
Haynes B. (1974). Why Your Words Matter? https://leadtoimpact.com/the-power-of-your-words/. Ret. 27th May 2018.
Howard, R. (2010). The art of creative insulting. https://leadtoimpact.com/the-power-of-your-words Ret. 18th July 2018.
Hughes M. (2010). Best of sporting insults: A collection of killer lines from our Aussie sports, Ligare Pty Ltd.
Irvine, William B. (2018). A Slap in the Face: Why Insults Hurt – And Why They Shouldn't. Pruebastorytel, https://www.storytel.com/mx/es/books/581138-A-Slap-in-the-Face-Why-Insults-Hurt-And-Why-They-Shouldn-t.
Martin, T. (2004). Negative words. NJ. Nitmuscards.
Roosefield, S. N. (2004). Insults and Anger: The 14 principles. Postcard 3(12). Pp, 12-18.

Published

2020-12-31

How to Cite

Emmanuel Dogbey, Mbithi, E. K. ., Pascal Kpodo, & Maina, O. M. . (2020). The beauty of insult among the Ewe people. Hybrid Journal of Literary and Cultural Studies, 3(1). Retrieved from https://royalliteglobal.com/hybrid-literary/article/view/415

Issue

Section

Articles