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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Yoruba Counting Verses: A Linguistic Approach to Oral Tradition
Author:Fagborun, J. Gbenga
Periodical:African Languages and Cultures
Geographic term:Nigeria
number systems
Yoruba language
oral literature (form)
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Education and Oral Traditions
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1771720
Abstract:This paper analyses the way in which wordplay is used as a device to aid the memorization of counting mnemonics in Yoruba (Nigeria). This is done by relating the items that are played with to their linguistic description. The author is particularly concerned with the linguistic motivation for the items involved in wordplaying. On the basis of an analysis of two counting verses, the following items are distinguished: nominalizing morphemes, words (lexical and grammatical), major syntactic categories such as verbs, nouns, adverbs, prepositions, and phrase and sentence types. The semantic and syntactic interpretation of each wordplay item is described. In conclusion, the author points out that, although these mnemonic techniques may have declined in importance with the advent of widespread literacy, they have not lost all their value. Bibliogr., notes.