Talk: Researching dialectal variation in under-described language varieties. The case of Yoruba language.

This study investigates dialectal variation with an emphasis on Yoruba language spoken in the western part of Africa. This study draws together previous research on Yoruba language to chart the different ways in which its documentation differs from those of the better-described languages (e.g. English) widely discussed in the literature.

While there are over thirty million first language speakers of Yoruba around the world, and a written system that dates back to the nineteenth century, there is a general consensus that Yoruba is a “resource-scarce” language. This study highlights the historical and linguistic reasons that have shaped the language’s present-day perception, documentation, description, and understanding. Finally, this study aims to serve as invitation for further research in this direction.

This project was carried out by the Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programme. The project was supervised by Dr Hannah Gibson, a lecturer in Linguistics at the university. Much of Dr Gibson’s work explores the syntax and semantics of the Bantu languages, with a focus on languages spoken in Eastern Africa. Her interest also includes language and identity, language use in urban contexts and the relationship between linguistics and social justice.


Day: 2020-11-20
Start time: 15:15
Duration: 00:30
Room: Ruqaiya Hasan
Track: Sociolinguistics
Language: en




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