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Kavari, Jekura Uaurika (2000) The form and meaning of Otjiherero praises. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The primary purpose of this thesis is to investigate the form and meaning of Otjiherero praises in order to pinpoint their essential features. The main focus of the analyses of praise texts falls on the distribution of information and how the information status shapes the structure and meaning of the praise. The interactions and relations between internal entities of linguistic expressions that convey the required meaning and effect are interpreted to characterize the overall pattern of Otjiherero praises and the meaning conveyed by such structures. Therefore the thesis aims to pinpoint the manner and purpose of praising the topic in question. It tries to discover how the oral poet arranges and expresses the information and how he presents it in linguistic expressions and what he means by that linguistically expressed information. This is to explore what the oral poets do with the language, the way experience, facts and imagination are linguistically organised. The thesis is divided into two parts. The first part is the overview which defines praises and explains their uses in the community and outlines the sources of praises. The second part is about approaches and their application to Otjiherero praise texts (analyses and interpretation), followed by a conclusion that brings the thesis to a close. The first part consists of eight short chapters. Chapter 1 is a general introduction concerning the situation of African languages and oral literatures in Namibia with special focus on Otjiherero oral literature. Chapter 2 is a classification of Otjiherero oral poetic genres. The explanation of how they are intertwined and the distinctions between them will be made in chapter 4. Chapter 3 defines the genre of praise and explains its functions. Chapter 4 explains how praises are used in different discourses and performance in our socio-cultural contexts. Chapter 5 is about sources of praises in the Otjiherero community and explains the subjects of praising, in so doing it introduces the broader social context in which oral poets operate. Chapter 6 is about the oral poet and his art and explains how an oral poet acquires praises as well as his literary competence. Chapter 7 summarises the data analysed in this thesis. Chapter 8 reviews the relevant literature. It discusses other works on Otjiherero oral poetic genres. The second part comprises the last three chapters. Chapter 9 explains the approaches and interpretative procedures used to analyse praises in this study. Chapter 10 deals with the analysis of praise texts. Chapter 11 closes the thesis with summaries of findings, and with a general conclusion.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:05

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