Studies on the use of language to refract societal realities in Ahmed Yerima’s dramas have largely examined stylistic and pragmatic features of some of his texts. Within the pragmatic domain, efforts have been concentrated on the examination of context-sensitive interpretations of proverbial meanings and the consideration of politeness features in Yerima’s plays. However, there is a dearth of work on the investigation of the pragmatics of Yerima’s use of language in cultural projections in his drama in linguistic scholarship, especially with respect to establishing the link between Mey’s theory of pragmatic acts and tradition-spurred topical issues in his Yoruba culture-based play, Àjàgùnmàlè. This study therefore fills this gap by examining the pragmeme-driven functions performed by Ahmed Yerima in tradition-motivated utterances in Àjàgùnmàlè, sampled for the evident preponderance of tradition-motivated discourses in it, towards determining his worldview on tradition-related issues in the society. These discourses were subjected to content analysis, drawing insights from Mey’s theory of pragmatic acts. The findings reveal the practs of explaining, warning/cautioning, advising, persuading, rebuking, praising, accusing, and pleading in traditional and emotive contexts of the discourses in Àjàgùnmàlè, to address thematic issues of culture, status/power, achievement, belief, social crisis, predestination, inquiry, and immorality with the advantage of contextual features of shared-situational knowledge (ssk), socio-cultural knowledge (sck), inference (inf), reference (ref) and voicing (vce). The interaction between the tradition-motivated discourses in Àjàgùnmàlè and Mey’s theory of pragmeme ultimately results in the understanding of tradition-related issues in the play and their context-driven dramatisation of the traditional orientations of the Yoruba in South-western Nigeria.

Keywords: Ajagunmale, Discourses, Pragmeme, Tradition- Motivated, Yerima

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