Northern hegemonic metapragmatics over-feeding global pragmatics: whither the metapragmatics of the southern periphery?
This paper appraises the historical development of pragmatics as one of the youngest branches of linguistics, from its humble beginning in philology to its present enviable status. However, Northern hegemonic meta-pragmatics tends to be over-feeding global pragmatics to the detriment and disadvantage of the Southern periphery, which is clearly marginalised in terms of theoretical and empirical inputs. Locating these unequal epistemological relations within a conceptual model of globalisation as neo imperialism, “a pretender to universalism”, the paper urges pragmaticians of the Global South, especially Africa, to brace up for the epistemological gap and the challenges entailed in the development of African pragmatics, in our own peculiar situation. To do this, it is suggested we fall back on our Triple Heritage (Mazrui, 2001) comprising the three epistemological streams of “literature”, “orature” and “scripture,” which have furnished the universal pool of wisdom and civilisation (Lawal, 2004). Following what is hereby termed “meta-pragmatic imagination”, the paper then proceeds to illustrate how insights from “orature” and “scripture” can be deployed to enrich global pragmatics and meta-pragmatics.