Interactional Contexts in African Languages: A Case Study of Luganda Pragmatic Markers


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Linguistics, English Language and Communication


This study seeks to analyse the form, behaviour and procedural meaning of pragmatic markers (PMs) in Luganda, a less studied African language spoken in Central Uganda. A survey of the literature shows that key findings on PMs are largely informed by non-African languages, and yet the few studies on PMs in African languages provide vivid evidence of their uniqueness in many aspects. I argue that unless such PMs are investigated, a comprehensive understanding of the PM universals may never be achieved. This study aims to broaden the analysis of PMs by drawing more attention to the significance of social contexts as far as language use in Africa is concerned. It will provide an in-depth understanding of the centrality of pragmatic markers to social cohesion, community and national bonding. By so doing, it will open up interdisciplinary debates and approaches that redefine the analysis of PMs.