Indirectness in Pronominal Usage in Akan Discourse
AbstractThis article discusses the pragmatic import of Akan personal pronouns by examining different personal pronouns and showing their address and referential values and meanings. It also discusses how in certain communicational contexts, specific personal pronouns are used to index referents other than the ones conventionally associated with a particular form. Apart from having a first person reference, the first person pronoun may be used as a second or third person reference. The second person singular pronoun can, in addition to having second person reference, be used to mean first person. The third person may, apart from its normal reference, be used to index either the first or second person. The pronoun switching involves conventional indirectness It has relevance for politeness and occurs when insinuating, criticizing other people, drawing attention to social problems, complaining about an antisocial act, and showing friendliness or intimacy.