Language use in Anaañ women’s marital play songs
Keywords:Anaañ, marital play songs, language use, cultural values
Women’s play songs are vital aspects of African verbal art. These songs are developed by women to reflect the cultural values of African society as well as the acceptable and deviant behaviour of the people. Since women are denied the opportunity to express their feelings in the traditional Anaañ, they devise a way of communicating their grievances and appreciation to society using songs. Language plays a very important role in the transmission of songs, while songs preserve the language/culture of the people as they are passed down from generation to generation. Songs promote values and evoke emotional reactions and sentiments in the minds of the listeners through language. This paper seeks to x-ray language use in Anaañ women’s marital play songs. Materials used were elicited from female adult consultants from Anaañ-speaking communities in Akwa Ibom State. Findings reveal that the language of women’s marital play songs serves as a pathway through which the community’s cultural values are x-rayed. The songs are didactic in nature. The study recommends that much documentation of the songs should be preserved because they are almost going out of existence.
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