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Blessings in afan oromo: morphosyntactic, semantic and pragmatic aspects

Author: 
Eba Teresa Garoma and Ashenafi Belay Adugna
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

This study uncovered certain structural and functional aspects of blessings in Afan Oromo which have great intimacy with the cultural, social, political, economic and spiritual welfares of Oromo people. Accordingly, descriptions of prominent linguistic features and various functions of blessings were the objectives of the study. Macha, Tulama, Barentu and Borana-Guji dialects and their native speakers were selected using purposive and convenient and sampling techniques. Data collection instruments were contextualised elicitation, naturalistic data or spontaneous speech data and document analysis. The data gathered using the above scientific tools were analyzed through linguistic descriptive methods. The findings of the study showed that blessings of Afan Oromo have uncommon linguistic features which are rarely used in the ordinary communications of the speakers as the speech acts show structural forms which deviate from the common arrangement of words in the language. Morphosyntactically, inflectional morphemes which show tenses, moods, cases, numbers, persons and genders are identified in the expressions. They basically use second and third singular masculine persons in almost all blessing expressions of the target language. Semantically, blessings in Afan Oromo focus on peace, health, breeding, prosperity, good hopes, trust, power, growth and long life for elders. The pragmatics of the blessing speech in Afan Oromo show that elders/blessers are agents, the blessed or good doers are patients, the blessing expressions are locutionary acts, the benedictions are illocutionary acts and ‘God’s bestowal is the perlocutionary act.

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