The Pragmatics of the Marker ‘Kule’ in Utterance Interpretation: The Case of Ga

Ruby Otoo


The paper looks at the marker, kulɛ , in Ga (Niger-Congo, Kwa branch), which has a variety of uses. Using a relevance-theoretic approach, I argue that ‘kulɛ’ exhibits modal features  and different  meanings in utterance. In spite of the variety of uses of this word, kulɛ for instance, has been presented as resulting in various semantic polysemies (Schwenter and Traugott 2000), instead of  a number of functions that are defined by the context and that can be brought back to a  lexical item as l propose – which would entail the idea of a core meaning. Other lexical elements probably developed differently and should therefore be explained by means of a semantic core meaning with pragmatic polysemy ( see Aijmer and Simon-Vandenbergen 2003). Looking at the interplay between the encoded meaning of kulɛ and pragmatically derived information in natural speech situations indicate that the cognitive plausible way of accounting for the communicative function of this Ga marker kulɛ is seen as a  lexical semantics .

Keywords: Encoded meaning; explicature; Higher-level Implicature; Indirect requests;Modality; Relevance;

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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