Ede Idaasha and Yoruba:
a brief study in language change due to migration and independent development
TS 720 Special Topics in Translation Studies • 12 July 2008
Yoruba language and culture dominates the South West of Nigeria. Arguably Samuel Crowther’s Bible translation and subsequent literacy development led to a newly coherent sense of self-identity as ‘Yoruba’ among the varied but related peoples inhabiting a number of villages and towns there. Dialect variation exists but seemingly has a minimal impact on mutual intelligibility. However, at one point possibly in the 17th Century a group (or several groups) migrated from Egba (Nigeria) and surrounding areas to what is now neighbouring Benin. Thus they became geographically isolated from those Yoruba dialects that remained in situ. Based on interviews with a speaker of Ede Idaasha (one such Yoruboid language) this paper surveys some areas of change found.
The Ethnologue notes that with around 100,000 speakers in 2002, Ede Idaasha (or Idaacha, henceforth simply ‘Idaasha’) is the second largest
“of 8 languages that make up the Ede language cluster (Yorboid) that spreads over southwestern Nigeria, southern and central Benin, and into southern and central Togo. The cluster also includes Ede Cabe, Ede Ica, Ife, Ede Ije, Ede Nago, Kura Ede Nago, Manigri-Kambole Ede Nago. The various people groups seek to maintain their individual identities yet recognize the wider ‘Yoruba’ community.”
(Gordon 2005:Languages of Benin). (more…)