Syntactic Metaphors as Common Features of Most Nigerian Indigenous Names

Anthony JAMES, Ph.D., Rejoice James SONGDEN, Ph.D., Mrs. Blessing Saina’an LAGAN, Mrs. Onome OJO


African names are reflections of many factors at work, because beyond the fact that they identity symbols, the indigenous Nigerian Society believes that names shape a person’s character, mold their social identity and even influence an individual’s destiny. This explains why this study examined the peculiarities associated with most Nigerian indigenous names, focusing especially on the syntactic features of these names. The names used in this study were drawn from the two major Nigerian Languages of Yoruba and Igbo, and the third language, is the Edo Language of the Benin Kingdom. Consequently, when these names were translated into the English Language, using the parsing tools of Systemic Grammar of S- Subject, P- Predicator, C- Complement and A- Adjunct, the findings revealed that while most Nigerian indigenous names are singular words in their native entities, when these names are translated into English Language and analysed, they are complete sentences in the shape of subject, predicator and complement or subject, predicator and adjunct, in some cases a subject and a predicator. The findings buttress the fact that Nigerian indigenous names are classics, because they are like film – reels that reveal the cosmopolitan world view of the Nigerian indigenous societies. This highlights why these meanings are connotatively metaphoric, because a peoples thought, experience and what they do every day is very much a matter of metaphor (Lakoff and Johnson 1980: 3).

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