A lexical study on the functions of hyperboles in secular Kikamba songs
This project focuses on the functions of hyperboles in secular Kikamba songs. The study seeks to clarify how Kikamba singers use hyperboles in their songs to address certain issues in the society. Effective understanding of these hyperboles by the listeners enables them to get the message being conveyed by the singer. It involved identification of 20 hyperboles from 8 secular Kikamba songs by the singer Ken Wa Maria. This was followed by a questionnaire which was used to collect data from listeners of Ken Wa Maria‟s songs. The listeners comprised of people from both urban and rural areas of different age groups as well as different educational background. The collected data was then analyzed according to the ability to identify the hyperboles, secondly the implied meanings basing on the implicatures. The findings were: that there is a varied interpretation of the hyperboles used in popular Kikamba songs depending on the age of the listener and the educational level. Another finding was that the deeper and hidden meaning of the hyperboles also needs cultural reference of some terms. The hyperboles in the Kikamba songs are used for various reasons such as, for emphasis, humour and persuasion. These findings were explained using the notions of explicatures and implicatures of the Relevance Theory by Sperber and Wilson (1995). The Relevance Theoretic notions enabled the listeners of the songs to get the intended meaning and a range of other implications the singer may not have intended to approve but was implied in the utterance of the hyperboles in the songs.
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