Accepted paper:

Modern faiths and the Yoruba language: Reconfiguration of the Yoruba lexicon


Luqman Yusuff (University of Lagos)

Paper short abstract:

The lexicon of the Yoruba language is experiencing changes consequent upon the additions, subtractions and semantic dynamics of lexical items traceable to modern and indigenous faiths. Also, the morphology and meaning of names are not spared. The paper investigates the nature of Yoruba lexicon.

Paper long abstract:

Modern faiths and the Yoruba language: Reconfiguration of the Yoruba Lexicon Luqman Ayodele YUSUFF; Language mirrors culture; and belief systems are part of culture. The advent of modern faiths has systematically affected the use of the Yoruba language in its attempt to serve its purpose in the modern religions (Christianity and Islam) discourse, especially to non-literate adherents who are not proficient in the English and Arabic languages which are respectively languages in which the faiths are proclaimed. Conversely, the Yoruba language is affected resulting to reduction in the use of lexical items relating to indigenous faiths. The same fate has bedeviled the Yoruba personal naming system where names whose morphological structures are Yoruba, have meanings that reflect modern faiths sensibilities. However, names with indigenous faiths connotations are no longer given to children at birth. Rather, we have reminiscences of them as surnames. Woefully, in most cases, modern faiths adherents even change or adjust their family names to further distance themselves from indigenous faiths. This paper interrogates these issues and presents the lexical additions and percolations as well as semantic maneuvers, inclusive of names, culminating in the contemporary Yoruba lexicon.

back to panel Rel04
Gathering and separating in the name of god? Instrumentalization of religious rights in contemporary Africa