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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Onomastic Devices in Shaaban Robert's Narratives
Author:Ngonyani, Deo
Year:2001
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Volume:14
Issue:2
Period:December
Pages:125-136
Language:English
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:names
Swahili language
literature
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
About person:Shaaban bin Robert (1909-1962)ISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13696810120107087
Abstract:This paper examines onomastic devices in the novels of the Swahili writer Shaaban Robert (Tanzania, 1909-1962). It explores the symbolic nature of his carefully selected or invented names, as well as his use of names - both for persons and for places - as a discursive strategy. Focusing on Robert's allegorical trilogy consisting of 'Kusadikika' (Make-believe-land, 1951), 'Adili na Nduguze' (Righteous and his brothers, 1952), and 'Kufikirika' (Thought world, 1967), the paper reveals his unparalleled literary exuberance as evidenced in the semantics and symbolism of names. The paper provides a compendium of names, with the meaning of each anthroponym or toponym and an explanation of their roles. It discusses the function of the names in Robert's narrations, arguing that they define the discourse as fiction, situate narrator and readers, summarize plots, and provide didactic instruction. Bibliogr., notes, sum.
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