Proverbs as Custodians of Native Wisdom Essay

Proverbs as Custodians of Native Wisdom Essay

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Rhetorical devices are essential ‘condiments’ of every interesting discourse, since no discourse can be effective without them. Hence, Harris (2008) asserts that in every text, they are next in importance to appropriate and clear thesis, sufficient supporting arguments as well as logical and progressive arrangement of ideas. The beauty and effect inherent in rhetorical devices reside in their being potential persuasive tools, especially in argumentative discourses, court room discourse, for instance. Consequently, Onyemelukwe and Alo (2011) identify them as indispensable ‘ingredients’ of court room linguistic persuasive strategies.

The foregoing indicates that rhetorical devices are discourse strategies that go with beauty of expression. This beauty of expression is a function of the colour they add to the utterances of discourse participants. That is, rhetorical devices, whether linguistic or traditional, elevate interlocutors’ expressions by deepening their meanings to make them generally connotative.

A careful consideration of the foregoing definitions of proverb evinces, immediately, that it is a linguistic resource with immense discourse value. As such, it perfectly fits into the conceptualisation of rhetorical device, especially with reference to definitions (b, c, d, i and j). As a rhetorical device, proverb belongs to the traditional category, not the linguistic type. See Onyemelukwe, Alo and Ibeana (2011) as well as Onyemelukwe and Fatuase (2012) for clear distinctions between traditional and linguistic rhetorical devices. Like other traditional rhetorical devices such as figures of speech, axioms and idioms, proverbs can be conventional or creative. They are conventional if they are commonly in use, but creative if the...


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... Proceedings, pp. 80-87. October, 2013.
Onyemelukwe, Ndubuisi H. and Oriaku, Remmy O. (2011). Achebe’s Things Fall Apart as a
Compendium of Africanness: an International Conference Paper, University of
Lagos. P. 8, Book of Abstracts.

Onyemelukwe, N. H., Oriaku, R.O. and Ibeana, W.E. (2011): Traditional Rhetorical Devices as
Discourse Strategies in Achebe’s Anthills: An Award-winning International
Conference Paper Presented at University of Lagos 7th Annual Research Conference
and Fair, October, 2011. Book of Abstracts, p.5.
Padoye, Elizabeth O. (2013). Proverbs as Conveyors of Meaning in Chinua Achebe’s Things
Fall Apart, a B.A. Seminar Paper: National Open University of Nigeria, Lagos.
Templar, Richard (2008). The Rules of Parenting. England: Pearson Education Limited.

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