Language use in Anaañ women’s marital play songs


  • Nnameti John Ekpo Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages University of Uyo


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. 

Author Biography

Nnameti John Ekpo, Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages University of Uyo





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How to Cite

Ekpo, N. J. (2022). Language use in Anaañ women’s marital play songs. Journal of the Nigerian Languages Project, 4, 58–68. Retrieved from