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An Analysis of the role of context in meaning and interpretation of Gîkûyû Idioms

Journal: International Journal of English, Literature and Social Science (Vol.5, No. 5)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 1765-1772

Keywords : Idiom; Context; Gikuyu language.;

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This paper analyses the role of context in the meaning and interpretation of Gîkûyû idiomatic expressions. The paper is based on the premise that the polylexemic nature of an idiom makes it unamendable to structural manipulation and that meaning is context based. This makes it to constitute a linguistic phenomenon that has proved to be problematic to linguistic theory. This paper applied the relevance theory by Wilson and Sperber (1986/1995). To achieve the objective of the study, the study employed a descriptive research design. The target population was 50 native speakers of Gîkûyû language from Ndeiya Sub-county, Kiambu County aged 60 years and above. The participants were sampled using purpose and quota sampling. The study analyzed 100 idioms. The research instruments included interview schedule and focus group discussions. Data was analyzed qualitatively where the idioms were grouped basing on content and themes. The findings of the study reveal that the structure of Gikuyu idioms is unique and the meaning of idiomatic idioms is context dependent.

Last modified: 2020-11-07 18:01:55