Ethnopoetic Analysis of the Dagbamba Song Riddles
International Journal of Applied Linguistics and Translation
Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2020, Pages: 59-67
Received: Apr. 17, 2020; Accepted: May 19, 2020; Published: Jun. 8, 2020
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Mohammed Abubakari Rashid, Languages Department, E. P. College of Education, Bimbilla, Ghana
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This paper discusses the song riddle (Tuya duɣibu) among the Dagbamba in the Northern Region of Ghana. Data for this study were taken from recordings of interviews as well as native speaker intuition and analyzed within the theoretical framework of Jacobson’s Ethnopoetic Theory. The paper shows that the Dagbamba song riddle has the antecedent and a response as its parts. I show in the paper that the Dagbamba song riddles have alliteration and pilling as a repetitive pattern. Again, the paper shows that the dominant ratio of the number of elements (elements pattern) employed in the Dagbamba song riddle performance of both the antecedents and the responses is 2:2. It is also shown in the paper that there is no syllabic equivalence in the Dagbamba song riddle, but short and open syllables are most prominently employed in both the song riddle antecedents and responses. Also shown in this paper is the opening formula. The song riddle is peculiar because, apart from it being sang as a song, it is also accompanied with gestures and dance during its enactment. As a relationship, the Dagbamba song riddle cautions the Dagbamba society against divorce didactically. The paper serves as a way of documenting the knowledge of literature and augmenting the existing knowledge of literature among the Dagbamba since modernity is seen as a threat to Dagbamba folklore.
Riddle, Ethnopoetic, Dagbamba and Antecedent
To cite this article
Mohammed Abubakari Rashid, Ethnopoetic Analysis of the Dagbamba Song Riddles, International Journal of Applied Linguistics and Translation. Vol. 6, No. 3, 2020, pp. 59-67. doi: 10.11648/j.ijalt.20200603.11
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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