The ethno-pragmatics of “amannebɔ” in Akan
Among the Akan, one of the parameters for assessing a person’s communicative competence is to see how much s/he is conversant with giving an account of his/her mission anytime he/she plays the role as a guest, a host, or a spokesperson. The aim of this paper is to discuss the Akan narrative concept called amannebɔ. The paper defines the concept called amannebɔ and what it entails in Akan sociocultural norms and values and goes on to discuss amannebɔ under the frameworks of narratives and politeness. The paper further analyses the language and pragmatics of amannebɔ and highlights the major literary devices used including euphemisms, proverbs, idioms personification and the use of titles and address forms. It also considers the structure of amannebɔ and the major sociocultural contexts in which it is used. We will consider data from (1) durbar of chiefs, (2) naming and marriage encounters (3) funerals and (4) funeral donations. The paper finally discusses the sociocultural functions of amannebɔ and provides findings and recommendations for its sustenance in contemporary Akan.
Keywords: amanneb, politeness, narratives, face, communicative competence
Published online: 05 January 2012