Archive for the ‘Level 700 (3rd year MDiv/MA)’ Category

TS720-2008 Special Topics: Yoruba and Idaasha

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Ede Idaasha and Yoruba:
a brief study in language change due to migration and independent development

David Rowbory
TS 720 Special Topics in Translation Studies • 12 July 2008

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PDF version: ts720-rowbory-3-final-yoruba-paper

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…)

TS720-2008 Special Topics in Translation Studies: The Future of Prehistoric Linguistics

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008



The Future of Prehistoric Comparative Linguistics

A Review of Guthrie’s Comparative Bantu Methodology with Insights from Recent Relevant Literature on Comparative Linguistics, Language Change and Reconstructing Genetic Links and Suggestions Toward Contemporary Applications

David Rowbory

TS 720 Special Topics in Translation Studies • 1 July 2008

— Contents: —

0. Introduction 1

1. Comparative Linguistics: Guthrie’s Comparative Bantu Methodology 2


  • The process in brief 2
  • Comparative Bantu: An Overview 4


2. An Overview of Other Literature 5


  • Language Change (McMahon 1994) 5
  • African Languages: An Introduction (Heine & Nurse 2000) 6
  • Greenberg, Mathematical Models and Lexicostatistics (Fodor 1982) 8


3. Data Preparation 10

4. Simple Comparisons 12


  • Meaning as preferred connector 13
  • Underlying Assumptions 14


5. Systematising: Associated Comparisons and Comparative Series 15


  • Simple Computer-assistance 16
  • Assessment of the Computer-Assisted Comparison System 20


6. Inferring Relationships 22


  • Guthrie, Greenberg and Differing Interpretations 22


7. Possible Application Within and Beyond Bantu 23


  • The Point of Genetic and Other Classifications 24
  • Nigerian Languages 25


8. Conclusions and Further Study 26

9. Bibliography 28