A comparative analysis of linguistic routines in two languages: English and Ewe
Ameka, F. K.
A comparative analysis of linguistic routines in two languages: English and Ewe. Journal of Pragmatics, 11
(3), 299-326. doi:10.1016/0378-2166(87)90135-4.
It is very widely acknowledged that linguistic routines are not only embodiments of the sociocultural values of speech communities that use them, but their knowledge and appropriate use also form an essential part of a speaker's communicative/pragmatic competence. Despite this, many studies concentrate more on describing the use of routines rather than explaining the socio-cultural aspects of their meaning and the way they affect their use. It is the contention of this paper that there is the need to go beyond descriptions to explanations and explications of the use and meaning of routines that are culturally and socially revealing. This view is illustrated by a comparative analysis of functionally equivalent formulaic expressions in English and Ewe. The similarities are noted and the differences explained in terms of the socio-cultural traditions associated with the respective languages. It is argued that insights gained from such studies are valuable for crosscultural understanding and communication as well as for second language pedagogy.