Proverbs as Speech Acts: A Study of Selected Proverbs Among the Baganda.
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This dissertation examines a selection of proverbs of the Baganda as speech acts. This topic was inspired by the course unit that I did in my third year taught by Dr. Edgar Nabutanyi: Practical Criticism and Oral Interpretation. In this course, I realized that of all the critical approaches that we studied, the Performative text was most exciting. It is a course of whose units is anchored in the speech act theory by as especially espoused by John Langshaw Austin. In my opinion, it was and still is the most genuine, factual and most applicable to especially oral literature. To me, all utterances – ordinary and artistic – do without a doubt have underlying intentions and effects. Having observed that feature of utterances I made another observation that proverbs are undoubtedly utterances. What, then, could be more exciting was for me to demonstrate that proverbs are indeed utterances made with a structural pattern of speech acts: the locution, the illocution and the perlocution. It is an exciting project to me especially with regard to a selection of proverbs of the Baganda. Therefore, the major thesis of this study is to assert that the selection of the Baganda proverbs that I examine herein do possess all the three structural elements of speech acts according to J. L. Austin: the locution, illocution and perlocution. Hence, the proverbs can best be read as speech acts.