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Implications for Gender Relations of Summons-Response and Address Forms in Dagbanli

Nantogma Alhassan Salifu (Wa, Ghana)



Abstract

This paper examines the structure and function of the summons and response in Dagbanli as well as address forms in the husband-wife relation. The Dagbanli language imposes different response forms on males and females and asymmetrical address terms between husband and wife. Drawing from my knowledge of the language as a native speaker and from observed practices of other speakers as well as from insights of key informants, I apply theories of sociolinguistics and pragmatics to analyze these simple conversational acts and I argue that they do not only reflect the sex differences of speakers but embed a larger gender ideology of unequal social relations between males and females in the Dagomba society.


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