Communicative and Stylistic Utilization of New Yoruba Idioms among Students of Higher Institutions.

Author:Akanmu, Dayo


This paper is another dogged attempt to project and re-emphasize in a clear term, the pervasiveness, implication and currency of the new Yoruba idioms among the students of higher institutions in Nigeria and as an aspect of language that is fast becoming a universal phenomenon. The paper is equally motivated based on the fact that the new idioms and idiomatic expressions are an instrument in the hands of its users who have serious desires to move with time and be part of the latest development in every area of human experiences. However, in the course of participating in the latest or new development in science and technology, as well as telecommunication faced with certain linguistic constraints imposed on them by their language, especially difficulty in getting the appropriate lexical items and terms to express fresh ideas. However, to get out of this linguistic imbroglio, the option left for them according to Babalola (1972), Awobuluyi (1992), Akanmu 2014 and Olateju (2005) lies in the use of the new Yoruba idioms and idiomatic expressions derived by coining new words and by ascribing new meanings to the existing words or idioms. This paper is preoccupied, essentially, with the effort of analyzing and interpreting new idioms and idiomatic expressions used among the students of higher institutions in Lagos State, in order to determine their stylistic and communicative relevance.

Method of Data Collection

Data for this paper was collected from the Lagos State University, Ojo and Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Oto/Ijanikin as institutions whose students exemplified sufficient use of new Yoruba idioms and idiomatic expressions. Some of the new idioms selected for critical analysis include 'gunse lobe' (stab the work), agbeko' (brassier), 'laizwowo' (without looking or reading from the book), 'Ko si lori fun un' (he does not have it in his head), 'o gbond o yeruku' (it is hot and dusty), 'gbeegun' (robed in masquerade dress), 'kulu tempa' (cool temperament), 'ebo' (sacrifice). The only academic issue was expressed by all the aforementioned and was contextualized in 'absenteeism', 'carry over', 'brilliance', 'dullard', 'examination malpractice', 'temperament' and 'merriment'. The new Yoruba idioms and idiomatic expressions were analysed specifically at the stylistic level.

New Yoruba Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions

New Yoruba idioms and idiomatic expressions are another unique and veritable aspect of language use formulated in reaction to the demands of the moment emanating as an outcome of the linguistic challenges faced by the users which, consequently, necessitates creation of new idioms and idiomatic expressions. These contemporaneous stock expressions are so unique and vital because of their complex and deviant nature which invariably necessitates overlapping tendencies of their semantic derivations and unique differences from the automatized or traditional idioms. These phenomena are the replication of metaphor, euphemism, and the established traditional Yoruba idioms in terms of structure and meaning. New Yoruba idioms and idiomatic expressions are differentially used in spoken and written form at the lexical and phrasal levels. The lexical ones are referred to as 'one-word idioms' while the phrasal or sentential ones which are more than one-word expression are called 'idiomatic expressions.' New idioms and idiomatic expressions which are full of interest and vitality are created through coining and by investing old words and expressions with new meanings. They are new, fresh, strange and ingenious. They are familiar and, their origin is not cloudy to the users who are dexterous and dazzled at their appearance in any form and context.

Existing Works on New Yoruba Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions

There are a significant number of works on the new Yoruba idioms and idiomatic expressions by few scholars. These works include Olateju (2005), and (2016), Akanmu (2014), and (2015) respectively. The two scholars are of the views that idioms are terms referring to as words or expressions whose meanings cannot be determined or predicted from the individual elements in them. These scholars examined idioms and idiomatic expressions from the linguistic and literary point of view using Transformational Generative Grammar (TGG) and Mukarovsky's theory of Standard Language respectively. In their works, stylistic and some socio-linguistic variables were also adopted to bring out the aesthetic and...

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