Yoruba language


Yoruba language
Yorùbá
èdèe Yorùbá
Spoken in  Nigeria
 Togo
 Benin
Ethnicity Yoruba people
Native speakers 19.4 million  (1993)
Language family
Niger–Congo
Writing system Latin
Official status
Regulated by No official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1 yo
ISO 639-2 yor
ISO 639-3 yor

Yorùbá (native name èdè Yorùbá, 'the Yorùbá language') is a Niger–Congo language spoken in West Africa by approximately 20 million speakers.[1] The native tongue of the Yoruba people, it is spoken, among other languages, in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo and in communities in other parts of Africa, Europe and the Americas. It is most closely related to the Itsekiri language spoken in the Niger-Delta and Igala spoken in central Nigeria. It is more widely related to other Nigerian Niger–Congo languages including Edo, Igbo and Nupe.

Contents

History

The ancestor of the Yoruba speakers is, according to their oral traditions, Oduduwa. Although they share a common history, it is only since thee second half of the nineteenth century that the children of Oduduwa share one name. At some stage the term Yariba or Yoruba came into use, first confined to the Ọyọ Kingdom; the term was used among the Hausa (as it is today) but its origins are unclear.[2] In part due to the development of a written standard, the term Yoruba was extended to include all speakers of the language.

Linguistic means — including, for example, historical-comparative linguistics, glottochronology, and dialectology — used along with both traditional (oral) historical sources and archaeological finds, have shed some light on the history of the Yorubas and their language before this point. The North-West Yoruba dialects, for example, show more linguistic innovations. According to some, this, combined with the fact that Southeast and Central Yoruba areas generally have older settlements, suggests a later date of immigration for Northwest Yoruba.[3]

Varieties

The Yoruba dialect continuum itself consists of several dialects. The various Yoruba dialects in the Yorubaland of Nigeria can be classified into three major dialect areas: Northwest, Central, and Southeast.[4] Of course, clear boundaries can never be drawn and peripheral areas of dialectal regions often have some similarities to adjoining dialects.

North-West Yoruba is historically a part of the Ọyọ empire. In NWY dialects, Proto-Yoruba /gh/ (the velar fricative [ɣ]) and /gw/ have merged into /w/; the upper vowels /i ̣/ and /ụ/ were raised and merged with /i/ and /u/, just as their nasal counterparts, resulting in a vowel system with seven oral and three nasal vowels. Ethnographically, traditional government is based on a division of power between civil and war chiefs; lineage and descent are unilineal and agnatic.

South-East Yoruba was probably associated with the expansion of the Benin Empire after c. 1450 AD.[5] In contrast to NWY, lineage and descent are largely multilineal and cognatic, and the division of titles into war and civil is unknown. Linguistically, SEY has retained the /gh/ and /gw/ contrast, while it has lowered the nasal vowels /ịn/ and /ụn/ to /ẹn/ and /ọn/, respectively. SEY has collapsed the second and third person plural pronominal forms; thus, àn án wá can mean either 'you (pl.) came' or 'they came' in SEY dialects, whereas NWY for example has ẹ wá 'you (pl.) came' and wọ́n wá 'they came', respectively. The emergence of a plural of respect may have prevented coalescence of the two in NWY dialects.

Central Yoruba forms a transitional area in that the lexicon has much in common with NWY, whereas it shares many ethnographical features with SEY. Its vowel system is the least innovating (most stable) of the three dialect groups, having retained nine oral-vowel contrasts and six or seven nasal vowels, and an extensive vowel harmony system.

Literary Yoruba

Literary Yoruba, also known as Standard Yoruba, Yoruba koiné, and common Yoruba, is a separate member of the dialect cluster. It is the written form of the language, the standard variety learnt at school and that spoken by newsreaders on the radio. Standard Yoruba has its origin in the 1850s, when Samuel A. Crowther, the first African Bishop, published a Yoruba grammar and started his translation of the Bible. Though for a large part based on the Ọyọ and Ibadan dialects, Standard Yoruba incorporates several features from other dialects.[6] It also has some features peculiar to itself, for example the simplified vowel harmony system, as well as foreign structures, such as calques from English which originated in early translations of religious works.

Because the use of Standard Yoruba did not result from some deliberate linguistic policy, much controversy exists as to what constitutes 'genuine Yoruba', with some writers holding the opinion that the Ọyọ dialect is the most "pure" form, and others stating that there is no such thing as genuine Yoruba at all. Standard Yoruba, the variety learnt at school and used in the media, has nonetheless been a powerful consolidating factor in the emergence of a common Yoruba identity.

Writing system

In the 17th century Yoruba was written in the Ajami script, a form of Arabic.[7] Modern Yoruba orthography originated in the early work of CMS missionaries working among the Aku (Yoruba) of Freetown. One of their informants was Crowther, who later would proceed to work on his native language himself. In early grammar primers and translations of portions of the English Bible, Crowther used the Latin alphabet largely without tone markings. The only diacritic used was a dot below certain vowels to signify their open variants [ɛ] and [ɔ], viz. ⟨ẹ⟩ and ⟨ọ⟩. Over the years the orthography was revised to represent tone among other things. In 1875 the Church Missionary Society (CMS) organised a conference on Yoruba Orthography; the standard devised there was the basis for the orthography of the steady flow of religious and educational literature over the next seventy years.

The current orthography of Yoruba used in Nigeria derives from a 1966 report of the Yoruba Orthography Committee, along with Ayọ Bamgboṣe's 1965 Yoruba Orthography, a study of the earlier orthographies and an attempt to bring Yoruba orthography in line with actual speech as much as possible. Still largely similar to the older orthography, it employs the Latin alphabet modified by the use of the digraph ⟨gb⟩ and certain diacritics, including the traditional vertical line set under the letters ⟨⟩, ⟨⟩, and ⟨⟩. In many publications the line is replaced by a dot ⟨ẹ⟩, ⟨ọ⟩, ⟨ṣ⟩. The vertical line had been used to avoid the mark being fully covered by an underline.

Nigerian alphabet
A B D E F G Gb H I J K L M N O P R S T U W Y
a b d e f g gb h i j k l m n o p r s t u w y

The Latin letters ⟨c⟩, ⟨q⟩, ⟨v⟩, ⟨x⟩, ⟨z⟩ are not used.

The pronunciation of the letters without diacritics corresponds more or less to their International Phonetic Alphabet equivalents, except for the labial-velar stops [k͡p] (written ⟨p⟩) and [ɡ͡b] (written ⟨gb⟩), in which both consonants are pronounced simultaneously rather than sequentially. The diacritic underneath vowels indicates an open vowel, pronounced with the root of the tongue retracted (so ⟨⟩ is pronounced [ɛ̙] and ⟨⟩ is [ɔ̙]). ⟨⟩ represents a postalveolar consonant [ʃ] like the English ⟨sh⟩, ⟨y⟩ represents a palatal approximant like English ⟨y⟩, and ⟨j⟩ a voiced palatal plosive, as is common in many African orthographies.

In addition to the vertical bars, three further diacritics are used on vowels and syllabic nasal consonants to indicate the language's tones: an acute accent´⟩ for the high tone, a grave accent`⟩ for the low tone, and an optional macron¯⟩ for the middle tone. These are used in addition to the line in ⟨⟩ and ⟨⟩. When more than one tone is used in one syllable, the vowel can either be written once for each tone (for example, *⟨òó⟩ for a vowel [o] with tone rising from low to high) or, more rarely in current usage, combined into a single accent. In this case, a caron ⟨ˇ⟩ is used for the rising tone (so the previous example would be written ⟨ǒ⟩) and a circumflex ⟨ˆ⟩ for a the falling tone.

List of characters used in Nigeria
Á À Ā É È Ē Ẹ / Ẹ́ / É̩ Ẹ̀ / È̩ Ẹ̄ / Ē̩ Í Ì Ī Ó Ò Ō Ọ / Ọ́/ Ó̩ Ọ̀ / Ò̩ Ọ̄ / Ō̩ Ú Ù Ū /
á à ā é è ē ẹ / ẹ́ / é̩ ẹ̀ / è̩ ẹ̄ / ē̩ í ì ī ó ò ō ọ / ọ́ / ó̩ ọ̀ / ò̩ ọ̄ / ō̩ ú ù ū /

In Benin, Yoruba uses a different orthography. The Yoruba alphabet was standardized along with other Benin languages in the National Languages Alphabet by the National Language Commission in 1975, and revised in 1980 by the National Center for Applied Linguistics.

Benin alphabet
A B D E Ɛ F G Gb H I J K KP L M N O Ɔ P R S sh T U W Y
a b d e ɛ f g gb h i j k kp l m n o ɔ p r s sh t u w y

Modernising the Yoruba Writing System, Attempts

The advent of the use of writing instruments and the European cultural invasion have highlighted key issues in writing for the Yoruba language.

Firstly, Crowther and others used a diacritical marking system to denote the tonalism that is prevalent in Yoruba language. Linguists and software developers have not done enough to transfer these marks into the modern age. Unfortunately, the software widely used in websites, computers, mobile phones and tablets tend not to enable the bottom marks AND the top marks together. In the age of typewriters, editors could go over an article and hand-write the marks before additional copies are published. It is cumbersome or impossible to do this sort of editing with modern electronic systems.

Secondly, the English language is in wide use among the Yoruba, and has brought a range of new alphabetical characters (c, q, x, v and z) into the Yoruba mind-space. Many of these are in words in scientific context and do not have Yoruba direct translations. For example, chemical names like xanthium and calcium, or biological terms such as zygote and virus, or physics concepts such as quantum, cyclone and revolver. Other terms are more mundane such as cake, car, saxophone, video, zoo, quack, and computer.

Thirdly, a whole range of new characters have evolved internationally and been adopted by the Yoruba. These include currency symbols such as the Nigerian Naira (₦) and the Ghana Cedi (Ȼ); abbreviations for copyright (c), registered (r) and trademark (TM), and the web-centric @.

The Yoruba thinker, Remi-NIyi Alaran [8] has proposed an adaptation of the Crowther marking system. The Alaran method involves putting 'both' diacritical marks above the character. Benefits of this method include clearer underlining, less visual clutter, and improved ease of Yoruba language localisation:

À à A a Á á B b D d È è E e É é Ḕ ḕ Ė ė Ḗ ḗ F f G g GB gb H h Ì ì
I i Í í J j K k L l M m N n Ò ò O o Ó ó Ṑ ṑ Ȯ ȯ Ṓ ṓ P p R r S s
Ṡ ṡ T t Ù ù U u Ú ú W w Y y C c Q q V v X x Z z Ȼ @ ©

Linguistic features

Phonology

The three possible syllable structures of Yoruba are consonant+vowel (CV), vowel alone (V), and syllabic nasal (N). Every syllable bears one of the three tones: high ⟨◌́⟩, mid ⟨◌̄⟩ (generally left unmarked), and low ⟨◌̀⟩. The sentence 'n̄ ò lọ' I didn't go provides examples of the three syllable types:

  • [ŋ̄]I
  • ò — [ó]not (negation)
  • lọ — [lɔ]to go

Vowels

Standard Yoruba has seven oral and five nasal vowels. There are no diphthongs in Yoruba; sequences of vowels are pronounced as separate syllables. Dialects differ in the number of vowels they have; see above.

Yoruba vowel diagram.[9] Oral vowels are marked by black dots, while the coloured regions indicate the ranges in possible quality of the nasal vowels.
  Oral vowels Nasal vowels
Front Back Front Back
Close i u ĩ ũ
Close-mid e o    
Open-mid ɛ ɔ ɛ̃ ɔ̃
Open a  

The status of a fifth nasal vowel, [ã], is controversial. Although the sound does occur in speech, several authors have argued it to be not phonemically contrastive; often, it is in free variation with [ɔ̃].[10] Orthographically, nasal vowels are normally represented by an oral vowel symbol followed by ⟨n⟩ (i.e., ⟨in⟩, ⟨un⟩, ⟨ẹn⟩, ⟨ọn⟩), except in case of the [n] allophone of /l/ (see below) preceding a nasal vowel, i.e. inú 'inside, belly' is actually pronounced [īnṹ].[11]

Consonants

  LabIal Alveolar Postalveolar/
Palatal
Velar Glottal
plain labial
Nasal m   ŋ ~ ŋ̍    
Plosive b t  d ɟ k  ɡ k͡p  ɡ͡b  
Fricative f s ʃ     h
Approximant   l ~ n j   w  
Rhotic   ɾ        

The voiceless plosives /t/ and /k/ are slightly aspirated; in some Yoruba varieties, /t/ and /d/ are more dental. The rhotic consonant is realized as a flap [ɾ], or in some varieties (notably Lagos Yoruba) as the alveolar approximant [ɹ]. Like many other languages of the region, Yoruba has the labial-velar stops /k͡p/ and /ɡ͡b/, e.g. pápá [k͡pák͡pá] 'field', gbọ̄gbọ̄ [ɡ͡bɔɡ͡bɔ] 'all'. Notably, it lacks the common voiceless bilabial plosive /p/, which is why /k͡p/ is written as ⟨p⟩. It also lacks a phoneme /n/; though the letter ⟨n⟩ is used for the sound in the orthography, it strictly speaking refers to an allophone of /l/ which immediately precedes a nasal vowel.

There is also a syllabic nasal which forms a syllable nucleus by itself. When it precedes a vowel it is a velar nasal [ŋ], e.g. n ò lọ [ŋ ò lɔ] 'I didn't go'. In other cases its place of articulation is homorganic with the following consonant, for example ó ń lọ [ó ń lɔ] 'he is going', ó ń fò [ó ḿ fò] 'he is jumping'.

Tone

Yoruba is a tonal language with three level tones: high, low, and mid (the default tone.[12]) Every syllable must have at least one tone; a syllable containing a long vowel can have two tones. Contour tones (i.e. rising or falling tone melodies) are usually analysed as separate tones occurring on adjacent tone bearing units (morae) and thus have no phonemic status.[13] Tones are marked by use of the acute accent for high tone (⟨á⟩, ⟨ń⟩), the grave accent for low tone (⟨à⟩, ⟨ǹ⟩); Mid is unmarked, except on syllabic nasals where it is indicated using a macron (⟨a⟩, ⟨n̄⟩); see below). Examples:

  • H: ó bẹ́ 'he jumped'; síbí 'spoon'
  • M: ó bẹ 'he is forward'; ara 'body'
  • L: ó bẹ̀ 'he asks for pardon'; ọ̀kọ̀ 'spear'.

Assimilation and elision

When a word precedes another word beginning with a vowel, assimilation or deletion ('elision') of one of the vowels often takes place.[14] In fact, since syllables in Yoruba normally end in a vowel, and most nouns start with one, this is a very common phenomenon, and indeed only is absent in very slow, unnatural speech. The orthography here follows speech in that word divisions are normally not indicated in words that are contracted as a result of assimilation or elision: ra ẹjarẹja 'buy fish'. Sometimes however, authors may choose to use an inverted comma to indicate an elided vowel as in ní ilén’ílé 'in the house'.

Long vowels within words usually signal that a consonant has been elided word-internally. In such cases, the tone of the elided vowel is retained, e.g. àdìròààrò 'hearth'; koríkokoóko 'grass'; òtítóòótó 'truth'.

Grammar

Yoruba is a highly isolating language, with an index of synthesis of 1.09.[15] Its basic constituent order is subject–verb–object (SVO),[16] as in ó nà Adé 'he beat Adé'. The bare verb stem denotes a completed action (often called perfect); tense and aspect are marked by preverbal particles such as ń 'imperfect/present continuous', ti 'past'. Negation is expressed by a preverbal particle . Serial verb constructions are common, as in many other languages of West Africa.

Although Yoruba has no grammatical gender,[17] it does have a distinction between human and non-human nouns; probably a remainder of the noun class system of proto-Niger–Congo, the distinction is only apparent in the fact that the two groups require different interrogative particles: tani for human nouns (‘who?’) and kini for non-human nouns (‘what?’). The associative construction (covering possessive/genitive and related notions) consists of juxtaposing nouns in the order modified-modifier as in inú àpótí {inside box} 'the inside of the box', fìlà Àkàndé 'Akande’s cap' or àpótí aṣọ 'box for clothes' (Bamgboṣe 1966:110, Rowlands 1969:45-6). More than two nouns can be juxtaposed: rélùweè abẹ́ ilẹ̀ (railway under ground) ‘underground railway’, inú àpótí aṣọ 'the inside of the clothes box'. In the rare case where this results in two possible readings, disambiguation is left to the context. Plural nouns are indicated by a plural word.[16]

There are two ‘prepositions’: ‘on, at, in’ and ‘onto, towards’. The former indicates location and absence of movement, the latter encodes location/direction with movement (Sachnine 1997:19). Position and direction are expressed by these prepositions in combination with spatial relational nouns like orí ‘top’, apá ‘side’, inú ‘inside’, etí ‘edge’, abẹ́ ‘under’, ilẹ̀ ‘down’, etc. Many of these spatial relational terms are historically related to body-part terms.

Islam Yoruba Language Relations

Background

In his works such as Islam in Africa - West African in Particular, and Missionary and Colonization in Africa,[18] Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu used assertions like these to argue that Islam had reached Sub-Sahara Africa, including the Yoruba Lands in West Africa, as early as the first century of Hijrah through Muslim traders and expeditions during the reign of the Arab conquror, Uqba ibn al Nafia (622–683) whose Islamic conquests under the Umayyad dynasty, in Amir Muavia and Yazid periods, spread all Northern Africa or the Maghrib Al-Arabi, including present-day Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Morocco.

The wide adoption of imported religions and civilizations such as Islam and Christianity has managed to lay impacts both on written and spoken Yoruba. In his Arabic-English Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Quran and Sunnah, the Nigerian Muslim academic Sheikh Dr. Adelabu argued Islam has enriched African languages by providing them with technical and cultural augmentations with Ki-Swahili and Af-Somaali in East Africa and Turanci Hausa and Fula-Nyami in West Africa the most beneficiaries. Sheikh Adelabu, a Ph D graduate from Damascus cited - among many other common usages - the following words to be Yoruba's derivatives of Arabic vocabularies:[19]

Some Loan Words

  • Alaafia i.e. Good, Fine Or Health(y) from derivative Al-Aafiah (Ar. العافية)
  • Sanma i.e. heaven or sky adopted for Samaa` (Ar. السماء)
  • Alubarika i.e. blessing used as Al-Barakah (Ar. البركة)
  • Wakati i.e. hour or time formed from Waqt (Ar. وقت)
  • Alubosa i.e. onion as Al-Basal (Ar. االبصل)
  • Adua or Adura i.e. prayer or supplication from Ad-du'a (Ar. الدعاء)
  • Asiri i.e. Secret or Hidden derivative of As-Sirr (Ar. السرّ)

Meanwhile, among commonly Arabic words used in Yoruba Language are names of the days such as Atalata (Ar. Ath-Thulatha الثلاثاء) for Tuesday, Alaruba (Ar. Al-Arbi'a الأربعاء) for Wednesday, Alamisi (Ar. Al-Khamis الخميس) for Thursday, and Jimoh (Ar. Al-Jum'ah الجمعة) for Friday. By far Ojo Jimoh is the most favourably used. It's usually preferred to the unpleasant word for Friday, Eti, which means failure, laziness or abandonment.[20]

Literature

Yoruba has an extensive body of literature.

Oral literature

Written literature

See also

  • Yoruba numerals


Notes and references

Notes

  1. ^ Ethnologue 2009, with figures from 1993
  2. ^ Fagborun comments that '[i]t is definitely not morphologically indigenous' (1994:13).
  3. ^ Adetugbọ 1973:192-3. (See also the section Dialects.)
  4. ^ This widely followed classification is based on Adetugbọ’s (1982) dialectological study — the classification originated in his 1967 PhD thesis The Yoruba Language in Western Nigeria: Its Major Dialect Areas. See also Adetugbọ 1973:183-193.
  5. ^ Adetugbọ 1973:185.
  6. ^ Cf. for example the following remark by Adetugbọ (1967, as cited in Fagborun 1994:25): "While the orthography agreed upon by the missionaries represented to a very large degree the phonemes of the Abẹokuta dialect, the morpho-syntax reflected the Ọyọ-Ibadan dialects".
  7. ^ "Yoruba...written in a version of the Arabic script known as Ajami (or Ajamiyya)."[1]
  8. ^ Ralaran Uléìmȯkiri Institute
  9. ^ After Bamgboṣe (1969:166).
  10. ^ Notably, Ayọ Bamgboṣe (1966:8).
  11. ^ Abraham in his Dictionary of Modern Yoruba deviates from this custom, explicitly indicating the nasality of the vowel; thus, inú is found under inún, etc.
  12. ^ Several authors have argued that the mid-tone is not specified underlyingly, but rather is assigned by a default rule (Pulleyblank 1986, Fọlarin 1987, Akinlabi 1985). Evidence includes examples like the following:
    rí 'see' aṣọ 'clothing' → ráṣọ 'see clothing', contrasted with rí 'see' ọ̀bẹ 'knife' → rọ́!bẹ 'see a knife'
    In the first example, the final vowel of the verb is deleted but its high tone easily attaches to the first syllable of aṣọ, the mid tone of which disappears without a trace. In the second example, the Low tone of the first syllable of ọ̀bẹ is not as easily deleted; it causes a downstep (marked by ⟨!⟩, i.e., a lowering of subsequent tones. The ease with which the Mid tone gives way is attributed to it not being specified underlyingly. Cf. Bamgboṣe 1966:9 (who calls the downstep effect 'the assimilated low tone').
  13. ^ Cf. Bamgboṣe 1966:6: The so-called glides […] are treated in this system as separate tones occurring on a sequence of two syllables.
  14. ^ See Bamgboṣe 1965a for more details. See also Ward 1952:123–133 ('Chapter XI: Abbreviations and Elisions').
  15. ^ Karlsson, F. Yleinen kielitiede. ("General linguistics") Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1998.
  16. ^ a b Rowlands, Evan Colyn. (1969). Teach Yourself Yoruba. English Universities Press: London.
  17. ^ Ogunbowale, P. O. (1970). The Essentials of the Yoruba Language. University of London Press: London.
  18. ^ Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu at Awqaf Africa Damascus titled: Islam in Africa - West African in Particular, and Missionary and Colonization in Africa see Al-Arab Daily Newspaper, London July, 1998 40-010X 01 40-010X
  19. ^ DELAB International Newsmagazine, November 2005 1465-4814
  20. ^ A lecture by Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu of Awqaf Africa London titled: The History Of Islam in 'The Black History' DELAB International Newsmagazine, April 2003 1465-4814

References

  • Adetugbọ, Abiọdun (1982). "Towards a Yoruba Dialectology". In Afọlayan (ed.). Yoruba Language and Literature. pp. 207–224. 
  • Afọlayan, Adebisi (ed.) (1982). Yoruba language and literature. Ifẹ / Ibadan: University of Ifẹ Press / Ibadan University Press. 
  • Ajayi, J.F. Ade (1960). "How Yoruba was Reduced to Writing". Odu: A Journal of Yoruba, Ẹdo and Related Studies (8): 49–58. 
  • Bamgboṣe, Ayọ (1965a). "Assimilation and contraction in Yoruba". Journal of West African Languages (2): 21–27. 
  • Bamgboṣe, Ayọ (1965b). Yoruba Orthography. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press. 
  • Bamgboṣe, Ayọ (1969). "Yoruba". In Elizabeth Dunstan (ed.). Twelve Nigerian Languages. New York: Africana Publishing Corp. pp. 166. ISBN 0-8419-0031-0. 
  • Fagborun, J. Gbenga (1994). The Yoruba Koiné – Its History and Linguistic Innovations. LINCOM Linguistic Edition vol. 6.. München/Newcastle: LINCOM Europe. ISBN 3-929-07547-4. http://www.amazon.com/Yoruba-Koine-History-Linguistics-Innovations/dp/3929075474/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1297920718&sr=8-1. 
  • Fresco, Max (1970). Topics in Yoruba Dialect Phonology. (Studies in African Linguistics Supplement Vol. 1). Los Angeles: University of California, Dept. of Linguistics/ASC. 
  • Ladipọ, Duro (1972). Ọba kò so (The king did not hang) — Opera by Duro Ladipọ. (Transcribed and translated by R.G. Armstrong, Robert L. Awujọọla and Val Ọlayẹmi from a tape recording by R. Curt Wittig). Ibadan: Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. 
  • Oyètádé, B. Akíntúndé & Buba, Malami (2000) 'Hausa Loan Words in Yorùbá', in Wolff & Gensler (eds.) Proceedings of the 2nd WoCAL, Leipzig 1997, Köln: Rüdiger Köppe, 241-260.
  • Oyenuga, Soji www.YorubaForKidsAbroad.com (2007). "Yoruba". In Soji and Titi Oyenuga. Yoruba For Kids Abroad - Learn Yoruba In 27 Days. Saskatoon, Canada: Gaptel Innovative Solutions Inc. pp. 27 days. ISBN. 

History

  • Adetugbọ, Abiọdun (1973). "The Yoruba Language in Yoruba History". In Biobaku, S.O. (ed.). Sources of Yoruba History. pp. 176–204. 
  • Biobaku, S.O. (ed.) (1973). Sources of Yoruba History. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 
  • Hair, P.E.H. (1967). "The Early Study of Yoruba, 1825-1850". The Early Study of Nigerian Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Law, R.C.C. (1973a). "Contemporary Written Sources". In Biobaku, S.O. (ed.). Sources of Yoruba History. pp. 9–24. 
  • Law, R.C.C. (1973b). "Traditional History". In Biobaku, S.O. (ed.). Sources of Yoruba History. pp. 25–40. 

Dictionaries

  • Abraham, Roy Clive (1958). Dictionary of Modern Yoruba. London: University of London Press. 
  • CMS (Canon C.W. Wakeman, ed.) (1950[1937]). A Dictionary of the Yoruba language. Ibadan: University Press. 
  • Delanọ, Oloye Isaac (1958). Atúmọ̀ ede Yoruba [short dictionary and grammar of the Yoruba language]. London: Oxford University Press. 
  • Sachnine, Michka (1997). Dictionnaire yorùbá-français, suivi d’un index français-yorùbâ. Paris: Karthala. 

Grammars and sketches

  • Adéwọlé, L.O. (2000). Beginning Yorùbá (Part I). Monograph Series no. 9. Cape Town: CASAS. 
  • Adéwọlé, L.O. (2001). Beginning Yorùbá (Part II). Monograph Series no. 10. Cape Town: CASAS. 
  • Bamgboṣe, Ayọ (1966). A Grammar of Yoruba. [West African Languages Survey / Institute of African Studies]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Crowther, Samuel Ajayi (1852). Yoruba Grammar. London. 
    the first grammar of Yoruba.
  • Rowlands, E.C. (1969). Teach Yourself Yoruba. London: The English Universities Press. 
  • Ward, Ida (1952). An introduction to the Yoruba language. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons. 
  • Yetunde, Antonia & Schleicher, Folarin (2006). Colloquial Yoruba. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd (Routledge). 

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  • Yoruba — [yō′ro͞o bə, yō′ro͞obä΄] n. 1. pl. Yorubas or Yoruba a member of a people of SW Nigeria and neighboring regions 2. the language of this people, a tone language of the Niger Congo subfamily adj. of the Yorubas or their language or culture Yoruban… …   English World dictionary


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