A Pragmatic Analysis of Maccaa Oromo Marriage Proverbs Horro Guduru in Focus

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Tajuddin Hashim
Teshome Egere
Meheretu Adnew


This study analyses marriage proverbs of the Maccaa Oromo in Horro Guduru using John R. Searle's (1979)
Speech Act Theory to understand the speakers' intentions. The research aims to identify the illocutionary acts,
their forces, and explore their effects on the audience. Data gathered through interviews and observations were
analyzed using a descriptive qualitative method. Sixteen proverbs were analyzed and categorized into
contextual themes like faith, omens, upbringing, morals, advice, wisdom, kinship, and status. The findings
reveal five types of illocutionary acts—assertive, directive, commissive, expressive, and declarative— essential
for grasping pragmatic functions and intentions. The study illustrates how these proverbs facilitate
communication, strengthen social bonds, provide cultural insights, offer guidance, issue warnings, and explain
Oromo societal values that affect marital relationships. As revealed by the study, with explicit and implied
meanings, proverbs convey various illocutionary forces like asserting, informing, criticizing, advising, warning,
hoping, marrying, praising, regretting, validating, and complimenting, each triggering various perlocutionary
effects on the audience‘s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. The effects include persuading, convincing,
invoking, reminding, frightening, inspiring, pleasing, and humiliating. The fusion of implicatures with
illocutionary forces and perlocutionary effects enriches communication, enhancing interpretive comprehension.
The study underscores how these proverbs reflect and perpetuate the community‘s cultural values, beliefs,
norms, and communication dynamics, emphasizing the importance of considering cultural context and
pragmatic implications to reveal profound wisdom. It suggests further exploration of Oromo proverbs from
diverse pragmatic lenses like politeness strategies, and philosophical, sociological, and anthropological
perspectives to unveil additional knowledge systems.

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How to Cite
Hashim, T., Egere, T., & Adnew, M. (2024). A Pragmatic Analysis of Maccaa Oromo Marriage Proverbs. The Ethiopian Journal of Social Sciences and Language Studies (EJSSLS), 11(1), 87-106. Retrieved from https://journals.ju.edu.et/index.php/ejssls/article/view/5518