Ọbádélé Bakari Kambon, Josephine Dzahene-Quarshie
Twiswahili or Kiswatwili: A Study of Parallel Proverbs in Akan (Twi) and Kiswahili. Ghana Journal of Linguistics - Special Issue, 6(2), 116-153.
Publication year: 2017


In Akan and Kiswahili, there are several proverbs that express the same underlying idea, oftentimes in the exact same or similar ways. There are several possible reasons why these parallel proverbs exist. In one line of thinking, the similarities may be due to contact phenomena facilitating shared cultural and/or historical experiences. Another perspective is that the similarities may be due to the demonstrably genetic relationship between Akan and Kiswahili as languages of the Niger-Congo phylum. In this study, however, we will examine these proverbs in parallel or near-parallel and demonstrate that regardless of the facts of the two aforementioned lines of inquiry, they attest to a shared African worldview and can be analyzed in terms of measured proximity and similarity.

Keywords: Akan, Swahili, proverb, comparison, proximity, similarity, PPP matrix

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