Pragmatic Semantics and Chichewa Proverbs

  • Grivas Muchineripi Kayange
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 135)


This chapter investigates the semantics of Chichewa proverbs using insights from contemporary philosophy of language. It is argued that the structure of different proverbs reveal a great deal of metaphorical conceptualisation from the literal and non-literal source domains to a targeted context of use. It is further argued that, using the use-theorists approach, utterance-use meaning is a consequence of the intention of the creator of a proverb, the speaker’s intention and the hearer’s recognition of the speaker’s intention in a particular context. The use of proverbs, suggests that they are a special type of speech acts that are used in communication.


Proverbs Pragmatic semantics African philosophy Ordinary language approach Speech act 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grivas Muchineripi Kayange
    • 1
  1. 1.Chancellor CollegeUniversity of MalawiZombaMalawi

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