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Yoruba language

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Yoruba (; Yor. Èdè Yorùbá; Ajami:عِدعِ يوْرُبا‎) is a language spoken in West Africa, most prominently Southwestern Nigeria. It is spoken by the ethnic Yoruba people. The number of Yoruba speakers is stated as roughly 50 million, plus about 2 million second-language speakers. As a pluricentric language, it is primarily spoken in a dialectal area spanning Nigeria with smaller migrated communities in Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.

Yoruba
Èdè Yorùbá (Standard)
عِدعِ يوْرُبا (Ajami)
Native toBenin · Nigeria · Togo
EthnicityYoruba
Native speakers
50 million (2021)
2 million as L2
Latin (Yoruba alphabet)
Yoruba Braille
Arabic script (Ajami)
Official status
Official language in
Nigeria
Language codes
ISO 639-1yo
ISO 639-2yor
ISO 639-3yor
Glottologyoru1245
Linguasphere98-AAA-a
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see .
A Yoruba speaker, recorded in South Africa.

Yoruba vocabulary is also used in the Afro-Brazilian religion known as Candomblé, in the Caribbean religion of Santería in the form of the liturgical Lucumí language and various Afro-American religions of North America. Practitioners of these religions in the Americas no longer speak or understand the Yorùbá language, rather they use remnants of Yorùbá language for singing songs that for them are shrouded in mystery. Usage of a lexicon of Yorùbá words and short phrases during ritual is also common, but they have gone through changes due to the fact that Yorùbá is no longer a vernacular for them and fluency is not required.

As the principal Yoruboid language, Yoruba is most closely related to the languages Itsekiri (spoken in the Niger Delta) and Igala (spoken in central Nigeria).

Contents

Yoruba is classified among the Edekiri languages, which together with Itsekiri and the isolate Igala form the Yoruboid group of languages within the Volta–Niger branch of the Niger–Congo family. The linguistic unity of the Niger–Congo family dates to deep prehistory, estimates ranging around 11000 years ago (the end of the Upper Paleolithic). In present-day Nigeria, it is estimated that there are over 40 million Yoruba primary and secondary language speakers as well as several other millions of speakers outside Nigeria, making it the most widely spoken African language outside of the continent.

Main article: Yoruboid languages
Group Name(s) Location(s) Largest dialects Native speakers countr(y)(ies) Comment
Igala languages Igala Eastern Kogi State in and around the areas of Dekina, Ankpa, Idah, ibaji, Omala, Igalamela-Odolu, Northwestern Anambra state in Anambra West Ebu, Anyugba, Ife, Idah, Ibaji, Ankpa, Imane 2.1 million Nigeria Most divergent Yoruboid language (earliest split) & Easternmost Yoruboid language
Ogugu Eastern Kogi State in Olamaboro, Northern Enugu State, Uzo Uwani, Igbo Eze North, Nsukka Local Government __________ 160,000 Nigeria A divergent Igala dialect
Edekiri languages Ede languages Southern, Central and Northern Benin, Central Togo, in and around: Porto-Novo, Pobè, Adjarra, Bantè, Savé, Tchaourou, Sakété, Ketou, Cové, Glazoue, Adja-Ouèrè, Bassila, Dassa-Zoumé (Benin). Atakpame, Goubi, Anié, Moretan, Kambole, (Togo) Ede Ife, Ede Isha, Idaasha, Ede Shabe, Ede Ije, Kambole, Ede Nago, Ede Kura, Manigri Etc. 1.4 million Benin, Togo, Nigeria A cluster of closely related dialects in Western Yorubaland, with more than 95% Lexical similarity to standard Yoruba
Itsekiri Western Delta state in Warri South, Warri North, Warri South West, Sapele and Ethiope West. Edo State in Ikpoba Okha, and Ovia South-West __________ 700,000 Nigeria A Yoruba dialect of the western Niger Delta & easternmost Edekiri dialect
Yoruba South West, North Central & Mid-West Nigeria: Ondo, Edo, Kwara, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Kogi, Oyo, Osun. East & Central Benin: Plateau, Collines, Ouémé, Zou, Borgu Etc. Ekiti, Ife, Ijebu, Oworo, Ijesha, Akoko, Ikale, Okun, Oyo, Egba, Awori, Igbomina, Owo, Idanre, Egbado, Ilaje, Ketu, Ikale, Mokole, Ondo, Ibarapa, Oke-Ogun Etc. 50 million Nigeria, Benin, Americas By far the largest of the Yoruboid languages, and the Niger–Congo language with the largest number of L1 speakers.
Olukumi Isolated within Igboid languages in Delta State, Aniocha North. __________ 17,000 (?) Nigeria An isolated Yoruba dialect on the Western flanks of the Niger

The Yoruba group is assumed to have developed out of undifferentiated Volta–Niger populations by the 1st millennium BC. Settlements of early Yoruba speakers are assumed to correspond to those found in the wider Niger area from about the 4th century BC, especially at Ife. The North-West Yoruba dialects show more linguistic innovation than the Southeast and Central dialects. This, combined with the fact that the latter areas generally have older settlements, suggests a later date for migration into Northwestern Yorubaland. According to the Kay Williamson Scale, the following is the degree of relationship between Itsekiri and other Yoruboid dialects, using a compiled word list of the most common words. A similarity of 100% would mean a total overlap of two dialects, while similarity of 0 would mean two speech areas that have absolutely no relationship.[citation needed]

% Similarity Igala Ijumu (Okun) Standard Yoruba Ijesha Ekiti Ijebu Oba (Akoko) Ondo Ilaje Ikale
Itsekiri 60.0% 70.3% 71.5% 72.0% 74.2% 75.3% 78.4% 78.4% 80.4% 82.3%

The result of the wordlist analysis shows that Itsekiri bears the strongest similarity to the South-East Yoruba dialects and most especially Ilaje and Ikale, at 80.4% and 82.3% similarity. According to the language assessment criteria of the International Language Assessment Conference (1992), only when a wordlist analysis shows a lexical similarity of below 70% are two speech forms considered to be different languages. An overlap of 70% and above indicates that both speech forms are the same language, although dialect intelligibility tests would need to be carried out to determine how well speakers of one dialect can understand the other speech form. Thus while the analysis shows that Igala, with an overlap of 60% is a completely different language, all other Yoruboid speech forms are merely dialects of the same Language.[citation needed]

The Yoruba dialect continuum itself consists of several dialects. The various Yoruba dialects in the Yorubaland of Nigeria can be classified into five major dialect areas: Northwest, Northeast, Central, Southwest and Southeast. Clear boundaries cannot be drawn, peripheral areas of dialectal regions often having some similarities to adjoining dialects.

Egba dialect
Onko dialect from Okeho
Shaki dialect
Oyo dialect from Iwo
Ife dialect
Ijesha dialect
Supare Akoko dialect
Owo dialect
Idanre dialect
Ikale dialect

North-West Yoruba is historically a part of the Ọyọ Empire. In NWY dialects, Proto-Yoruba velar fricative/ɣ/ and labialized voiced velar /gʷ/ have merged into /w/; the upper vowels /ɪ/ and /ʊ/ 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.

South-East Yoruba was probably associated with the expansion of the Benin Empire after c. 1450. 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 /ɣ/ and /gw/ contrast, while it has lowered the nasal vowels /ĩ/ and /ʊ̃/ to /ɛ̃/ and /ɔ̃/, 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 the coalescence of the two in NWY dialects.

Central Yoruba forms a transitional area in that the lexicon has much in common with NWY, and it shares many ethnographical features with SEY. Its vowel system is the least innovative (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. Peculiar to Central and Eastern (NEY, SEY) Yoruba also, is the ability to begin words with the vowel [ʊ:] which in Western Yoruba has been changed to [ɪ:]

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 learned at school and that spoken by newsreaders on the radio. Standard Yoruba has its origin in the 1850s, when Samuel A. Crowther, the first native African Anglican 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. 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.[citation needed] Standard Yoruba, the variety learned at school and used in the media, has nonetheless been a powerful consolidating factor in the emergence of a common Yoruba identity.

Main article: Yoruba alphabet

In the 17th century, Yoruba was written in the Ajami script, a form of Arabic script. It is still written in the Ajami writing script in some Islamic circles. Standard Yoruba orthography originated in the early work of Church Mission Society 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) organized 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 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 underdots under the letters ⟨ẹ⟩, ⟨ọ⟩, and ⟨ṣ⟩. Previously, the vertical line had been used to avoid the mark being fully covered by an underline, as in ⟨e̩⟩, ⟨o̩⟩, ⟨s̩⟩; however, that usage is no longer part of the standard orthography.

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 consonant[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 ⟨ẹ⟩ is pronounced[ɛ̙] and ⟨ọ⟩ is[ɔ̙]). ⟨ṣ⟩ represents a postalveolar consonant[ʃ] like the English ⟨sh⟩, ⟨y⟩ represents a palatal approximant like English ⟨y⟩, and ⟨j⟩ a voiced palatal stop[ɟ], as is common in many African orthographies.

In addition to the underdots, 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 underdots in ⟨ẹ⟩ and ⟨ọ⟩. 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 the falling tone.

Á À Ā É È Ē Ẹ́ Ẹ̀ Ẹ̄ Í Ì Ī Ń Ǹ Ó Ò Ō Ọ́ Ọ̀ Ọ̄ Ú Ù Ū
á à ā é è ē ẹ́ ẹ̀ ẹ̄ í ì ī ń ǹ ḿ ó ò ō ọ́ ọ̀ ọ̄ 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 1990 and 2008 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

In 2011, a Beninese priest-chief by the name of Tolúlàṣẹ Ògúntósìn devised his own system based on a vision received in his sleep believed to have been granted from Oduduwa. This "Oduduwa alphabet" system has also received approval and support from other prominent chiefs in the Yorubaland region.

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:

  • n̄ —[ŋ̄]I
  • ò —[ò]not (negation)
  • lọ —[lɔ̄]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, adopted from Bamgboṣe (1969:166). Oral vowels are marked by black dots, while the colored 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 (ã)
  • In some cases, the phonetic realization of these vowels is noticeably different from what the symbol suggests:
    • The oral/i/ is close front[i], and the nasal/ĩ/ varies between close front[ĩ] and near-close front[ĩ̞].
    • The oral/u/ is close back[u], and the nasal/ũ/ varies between close near-back[ũ̟], close back[ũ], near-close near-back[ũ̟˕] and near-close back[ũ̞].
    • The oral/e, o/ are close-mid[e, o], and do not have nasal counterparts.
    • The oral/ɛ/ is open-mid[ɛ], and the nasal/ɛ̃/ varies between mid[ɛ̝̃] and open-mid[ɛ̃].
    • The oral/ɔ/ is near-open[ɔ̞], and the nasal/ɔ̃/ varies between open-mid[ɔ̃] and near-open[ɔ̞̃].
    • The oral/a/ is central[ä].

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

Consonants

Labial Alveolar Postalveolar/
Palatal
Velar Glottal
plain labial
Nasal m ŋ ~ ŋ̍
Stop 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 voiceless and voiced labial–velar stops/k͡p/ and/ɡ͡b/: pápá[k͡pák͡pá] 'field', gbogbo[ɡ͡bōɡ͡bō] 'all'. Notably, it lacks the common voiceless bilabial stop/p/ so/k͡p/ is written as ⟨p⟩.

Yoruba also lacks a phoneme/n/; the letter ⟨n⟩ is used for the sound in the orthography, but strictly speaking, it refers to an allophone of/l/ immediately preceding 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]: n ò lọ[ŋ ò lɔ̄] 'I didn't go'. In other cases, its place of articulation is homorganic with the following consonant: ó ń lọ[ó ń lɔ̄] 'he is going', ó ń fò[ó ḿ fò] 'he is jumping'.

Tone

Yoruba is a tonal language with three-level tones and two or three contour tones. Every syllable must have at least one tone; a syllable containing a long vowel can have two tones. Tones are marked by use of the acute accent for high tone (⟨á⟩, ⟨ń⟩) and the grave accent for low tone (⟨à⟩, ⟨ǹ⟩); mid is unmarked, except on syllabic nasals where it is indicated using a macron (⟨a⟩, ⟨n̄⟩). Examples:

  • H: ó bẹ́ [ó bɛ́] 'he jumped'; síbí [síbí] 'spoon'
  • M: ó bẹ [ó bɛ̄] 'he is forward'; ara [āɾā] 'body'
  • L: ó bẹ̀ [ó bɛ̀] 'he asks for pardon'; ọ̀kọ̀ [ɔ̀kɔ̀] 'spear'.

When teaching Yoruba literacy, solfège names of musical notes are used to name the tones: low is do, mid is re, and high is mi.

Tonality effects and computer-coded documents

Written Yoruba includes diacritical marks not available on conventional computer keyboards, requiring some adaptations. In particular, the use of the sub dots and tone marks are not represented, so many Yoruba documents simply omit them. Asubiaro Toluwase, in his 2014 paper, points out that the use of these diacritics can affect the retrieval of Yoruba documents by popular search engines. Therefore, their omission can have a significant impact on online research.

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. In fact, since syllables in Yoruba normally end in a vowel, and most nouns start with one, it is a very common phenomenon, and it is absent only 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: àdìròààrò 'hearth'; koríkokoóko 'grass'; òtítóòótó 'truth'.

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(June 2008)

Yoruba is a highly isolating language. Its basic constituent order is subject–verb–object, 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, it has 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: ta ni for human nouns ('who?') and kí ni 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'. More than two nouns can be juxtaposed: rélùweè abẹ́ ilẹ̀ (railway underground) 'underground railway', inú àpótí aṣọ 'the inside of the clothes box'. In the rare case that it results in two possible readings, disambiguation is left to the context. Plural nouns are indicated by a plural word.

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

Yoruba uses a vigesimal (base-20) numbering system.

  • Ogún, 20, is a basic numeric block.
  • Ogójì, 40, (Ogún-méjì) = 20 multiplied by 2 (èjì).
  • Ọgọ́ta, 60, (Ogún-mẹ́ta) = 20 multiplied by 3 (ẹ̀ta).
  • Ọgọ́rin, 80, (Ogún-mẹ́rin) = 20 multiplied by 4 (ẹ̀rin).
  • Ọgọ́rùn-ún, 100, (Ogún-márùn-ún) = 20 multiplied by 5 (àrún).
  • - 16 (Ẹẹ́rìndínlógún) = 4 less than 20.
  • - 17 (Ẹẹ́tàdínlógún) = 3 less than 20.
  • - 18 (Eéjìdínlógún) = 2 less than 20.
  • - 19 (Oókàndínlógún) = 1 less than 20.
  • - 21 (Oókànlélógún) = 1 increment on 20.
  • - 22 (Eéjìlélógún) = 2 increment on 20.
  • - 23 (Ẹẹ́tàlélógún) = 3 increment on 20.
  • - 24 (Ẹẹ́rìnlélógún) = 4 increment on 20.
  • - 25 (Aárùnlélógún) = 5 increment on 20.

The wide adoption of imported religions and civilizations such as Islam and Christianity has had an impact both on written and spoken Yoruba. In his Arabic-English Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Quran and Sunnah, Yoruba Muslim scholar Abu-Abdullah Adelabu argued Islam has enriched African languages by providing them with technical and cultural augmentations with Swahili and Somali in East Africa and Turanci Hausa and Wolof in West Africa being the primary beneficiaries. Adelabu, a Ph D graduate from Damascus cited—among many other common usages—the following words to be Yoruba's derivatives of Arabic vocabularies:[better source needed]

Some loanwords

  • Sanma: Heaven or sky, fromالسماء
  • Alubarika: blessing, fromالبركة
  • Alumaani: wealth, money, resources, fromالمال
  • Amin: Arabic form of the Hebrew religious term, Amen, fromآمین‎

Among commonly Arabic words used in Yoruba are names of the days such as Atalata (الثلاثاء) for Tuesday, Alaruba (الأربعاء) for Wednesday, Alamisi (الخميس) for Thursday, and Jimoh (الجمعة, Jumu'ah) for Friday. By far Ọjọ́ Jimoh is the most favorably used. It is usually referred to as the unpleasant word for Friday, Ẹtì, which means failure, laziness, or abandonment.[better source needed] Ultimately, the standard words for the days of the week are Àìkú, Ajé, Ìṣẹ́gun, Ọjọ́rú, Ọjọ́bọ, Ẹtì, Àbámẹ́ta, for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday respectively. Friday remains Eti in the Yoruba language.

Main article: Yoruba literature

Yoruba has an extensive body of literature.

Spoken literature

Odu Ifa, •Oriki, •Ewi, •Esa, •Àlọ́, •Rara, •Iremoje, •Bolojo, •Ijala, •Ajangbode, •Ijeke

Written literature

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(August 2021)
  • Ibeyi, Cuban francophone sister duo, native Yoruba speakers.
  • Sakara, a Yoruba song originating from Abeokuta, Ogun Nigeria. One of the first performers of this type of music was in Lagos in the 1930s.
  • Apala, Apala (or Akpala) is a music genre originally developed by the Yoruba people of Nigeria, during the country's history as a colony of the British Empire. It is a percussion-based style that originated in the late 1970s.
  • Fuji, a popular, contemporary Yoruba musical genre.
  • Jùjú, a style of Nigerian popular music, derived from traditional Yoruba percussion.

Notes

  1. Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D. "Ethnologue [yor]". Ethnologue: Languages of the World. SIL International. Retrieved16 July 2021.
  2. Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student's Handbook, Edinburgh
  3. Valdés, Vanessa K. (2015-03-04). "Yoruba Traditions and African American Religious Nationalism by Tracey E. Hucks (review)". Callaloo. 38 (1): 234–237. doi:10.1353/cal.2015.0025. ISSN 1080-6512. S2CID 143058809.
  4. WARNER, MAUREEN (1971). "Trinidad Yoruba — Notes on Survivals". Caribbean Quarterly. 17 (2): 40–49. doi:10.1080/00086495.1971.11829073. ISSN 0008-6495. JSTOR 40653205.
  5. "History of Oyotunji". Oyotunji. Retrieved2020-10-13.
  6. Nigeria, Know (2017-04-13). "THE OYOTUNJI VILLAGE: A MINI YORUBA EMPIRE IN THE USA". Inspire Afrika. Retrieved2020-10-13.
  7. Ethnologue 22 estimates 45–55 million.
  8. Heine, Bernd; Nurse, Derek (2000). African Languages: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press. p. 294. ISBN 978-0-521-66629-9.
  9. Adetugbọ 1973:192-3. (See also the section Dialects.)
  10. This widely followed classification is based on Adetugbọ's (1982) dialectological study; the classification originated in his 1967 Ph.D. thesis The Yoruba Language in Western Nigeria: Its Major Dialect Areas, ProQuest 288034744. See also Adetugbọ 1973:183-193.
  11. Adetugbọ 1973:185.
  12. 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".
  13. "Yoruba...written in a version of the Arabic script known as Ajami (or Ajamiyya)."[1]
  14. FALOLA, TOYIN; AKINYEMI, AKINTUNDE (2016-06-20). Encyclopedia of the Yoruba. Indiana University Press. p. 194. ISBN 9780253021564.
  15. Adéṣínà Ọmọ Yoòbá (10 March 2020). "This chief hopes Yorùbá speakers adopt his newly invented 'talking alphabet'". Global Voices. Retrieved4 April 2021.
  16. "Yoruba Monarchs Commends New Oduduwa Alphabets, Hail Aregbesola". OsunDefender. 1 November 2017.
  17. Bamgboṣe (1969:166)
  18. Notably, Ayọ Bamgboṣe (1966:8).
  19. Abraham, in his Dictionary of Modern Yoruba, deviates from this by explicitly indicating the nasality of the vowel; thus, inú is found under inún, etc.
  20. Carter-Ényì, Aaron (May 2018). "Hooked on Sol-Fa: the do-re-mi heuristic for Yorùbá speech tones". Africa. 88 (2): 267–290. doi:10.1017/S0001972017000912. ISSN 0001-9720. S2CID 149643136.
  21. Asubiaro, Toluwase V. (2014). "Effects of Diacritics on Web Search Engines' Performance for Retrieval of Yoruba Documents". Journal of Library and Information Studies. 12 (1): 1–19. doi:10.6182/jlis.2014.12(1).001.
  22. See Bamgboṣe 1965a for more details. See also Ward 1952:123–133 ('Chapter XI: Abbreviations and Elisions').
  23. Karlsson, F. Yleinen kielitiede. ("General linguistics") Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1998.
  24. Rowlands, Evan Colyn. (1969). Teach Yourself Yoruba. English Universities Press: London.
  25. Ogunbowale, P. O. (1970). The Essentials of the Yoruba Language. University of London Press: London.
  26. (Bamgboṣe 1966:110, Rowlands 1969:45-6)
  27. (Adetugbọ 1973:185
  28. (Sachnine 1997:19)
  29. DELAB International Newsmagazine, November 2005 1465-4814
  30. A lecture by 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.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • 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. p. 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 3-929075-47-4.
  • 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 (ed.). Yoruba For Kids Abroad - Learn Yoruba In 27 Days. Saskatoon, Canada: Gaptel Innovative Solutions Inc. pp. 27 days.

History

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.
  • Barber, Karin (1985). Yorùbá Dùn ún So: a beginners' course in Yorùbá (1st ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300029581.
  • 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).
Yoruba edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikivoyage has a phrasebook for Yoruba.

Yoruba language
Yoruba language Language Watch Edit This article has multiple issues Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page Learn how and when to remove these template messages This article needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed Find sources Yoruba language news newspapers books scholar JSTOR October 2020 Learn how and when to remove this template message This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia s quality standards The specific problem is Inadequate and poorly written Please help improve this article if you can October 2020 Learn how and when to remove this template message This article needs attention from an expert in Yoruba Please add a reason or a talk parameter to this template to explain the issue with the article WikiProject Yoruba may be able to help recruit an expert October 2020 Learn how and when to remove this template message Wikibooks has a book on the topic of YorubaLook up Yoruba in Wiktionary the free dictionary Yoruba ˈ j ɒr ʊ b e 2 Yor Ede Yoruba Ajami ع دع يو ر با is a language spoken in West Africa most prominently Southwestern Nigeria It is spoken by the ethnic Yoruba people The number of Yoruba speakers is stated as roughly 50 million plus about 2 million second language speakers 1 As a pluricentric language it is primarily spoken in a dialectal area spanning Nigeria with smaller migrated communities in Cote d Ivoire Sierra Leone and The Gambia YorubaEde Yoruba Standard ع دع يو ر با Ajami Native toBenin Nigeria TogoEthnicityYorubaNative speakers50 million 2021 1 2 million as L2Language familyNiger Congo Atlantic CongoVolta CongoVolta NigerYEAIYoruboidEdekiriYorubaWriting systemLatin Yoruba alphabet Yoruba Braille Arabic script Ajami Official statusOfficial language in NigeriaLanguage codesISO 639 1 span class plainlinks a rel nofollow class external text href https www loc gov standards iso639 2 php langcodes name php iso 639 1 yo yo a span ISO 639 2 span class plainlinks a rel nofollow class external text href https www loc gov standards iso639 2 php langcodes name php code ID 496 yor a span ISO 639 3 a href https iso639 3 sil org code yor class extiw title iso639 3 yor yor a Glottolog a rel nofollow class external text href http glottolog org resource languoid id yoru1245 yoru1245 a Linguasphere98 AAA aThis article contains IPA phonetic symbols Without proper rendering support you may see question marks boxes or other symbols instead of Unicode characters For an introductory guide on IPA symbols see Help IPA Play media A Yoruba speaker recorded in South Africa Yoruba vocabulary is also used in the Afro Brazilian religion known as Candomble in the Caribbean religion of Santeria in the form of the liturgical Lucumi language and various Afro American religions of North America Practitioners of these religions in the Americas no longer speak or understand the Yoruba language rather they use remnants of Yoruba language for singing songs that for them are shrouded in mystery Usage of a lexicon of Yoruba words and short phrases during ritual is also common but they have gone through changes due to the fact that Yoruba is no longer a vernacular for them and fluency is not required 3 4 5 6 As the principal Yoruboid language Yoruba is most closely related to the languages Itsekiri spoken in the Niger Delta and Igala spoken in central Nigeria 7 Contents 1 History 2 Yoruboid languages 3 Varieties 4 Literary Yoruba 5 Writing systems 6 Phonology 6 1 Vowels 6 2 Consonants 6 3 Tone 6 4 Tonality effects and computer coded documents 6 4 1 Assimilation and elision 7 Grammar 8 Numerals 9 Arabic influence 9 1 Some loanwords 10 Literature 10 1 Spoken literature 10 2 Written literature 11 Music 12 See also 13 Notes and references 13 1 Notes 13 2 References 13 2 1 History 13 2 2 Dictionaries 13 2 3 Grammars and sketches 14 External linksHistory EditFurther information Volta Niger languages and Benue Congo languages Yoruba is classified among the Edekiri languages which together with Itsekiri and the isolate Igala form the Yoruboid group of languages within the Volta Niger branch of the Niger Congo family The linguistic unity of the Niger Congo family dates to deep prehistory estimates ranging around 11000 years ago the end of the Upper Paleolithic 8 In present day Nigeria it is estimated that there are over 40 million Yoruba primary and secondary language speakers as well as several other millions of speakers outside Nigeria making it the most widely spoken African language outside of the continent Yoruboid languages EditMain article Yoruboid languages Group Name s Location s Largest dialects Native speakers countr y ies CommentIgala languages Igala Eastern Kogi State in and around the areas of Dekina Ankpa Idah ibaji Omala Igalamela Odolu Northwestern Anambra state in Anambra West Ebu Anyugba Ife Idah Ibaji Ankpa Imane 2 1 million Nigeria Most divergent Yoruboid language earliest split amp Easternmost Yoruboid languageOgugu Eastern Kogi State in Olamaboro Northern Enugu State Uzo Uwani Igbo Eze North Nsukka Local Government 160 000 Nigeria A divergent Igala dialectEdekiri languages Ede languages Southern Central and Northern Benin Central Togo in and around Porto Novo Pobe Adjarra Bante Save Tchaourou Sakete Ketou Cove Glazoue Adja Ouere Bassila Dassa Zoume Benin Atakpame Goubi Anie Moretan Kambole Togo Ede Ife Ede Isha Idaasha Ede Shabe Ede Ije Kambole Ede Nago Ede Kura Manigri Etc 1 4 million Benin Togo Nigeria A cluster of closely related dialects in Western Yorubaland with more than 95 Lexical similarity to standard YorubaItsekiri Western Delta state in Warri South Warri North Warri South West Sapele and Ethiope West Edo State in Ikpoba Okha and Ovia South West 700 000 Nigeria A Yoruba dialect of the western Niger Delta amp easternmost Edekiri dialectYoruba South West North Central amp Mid West Nigeria Ondo Edo Kwara Ekiti Lagos Ogun Kogi Oyo Osun East amp Central Benin Plateau Collines Oueme Zou Borgu Etc Ekiti Ife Ijebu Oworo Ijesha Akoko Ikale Okun Oyo Egba Awori Igbomina Owo Idanre Egbado Ilaje Ketu Ikale Mokole Ondo Ibarapa Oke Ogun Etc 50 million Nigeria Benin Americas By far the largest of the Yoruboid languages and the Niger Congo language with the largest number of L1 speakers Olukumi Isolated within Igboid languages in Delta State Aniocha North 17 000 Nigeria An isolated Yoruba dialect on the Western flanks of the Niger The Yoruba group is assumed to have developed out of undifferentiated Volta Niger populations by the 1st millennium BC Settlements of early Yoruba speakers are assumed to correspond to those found in the wider Niger area from about the 4th century BC especially at Ife The North West Yoruba dialects show more linguistic innovation than the Southeast and Central dialects This combined with the fact that the latter areas generally have older settlements suggests a later date for migration into Northwestern Yorubaland 9 According to the Kay Williamson Scale the following is the degree of relationship between Itsekiri and other Yoruboid dialects using a compiled word list of the most common words A similarity of 100 would mean a total overlap of two dialects while similarity of 0 would mean two speech areas that have absolutely no relationship citation needed Similarity Igala Ijumu Okun Standard Yoruba Ijesha Ekiti Ijebu Oba Akoko Ondo Ilaje IkaleItsekiri 60 0 70 3 71 5 72 0 74 2 75 3 78 4 78 4 80 4 82 3 The result of the wordlist analysis shows that Itsekiri bears the strongest similarity to the South East Yoruba dialects and most especially Ilaje and Ikale at 80 4 and 82 3 similarity According to the language assessment criteria of the International Language Assessment Conference 1992 only when a wordlist analysis shows a lexical similarity of below 70 are two speech forms considered to be different languages An overlap of 70 and above indicates that both speech forms are the same language although dialect intelligibility tests would need to be carried out to determine how well speakers of one dialect can understand the other speech form Thus while the analysis shows that Igala with an overlap of 60 is a completely different language all other Yoruboid speech forms are merely dialects of the same Language citation needed Varieties EditThe Yoruba dialect continuum itself consists of several dialects The various Yoruba dialects in the Yorubaland of Nigeria can be classified into five major dialect areas Northwest Northeast Central Southwest and Southeast 10 Clear boundaries cannot be drawn peripheral areas of dialectal regions often having some similarities to adjoining dialects North West Yoruba NWY Egba Ibadan Yewa Ọyọ Lagos Eko Play media Egba dialect Play media Onko dialect from Okeho Play media Shaki dialect Play media Oyo dialect from IwoNorth East Yoruba NEY Yagba Owe Ijumu Oworo Gbede Abunu Central Yoruba CY Igbomina Ijesha Ifẹ Ekiti Akurẹ Ẹfọn Western Akoko Play media Ijan Ekiti dialect Play media Ife dialect Play media Ijesha dialect Play media Supare Akoko dialectSouth West Yoruba SWY Ketu Awori Sakete Ife Togo Idasha Ipokia Anago South East Yoruba SEY Ikale Ilaje Ondo City Ọwọ Idanre Remo Ijẹbu Play media Owo dialect Play media Idanre dialect Play media Ijebu dialect Play media Ikale dialect North West Yoruba is historically a part of the Ọyọ Empire In NWY dialects Proto Yoruba velar fricative ɣ and labialized voiced velar gʷ have merged into w the upper vowels ɪ and ʊ 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 South East Yoruba was probably associated with the expansion of the Benin Empire after c 1450 11 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 ɣ and gw contrast while it has lowered the nasal vowels ĩ and ʊ to ɛ and ɔ respectively SEY has collapsed the second and third person plural pronominal forms thus an an wa can mean either you pl came or they came in SEY dialects whereas NWY for example has ẹ wa you pl came and wọ n wa they came respectively The emergence of a plural of respect may have prevented the coalescence of the two in NWY dialects Central Yoruba forms a transitional area in that the lexicon has much in common with NWY and it shares many ethnographical features with SEY Its vowel system is the least innovative 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 Peculiar to Central and Eastern NEY SEY Yoruba also is the ability to begin words with the vowel ʊ which in Western Yoruba has been changed to ɪ Literary Yoruba EditLiterary Yoruba also known as Standard Yoruba Yoruba koine and common Yoruba is a separate member of the dialect cluster It is the written form of the language the standard variety learned at school and that spoken by newsreaders on the radio Standard Yoruba has its origin in the 1850s when Samuel A Crowther the first native African Anglican 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 12 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 citation needed Standard Yoruba the variety learned at school and used in the media has nonetheless been a powerful consolidating factor in the emergence of a common Yoruba identity Writing systems EditMain article Yoruba alphabet See also Nigerian braille Yoruba Braille In the 17th century Yoruba was written in the Ajami script a form of Arabic script 13 14 It is still written in the Ajami writing script in some Islamic circles Standard Yoruba orthography originated in the early work of Church Mission Society 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 organized 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 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 underdots under the letters ẹ ọ and ṣ Previously the vertical line had been used to avoid the mark being fully covered by an underline as in e o s however that usage is no longer part of the standard orthography A B D E Ẹ F G Gb H I J K L M N O Ọ P R S Ṣ T U W Ya b d e ẹ f g gb h i j k l m n o ọ p r s ṣ 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 consonant k p written p and ɡ b 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 ẹ is pronounced ɛ and ọ is ɔ ṣ represents a postalveolar consonant ʃ like the English sh y represents a palatal approximant like English y and j a voiced palatal stop ɟ as is common in many African orthographies In addition to the underdots 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 underdots in ẹ and ọ When more than one tone is used in one syllable the vowel can either be written once for each tone for example oo 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 the falling tone A A A E E E Ẹ Ẹ Ẹ Ẹ I I i N Ǹ N Ḿ M M o O Ō Ọ Ọ Ọ Ọ U U u Ṣa a a e e e ẹ ẹ ẹ ẹ i i i n ǹ n ḿ m m o o ō ọ ọ ọ ọ u u u ṣ 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 1990 and 2008 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 Ya 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 In 2011 a Beninese priest chief by the name of Tolulaṣẹ Oguntosin devised his own system based on a vision received in his sleep believed to have been granted from Oduduwa This Oduduwa alphabet system has also received approval and support from other prominent chiefs in the Yorubaland region 15 16 Phonology EditThe 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 n o lọ I didn t go provides examples of the three syllable types n ŋ I o o not negation lọ lɔ to goVowels Edit 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 adopted from Bamgboṣe 1969 166 Oral vowels are marked by black dots while the colored regions indicate the ranges in possible quality of the nasal vowels Oral vowels Nasal vowelsFront Back Front BackClose i u ĩ ũClose mid e o Open mid ɛ ɔ ɛ ɔ Open a a In some cases the phonetic realization of these vowels is noticeably different from what the symbol suggests The oral i is close front i and the nasal ĩ varies between close front ĩ and near close front ĩ 17 The oral u is close back u and the nasal ũ varies between close near back ũ close back ũ near close near back ũ and near close back ũ 17 The oral e o are close mid e o and do not have nasal counterparts 17 The oral ɛ is open mid ɛ and the nasal ɛ varies between mid ɛ and open mid ɛ 17 The oral ɔ is near open ɔ and the nasal ɔ varies between open mid ɔ and near open ɔ 17 The oral a is central a 17 The status of a fifth nasal vowel a is controversial Although the sound occurs in speech several authors have argued it to be not phonemically contrastive often it is in free variation with ɔ 18 Orthographically nasal vowels are normally represented by an oral vowel symbol followed by n in un ẹn ọn except in case of the n allophone of l see below preceding a nasal vowel inu inside belly is actually pronounced inṹ 19 Consonants Edit Labial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottalplain labialNasal m ŋ ŋ Stop b t d ɟ k ɡ k p ɡ b Fricative f s ʃ hApproximant 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 voiceless and voiced labial velar stops k p and ɡ b papa k pak pa field gbogbo ɡ bōɡ bō all Notably it lacks the common voiceless bilabial stop p so k p is written as p Yoruba also lacks a phoneme n the letter n is used for the sound in the orthography but strictly speaking it refers to an allophone of l immediately preceding 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 n o lọ ŋ o lɔ I didn t go In other cases its place of articulation is homorganic with the following consonant o n lọ o n lɔ he is going o n fo o ḿ fo he is jumping Tone Edit Yoruba is a tonal language with three level tones and two or three contour tones Every syllable must have at least one tone a syllable containing a long vowel can have two tones Tones are marked by use of the acute accent for high tone a n and the grave accent for low tone a ǹ mid is unmarked except on syllabic nasals where it is indicated using a macron a n Examples H o bẹ o bɛ he jumped sibi sibi spoon M o bẹ o bɛ he is forward ara aɾa body L o bẹ o bɛ he asks for pardon ọ kọ ɔ kɔ spear When teaching Yoruba literacy solfege names of musical notes are used to name the tones low is do mid is re and high is mi 20 Tonality effects and computer coded documents Edit Written Yoruba includes diacritical marks not available on conventional computer keyboards requiring some adaptations In particular the use of the sub dots and tone marks are not represented so many Yoruba documents simply omit them Asubiaro Toluwase in his 2014 paper 21 points out that the use of these diacritics can affect the retrieval of Yoruba documents by popular search engines Therefore their omission can have a significant impact on online research Assimilation and elision Edit When a word precedes another word beginning with a vowel assimilation or deletion elision of one of the vowels often takes place 22 In fact since syllables in Yoruba normally end in a vowel and most nouns start with one it is a very common phenomenon and it is absent only 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 ẹja rẹja buy fish Sometimes however authors may choose to use an inverted comma to indicate an elided vowel as in ni ile n ile 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 adiro aaro hearth koriko kooko grass otito ooto truth Grammar EditThis section needs expansion You can help by adding to it June 2008 Yoruba is a highly isolating language 23 Its basic constituent order is subject verb object 24 as in o na Ade he beat Ade The bare verb stem denotes a completed action often called perfect tense and aspect are marked by preverbal particles such as n imperfect present continuous ti past Negation is expressed by a preverbal particle ko Serial verb constructions are common as in many other languages of West Africa Although Yoruba has no grammatical gender 25 it has 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 ta ni for human nouns who and ki ni 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 inu apoti inside box the inside of the box fila Akande Akande s cap or apoti aṣọ box for clothes 26 More than two nouns can be juxtaposed reluwee abẹ ilẹ railway underground underground railway 27 inu apoti aṣọ the inside of the clothes box In the rare case that it results in two possible readings disambiguation is left to the context Plural nouns are indicated by a plural word 24 There are two prepositions ni on at in and si onto towards The former indicates location and absence of movement and the latter encodes location direction with movement 28 Position and direction are expressed by the prepositions in combination with spatial relational nouns like ori top apa side inu inside eti edge abẹ under ilẹ down etc Many of the spatial relational terms are historically related to body part terms Numerals EditYoruba uses a vigesimal base 20 numbering system Ogun 20 is a basic numeric block Ogoji 40 Ogun meji 20 multiplied by 2 eji Ọgọ ta 60 Ogun mẹ ta 20 multiplied by 3 ẹ ta Ọgọ rin 80 Ogun mẹ rin 20 multiplied by 4 ẹ rin Ọgọ run un 100 Ogun marun un 20 multiplied by 5 arun 16 Ẹẹ rindinlogun 4 less than 20 17 Ẹẹ tadinlogun 3 less than 20 18 Eejidinlogun 2 less than 20 19 Ookandinlogun 1 less than 20 21 Ookanlelogun 1 increment on 20 22 Eejilelogun 2 increment on 20 23 Ẹẹ talelogun 3 increment on 20 24 Ẹẹ rinlelogun 4 increment on 20 25 Aarunlelogun 5 increment on 20 Arabic influence EditThe wide adoption of imported religions and civilizations such as Islam and Christianity has had an impact both on written and spoken Yoruba In his Arabic English Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Quran and Sunnah Yoruba Muslim scholar Abu Abdullah Adelabu argued Islam has enriched African languages by providing them with technical and cultural augmentations with Swahili and Somali in East Africa and Turanci Hausa and Wolof in West Africa being the primary beneficiaries Adelabu a Ph D graduate from Damascus cited among many other common usages the following words to be Yoruba s derivatives of Arabic vocabularies 29 better source needed Some loanwords Edit Sanma Heaven or sky from السماء Alubarika blessing from البركة Alumaani wealth money resources from المال Amin Arabic form of the Hebrew religious term Amen from آمین Among commonly Arabic words used in Yoruba are names of the days such as Atalata الثلاثاء for Tuesday Alaruba الأربعاء for Wednesday Alamisi الخميس for Thursday and Jimoh الجمعة Jumu ah for Friday By far Ọjọ Jimoh is the most favorably used It is usually referred to as the unpleasant word for Friday Ẹti which means failure laziness or abandonment 30 better source needed Ultimately the standard words for the days of the week are Aiku Aje Iṣẹ gun Ọjọ ru Ọjọ bọ Ẹti Abamẹ ta for Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday respectively Friday remains Eti in the Yoruba language Literature EditMain article Yoruba literature Yoruba has an extensive body of literature Spoken literature Edit Odu Ifa Oriki Ewi Esa Alọ Rara Iremoje Bolojo Ijala Ajangbode Ijeke Written literature Edit This section needs expansion You can help by adding to it August 2021 Samuel Ajayi Crowther Wande Abimbola Reverend Samuel Johnson Yemi Elebuibon Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa Adebayo Faleti Akinwunmi Isola Obo Aba Hisanjani Duro Ladipo J F Odunjo Afolabi Olabimtan Wole Soyinka Amos Tutuola Lawuyi Ogunniran Kola TubosunMusic EditIbeyi Cuban francophone sister duo native Yoruba speakers Sakara a Yoruba song originating from Abeokuta Ogun Nigeria One of the first performers of this type of music was in Lagos in the 1930s Apala Apala or Akpala is a music genre originally developed by the Yoruba people of Nigeria during the country s history as a colony of the British Empire It is a percussion based style that originated in the late 1970s Fuji a popular contemporary Yoruba musical genre Juju a style of Nigerian popular music derived from traditional Yoruba percussion See also Edit Languages portal Africa portal Nigeria portal Yoruba numerals The Yoruba newspaper AlaroyeNotes and references EditNotes Edit a b Eberhard David M Simons Gary F Fennig Charles D Ethnologue yor Ethnologue Languages of the World SIL International Retrieved 16 July 2021 Laurie Bauer 2007 The Linguistics Student s Handbook Edinburgh Valdes Vanessa K 2015 03 04 Yoruba Traditions and African American Religious Nationalism by Tracey E Hucks review Callaloo 38 1 234 237 doi 10 1353 cal 2015 0025 ISSN 1080 6512 S2CID 143058809 WARNER MAUREEN 1971 Trinidad Yoruba Notes on Survivals Caribbean Quarterly 17 2 40 49 doi 10 1080 00086495 1971 11829073 ISSN 0008 6495 JSTOR 40653205 History of Oyotunji Oyotunji Retrieved 2020 10 13 Nigeria Know 2017 04 13 THE OYOTUNJI VILLAGE A MINI YORUBA EMPIRE IN THE USA Inspire Afrika Retrieved 2020 10 13 Ethnologue 22 estimates 45 55 million Heine Bernd Nurse Derek 2000 African Languages An Introduction Cambridge University Press p 294 ISBN 978 0 521 66629 9 Adetugbọ 1973 192 3 See also the section Dialects This widely followed classification is based on Adetugbọ s 1982 dialectological study the classification originated in his 1967 Ph D thesis The Yoruba Language in Western Nigeria Its Major Dialect Areas ProQuest 288034744 See also Adetugbọ 1973 183 193 Adetugbọ 1973 185 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 Yoruba written in a version of the Arabic script known as Ajami or Ajamiyya 1 FALOLA TOYIN AKINYEMI AKINTUNDE 2016 06 20 Encyclopedia of the Yoruba Indiana University Press p 194 ISBN 9780253021564 Adeṣina Ọmọ Yooba 10 March 2020 This chief hopes Yoruba speakers adopt his newly invented talking alphabet Global Voices Retrieved 4 April 2021 Yoruba Monarchs Commends New Oduduwa Alphabets Hail Aregbesola OsunDefender 1 November 2017 a b c d e f Bamgboṣe 1969 166 Notably Ayọ Bamgboṣe 1966 8 Abraham in his Dictionary of Modern Yoruba deviates from this by explicitly indicating the nasality of the vowel thus inu is found under inun etc Carter Enyi Aaron May 2018 Hooked on Sol Fa the do re mi heuristic for Yoruba speech tones Africa 88 2 267 290 doi 10 1017 S0001972017000912 ISSN 0001 9720 S2CID 149643136 Asubiaro Toluwase V 2014 Effects of Diacritics on Web Search Engines Performance for Retrieval of Yoruba Documents Journal of Library and Information Studies 12 1 1 19 doi 10 6182 jlis 2014 12 1 001 See Bamgboṣe 1965a for more details See also Ward 1952 123 133 Chapter XI Abbreviations and Elisions Karlsson F Yleinen kielitiede General linguistics Helsinki Helsinki University Press 1998 a b Rowlands Evan Colyn 1969 Teach Yourself Yoruba English Universities Press London Ogunbowale P O 1970 The Essentials of the Yoruba Language University of London Press London Bamgboṣe 1966 110 Rowlands 1969 45 6 Adetugbọ 1973 185 Sachnine 1997 19 DELAB International Newsmagazine November 2005 1465 4814 A lecture by Abu Abdullah Adelabu of AWQAF Africa London titled The History Of Islam in The Black History DELAB International Newsmagazine April 2003 1465 4814 References Edit 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 CS1 maint extra text authors list link 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 p 166 ISBN 0 8419 0031 0 Fagborun J Gbenga 1994 The Yoruba Koine Its History and Linguistic Innovations LINCOM Linguistic Edition vol 6 Munchen Newcastle LINCOM Europe ISBN 3 929075 47 4 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 ko 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 Oyetade B Akintunde amp Buba Malami 2000 Hausa Loan Words in Yoruba in Wolff amp Gensler eds Proceedings of the 2nd WoCAL Leipzig 1997 Koln Rudiger Koppe 241 260 Oyenuga Soji www YorubaForKidsAbroad com 2007 Yoruba In Soji and Titi Oyenuga ed Yoruba For Kids Abroad Learn Yoruba In 27 Days Saskatoon Canada Gaptel Innovative Solutions Inc pp 27 days History Edit Adetugbọ Abiọdun 1973 The Yoruba Language in Yoruba History In Biobaku Saburi O ed Sources of Yoruba History Oxford Clarendon Press pp 176 204 ISBN 0 19 821669 6 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 Oxford Clarendon Press pp 9 24 ISBN 978 0 19 821669 8 Law R C C 1973b Traditional History In Biobaku S O ed Sources of Yoruba History Oxford Clarendon Press pp 25 40 ISBN 978 0 19 821669 8 Dictionaries Edit 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 Atumọ ede Yoruba short dictionary and grammar of the Yoruba language London Oxford University Press Sachnine Michka 1997 Dictionnaire yoruba francais suivi d un index francais yoruba Paris Karthala Grammars and sketches Edit Adewọle L O 2000 Beginning Yoruba Part I Monograph Series no 9 Cape Town CASAS Adewọle L O 2001 Beginning Yoruba 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 Barber Karin 1985 Yoruba Dun un So a beginners course in Yoruba 1st ed New Haven Yale University Press ISBN 978 0300029581 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 amp Sons Yetunde Antonia amp Schleicher Folarin 2006 Colloquial Yoruba London Taylor amp Francis Ltd Routledge External links EditYoruba edition of Wikipedia the free encyclopediaWikivoyage has a phrasebook for Yoruba Yoruba Wikipedia Omniglot Yoruba orthography Yoruba dictionary Yoruba Translation Free online translation service instantly Yoruba kasahorow Yoruba Dictionary Ọrọ ede Yoruba lingua Yoruba Online Dictionary English Yoruba Yoruba English Sabere d owo Yoruba video drama series Radio Abeokuta 2006 Yoruba Grammar Pan African Localization page for Yoruba Yoruba in North America Journal of West African Languages Yoruba yorubaweb com Yoruba blog features bilingual texts in Yoruba and English including folklore Abibitumi Kasa Yoruba Language Resources Yoruba Ye Mi A Beginning Yoruba Textbook A Vocabulary of the Yoruba Language Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Yoruba language amp oldid 1053570274, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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