African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 187

Full Length Research Paper

A pragmatic appraisal of the translation of Yoruba discourse markers into English

  M. A. Alo      
Department of English, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 01 March 2010
  •  Published: 31 August 2010



This paper examines the translation of discourse markers in Yoruba with the aim of identifying their pragmatic functions and constraints faced in their translation into English. The methodology of contrastive analysis is adopted in our analysis to identify similarities and differences in the use and function of specific discourse markers (‘yes’ and ‘thank you’) in both languages. The analysis is carried out within the pragmatic perspective based on the theory of speech acts and illocutionary force of utterances (Searle, 1969). The study also employs a contrastive linguistic pragmatic methodology which seeks to identify similarities and differences in the functions of discourse markers in Yoruba (source language). The findings from the data analysis show that translators’ choices are constrained by cultural and pragmatic differences between SL and TL. They also demonstrate that a good knowledge of pragmatics can enrich the study and practice of translation. 


Key words: Translation, discourse markers, pragmatic constraints, illocutionary force, speech acts.