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Title: Unity in Diversity: A Comparative Study of Selected Idioms in Nembe (Nigeria) and English
Authors: Teilanyo, Dirikon Iniebio
Diri, I
Keywords: idioms
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
linguistic universals
cultural relativity
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Intercultural Communication Studies. University of Rhode Island, Kingston, USA.
Series/Report no.: Vol. XX111, Issue 2;124-140
Abstract: Different linguistic communities have unique ways of expressing certain ideas. These unique expressions include idioms (as compared with proverbs), often being fixed in lexis and structure. Based on assumptions and criticisms of the Sapir-Whorfian Hypothesis with its derivatives of cultural determinism and cultural relativity, this paper studies certain English idioms that have parallels in Nembe (an Ijoid language in Nigeria’s Niger Delta). It is discovered that while the codes (vehicles) of expression are different, the same propositions and thought patterns run through the speakers of these different languages. However, each linguistic community adopts the concepts and nuances in its environment. It is concluded that the concept of linguistic universals and cultural relativity complement each other and provide a forum for efficient communication across linguistic, cultural and racial boundaries
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