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Code-talking in the novels of fágúnwà: names as focus

Author: 
Akanbi, Timothy Adeyẹmi
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

This paper discusses names in Fágúnwà’s novels in the perspective of code-talking – a kind of language game (Fromkin et al., 2011). Name is very important to Yorùbá and the Yorùbá culture therefore, every concept in Yorùbá is given one name or the other. Yorùbá believe that name serves as identification for people and that name indicates who a person is and where he belongs. Name, to the Yorùbá, destines an individual for his future and what he will become in life. This is why Yorùbá will say “Orúkọ ọmọ ní í ro ọmọ”. Meaning that ‘a man’s name predisposes him to do certain things’. Virtually all Yorùbá names have an underlying meaning apart from the surface one. Indeed, Yorúbá names are euphemisms. Data used in this present paper are extracted from the various novels of Fágúnwà. Each name presented is given a loose translation for the understanding of the reader. Even though many of the names used by Fágúnwà are restricted to the happenings in his novels, yet, they have consequences for the larger world. The paper therefore concludes that names in the novels are given to reflect the happenings in the larger society.

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