Citation
Aspect in Yoruba and Nigerian English

Material Information

Title:
Aspect in Yoruba and Nigerian English
Creator:
Àjàní, Timothy Tèmilọlá
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xii, 213 leaves : ; 29 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Anticipation ( jstor )
Document titles ( jstor )
Grammatical aspect ( jstor )
Grammatical tenses ( jstor )
Hunting ( jstor )
Jungles ( jstor )
Language ( jstor )
Linguistics ( jstor )
Pronouns ( jstor )
Verbs ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- Linguistics -- UF ( lcsh )
Linguistics thesis, Ph.D ( lcsh )
City of Gainesville ( local )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 2001.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 198-210).
Additional Physical Form:
Also available online.
General Note:
Printout.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Timothy Temilola Ajani.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Timothy Temilola Ajani. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
026973645 ( ALEPH )
47260205 ( OCLC )

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text











ASPECT IN YORUBA AND NIGERIAN ENGLISH















By

TIMOTHY TEMILOLA AJANI
















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2001



















This work is dedicated to the loving memory of:.

Jim Sharp, Jr.:

From the heavenly grandstands

I know you wear a proud grin at the conclusion of this work; and

My late father, Jacob Aj~ni,

who taught me how to read and write YorutbA at home

while living in a foreign country; And to

My mother, Rebecca M~tdand~la Ajanf.

who has endured many years of my absence from home

while I pursued my education from one institution to another and

from one nation to another.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Successful completion of any exercise usually reflects the efforts of more than one individual. This dissertation would never have been written without the help, collaboration, encouragement, prayers and goodwill of a host of people, both here in the United States and back home in Nigeria.

Foremost, my sincere gratitude goes to the chairperson of my doctoral committee, Professor. M.J. Hardman who taught me how to look at language critically and through unbiased lenses, to question assumptions and previously held opinions, in the spirit of humility. I appreciate her patience and thoroughness, especially during the initial stages of this study. I appreciate her kindness, gentleness and sense of humor. I thank her for adopting me and my young family into her own family. My first son fondly calls her "grandma." Working with her one-on-one has been a real privilege. I have benefitted immensely from her excellent linguistic insights and intuitions.

I also express my sincere gratitude to the other members of my

committee. I have learnt much about language and linguistics from them. I worked closely with these committee members: Professor Jean Casagrande, Dr. Diana Boxer, Dr. Peter Schmidt, and Professor Marie Nelson. Although Professor Marie Nelson was the last to formally join the committee, she was already a voluntary adjunct member. She willingly stepped in when Professor glabiyi Yai left the University to take a permanent assignment as representative for his country at UNESCO.



iii










Drs. Casagrande and Yai were instrumental in bringing me to this University, after I had completed my DEA (M. Phil. equivalent) in Paris, France. When he was Chair of the Department of African and Asian Languages and Literatures (AALL), Dr. Yai offered me an open-ended teaching assistantship at the AALL during the Spring and Fall semesters, and occasionally during the summer. Dr. Casagrande, then director of the Program in Linguistics (PIL) and the English Language Institute (ELI), offered me summer assistantships at the ELI during my first two years here. I taught Yoruba for several years under the supervision of Dr. Yai, until he left for France two years ago. I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at the ELlunder the leadership of Dr. Casagrande and later, Dr. Boxer. My interest in and love for Sociolinguistics really blossomed while I was a student in Dr. Boxer's Sociolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition (SLA) classes.

I am deeply indebted to Dr. Marie Nelson, who voluntarily offered to read through all of my manuscripts, offering fresh insights, and making useful comments and corrections.At the time, she was busy discharging her many duties as director of the PIL. Dr. Peter Schmidt, Director of the Center for African Studies, gave me a summer dissertation grant to do research in Nigeria, and I thank him very much. I give many thanks go to Dr. Ann WyattBrown, who willingly offered me her personal laptop computer to use for as along as I needed it, when I began my studies here in Gainesville. It was also she who encouraged me to publish my first article in FOCUS on Linguistics, the University of Florida working papers in Linguistics.

My experience at the University of Florida would have been very

different without the support of friends, colleagues, students and family, here, in the United States, back home in Nigeria, and in other places. I am very grateful for all the encouragement, financial support, and prayer support I


iv










have received over many years from groups and individuals alike: members of the IGS Fellowship in Ibadm, Nigeria, Living Faith Fellowship in Gainesville and my home group at The Rock of Gainesville, as well as the following individuals: Dr. Michael and Alanna Boutin, the late Jim Sharp, Jr., who paid for my first personal computer and printer with which this dissertation was written; the Flad6s, Tom and Sharon Stebbins, Bill and Fay Alexander, Rob and Sheryl Norton, Key and Ruth Ann Powell, Nellie Otero, Beth Alexander, the late C.R., and Evelyn Smith, my "big sister", Marylyn Perazzini and "little brother", Derek Tirado; Ms. Agnes Leslie; Beve Gunderson, Rena Smith, Kim Hewitt, Rosie Piedra Hall, Jeanette Flanders and Ashley Hicks; Troy and Renee Clark, Carol Lauriault, and the entire staff of the CAS. Outside of Florida, many thanks go to my dear friends, Drs. Austin and Udy Inyang of Oklahoma; my "little sisters" F!yi and Folhk(, both of the United Kingdom; and my longtime friends, Drs. George and Omolade M6 of France.

Finally, my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation go to my family, both immediate and extended, especially my siblings, my late father, and my aging mother, Rebecca MAdand6lA, who has seen very little of me since I began my long journey in academia; and lastly, my dear wife and life companion, ClAjumoko OlfiinmilAyo and our two precious sons, AyoxqLA Ul(riolitwa and lbiLkfin OltbisolA, who have weathered the long summers and winters with me here in Gainesville, with a lot of understanding, patience and equanimity. To you all I say o. V ki dfr6ti; a 6 k6 &r6 oko d61( o. Amin."











v















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

ACKNOW LEDGMENTS ................................................................................................. iii

KEY TO SYM BOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS .......................................................... ix

ABSTRACT ....................................................................................................................... xi

CHAPTERS

1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 1
1. 1 The Yoritbii People ............................................................................................. 1
1.2 The Yoriib.A Language ....................................................................................... 9
1.2.1 Phonology ............................................................................................... 12
1.2.2 Morphology ............................................................................................ 15
1.2.3 Syntax ...................................................................................................... 16
1.3 The Dynamics of YoritbA and English in Nigeria ...................................... 21

2. ASPECT IN YORUBA ................................................................................................ 29

2.1 The Nature of the Verb Phrase (VP) in YorWA .......................................... 42
2.2.1 The Incompletive Aspect ...................................................................... 44
2.2.2 The Relational Aspect ............................................................................ 45
.2.2.3 The Habitual + Post-verbal Time Marker ........ ; ................................... 45
2.2.4 The Intentional + Post-verbal Time Marker ..................................... 46
2.2.5 Completive Aspect + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Focus) ................... 46
2.2.6 The Anticipative + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Focus) ...................... 46
2.2.7 The Completive Aspect ......................................................................... 47
2.3 Aspect in YoritbA .............................................................................................. 47
2.3.1 Aspect Constraints on Person Marking and Pronoun Selection ... 48
2.3.1.1 Intentional + regular pronoun ................................................ 51
2.3.1.2 Intentional + emphatic pronoun ........................................ o.o.. 51
2.3.1.3 Completive aspect + regular pronoun ..................................... 53
2.3.1.4 Completive aspect + emphatic pronoun ............................... 53
2.3.1.5 Relational aspect + regular pronoun ..................................... 54

vi









2.3.1.6 Relational aspect + emphatic pronoun ................................. 54
2.3.1.7 Habitual Aspect + regular pronoun ....................................... 54
2.3.1.8 Habitual Aspect + em phatic pronoun .................................... 55
2.3.1.9 Antecedent completion + regular pronoun .......................... 55
2.3.1.0 Antecedent completion + emphatic pronoun ....................... 56
2.3.2 The Sim ple Aspect Series ....................................................................... 56
2.3.2.1 The Com pletive Aspect (Unm arked) ....................................... 56
2.3.2.2 The Incom pletive Aspect ......................................................... 58
2.3.2.3 The Relational Aspect ................................................................ 59
2.3.2.4 The Irrealis Aspects .................................................................. 59
2.3.2.4.1 The anticipative aspect ............ oft ............................. 60
2.3.2.4.2 The intentional aspect ............................................. 61
2.3.3 The Com plex Aspect Series .................................................................... 63
2.3.3.1 Backgrounder ............................................................................. 64
2.3.3.2 Expective ..................................................................................... 65
2.3.3.3 Inceptive ..................................................................................... 66
2.3.3.4 M anifestive ................................................................................. 68
2.3.3.5 Antecedent Com pletion ............................................................. 68
2.3.3.6 Relevant-Inceptive .................................................................... 70
2.3.3.7 Habitual ....................................................................................... 71
2.3.3.8 Two Major Categories of the Complex Aspects ...................... 72
2.3.3.8.1 Those involving the relational aspect .................. 73
2.3.3.8.2 Those not involving the relational ....................... 78
2.4 Aspect M arkers in Context ................................................................................ 80
2.4.1 Com pletive (Unm arked) Aspect ........................................................... 81
2.4.2 Incom pletive Aspect .............................................................................. 81
2.4.3 Relational Aspect .................................................................................... 82
2.4.4 Anticipative Aspect .................................................................................. 82
2.4.5 Intentional Aspect .................................................................................. 82
2.4.6 Relevant-Inceptive Aspect ................................................................... 84
2.4.7 Expective Aspect ..................................................................................... 84
2.4.8 Habitual Aspect ....................................................................................... 84
2.5 Tem poral Relations in Yoruba ....................................................................... 85






Vil










3. A SPECT IN N IG ERIA N EN GLISH ..................................................................... 88

3.1 Am os Tfititold: the M an .................................................................................... 93
3.2 Am os Tfidiolt his W orks ................................................................................ 98
3.3 Amos T4diolt his Accomplishments ........................................................... 105
3.4 Aspect in T4titoW s W ritings ......................................................................... 107
3.4.1 The Incom pletive Aspect .................................................................... 112
3.4.2 The Habitual Aspect .............................................................................. 122
3.4.3 The Anticipative Aspect ....................................................................... 125
3.4.4 The Relational Aspect ........................................................................... 128
3.4.5 The Relevant-Inceptive .............................. o ........................................ 130

4. CONCLUSIO N ................. o ............................................ o ........................................... 133

4.1 Sum m ary. .......................................................... o .............................................. 133
4.2 hnplications .................................................................................................... 141

A PPEN D IX .................................................................................................................... 148

REFEREN CES ....................................................... o .......................................................... 198

BIBLIO G RA PH ICA L SKETCH ................................................................................. 211



























viii















KEY TO SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS
Explanation of Glossary
ANT(E) COMP antecedent completion aspect
ANTI/ANTICIP anticipative aspect
BACKGRD backgrounder aspect
BAH The Brave African Huntress
BE British English
CLT Communicative Language Teaching
CV consonant vowel
DIREC directional
EL English language
Emp/EMP/EP emphatic pronoun
ESL English as a second language
ESP English for specific purposes
HABIT habitual aspect
HE Hausa English
ICE International Corpus of English
IE Igbo English
INCOM/INCOMP incompletive aspect
INT/INTEN intentional aspect
INTV interrogative verb
LBG My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
1C locative
L1 mother tongue
L2 second language
MANIFEST manifestive aspect
NE Nigerian English
NIEG negator
NP noun phrase
NPE Nigerian Pidgin English
O/Obj/OBJ object
PART particle
PLU/PLUR plural
PP prepositional phrase
PREP preposition
PWD The Palm-Wine Drinkard
RELA/RALAT relational aspect
REL(EV)-INCEP relevant-incpetive aspect
RP regular pronoun
SF&F Science Fiction and Fantasy
SNE Standard Nigerian English
SVC(s) serial verbal construction(s)
SVO subject-verb-object
V- vowel
VP verb phrase
YE Yoruba English


ix















Explanation of Glossary
YL Yoruba language
YSL Yoruba as a second language
YVP Yoruba verb phrase
lpP first person plural
lpS first person singular
2pP second person plural
2pS second person singular
3pP third person plural
3pS third person singular


































x















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


ASPECT IN YORUBA AND NIGERIAN ENGLISH By

Timothy T!miloml AjAni

May, 2001

Chair Dr. MJ. Hardman
Major Department: Linguistics

Yoruba, has, for the most part, been analyzed by earlier grammarians from the perspective of English, thus leading to an English-oriented analysis of the language. This study presents a strictly aspect-based analysis of Yoritb6 and its application to TfitolA's work and Nigerian English. Twelve identified aspects are subdivided into two main categories comprising five simple and seven complex aspects.

This dissertation makes an original contribution to YoriibA grammar by its presentation of YorubA as an aspect-based language, rather than a tensebased one, as previous analyses have often tended to suggest. A closer look at TfitiLolA's English reveals that many of the idiosyncracies of his language are a result of the unconscious transfer of the aspectual system of his native Yoruba into the English of his writings. What this shows is that in Nigeria, the YorubA language has influenced the way English is written and interpreted. Data from The Palm-Wine Drinkard, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and The Brave African Huntress, three of Amos Ttitiol's earliest novels, were used to demonstrate this important influence on the work of Tdtiioli, a native of Yoriibland who,


xi










in choosing to write in English, also chose not to leave behind many of the features of his first language.

The implications of this study are several. At the disciplinary level, the study affords the opportunity to capture linguistic data as they develop and to provide fresh insights into the internal workings of the YoritM verb phrase in general and aspectual relations in particular. These insights enhance our understanding of the Yoriffi.A language as a linguistic system. The study has implications for the history of the English language. The study also leads to an understanding that language contact is a two-way process. When two languages come into contact, mutual influences at various levels of grammar and usage are inevitable.

At the national and international levels, our understanding of the language of T'dtiLolA's work can affect the way English is taught in nations where English is a second language. Our understanding also can affect the way YoritbA is taught to speakers of English as a first language. The results of this study also have general implications for the theory of second language learning and teaching and for the science of language in general, as it could lead to a better understanding of the role the mother tongue plays in the acquisition of a second language in non-native contexts.

















xii















CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief historical and linguistic background to YoribA--the people and the language--and Nigerian English

(NE). It answers the following pertinent questions: who are the YorftbA? (1.1); what does the Yoritbi language look like? ( 1.2); how did the English language get into Nigeria and Yoritbaland in particular? and finally, how do both languages interact within the linguistic and socio-cultural environment in which they co-exist? (1.3). The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the major themes of subsequent chapters.



1.1 The Yoriibd People

The YoriLb are a group of people whose identity is linked by common origins: a common ancestry to OdiduwA; a common language YoruLbA; and a common historical link to the ancient city of II-If6 as cultural and spiritual headquarters and cradle of the race (cf. Ajani 1998: 12-13). All the groups of people who consider themselves as YoritbA also identify themselves by these three common bonds. Apart from ancestry and language, all YoriubA peoples also share a great similarity in culture and religious background.
Today most of the Yoritbd occupy southwestern Nigeria. Smaller

communities exist in the neighboring republics of Benin and Togo to the west. YoriubAland thus encompasses three different nations, with different modern histories. Benin and Togo, for example, were colonized by the French, while Nigeria was colonized by the British during the colonial period. Thus we find


1







2


YorilbA people today who use French as an official language (those in Benin and Togo) while others use English (in Nigeria). There is also a strong Yoruba cultural presence in Sierra-Leone (home of the late Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who laid the foundation for YortibA studies by translating the Bible and John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress into YoribiA and by writing the first dictionary and orthography of the language). Here the descendants of YoritA freed slaves who were resettled after abolition of the obnoxious trade in human beings still bear YorubA names and carry on YortbA culture. The YorbA language made the greatest contribution to the grammar, vocabulary and sound systems of the Krio (Creole) language of Sierra-Leone, the principal lingua franca of this tiny West-African coastal nation (UNESCO 1985). Today, about 25-30 million YorutbA people live in YoriibAland, with probably several million more in the diaspora around the world.

Although OyewiLmi (1997: 29-30) argues that Odiiduwk, ancestor of the YoritbA is represented as female in some accounts, in YorubAi folklore he is generally considered to be the son of O16dnmar!, the Creator and life-giver, the all-knowing, all-powerful and self-existent God who lives in the skies from where he rules over all of creation with the help of the 6risa or lesser gods who also serve as his intermediaries. As for O16dunar!, OyewWm observes that as a god this mythic figure could not have had gender.
According to the legend, it was Oduduwk who created dry land from the huge mass of water after his older brother, ObbtalA failed, through negligence, in the commission given to him by O16d-mar!. It is also believed that OdiKduwv molded the first human shapes out of clay. Furthermore, OdjiduwA's sixteen sons (cf. Oyewunu 1997 for more detailed discussion on the genderization of Yoriba) were sent out to found and to govern the various cities and kingdoms that constitute present YorubAland. So strong and central is the figure of







3


Oduduwk to the identity of the YoriibA that they fondly refer to themselves as "(to Odiiduw (children, or descendants of Oduduw-). In fact the ancestors of modern day YoritbA people did not always refer to themselves by this name, nor even consider themselves as one people, although they had much in common.

The origin of the name "Yoriibd" itself is still shrouded in obscurity. It is, however, believed to have been conferred on the Yoruba people by their Hausa neighbors to the north who used to refer to the people of the old Oyo Empire as the "Yariba." Europeans then appropriated this name and began to use it to refer to all the speakers of the Yoruba language. The present generalized application is a result, then, of further extension. In fact, for a long time only the Oy6 people were referred to as Yoruba. The other YorubA groups bore their own distinct names (such as Ij sA, Ekiti, EgbA, Ij .bl, etc.) until the language became standardized by missionary-linguists in the nineteenth century, at which point it came to be applied to all of Odtduw's descendants.
Apart from the name Yoruba, Oduduwa's descendants were called by several other names before the current name Yoruba arose. In the past, Europeans called them the "Akfi," a word derived from Yoruba greetings, most of which begin with "E kfi" or "A kui". This label was originally used to describe the freed slaves from Yorubaland who were later resettled in SierraLeone. Their Hausa neighbors to the north still call them by the name "Yorubawa." Once, the Yoruba were also refered to as the "Ey6," a term obviously derived from "Oy6." In the diaspora, enslaved Yorubas were referred to as "Nago" in Brazil and "Lukumi" in Cuba. "Nago" is a derivative of the name of one of the twenty Yoruba groups known as the Anago. "Lukumi" is a word derived from the Yoruba phrase "Olki mi," meaning "My friend."







4


Lukumi also has become a generic name in Cuba where it has some other variants such as Licomim, Ulkunii and Ulkami.

Although oral history puts the origins of Il(!Ifi at around 8 B.C.,

linguistic and archaeological evidence suggest that the Yoruba emerged near the Niger-Benue confluence some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. From here, it is believed, they migrated to their present location between the eighth and eleventh centuries. Historians tell us that a powerful Yoruba kingdom already existed in Il&IfM by the eighth century: one of the earliest in Africa south of the Sahel region.

The Yoruba are among the most urbanized people in Africa. For

centuries before the arrival of the British colonial administration most Yoruba already lived in well structured urban centers organized around powerful city-states (li) centered around the residence of the oba (ruler). In ancient times, most of these cities were fortresses, with high walls and gates. Yoruba cities always have been among the most populous in Africa. Recent archaeological findings indicate that 0y6-il!, capital of the Yoruba empire of Oyo that flourished between 1000 and 1840 A.D. had a population of over 100,000 people (the largest single population in Africa at that time in history). For a long time, Ibadan, one of the major Yoruba cities, was the largest city in the whole of western Africa. Today, Lagos, another major Yoruba city, with a population of about eight to ten million, remains the second largest in Africa, apart from being the main commercial and economic nerve center of Nigeria and the entire West-African sub-region. It also was the political capital of Nigeria for decades, until very recently when a new capital (Abuja) was founded in the center of the country.

The Yoruba are traditionally an agricultural people, as their

environment in conducive to farming. The Yoruba evidently, have always






5


lived in large cities. Each city usually is surrounded by an elaborate network of farmlands (oko) around which villages (abfiM) developed. Each citydwelling family generally also had a farm in the village. Although most Yoruba people live in the villages, the city is considered the center of civilization, culture and religion. Each year village dwellers go back to their respective cities for annual religious festivities and social celebrations. Carnivals in Brazil and other places in the Yoruba diaspora probably originated from these annual festivals (Abimbola 1998: 36). The annual Osun Festival of Osogbo has now become an international event that attracts people from all over the world, especially people from the diaspora.

Traditionally, most Yoruba women specialized in commercial activities such as marketing and trading. While the men did most of the farming, the women bought produce from farms and sold it at the markets. They also sold cloths woven by the men as well as tie-dyes made by the women. This middleperson role played by the women generally made them wealthy and financially independent. For this reason, Yoruba women do not fit the usual traditional Western definition of a wife and a mother. Part of the role of a wife and mother among the Yoruba is that of provider, which subsumes economic activity and financial independence.

Although traditionally the Yoruba are agricultural people, today the Yoruba could be found engaged in practically all forms of modem day professions, ranging from education to medicine, arts and science to cuttingedge high-tech jobs in technology and the computer industry. In fact, the first African and black person to win the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature, Wole Soyinka, is Yoruba. Though Soyinka's English is elegant and complex in the usual sense, it is also distinctive in its use of Yoruba structures and discourse features.







6


The Yoruba also are known around the world for their artwork. Their naturalistic bronze and terra-cotta sculptures are found in museums all over the world, among them the famous If heads. So remarkable were the sculptures produced in Ile-Ife that when the German ethnographer, Leo Frobenius, visited Ile-Ife in 1911, he could not believe what he saw with his eyes and made up stories that they must have been the relics of the lost city of Atlantis. Today, it is believed that these great works of art must have been created by Yoruba sculptors. It is also no longer a hidden fact that some of these great works of art were imitated by some of the great European artists.

The Yoruba are probably best known around the world for their traditional religious belief system based on a pantheon of 6risA (lesser divinities). Yoruba traditional religion consists of a pantheon of two hundred one (or four hundred one, according to other accounts) 6risA. Names of the well-known deities are Ogfn, S.ng6 and IfA or Orinmilk, Other major deities include Osun, Oya and Yemoja, ObAttA or Oris~nl, S6np6nni, EI and Esu. The Yoruba believe that Olodumare, the creator of all 6risA and humans, is too powerful to be worshipped directly by mere mortals. Thus they need the intermediary role of the 6risA, who are considered to be much closer to humans. becomes apparent. The orisa are thus seen as the mediators between Olodumare, the high God and mortals.
The worship of some of these deities was transported across the Atlantic during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the 1800s, during which time many Yoruba people were forcefully uprooted to the New World as slaves for plantation owners of European descent. This resulted in a large Yoruba diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbeans, where Yoruba culture and religion is still very much vibrant and active, especially in places like Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as in more recent revivals in the







7


United States. These enslaved Yoruba took along with them their traditional religious beliefs and married these to Catholic Saints to produce such syncretic belief systems as Santenia (in Cuba and the Caribbeans) and CandomblM (in Brazil). In Cuba, for instance, the enslaved Africans superimposed Catholic saints on Yoruba deities to hide their true religious practices from their brutal slave masters and missionaries. In the United States, it is estimated that more than a million people in the Northeast alone practice some form of Yoruba religion with more than 5,000 stores selling Santeria paraphernalia (Honebrink 1993: 46). Today New York and Washington D.C. remain a vibrant center of Yoruba religious activity. In South Carolina, Oy6tdrnjf Village (Oy6 has revived) stands as a constant reminder of the ongoing Yoruba renaissance in the United States of America.

Although Yoruba religion spread its influences beyond Yorubaland and Africa, the Yoruba also embraced other religions, especially the two major world religions, Christianity and Islam. The Yoruba are tolerant of other religions, opinions, and ideas. Therefore it is not surprising that right now most Yoruba people embrace Christianity and many have converted to Islam. just as new adherents embrace Yoruba religious beliefs, so have the Yoruba themselves been open to new religious ideas from other parts of the world. There is peaceful co-existence among people of different religious persuasions. Often Christian and Muslim Yorubas also practice their family religious traditions, side by side with their adopted religions. Yoruba Muslims often go to church functions with their Christian friends and relatives and vice versa. In fact, I know of a Yoruba couple in Gainesville. The husband is a Catholic and the wife is a Muslim. Each of them still practice their different religions. They have been happily married for more than twenty years now and have four well adapted children. A Yoruba proverb says "Esin-in baba k6







8


M gbomo IA," meaning the religious beliefs of the father cannot save the children. The wisdom of this proverb, in essence, is that we each must seek our own salvation.

Finally, the Yoruba are also known for their rich and vibrant literary tradition, especially their oral poetry which has attracted literary luminaries from around the world. Yoruba oral literature is rich in proverbs and wise sayings that reflect the values, hopes and aspirations of its people. Much respect is given to old age among the Yoruba because the elderly are believed to be the repositories of wisdom and knowledge. Old age is thus highly revered among the Yoruba. In fact, probably the most important prayer that an older person can say to a younger one is "0 mAa dAgbA dar4gb6" (You shall grow old and be full of years). Since the Yoruba are very religious, prayers play a very important part in day to day communication, activities, and interactions. Probably Yoruba religion and culture are the two most important contributions of the Yoruba to world civilization. Every civilization and culture undergoes changes over time and Yoruba is no exception. Their culture and civilization have undergone changes and modifications over the years, from both internal dynamics and external pressures. Such were the imposition of European rule on Yorubaland during the colonial era and the introduction of both Islam and Christianity at different times of their history. The Yoruba have used all of these challenges and experiences to better their lot and to advance their own civilization, adopting some changes that they consider as progressive while throwing away others that are not viewed in positive light.







9


1.2 The YoriLbd Language

Yoruba belongs to the Yoruboid group of the Kwa branch of the NigerCongo family of languages, which cuts across most of sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest of the five main language families of Africa. The others are Nilo-Saharan, Afro-Asiatic, Khoisan and Austronesian (mainly in the island nation of Madagascar). About half the population of Africa speak a language belonging to the Niger-Congo family. Other groups in this family include the Atlantic and the Kordofanian group of languages.

Yoruba is demographically and culturally the most important language of the Gulf of Guinea. Spoken by more than 25 million people, it was one of the earliest west African languages to have a written grammar and dictionary. The first known written document in Yoruba appeared in 1819. It was a vocabulary primer containing the numerals 1-10 and was published by the German linguist, Bowdich. A more substantial list of vocabulary appeared some nine years later in 1828 when Hannah Kilhaxn published a collection of vocabularies from thirty African languages while sojourning in Sierra-Leone betvveen 1827 and 1828. This was followed by the first recorded text and dictionary in 1843. The former was a Yoruba translation of Luke 1:35, a sermon text of the Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, a priest-linguist working under the aegis of the Church Missionary Society (CMS). The first dictionary was also the work of Bishop Crowther. He also produced the first grammar and vocabulary in 1853 and the first translation of the Bible in 1856, the same year in which the first Yoruba periodical also appeared. This was followed in 1875 by the first standardized orthography (which remains essentially unmodified today), issued by the CMS, under the supervision of Samuel Crowther.

The Reverend and later Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who became instrumental in the codification of the Yoruba language and was by far the







10


most fervent contributor to early Yoruba studies, was himself a Yoruba native. Enslaved and later liberated by the British Navy in 1821, Ajayi resettled in Sierra-Leone, as did other West-Africans after the British empire abolished the trade in humans. In Sierra-Leone, where many of the returning ex-enslaved were of Yoruba origin, Samuel Crowther became a missionary for the CMS of England. He was baptized in 1825 by John C. Raban, a German missionary working for the CMS who also christened the young AjAyf as Samuel Crowther. Raban exerted a profound and lasting influence on the young Crowther. His influence allowed Crowther to play a key role in moving the center of the study of the Yoruba language from Sierra-Leone to Yorubaland itself in a CMSled missionary effort to christianize the Yoruba-speaking areas of western Africa. The effort to transform Yoruba from a mainly spoken language to a written one was not the effort of one person alone. It was an international effort mostly led by European missionaries whose main purpose was to transmit the Judeo-Christian religion and culture. Apart from Samuel Crowther and his mentor, Raban, several other European missionary-linguists as well as other Yoruba-speaking people were involved. The significance and implications of this European missionary-linguist-led effort and its effect on Yoruba grammatical analysis are discussed further in the next chapter. This was the seed of the English-based analysis that later returned to haunt the grammatical analysis of the Yoruba language.

As one of the three largest groups of languages (classified as "national languages" in the constitution) in Nigeria, Yoruba is spoken by more than 20% of the population of Nigeria (the largest single black nation on earth), a country with a population of about 120 million people. The two other national languages are Hausa and Igbo, both of which are also regional languages in the north and southeastern parts of the country. In fact, Hausa is the most







11


widely spoken language within the West-African sub-region, followed by Yoruba (although the latter also is used as language of religious rites and communication outside the African continent). "Standard" Yoruba itself is an amalgamation of several dialects, essentially the dialects of Oyo, Ibadan, Abeokuta and Lagos, major activity centers of early CMS missionary activities, making Yoruba itself a koin( (Fagborun 1994), a process involving dialect mixing, levelling, and simplification (Trudgill 1986: 127, Siegel 1987: 186-7).

Apart from the standardized koin6, there are twenty other dialects of Yoruba: Oy6, IjishA, Ife, Ij(bfi, Ond6, O6, Owt, Egb6d6, Ch6ri, Igb6minA, S.Abe, Gbede, Egb.A, Ak6k6, AnAg6, Bini, YagbA, Ekiti, IkM and Aw6ri. These dialects are largely mutually intelligible, albeit with some variations in vocabulary and phonology and were largely spoken by different groups of people who, though tracing their descent to their common progenitor (OdiiduwA), did not consider themselves as one people. In fact, these groups belonged to different kingdoms and empires that fought each other in the past for various purposes, including territorial expansion. The term Yoruibt itself was used to refer solely to the people of the old savannah empire of Oy6 by their northern neighbors, the Hausa, who referred to them as the "Yariba" and later on as "Yorubawa." Thus, the term "Yoruba," first used by a neighboring people to refer to the Yoruba, is itself most likely not of "Yoruba" origin. Although there are several dialects of Yoruba, it is important to mention that my discussions and examples in this analysis shall be based on the so-called "standard" Yoruba. This is the only variety referred to as "Yoruba" and the only variety taught in schools in Yorubaland and abroad. It is the language of the media and of official government business. It also is my native language.

I have provided a brief historical background to the Yoruba language. I now return to its identifying features, especially as these features relate to its







12


phonology, morphology and syntax. In doing so, I follow established orthographic conventions which involves adding diacritics and two tone marks with subscript dot to the Roman alphabet system.


11 honglQ

As shown in Table 1.1, standardized Yoruba segmental phonemes are as follows. There are seven oral vowels and five nasalized vowels. The oral vowels are i, e, -- a, 3,0o, and u; with e and 3 orthographically notated as e and o respectively. The nasalized vowels are in, en, an, onl, and un. Orthographically they are represented as vowel + n when immediately after an oral consonant (e.g. s fn, pin) and as a simple vowel when they are immediately after a nasal consonant (e.g. mo, na). Thus, with the exception of /e/ and /0/ all the vowels have nasalized counterparts. Long vowels are represented by a doubling of the vowel, as in toor 'slender,' d166& 'exactly,' etc. It is important to note that nasalization is phonemic in the language; thus there is a difference in meaning between 'ri' 'to sink' and 'rin' 'to walk'; between 'si' (DIRECTIONAL) and 'sin' 'to sneeze'.

There are certain restrictions on the occurrence and co-occurrence of vowels. Vowel initial nouns, for example, cannot begin with [u] or a nasalized vowel. There are two basic patterns of vowel harmony in the language. First, the mid vowels e and o cannot cooccur with the mid vowels q and Q as the following examples indicate: Oso 'week', qs 'foot', QkQ 'husband', &, 'lip', epo 'oil', etc. The following combinations are not allowed: *QCo, *oZ?, *oCQ, eCq, etc. Similarly, front and back vowels may also not cooccur in monomorphemic CVCV sequences: Abfir6 'younger sibling', ah( r(! 'hut', 6kiki 'fame', etc.

Although tones are not represented in Table 1.1 they are also phonemic in Yoruba and bear a considerable functional load. The lexical importance of






13


tones is due to the role they play in differentiating between sets of lexical items. They are also of grammatical importance because of the role they sometimes play in grammatical distinction. These two features are discussed more fully in later sections. Yoruba has an open-ended syllable structure. That is, all syllables end in a vowel (which could be either an oral or a nasal vowel). The language does not permit consonant clusters (note that orthographic gb, as in gbA in the example below, is not considered a consonant cluster but a unit phoneme doubly articulated). Phonologically, a syllable consists of a vowel nucleus with an optional consonant onset: o 'second person singular subject pronoun', i1cs 'house' (V-syllables); ga 'to be tall', gbA 'to take' (CV-syllables); tAn 'to be finished', tin 'to spread, scatter' (CV-syllable with a nasalized vowel nucleus). A syllabic nasal constitutes a syllable in its own right, it cannot have an onset. A syllabic nasal can occur only medially (as in Og~kdflgb0J 'name of a person') and initially (ffkq 'where is?, where about?'), but not finally, and must be homorganic with the following consonant. The nucleus of a syllable assimilates to a nasal onset in terms of nasality; thus a vowel after a nasal consonant automatically is nasalized.

There are three contrastive level tones: high ('), low (*) and mid

(generally unmarked, but if it is necessary to mark it, then a macron M is placed over the syllabic nucleus, as with the other two tones). Although these contrastive tones are level, phonetic contours occur in some environments. For instance, a low tone immediately after a high tone is realized as a rising tone (as in 6 wA 'she exists', wc~n sian 'they slept'). Similarly, a high tone immediately after a low tone is realized as a rising tone: iwe 'book', 6re 'friend'; The functional importance of tones becomes obvious from the following example sets of lexical items, distinguished in meaning solely by the difference in tone marking: mul (to take), mu (to drink), mi (to be deep); rA (to







14


vanish), ra (to knead), rA (to buy/ be rotten); igbA (time, period), igba (two hundred), igbA (calabash), igbA (climbing rope), igbA (locust tree), etc. The only thing differentiating meaning in the words above is the tone. Note that a distributional restriction does not permit vowel-initial nouns to begin with a high tone. With the sole exception of this restriction, tonal co-occurrence is largely free in Yoruba nouns (rf. Comrie 1990 for further discussion).

As for the consonants, four basic places of articulation are

distinguished in the language: bilabial, alveolar, palatal and velar. In addition to these, there are two doubly articulated stops in Yoruba--the labial-velar stops--represented as p [kp] and gb [gb] respectively. The four voiceless fricatives are: f (labial), s (alveolar) and h (glottal). The palato-alveolar fricative [I] is written as a dotted /s/ (i.e. $). There are five sonorants: m (bilabial nasal), I (alveolar lateral), r (alveolar tap), y (palatal glide), w (velar glide), plus a syllabic nasal whose representation varies depending on the environment. It is realized as a velar when followed immediately by a vowel, as in 'n 6 r' [' 6 rA ] (I didn't buy/I won't buy). When it is followed by a consonant, the syllabic nasal is homorganic to the following segment, although in the written tradition this has been fossilized as a simple n, as in 'M6 m b6' (generally written as [m6 n bo]) (I am coming/I was coming-)t 'M6 n lo' (I am going/I was going). There are five stops: b (voiced bilabial), d (voiced alveolar), t (voiceless alveolar), g (voiced velar) and k (voiceless velar), plus two doubly articulated labial-velars, as mentioned above and a palatal stop: [d3] simply written as /j/. The voiceless labial-velar also is represented orthographically as a simple /p/, since there is no voiceless bilabial stop counterpart in the language.







15


1.2.2 Morphologv

The obligatory categories in Yoruba are syntactic while the derivational categories are mainly morphemic. There are two main processes of word formation, viz prefixation and reduplication. Nouns can be derived from verbs in several ways. Prefixes deriving agentive nouns from verbs include a-, 6and olfi-. Of these three, the a- prefix is the most productive while o- is the least productive. A- is generally prefixed to a verb phrase (VP) to derive a noun of the order 'one who does something', as in apqja 'fisherperson' (literally one who kills fish: a + pa + eja), akorin 'singer' (one who sings songs: a + k9 + orin) or an object that performs an action, as in abe 'knife' (that which cuts: a + be), ata 'pepper' (that which stings: a + ta). The prefix 6- harmonizes with its base VP to produce two variants: 6- and 0-. For instance 6$i/ 'worker' (one who works: 6 + se + i4), but omrws, 'a Ph.D. holder' (one who knows book: o + m6 + iw6). Examples of derivations with oluincluse olugbA.1 'savior' (one who saves: olfi + gbala), olt1pes6 'one who provides: olui + p!s), oliud morAn 'counselor' (one who counsels: olfi + dAn6rkn), etc.
Prefixes that form abstract nouns from VPs include i- and A- as in imo 'knowledge' (the art of knowing: i + m6), ireti 'hope' (the art of expecting: i + reti); AIQ 'going' (the art of going: A + lo), As4 'banquet' (the art of cooking: A + s). These prefixes sometimes form nonabstract nouns: idi 'bundle' (the art of binding: i + di), it -n 'story, history' (the art of spreading: i + t). Other prefixes include Ati- and Ai- both of which are used to derive either infinitives or gerunds. While ati- is used to derive affirmative forms, Ai- is used mainly in the derivation of negative forms: Atdi$0 'to work, working' (the art of doing work: A ti + se + is6), A tiQ 'to go, going' (the art of going: Ati + lo); Alnio







16


'joblessness' (the state of not having a job: ki + ni +is6), Aisfn 'vigil' (the state of not sleeping: A i + sin), etc.

Reduplication is another way in which new words are formed in

Yoruba. Although there are just two basic types of reduplication--complete and partial reduplication, this process is also highly productive. Complete reduplication is used mainly to express either intensification: pupo 'many, much' but pupopuip 'very many, much' or it can be used to change grammatical categories; d.Ara 'be good' (verb) but daadra 'good'(adjective). Another form of complete reduplication is the one that derives an agentive nominal from a VP: jagunjagun 'warrior' (fight war fight war: jA + ogun), k61k61O 'burglar' (steal/gather house: k6 + ilM). Partial reduplication is used to derive a noun from a verb. Generally, the initial consonant of a verb is copied and then followed by a high-toned [f] as in hlfQ 'going' (lo 'go), $f~e 'doing' (&e 'do'), etc. (cf. Comrie 1990).




Syntactically speaking, Yoruba is a highly configurational language. The basic word order is subject + verb + object (SVO). Noun phrases (NP), verb phrases (VP) and prepositional phrases (PP) are head-initial (i.e. the head of a phrase comes at the beginning. Examples (1-2) below show the basic word order typology of Yoruba.


(1) 016 rA kk6.
014 buy bicycle
'Ol bought a bicycle.'

(2) Mo ni iwo.
I have book
'I have a book.'

Both objects of a verb with more than one object follow the verb, with the second object preceded by the semantically empty preposition nL







17

(3) Mo fdn TAyyd ni ow6.
I give TAy6 PREP. money
'I gave TAyd some money.'

Also when a verb has a verbal complement, the complement follows the verb.

(4) Mo r6 p6 o kiri.
I think that you be+short
'I think that you are short.'

(5) Mo mo pd Kikd m6wd.
I know that Kik know+book
'I know that Kik4 is brilliant.'

Adverbials generally are post-verbal (6-7), although a small number precede

the verb (8-9).

(6) BAdd sanra pdpo,
Bade fat/big plenty/a lot
'Bade is very fat/big'

(7) Gb mi dddd gan an.
Gbemi is+dark very/really 'Gb!mi is very/really dark.'

(8) BAba t&t& dd.
Father quickly arrive
'Father arrived quickly.'

(9) Mo s Os IQ.
I just go
'I have just gone.'

Aspect markers are pre-verbal. These markers are the object of the next

chapter and will be discussed in further detail.

(10) A ti ji.
We RELATIONAL wake up
'We have awakened/We are awake.'


(11) Old a 1Q Si ild-1wd.
Olf INCOMPLETIVE go DIRECTIONAL school
'Ol is/was going to school.'







18


Yes-no type questions are formed by placing either $6, or Nj,6 at the beginning of the sentence or bi at the end:


(12) $e 06 ni OW6?
INTERROGATIVE PARTICLE you have .money
'Do you have money?'

(13) Nj~ o nf ow6?
INTERROGATIVE PARTICLE you have money
'Do you have money?'

(14) 0 nh o"6 bi?
You have money INTERROGATIVE PARTICLE
'Do you have money?'


Since NPs are head-initial (as discussed earlier), adjectives, determiners, demonstratives and relative clauses appear post-nominally.


(15) I14 pupa
House red
'Red house'

(16) H6~ niAA
House that
'That house'

(17) fy4? Ui mo ri
Bird that I see
'The bird (that) I saw.'


One cannot bring this section on the structure of Yoruba to a close

without touching briefly on the subject of serial verbal constructions (SVC) in the language. As is the case in many languages of the Kwa group, in Yoruba it is possible for strings of VPs to appear one after the other without an intervening conjunction or subordinator. SVCs are so common in Yoruba that it is practically impossible to discuss the VP at any length without having to address the issue of SVCs. In fact, they are one of the hallmarks of the VP in Yoruba.







19


The SVCs exhibit very interesting properties, as can be observed in the examples below.


(18) Md un wd!
Bring it come
'Bring it (here)!

(19) Mo gbL e lQ.
I carry it go
'I took/carried it away.'

(20) Tfi ta igi fdn Told.
Titi sell wood give Told
'Titi sold Tolu some wood.'


In examples (18) and (19), the second verbs (wA, 1o) indicate the

direction in which the actions performed by the subjects took place. Both the first and second verbs point to the action of one and the same subject. In (20) the second verb (ffn) refers or points to the object of the benefactor of the action referred to by the first verb. However, it is also possible to have an SVC construction of this type in (18) and (19) where the subject of the second verb becomes the object of the first verb. In that instance, it is the object of the verb (d 'push') who suffers the consequence of the action and not the subject (as in the last two examples). Such is the case in example (21) below.

(21) P.de ti ml lull.
PAd push me hit+ground
'Pdd pushed me down.'


It is also possible to have two transitive verbs combined in the same SVC construction. In such cases the serial verb sequence will have two object NPs, as in (22) and (23) below.


(22) TfA pQn onim kdn Amei.
T M draw water fill pot
'Tifd filled the pot with water.'






20


(23) Ol6 yan ibQn pa erin.
Olt shoot gun kill elephant 'Olu killed the elephant with a gun.'


In many instances, however, the object NP separating the two transitive verbs is also the object of both VPs.


(24) KAtnmf se i.u ti.
K nmi cook yam sell
'Knmmi cooked yam to sell.'

(25) Mo ra btirodi j.
I buy bread eat
'I bought bread to eat.'


In both of the above examples, the NPs (isu) and (bfir(di) are the objects of the verbs that both precede and follow them. There are many other types of serial verb constructions than those given above. However, since serial verbs are not the object of this dissertation, it will be impossible to give an exhaustive analysis of this very interesting topic in Yoruba syntax. Neither will it be necessary, especially since a lot of indepth analyses have already been carried out by others (cf. Bamgb6s6 1966, 1967, 1995, Aw
Although it is quite obvious from the brief summary of Yoruba

grammar given above, it will be pertinent to point attention to the fact that articles, grammatical gender (cf. Oyewiumi 1997 for a more detailed discussion of the imposition of gender on Yoruba through translation tradition based on English), number, and inflection are not relevant to YorubA. This is not to say that YoribA is "deficient" or "lacks" some things in its grammatical make-up. It only means that Yorubd emphasizes different things than English or any other language for that matter. This issue will be revisited in the next chapter.






21


1.3 The Dyaamics of Yoriibd and English in Nigeri

In this final section of my introductory chapter I will present a brief overview of the complex dynamics of Yoruba and English within the sociocultural and political context of Nigeria. First, I will give a brief history of how the English language came into what has come to be known as the present day Nigeria and how this has affected English and Yoruba and how both languages are used in Nigeria today.

English was officially introduced into Nigeria with the arrival of British merchants on the west coast of Africa during the 17th century. During most of this time English was confined to the coastal areas with which the British did legitimate trade and later on the obnoxious trade in humans. The type of English used then was a mixture of English words with West African syntax (mostly of the Kwa group of languages, to which Yoruba belongs). It was this variety of English that later on developed in what is today known as Nigerian Pidgin English (NPE). The need for communication between European merchants and their Nigerian counterparts gave birth to this form of communication, a compromise speech of sorts, between the English-speaking British merchants and their Nigerian trading partners who spoke indigenous languages. Thus NPE was already widely spoken along the coast before the coming of the colonial administration. However, what is today known as "standard" Nigerian English (NE) did not emerge until the arrival of the Christian missionaries who began to establish schools for purposes of religious instruction. The preceding colonial administration did not see the need to educate their African subjects in their own language. They felt that the compromise that created NPE was good enough for their purposes. It was only decades later that the colonial administration itself began to take some interest in educating their Nigerian subjects, mostly for their own self-serving






22


reasons and partly because they wanted to wrest the power of educating the people from the hands of the missionaries with whom they were not always on good terms. The missionaries, whose mission was mainly religious and not commercial, established schools and began to formally teach the Africans the English language (Ad6kdn1(! 1985: 18-19). This is what Adekunle calls the first phase in the evolution of NE. As has been mentioned earlier in this chapter, it was also the missionaries who began to put the indigenous languages into writing. Names like Raban, Gollmer and Venn come to mind here-all CMS missionary-linguists who were seriously involved in codifying the Yoruba language and who had a great impact on the Yoruba-born missionary-linguist, Bishop Crowther.

The second phase of the establishment of English in Nigeria covers the period from the amalgamation of Nigeria until the time of independence in 1960. It was during this period that the colonial administration got involved in education and began to subsidize the efforts of the missionaries. The colonial government had discovered that it needed some educated Nigerians to help in the smooth running of the State, at least at the administrative level. At this point in time, a number of Nigerians had already had the opportunity to travel and to study in the United Kingdom under the auspices of the Mission Boards. These returned to serve as middle level administrators. Meanwhile, the number of native Britons had also increased in the country. It was during this period that the standardized variety of NE began to stabilize, especially with the establishment of more schools, as teachers began to teach a standardized form of English in preference to the Pidgin English that had already spread beyond the coastal areas into the far interiors of the country. This could be called the middle period of the evolution of SNE.






23


The third phase in this evolution extends from the period of selfdetermination (i.e. independence) until the present. During this phase, most of the stabilizing effort was carried out by Nigerians trained in the UK. Many Nigerians had already been trained as teachers by this time, and it was mostly these British-trained women and men who began to do most of the teaching in the classrooms of Nigeria. It is interesting to note here that these indigenous teachers were adults who already spoke several Nigerian languages before they began to learn English. They could therefore not have had native-like accents and could probably not be considered as perfect bilinguals. The English they spoke and taught in the schools was definitely not the English spoken by the monolingual British person. Most of it would have been colored by the native languages that they were already proficient in before they set their foot in the classrooms of England. If SNE developed from these circumstances, it is therefore obvious that SNE cannot by any standards be the same as the so-called "Queen's English" (See Ajani 1995, 1996) spoken by the English people. This is not to imply that it was or is inferior, but rather that it is different because it has been shaped by its environment. It must have acquired a lot of indigenous flavor. It must be a localized form of English, tailored to the needs of the Nigerian populace as well as influenced by the languages with which it coexisted, or better said, was in competition with. And I don't use the word "competition" lightly here, because until the postindependence period when nationalistic and forward-looking Nigerian leaders decided to systematically implement a new language policy for the nation, it was a major crime in the schools for any Nigerian child to speak her or his mother tongue. There was therefore a calculated attempt by the colonialists to stamp out the indigenous languages in favor of the English tongue. I can still remember a lot of us being severely flogged during our elementary and high






24


school education for daring to speak our mother tongue while in school. The rule was simple: English only; or face the dire consequences. It is interesting to note that most of us already spoke two or more languages before setting foot in the classrooms.

Having learnt English under these circumstances, it should not be surprising that early writers like Amos Tutuola chose to write in English. Neither is it surprising that Tutuola's English and the English of other modern Nigerian writers, including the Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka and internationally acclaimed novelists like Chinua Achebe, still write in an English that is influenced by it's writers' multilingual and multicultural background and experiences.

In Nigeria today, English is still very important and even ejoys much higher status than any of our indigenous languages, including the major lingua francas that had been used as languages of wider communication long before the arrival of the British on those soils. Today, English is still the language of social mobility, although its status has been reduced to that of an official language, as opposed to the three national languages -- Yoritbd, Hausa and Igbo. All four languages now coexist in a diglossic state in the nation, with SNE being used mostly by the educated Mlite, NPE by the not-so-educated Nigerians who did not have the opportunity to go to college, although practically all the educated 61ite also are either conversant with or are fluent in NPE as well. They code-switch and code-mix between SNE, NPE and the various local languages that they know. Thus code-switching and code-mixing are a fundamental part of the linguistic environment of Nigeria, as it is in most African languages today.

In the Yorubaland section of Nigeria, children begin their education in Yoriibl and continue to receive all their academic instructions in it for at least






25


the first three years of elementary education, with English as a subject within the curriculum. After the first three years of elementary education English switches place with Yoruiba and becomes the language of instruction while YoriibA becomes a subject on the curriculum. This notwithstanding, Yoritbd continues as an academic discipline and is studied up to the doctoral and postdoctoral levels in any of the several universities located within the YoritbA region of Nigeria. Today, YoriibA studies is a serious and respectable discipline with many people studying to the Ph.D. level and writing their dissertations entirely in Yoruba. Several news dailies are written in YornibA in the YoriLba states and there are radio and television programs written and presented entirely in YoriibA to the more than 20 million potential viewing audience in the YoriibA-speaking states of Nigeria as well those in neighboring Benin Republic and Togo. Numerous books and articles, theses and dissertations -- on both literary and scientific topics -- have been and still continue to be written in the language.

The YoriLbA are great lovers of education and would leave no stone unturned to better educate themselves and their children because, as the YoritbA saying goes, "Ek6 nfl sonii deni giga" (It is education that makes one a person of importance." Thus, within the Nigerian socio-cultural and political environment, YoritbA and English continue to march on in peaceful coexistence into the future, at least for now. Just as English has been influenced by Yorilbd because of the historical circumstances that brought both languages together, so has YoritbA been influenced by English. In fact, today there are many English loan words in the YoriLbA language, as both languages and cultures continue to influence each other as they move on into the future. English is now taught as a discipline up to the doctoral level in Nigerian universities, and all Yorilba children receiving a formal education






26


must of necessity learn English. English has permeated all facets of life in this former British colony. It is interesting to add too that the Yoriiba language is not only taught in Nigeria, but also in major British and American universities and in other major universities of Europe. In fact, I have had the privilege of teaching YorulbA language, culture and civilization to students from all over Europe at the National Institute of Oriental and African Languages (INALCO) in Paris, France. Yoritb-A is also one of the major African languages taught and researched at the prestigious London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in England. I am also aware that one of our Yoruba professors from Nigeria (Dr. OULb~xi6) now teaches Yoruba in one of the major universities in Japan.

Today, Yorutba remains one of the most studied and researched African languages. The Yoiiibd diaspora, which is mostly a direct result of the forced transportation and relocation of able-bodied Yoritbd women and men from their homeland to the New World, continues to produce and to generate studies on the influence and impact of Yoriibd language, culture, religion and civilization on the rest of the world. In places like Cuba, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and the United States, Yoriibd religion and the language of that religion continues to gain loyal adherents and speakers. Similarly, Yorfibd art is being exhibited in major cities of the world as the beautiful handiwork of gifted and talented Yoribd people continue to gain in prestige and importance, both among the educated elite as well as among religious adherents. Due to the recent economic hardship in Nigeria, there is now a new generation of YorfibA descendants scattered all over the world, especially in the more economically prosperous lands of the West, the iddle-East and Asia. This generation of new-corners too continues to spread the influence of YoribA language and culture into every nook and cranny of the globe, thus






27


continuing to enrich the culture of our global village in which we all live today.

This brief story of the dynamic relationship between English and

Yoruba within the Nigerian context can serve, I think, as a reminder of the verity of the basic principle of contact linguistics, that language contact is not unidirectional but rather a two dimensional highway. As two languages and peoples come into contact, both languages must of necessity exert some degree of influence on each other, given the right circumstances. Unfortunately, however, sometimes the result is not always the good ending of peaceful coexistence. This is the sad story of many indigenous languages that have suffered death due to the contact they had with some languge of power at one point in time or another. Sometimes the languages of the less powerful have not only died, the speakers of such languages have perished along with their languages. Language death is not just something of the past, it is still a sad reality of our time and age. Maybe the kind of study in which I am engaged will continue to serve as a reminder that languages can continue to co-exist, just as people can, and that such peaceful co-existence can benefit not only the people who speak those languges, but also enrich world civilization, culture and language in general. People like Tutuola have not only enriched world culture by sharing the lores of their culture with the rest of the world through the instrumentality of the English languge. They also, as part of the process of sharing, enrich language worldwide and the English language in particular.

In the next chapter I focus on the YorfibA language and especially the structure of the verb phrase and more specifically the dynamics of temporality in the language. I begin my discussion with a brief literature review on time relations in YoritbA and follow it with a personal reanalysis of






28


the subject. This prepares the way for a detailed analysis of Amos Tutuola's English in Chapter 3. In Chapter 4, 1 summarize some of the salient issues involved in this study of aspect in Yoruba and Nigerian English and suggest certain implications of this study for both English and Yorfibd, both as they relate to theories of grammar and literary criticism and to teaching English (ESL) and Yorutbd (YSL) as second languages.














CHAPTER 2
ASPECT IN YORUBA

The treatment of aspectual and temporal relations in the Yoruba

language (YL) has been fraught with confusion right from the onset of formal analysis of the language. This confusion has a long history. It began with the father of Yoruba linguistics--Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, whose foundational work, A Grammnar of the Yoruba Language (1852), laid the groundwork for all future grammars of the language. Bishop Crowther's work was modeled meticulously after the analysis of the English language (EL), the language in which he had received all of his linguistic training. He therefore was very careful not to deviate from the English model. Unfortunately, almost a century and a half afterwards, his methodology and basis of analysis by and large still command the adherence of YL linguists. In fact, so strong is the influence of Crowther that even Ayo Bamgbose (considered the "father" of modem Yoruba linguistics) could not escape some of his methods and conclusions (cf. the latter's A Grammnar of Yoruba (1966) and A Short Grammnar of Yoruba (196 7)).

As an example, most of what Bamgbose analyzed as tense markers are indeed aspect markers, while some of them are actually either modals or elements belonging to other categories in the grammar. For the purposes of this dissertation I will be focussing on elements that belong to aspect but which have been anylyzed as tenses. Bamgbose, for instance, classified the INTENTIONAL aspect marker 'yW6 and the ANTICIPATIVE 'mda' as "Future Tenses" and the INCOMPLETiVE Wn as "Continuous Tense". He categorized all of



29






30


the above aspects under "Simple Tenses". Interestingly enough, he also classified the INCOMPLETIVE aspect marker 'n (which he had earlier on analyzed as "Continuous Tense") as a "Habitual Tense," thus having two different classifications for the same marker. It is to be noted, however, that in languages that mark tense (such as EL) one tense marker cannot be used to refer to two different time frames. Thus "She will come" cannot be both future and past tense at the same time. Moreover, most of what I classify under the rubric of Complex Aspects, Bamgbose classifies as "Perfective Tenses." Examples include the BACKGROUNDER aspect 'yi6 ti', which he analyzed as "Perfective Future Tense"; the RELEVANT-INCEPITIVE aspect 'ti n', as "Perfective Continuous Tense"; the ANTECEDENT-COMPLETION 'ti maa n' as "Perfective Habitual Tense"; and the RELATIONAL aspect (one of the simple aspects) as "Perfective Unmarked Tense". Although this aspect is overtly marked, Bamgbose, for some reasons, still calls it an unmarked "tense" (Bamgbose 1967: 25-3 1).

One other interesting aspect of Bamgbose's analysis is the classification of negation as tense, which led him to classify his "simple tense" into two broad categories of "Positive Tenses" and "Negative Tenses", as if there were such a thing as negative time. I believe negation to be a completely separate category in the grammar and it should be treated as such, rather than woven into the category of "tenses" or even aspect for that matter. Bamgbose's analysis is therefore quite unsatisfactory and inadequate in the light of current knowledge. But he is not alone in this. Other linguists before and after him have done similar things that are worthy of mention at this point.

Before Bamgbose, Samuel Ajayi Crowther (1852), the pioneer of Yoruba language studies, had analyzed YL verbs into three main time frames: present, past indefinite, and future. He also identified sex-based gender in YL for





31


which, as a category, I do not find evidence in the language. Other categories that he proposed occupy a different position in the grammar. Crowther, for instance, tried hard to make tense "happen" in YL by postposing time adverbs such as 'lanA' (yesterday), '16ni1' (today), and 1161a' (tomorrow) to verbs and using them to explain tense in YL, claiming that tense is grammatical in the language. The only problem with this kind of analysis is that in YL the form of the verb does not change (as it does in EL, the language he chose for his model). In EL one does not need a time adverbial to indicate tense; rather it is the inflection or change in the verb that brings this about, or in the case of the future tense, the use of a modal.

A number of contemporary Yoruba linguists have recognized this

problem and have attempted to handle it in different ways (cf. Awoyale 1974, Bolorunduro, 1980, Amoran 1986) but the problem still reins.

Awoyale, for instance, devoted scarcely two pages to this all-important issue of tense and aspect in his dissertation on the syntax and semantics of YL nominalizations. In his attempt, he identified two tense markers in YL--'N' and I'ti'--but went right ahead to describe them in terms of aspect. He called the former a progressive marker and the latter a perfective marker, both of which are terms used in describing aspectual relations. Also, Awoyale's analysis, like many others before it, is laden with deficit hypothesis (See Hardnman 1988 for a more detailed discussion on "deficit hypothesis"). Agai and again he repeats the phrase "4Yoruba does not have...". One of such instances is his comment on the present tense:

Yoruba dosno a an overt marker for the present tense. That is,
there is no way to say in Yoruba

42) He struggles with death






32


without using the progressive marker, N" (1974: 37-38).(my
underlining).

What is clearly observable in the above analysis is that Awoyale is using the English language as a model for Yoruba. He therefore expects YL to have everything that EL has in its grammar. When he does not find such similarity, he declares YL as deficient, compared to EL. What Awoyale might have said, if he had chosen to take a more descriptive approach, is that YL uses aspect to perform the same function for which EL uses tense. Thus, where EL uses the present simple tense, Y1 uses the "progressive aspect" (incompletive aspect in my analysis-cf. Section 2.3.2.2.). Or he could simply say that tense is not of primary importance in YL but aspect ja. Without a deficit hypothesis as his starting point, Awoyale would not have made the strong, but wrong, unilateral statement quoted above "There is no way to say in Yoruba" is a statement that makes YL to appear to be stuck and in need of rescue by EL What Awoyale failed to take into account is the natural independence of individual languages. Every language is a system in itself and individual speakers can, and do, find ways to say what they want to say within that system. It should not be expected that any two systems will correspond in the simplicity of expression for any given idea. It is also true, of course, that no translation is ever fully accurate. The differences in obligatory categories--what must be said-always require that some ideas be expressed by one language that are not required by the other. EL requires tense, YL requires aspect, so the two never quite meet. Furthermore, Awoyale went on to say that YL doe nt ay (emphasis again mine) a special marker or inflection for the past tense (1974:38). It would seem that he expects YL to use inflections and to have something similar or equal to the EL past tense.






33


Awoyale's work is just one example of problems that have resulted from attempts of YL linguists educated in EL to impose rules related to tense upon a language to which they do not apply.

Another attempt worth mentioning at this juncture is that of Amoran

(1986), an M.A. thesis on "Auxiliaries and Time Reference in Yoruba." Amoran, who devotes a chapter to 'Time Reference and Aspect in Yoruba,' makes the following interesting observations:

The indication of specific or absolute time does not appear to have a
pronounced place in the Yoruba verbal system. What is more important
is the spread of the action or state through time and its aspect in terms
of duration, progression, repetition, and completion rather than a
tripartite division into present, past and future...The trend has been to
treat tense as the dominant feature in Yoruba...I treat aspect as the dominant feature in the Yoruba verbal system. Further, I consider
Yoruba a tenseless language... (pp. 32-33).

The above statement is both insightful and bold, in the light of previous scholarship on this very important subject in YL grammar. Amoran rightly makes allusions to earlier scholarship on this issue, such as those of Bamgbose (1967), Awobuluyi (1967) and Ogunbowale (1970). He rightly points to the inadequacy of Bamgbose's analysis, judging from the fact that he treated tense as the dominant feature in YL. Also, his two tense systems--simple and perfective--was, as Amoran observed, an indication on Bamgbose's confused interpretation of aspect and tense. Amoran also noted that although Awobuluyi went a step further than Bamgbose, his attempt was quite simplistic, in that he identified mainly two aspectual components in YL, viz priority and duration as well as a dual tense opposition, subdivided into definite and indefinite, where definite tense corresponds to present and past tense forms and the indefinite corresponds to future tense. Thus, according to Awobuluyi's analysis, anything future is an aspect while anything present or past is a tense -apparently a very simplistic view of a very complex issue. Similarly, Ogunbowale's analysis, observes Amoran, is very inadequate in that it followed






34


the tradition of Bamgbose and others before him, as it treated YL from a tense perspective, subdividing it into a dichotomy of future and non-future tenses (p. 34).

Having briefly teased out some of the major inadequacies of some of the earlier analyses before him, Amoran proceeds to present his own analysis. He identifies what others had called future tense as aspect markers and the nonfuture as tense. He then divides the latter into stative and non-stative verbs, a position that is not too far afield from that of Awobuluyi's. According to the former's analysis, stative verbs are inherently timeless while non-stative ones, by their nature have a past interpretation. His examples of non-stative verbs with a past interpretation includes the following


-[25] 0 lo
He went.

[26] 0 rA a
He bought it." (p.35)


For stative verbs, he has these examples,


"[281 0 fM ow6
He wants money.

[29] Mo gbA
I agree or agreed." (p.35)

One inconsistency I find with this analysis is that although Amoran

says that stative verbs are timeless, he still goes on to translate example [29] as present or past. Definitely "I agreed" is not timeless but rather a past event. I believe it is much safer to call the unmarked aspect the completive aspect (my interpretation) because calling it a past tense generates some other problems For example, I wonder how Amoran would translate "Mo ri i" (I see her/him/it). If we follow Amoran's analysis, it should be translated as a past






35


tense: "I saw her/him/it", since the verb see is a non-stative verb. However, that same sentence could also be translated as "I can see it/I see it". It is due to these types of confusion that I prefer to refer to the unmarked as an aspect-completive aspect--rather than a tense. Seeing it as an aspect will take care of the confusion that calling it a tense would normally generate, especially since aspect does not address itself to issues of time.

Another inconsistency in Amoran's analysis is that although he says

that non-stative verbs have a past interpretation, he later on analyzes them as simple aspects, giving some of them a present and others a past interpretation, as can be seen in examples [33] and [34] respectively "[33] Ade j e onje nAAi
Ad& eat food the
Ade eat (sic) the food.

[34] 0 lo si oj A d
He go to marker the
He went to the market." (p.39)


Thus, although both verbs are non-stative, Amoran translates the first as a present and the second as a past. Amoran's classification is therefore ambivalent. He wavers between calling the unmarked a tense or an aspect. Also, one expects that if Amoran had a simple aspect he would also have a complex aspect, but this is not the case. Apart from what he termed as the simple aspect he has five other forms of aspect, viz the anticipative (rnAa, y66, 6, d), the perfective (ti), the continuative (n), the habitual (m"a n) and the inceptive (a mda--a variant of 'yi6 mda').

A close look at this classification shows that Amoran is actually on track in some of his denominations, such as the anticipative, the habitual and the inceptive. The only problem is that he sometimes lumps different aspects together into one single aspect, such as the case with his "anticipative", which






36


also includes the intentional (yi6). The other two aspect markers, (d) and (6) are actually variants of 'mAa' and 'yi6', respectively. It is also quite interesting that in his classification he fails to provide examples with the other three aspect markers that make up his 'anticipative'. His two examples are only with 'maa'. His definition of the perfective too is very inadequate and does not really fully explain the function of 'ti'. He simply says that it "expresses an action that is completed". This definition sounds very much like the completive to me. What Amoran calls the "continuative" I will classify as "incompletive", what he calls "perfective", I will call "relational". What he calls "simple", I will call "completive". On the whole, Amoran's efforts are in the right direction, apart from some of the inadequacies mentioned above and the fact that he does not account for all of the aspect markers in the language. For instance, he leaves out several of the complex aspect markers such as 'yi6 ti', yio ti mJ~a' and 'ti mda n'. We also observe the same kind of trend that one finds in previous analyses in the area of gender and pronouns. Amoran consistently translates the genderless third person singular subject pronoun as "he." We find this in his examples [251, [26], [28] and [34] quoted above as* well as in all of his other examples in his analysis. In spite of all of these, I believe Amoran still deserves commendation for his bold stance and for the many declarations in his thesis that YL is fundamentally an aspect driven language and should be treated as such, although he himself does not completely follow his own advice.

One last example to be considered here is that of Bolorunduro (1980).

Bolorunduro's work has so much merit in it that I will need to pause a little bit at this point and provide some of his insights on the previous analyses of tense and aspect in YL. Apart from a few inadequacies found in his own personal analysis (which I shall address later on) I believe Bolorunduro's work is an






37


important landmark in the analysis of temporality in YL. Like Amoran, Bolorunduro found it necessary to begin with earlier analyses of temporality in YL. In doing so, he appears to be very much on the right track. Bolorunduro examines the works of five YL linguists, Bamgbose (1967), Delano (1965), Awobuluyi (1978), Ayelaagbe (Undated M.A. thesis) and Ogunbowale (1970). In his critique of the first three (i.e. Bamgbose, Delano and Awobuluyi), he observes that they failed to make any clear distinction between tense and aspect in YL, then goes on to make a similar comment on Bamgbose's analysis, pointing out that he jumbled tense with negation and subdivided tense into "simple" and "perfective" tenses. Bolorunduro then asks a pertinent question: if there is a simple tense, should there not be a complex tense also? He then, continuing his critique, observes that instead of a complex tense, Bamgbose posits a "perfective tense", and that he identified aspect markers such as "yi6, n, ma n and mAa" as tense markers. Bolorunduro then asks another important question, this one having to do with the positive-negative opposition,

Bamgbose further subdivides the so-called simple tense into Positive and Negative tense. Here one is tempted to ask what difference exists
between positive and negative tenses. If the primary semantic function
of tense is to indicate the relation between the time at which the
sentence is uttered and the time of the action that is expressed in the
main verb, one could then ask if there is a positive time and a negative time? To my mind this cannot be true. Tense, in those languages where
it exists, have [sic] no negative and positive concepts. (p. 8).

On Ayelaagbe's analysis, Bolorunduro observes that the latter divides YL verbs into two categories--those that can be marked for all tenses and those that can only be marked for future tense. He rightly remarks that such a division does not occur in YL. Again, what I see Ayelaagbe doing here is similar to what I have remarked earlier on about a deficit hypothesis syndrome that has plagued YL grammatical analyses. Apparently, Ayelaagbe expects YL verbs to behave exactly the same way as EL verbs.






38


In Bolorunduro's analysis of Delano's work, too, we see some of the same problems. Delano analyzed YL verbs as having present, past and future tenses. He also maintained that there exists in YL a difference between the form of the ygr (my emphasis) which expresses the present or past times and went ahead to give such spurious examples as provided below,

OjO IQ Ojo goes or Ojo went (present or past tense)
(Ojo go)

and

Ojo 1Q I~nA.J Ojo went yesterday (past tense)
(Ojo go yesterday)

Bolorunduro rightly observes that a close look at the above examples shows clearly that there is no change in the form of the verb "lo" (to go) in both instances--and "lMnaA" (yesterday) is obviously not a verb! What makes for the difference in time in the second sentence is not a change in the form of the verb, but rather the addition of the time adverb "ladnA". The idea of a past time is therefore not marked on the verb, which obviously remains the same in the two examples given. The only reference to time here is the adverb of time "lanWa. This kind of faulty analysis is reminiscent of the work of Samuel Crowther before him, who also followed a similar line of analysis.

Apart from the above types of erroneous analysis, Delano's work is also filled with terminological confusion. For example, here is one of the analyses I find in his work. In the examples below, he identifies the aspect markers "n, ti, and yi6 (y66, in his analysis)" as tense markers,


01o =He goes
01i lo, =He is going
Oti lo, =He has gone
Y66J lo =He will go (Bolorunduro: 12)






39


It is once again apparent that, in addition to the erroneous classification of aspect markers as tense markers, the translation tradition that we find illustrated above, a translation that consistently misrepresents the third person subject pronoun as masculine leads to further difficulties. Gender is, in fact, not an issue here, especially since the third person singular marker "6" is gender neutral and can be translated as "she", "he" or even "it". It is this type of analysis that Hardman refers to as Derivational Thinking (cf. Hardman 1978, 1993a, 1993b, 1994), a type of thinking that is very characteristic of Western thought, especially English, based on linearity and hierarchy and which assumes this mode of thinking to be universal.

Finally, Bolorunduro turns attention to Awobuluyi's analysis, which, although he does not use the term "tense" or "aspect," presents similar problems. What Bamigbose calls "preverbs," Awobuluyi calls "pre-verbal adverbs," and thus we are still faced with the same problems. Although terminology is different, both are dealing with aspect markers, for, as Awobuluyi later on goes on to say,

In positive sentences, future action is signified by the presence of any
one of y6b, 6, 6, a mila and ii. (Bolorunduro 13).

Thus Awobuluyi's analysis follows closely after that of Bamgbose, in that he too identifies "positive" and "negative" tenses. and although the former does not use the word "tense" in his analysis,--he uses "action" instead--he still makes reference to tense in the above statement. It is still the same attempt to say that tense is a grammatical category in YL and thus is significant.

Bolorunduro concludes his insightful examination of some of the previous analyses by remarking that

There is the semantic concept of time reference (absolute or relative)
which may be grammaticalised in a language, i.e. a language may have a grammatical category that expresses time reference in which case we






40


say that the language has tense. Yoruba for example does not have
grammaticalised time reference, though probably all languages
lexicalise time reference in the sense that they have temporal
adverbials and lexical items that locate situations in time such as lAn A,
16nii, 161a, 16dn t6 kojA. (p. 15).

Bolorunduro goes on to note that what his predecessors had analyzed as "pre-verbal adverbs" ("pre-verbs" in others) are in essence aspect markers and not tense markers as they would have us believe. Thus, Bolorunduro's more thorough and accurate analysis provides a more useful perspective for analysis of YL temporal relations.

Although Bolorunduro identified a number of inadequacies in previous treatments of temporal relations and made a bold attempt to reanalyze YL aspectual relations with a good measure of success, his analysis is still largely unsatisfactory. He seems, first of all, to have either mingled other elements in the grammar (e.g. locative and adverbial expressions) with aspect or incorrectly analyzed some aspect markers. His analysis, with its 38 different aspect markers, appears to unnecessarily cumbersome. His further claim that there are between forty and fifty YL aspect markers (pp. 19-21) suggests a need for fine tuning. It appears to me that in his zeal to propose an aspect oriented grammatical analysis of YL, Bolorunduro also brought in other elements that do not belong in the category of aspect. (His Group II aspect category, for example, consists of mostly modals and other adverbials.) All this notwithstanding, one must still give due credit to Bolorunduro for observing correctly that tense has no systematic formal expression in Yoruba and that Yoruba has an aspectual system rather than a tense system (p. 3). I believe this observation of Bolorunduro's is an important landmark in the analysis of YL grammar. So far, he is the only one I know of who has made a deliberate effort to depart from the previous line followed by earlier grammarians and






41


linguists and attempted to analyze YL as primarily an aspectual rather than a tense language.

Having presented some of the merits of Bolorunduro's analysis, I will now attempt to show why his efforts, though commendable, are still far from being adequate and satisfactory. Although he correctly identifies YL as fundamentally an aspect driven language, and successfully defines and differentiates between tense and aspect (cf. his definitions on pp.1-2, 6-7), he appears to have lumped other elements into the category that belong elsewhere in the grammar. Some of these elements include modals such as 1 (can, could), gbQd (must); adverbials such as t~tm (quickly), 0 (just), jiji (afterall) tin (again), sAJb (usually), jfrao (together); negators such as k6, ki f,; connectives such as b (with), si (and, also), etc. Apparently the only elements in Bolorunduro's analysis that qualify as aspect markers are those in his Group I, viz y66/oo/a, mia, nii, i, ti, id, a, i, although we still find a negator (i, a shortened form of ki) and nfl, a negative form of the verbal particle nf appearing in this category.

Bolorunduro's difficulties begins with his division of aspect markers into two categories. At this point he classifies those in the first group as "aspectual markers without any independent meaning" and those in category II as "aspectual markers that have independent meaning" (pp. 19-20). Apparently, it goes without saying that if some aspect markers have independent meaning of their own, they can no longer be considered as aspect markers, since aspect markers, by definition, have only grammatical functions and are devoid of any independent semantic meaning.

From every indication, YL is largely an aspectual rather than a tensed language, as Comrie (1976: 82) also rightly observed, although he didn't go into detail. In other words, a close look at the language reveals that the internal






42


temporary constituency of a particular activity or event is far more important than the actual time of its performance. This is in no way to say that YL cannot indicate time relations, when such information is relevant. Like any other language, YL can and does indicate time relations, generally by the means of adverbial expressions (syntactic) rather than by changes in the verb (morphological). That is, such information, when appropriate, is coded by means of additional lexical items rather than through inflection of the verb stem. It may also be omitted if not relevant. Indeed, as Lyons has pointed out, in YL the process of the action is primarily the focus of the aspectual markers (cf. Lyons 1968). As we have seen, most of these markers have been analyzed, to one degree or another, as tense markers by earlier Yoruba grammarians (cf. Delano 1965, Bamgbose 1966, 1967, Ogunbowale 1970, Awobuluyi 1978, Awoyale 1988, etc.). The purpose of this chapter is to attempt to bring some degree of clarity into this often muddy area of YL grammar.


2.1 The Nature of the Verb Phrase (VP) in V

I begin my analysis with the nature of the verb phrase (VP), because I believe that it is impossible to do any satisfactory analysis of aspectual, or even temporal relations in the language without first of all understanding how the VP operates in the overall syntactic set up.

The VP in Yoruba has probably received more attention from Yoruba linguists than any other aspect of the language and has been the center of a major controversy and debate for many years (Bamgbose 1972, Bolorunduro 1980). The nature of this controversy has been simply summarized by Bamgbose,

The most problematic issue in the analysis of the Yoruba verb phrase
has always been how to find a defining criterion (or criteria) for verbs
which will be sufficiently powerful to embrace all verbs, and yet
exclude all non-verbs. ..In this matter, there are two schools of thought






43


the 'wide definition' school who would accept as a verb any nonnominal item in the verb phrase (sometimes including auxiliaries), and
the 'narrow definition' school who would accept as verbs only those
items in the verb phrase which can occur in a minimal sentence (i.e. a
basic sentence having only one verb). (Bamgbose 1972: 1, 17).

This should not be a surprise to anyone who knows anything about the central role the verb plays in a sentence. Due to the many disagreements on the nature and order of the VP in YL, however, a foundational conference on the Yoruba Verb Phrase (YVP) was convened under the auspices of the Egb6 Onim6 Ed YortibA (The Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria) at the University of Ibadan--Nigeria's foremost tertiary institution--on April 1-2, 1971 to discuss and consider possible solutions to this thorny issue in Yoruba language studies. The 1971 seminar was itself a follow-up to an earlier one held at another major Nigerian university, the Cbafemi Awolowo University (then known as the University of Ift), II-If from December 13-16, 1969. It was at this conference that the issue of the YVP was raised. At the root of this controversy are the many disagreements on what really constitutes a verb in YL (cf. Bamgbose 1972.) The end product of the YVP Conference was a special volume entitled The Yoruba Verb Phrase edited by Professor Ayo Bamgbose and published in 1972. It contained a series of articles presented at the conference by noted Yoruba linguists--Afolayan, Awobuluyi, Bamgbose, Kujore, Oyelaran and Oke. Each paper contained the views and perspectives of the various presenters at this important conference. There have been several other conferences and colloquia on the Yoruba verb as well as other aspects of the language since the first two mentioned above and several articles have been written and yet the debate rages on.

According to my analysis, the VP in YL consists of ASPECT + VERB + (OPTIONAL) ADVERB OF TIME. Thus the verb is preceded by the obligatory aspectual markers (see example (1) and (2) below) and followed optionally by






4


adverbial expressions of time, if and when necessary (examples (3) and (4)). However, it is not uncommon to find adverbs of time preceding the aspect markers and the verb, as examples (5) and (6) clearly demonstrate. Thus, although the aspectual markers must obligatorily precede the verb, the time adverbs can optionally appear at the beginning of a sentence, mostly as a focus. device (when writing they are immediately followed by a comma), to draw attention to the time element in the sentence. Nevertheless, in a nonfocus construction, the regular position of the time adverbs is post-verbal, as examples (3) and (4) below indicate. The fact that the optional time adverbs can either precede or come after the verb shows clearly their independent, lexical nature. The aspect markers, however, do not have an independent lexical meaning. The fact that they do have a grammatical meaning, though, can be seen from the fact that when placed before verbs, they provide the sentence with much needed aspectual information, but placed post-verbally, they become grammatically meaningless. Their meaning is therefore derived from their position before the verb. It is in this sense that they can be classified as proclitics in particular and clitics in general. From the foregoing, it is obvious that the optional elements in the grammar (e.g. time adverbs) are for the most part post-verbal while those that are obligatory, such as pronouns and aspect markers, are pre-verbal.

In examples (1-2) below, the incompletive aspect marker 'n' and the relational aspect marker 'ti' precede the verbs 'sis6' and 'k~w( Y respectively. In both cases the sentences would be ungrammatical if the aspect markers were to follow the main verbs, as in examples (lb-2b) indicate,


.2.2.1 The Incomn~letive Aspect
(1) Mo 1i sis6.
ipS INCOMPLETIV3 work
'I am working/was working.'






45


(1b) *Mo si.Lo n.
lpS work INCOMPLETIVE
'I am working/was working.'


2.2.2 The Relational Aspect

(2) 0 ti kAWO tAn.
2pS RELATIONAL read+book finish 'You have finished reading/studying.'

(2b) *0 kwO tAn. ti.
2pS read+book finish RELATIONAL
'You have finished reading/studying.'


The ungrammaticality of examples (1b) and (2b) stems from the fact that there is a violation of word order. In both instances, the aspect markers 'n' and 'ti' are placed after the verbs 'sis' and 'kAw6 tn'. The position of aspect markers is obligatorily pre-verbal, so they cannot be placed postverbally under any circumstance.


2.2.3 The Habitual + Post-verbal Time Marker

The next two sentences provide examples of adverbial time marking. In

(3) the idea of time is provided only by the adverb 'l6joojum6' (daily); in (4) it is the adverb '161a' that provides us with definite time frame for the performance of the activity in question. In both sentences, the aspect markers 'm" n' and 'yi6' do not provide us with any sense of time. In fact, sentence (3) could have both a present and a past interpretation, depending on the context of usage. It could mean either "You work everyday" or "You used to work everyday (in the past)". Thus, the issue here is not that of time but rather of the internal structure of the activity. Likewise, example (4) has nothing to do with tense and everything to do with intentionality. It means that the speakers intend to do something. It is the addition of '161a' to it that frames it in time and gives it a future interpretation.






46

(3) f. m a fi sis (LOJOOJUMO..)
2pP HABITUAL work everyday
'You work everyday/used to work everyday.'


2.2.4 The Intentional + Post-verbal Time Marker

(4) Awa )46 JQ si Q5o (LQLA.)
lpP INTENTIONAL go DIRECT Oyo tomorrow
'We will go to Oyo tomorrow.'


2.2.5 Completive Aspect + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Introducing a Focus)

In examples (5-6) the time adverbs 'ldniA' and '161a' have been focused, to signal a focus construction. In these examples, the adverbs of time have replaced the pronouns 'w6n' and 'a' in the subject position to indicate the speaker's intention to emphasize the time frame in which the activity was or would be performed.


(5) (LANAA,) won IQ si IbdAn.
Yesterday, 3pP go DIRECTIONAL Ibadan
'Yesterday, they went to Ibadan.'


2.2.6 The Anticipative + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Focus)

(6) (LQLA,) a mAa $e irinAjo.
Tomorrow lpP ANTICIP do journey
'Tomorrow, we might/probably will travel.'


As amply demonstrated in the introductory part of this chapter, time (or tense) is not of utmost importance in YL, as aspect is, which is obligatorily marked. Aspect is important conceptually and syntactically obligatory. The omission of an aspect marker in a YL sentence does not mean that aspect is not present, but rather that the completive aspect is meant (cf. section 2.2.5 &

2.2.7.)






47


2.2.7 The Comoietive Aspect

The completive aspect is generally unmarked in syntax, as the following example indicates:

(7) Mo jqun.
ipS eat
11 ate'.'


In the above example, there is no overt marking for aspect. The first person personal pronoun 'Mo' (1) is immediately followed by the verb 'jeun' (to eat). However, the sentence has a completive interpretation. The activity of eating has both begun and ended; it is full and complete. There is nothing to be added to or taken away from it, as would have been the case with the incompletive aspect, which describes an activity still in progress.


2.3 Asnect in Yoruba

Overall there are twelve identifiable aspects in YL which can be further categorized into two types: simple and complex aspects. The simple aspect series consists of five aspects. Four of these are marked by single aspect markers while one is the unmarked. The complex aspect series consists of seven sequences of combinations of the simple aspects. Five of them are a series of two simple aspects co-occuring in a syntactically constrained order while two are a complex of three simple aspects, also co-occuring in a syntactically constrained order. Like I have mentioned earlier and will discuss in greater detail shortly, aspect is of utmost importance in YL and is obligatory, so much so that even when it is not overfly marked in syntax, it is still assumed to be present, in an unmarked form (cf. completive aspect in 2.2.7 and 2.3.2. 1).






48


2.3.1 Aspect Constraints On Person Marking And Pronoun Selection

In YL, subject pronoun selection is partially determined by aspect.

There are basically two types of subject pronouns: regular and emphatic (also referred to in the literature as pronominals due to the similarity of their behavior to nouns). Both forms of the pronoun can occur in subject position before the VP, with certain restrictions on the regular pronouns. The regular pronouns, for example, cannot occur before an interrogative sentence ending with the interrogative and locative verbs 'dIA' and 'nk6' and the subsequent responses to these questions(cf. examples 8-11b). They also do not occur before the existence verb, 'ni' and the non-existence verb, 'k6', (cf. 12-15b) nor in compound NP structures, using a conjunction (cf. 16-18b). Above all, they cannot occur before the intentional aspect 'yi6' (cf. 19-20b), albeit they are acceptable before the alternative form 'V, which is probably a contracted form of 'yi6'. The anticipative aspect 'mJa' is the preferred form, however, in such instances (cf. section 2.3.2.5. & 2.2.2.4). In all of the above mentioned instances, only the emphatics may be used.


Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Interrogative Verb:*~

In examples (8-8b) below, the use of the regular pronoun before the

interrogative verb 'MA is ungrammatical, but replacing the regular pronoun with the emphatic makes it acceptable. The same analysis is true for examples

(9) and (9b), where the regular pronoun 'W6n' must be replaced by the emphatic 'Awon' to make the sentence grammatically acceptable.

(8) *0 d
2pS(RP) INTV?
(8b) IWQ CIA?
2pS(EP) INTV?
'Where is she/he/it?'






49

(9) *W n dA?
3pP(SP) INTV?

(9b) AwQn dh?
3pP(EP) INTV?
'Where are they?'

Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Interrogative Verb: nk6

In the following examples, the interrogative verb 'nk6' cannot cooccur with the regular forms of the pronoun subject 'A'and 'Mo' (10, 11); only the emphatic forms of the pronoun, 'Awa' and 'Emi' (10b, 11b), are acceptable.

(10) *A dfko?
lpP(RP) INTV

(10b) Awa iko?
lpP(EP) INTV
'What about us?/And us?'
(11) *Mo ffk6 ?
lpS(RP) INTV

(11b) Emi ffk6?
lpS(EP) INTV
'What about me?/And me?'

Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Presentative Verbs: "ni" and "k6"

Likewise, the regular pronouns are not acceptable before both the affirmative and negative forms of the so-called presentative verb. The examples below will illustrate my point.

(12) *Mo ni Temi.
lpS(RP) be Tmi

(12b) Emi ni T&mi.
1pS(EP) be T& mi
'I am Thmi/My name is Tmi.'

In (12) above, the sentence is ungrammatical because the presentative verb 'ni' is not permitted to select a regular pronoun. (12b) is grammatical






50


because 'ni' is preceded by the emphatic form of the first person singular subject pronoun '&mi'. In (13 & 13b) below, the same rule is applicable to the negative form of the verb 'ni'. As in the affirmative form, 'k6' is allowed to select only the emphatic form of the pronoun. The same explanation for (1212b) goes for examples (14-15b).

(13) *Mo ko (ni) Tmi.
lpS(RP) NEGbe (be) Timi

(13b) Emi ko (ni) T&ni.
lpS(RP) NEGbebe Temi
I am not Temi.

(14) *0 ni.
2pS(RP) be

(14b) Iwq ni.
2pS(EP) be
'It's you.'
(15) *0 k#.
2pS(RP) NEG

(15b) Iwq ko.
2pS(EP) NEG
'It isn't you.'

Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Compound NP Structures

The regular subject pronoun forms (16, 17 and 18) cannot occur in a compound NP structure using a conjunction, as illustrated in the examples below. Compound NP structures require the use of emphatic pronouns, as we find in (16b, 17b and 18b). The regular pronoun forms make examples (16, 17 and 18) ungrammatical, as illustrated below.

(16) *Mo Ati o foo si#.
lpS(RP) and 2pS(RP) want work

(16b) Emi 4ti bun foo siso.
1pS(EP) and 2pS(EP) want work
'She/He and I want to work.'






51


(17) *E pe'l won foo jqun.
2pP(RP) with/and 3pP(RP) want eat

(17b) fyin plu AwQn foo jcun.
2pP(EP) with/and 2pP(EP) want eat
'You and they want to eat.'

(18) *Ta ni, o tabi 6?
Who be 2ps(RP) or 3pS(RP)

(18b) Ta ni, iwQ thbi bun?
Who be, 2pS(EP) or 3pS(EP)
'Who is it, she/he or you?'

Finally, there is a syntactic constraint that does not permit the intentional aspect 'yi6' to select the personal pronoun subject, a clear indication that aspect also determines the choice of pronoun. Thus the intentional aspect 'yi6' selects only the emphatic pronoun, while the other aspect markers can select either the regular or the emphatic pronoun. However, when they do select the emphatic it is generally for purposes of emphasis. Thus sentences (21-22) below are grammatical, while sentence (1920) aren't.

2.3.1.1 Intentional Aspect + Regular Pronoun

(19) *Mo yi6 lQ si ild-iwd.
lpS(RP) INTEN go DIRECTIONAL school

(20) Wn y46 1 si ild-iwd.
3pP(RP) INTEN go DIREC school

2.3.1.2 Intentional + Emphatic Pronoun
(21) EMI y6 1 si ild-iwe.
lpS(EP) INTEN go DIREC school
'I intend to go to school.'

(22) AWON yi6 lo si ild-iw6.
3pP(EP) INTEN go DIREC school
'They intend to go to school.'






52


Examples (19-20) above are ungrammatical because the intentional

aspect 'yi6' selects the regular pronoun 'mo' and 'w6n', which cannot cooccur with the intentional. A table of the two types of subject pronoun in YL is also given below.




Person Nlumber Prnu J= Pronoun LTyne

Reua Fmatic

1st Singular mo emi

2nd o iwo

3rd 6 6un

1st Plural a atwa

2nd e 6yin

3rd w6n Awon


The above table shows clearly that YL pronouns are marked for both

person (1st, 2nd & 3rd) and number (singular & plural) but not for gender. The third person of both singular and plural could refer to either female or male, human or non-human. Thus the third person singular '6' could mean any of she, he or it. For every form of the regular pronoun there is a corresponding emphatic pronoun. In fact, a closer scrutiny reveals that the regular forms might have been derived from the emphatic or pronominal forms. This is probably why linguists like Ogunbowale (1970) prefer to call the regular pronouns "short forms" and the emphatic as "full forms", suggesting that the shorter forms must have been derived from the longer or "full" forms.

Bamgbose (1967) sees the emphatic pronouns as "a noun which

resembles a pronoun" (p. 11) and refers to them as "pronominals", making






53


allusion to their ambivalent nature. Other linguists have called them "independent pronouns", due to their ability to also play the role of nouns in certain contexts (ibid.). Bamgbose's stance is that they are indeed nouns, due to their ability to take qualifiers and their tonal behavior which is similar to that of nouns. Recognizing their role in emphasis, Bamgbose adds that they "act as emphatic equivalents of pronouns" (ibid.). But he insists that they are more than just pronouns due to the fact that they can substitute for pronouns where the regular pronouns cannot occur in syntax (i.e. in the instances already mentioned above).


2.3.1.3 Completive Aspect + Regular Pronoun

In the sentences that follow, examples are provided of instances when various aspect markers cooccur, first with the regular pronouns, then with the emphatic pronouns. In examples (23-24), the completive aspect (unmarked) cooccurs with the first and second person regular subject pronouns 'Mo' and '0' respectively.


(23) AD IQ si 116S-i w6.
ips go DIIRiC school
'I went to school.'

(24) 0 IQ Si 116-i w6.
2pS go DIREC school
'You went to school.'


2.3.1.4 Completive Asnect + Emphatic Pronoun

In the next two examples (25-26), the two sentences above (23-24) are repeated, but this time the emphatic pronoun is used in place of the regular pronouns. The only difference in these examples and the previous ones is simply that of emphasis -- the speaker is emphasized in (25-26).






54


(25) EMI 1Q si ild-iwe.
1pS EMPH go DIREC school
'I indeed did go to school.'

(26) IWQ 1Q sf il-iwd.
2pS go DIREC school
'You indeed did go to school.'

2.3.1.5 Relational Aspect + Regular Pronoun

In the following two examples, the relational aspect 'ti' occurs with the third and second person regular pronouns 'W6n' and 'E' respectively.

(27) MYV ti IQ si ild-iwd.
3pP RELAT go DIREC. school
'They have gone to school.'

(28) .E ti lQ si il-iwd.
2pP RELAT go DIREC school
'You have gone to school.'

2.3.1.6 Relational Aspect + Emphatic Pronoun

In examples (29-30) we have the emphatic forms of the pronouns in

(27-28) above, an indication that the relational aspect can cooccur with either forms of the pronouns, the only difference being the emphasis that the latter add to the statements through the use of the pronominals or emphatics.

(29) AWQN ti 19 si il-iwd.
3pP EMPH REIAT go DIREC school
'They indeed have gone to school.'

(30) YIN ti 1 si ild-iwd.
2pP EMPH REIAT go DIREC school
'I indeed have gone to school.'


2.3.1.7 Habitual Aspect + Regular Pronoun

In (31) the habitual aspect occurs with the second person singular regular pronoun 'o' while in (32) it occurs with the third person plural regular pronoun 'w6n'.






55


(31) O mAa i 1Q si ild-iwd.
2pS HABITUAL go DIREC. school
'She/he (habitually) goes to school/went to school.'

(32) WOn mda ii 1o si ild-iwd.
3pP HABITUAL go DIREC school
'They habitually go to school/went to school.'

2.3.1.8 Habitual + Emphatic Pronoun

In the next examples, the emphatic forms of the pronouns in (31-32) are used to show that the habitual can select either the regular or the emphatic forms ('iwo' and 'Awon') of the same pronouns (33-34). Again, the difference is mainly that of emphasis--the emphatics are used to bring an added emphasis to the subject of the sentences.

(33) IWQ mda ii IQ si il-iwd.
2pS EMPH HABITUAL go DIREC school
'She/he indeed goes/went (habitually) to school.'

(34) AWON mda iiq si ild-iwd.
3pP EMPH HABITUAL go DIREC school
'They indeed go to school/went to school.'


2.3.1.9 Antecedent Completion + Regular Pronoun

In examples (35-36) below, we have instances of the occurrence of

forms of the regular pronoun occuring with the antecedent completion aspect (mna n).

(35) A ti mda i IQ si ile-iwe.
lpP ANTE COMP go DIREC school
'We used to have gone to school.'

(36) E. ti mda i IQ si ild-iwd.
2pP ANTE COMP go DIREC school
'You used to have gone to schooL'






56


2.3.1.0 Antecedent Completion + Emphatic Pronoun

In sentences (37-38) the emphatic forms of the first and second person plural regular pronouns (A and E) cooccur with the antecedent completion aspect.


(37) AWA ti maa fi IQ si ile-iwj.
lpP EMPH ANTE COMP go DIREC school
'We (indeed) used to have gone to school.'

(38) fYIN ti mda i IQ si il -iw.
2pP EMPH ANTE COMP go DIREC school
'You (indeed) used to have gone to school.'


The examples above indicate that although the intentional must of

necessity select the emphatic, the other aspect markers can select either the regular pronoun forms or the emphatic forms (for purposes of emphasis). This goes for both the simple (19-30) and complex (31-38) aspects, as the sentences above amply illustrate.


2.3.2 The Simple Asoect Series

There are five identifiable simple aspects in YL: the completive aspect which is unmarked, the incompletive 'n', the relational 'ti', the anticipative 'maa', and the intentional 'yi6'. It is these simple aspects which combine in their various forms to produce the complex aspects.


2.3.2.1 The Comoletive Asrect (Unmarked)

The unmarked form of the verb indicates a completed action. Some

linguists (cf. Comrie 1976: 82) have sought to exclude stative verbs from this aspect form by using a stative/active dichotomy, under the rubric of perfective/imperfective opposition. In such analyses, active verbs (See examples 39-41 below) are classified as having perfective meaning, while






57


stative verbs (42-44) are classified as having imperfective meaning. I, however, believe that the completive ('perfective' in Comrie's classification) includes both the active and stative forms of the verb. My reason for this allinclusive classification is that in (42-44) the states of 'wanting,' 'knowing' and 'having' something is complete. In (43) my knowledge of the third person is complete, while in (42) and (44), the states of 'wanting' and 'having' are also full, or complete. It is in this sense that I believe that the completive should include both active and stative forms of the verb.

The completive aspect constitutes the unmarked form of the aspect

system. It is therefore to be noted that in YL, even when you don't mark aspect, it still is an aspect. The following examples will amply illustrate my point.

(39) Mo Jo Si i-iwi.
lpS go DIREC school
'I went to school.'

(40) A jeun.
lpP eat
'We ate.'

(41) E fiso.
2pP work
'You worked.'

(42) Won fo ow6.
3pP want money 'They want money.'

(43) Mo mo Q.
IpS know 3pS
'I know her/him/it.'

(44) Mo ni ilM.
lpS have house
'I have a house.'


It is to be observed in the above examples that, by default, the unmarked form of the verb (39-44) is automatically given a completive interpretation,






58


whether it be stative or non-stative verb. I therefore consider the completive aspect the first in the series of the simple aspects.


2.3.2.2 The Incompletive Aspect: n

Next in the series of simple aspects is the incompletive /realised by 'n'/. Here, the focus is ongoingness of the activity. As the illustrative examples indicate, the time, past, current, or recent, is not carried by this aspect. The activity could be in progress either in the present or before the present. For example, (45-47) could be rendered both in the present or in the past, in the absence of context or adverbs indicating time. If we must insist on the knowledge of time, then we must rely on the discourse context surrounding the statement (where a context is provided) or on time adverbials, such as are provided in (48-50) below. In (48), the adverb 'bAyii' situates the activity in a present time frame, whereas in (49-50), the past time frame of the activities involved is provided by the time adverbials lMnaa' and '1.kan' respectively.


(45) Mo d It) si Qji.
ipS INCOM go DIREC. market
'I am going/was going to the market.'

(46) W(5n i sis.
3pP INCOM work
'They are busy/were busy working.'

(47) A ri Q nigbAt" 0 li IQ Sue.
lpP see you when you INCOM go DIREC+home
'We saw you when you were going home.'

(48) Mo d IQ Si Qja BA YI.
IpS INCOM go DIREC market now
'I am going to the market right now.'

(49) f n" io LANAA.
2pP INCOM work yesterday 'You were working yesterday.'

(50) A ri Q nigbi o d IQ ili LEEKAN.
lpP see you when you INCOM go home a while ago
'We saw you when you were going home a short while ago.'






59


2.3.2.3 The Relational: ti

The relational aspect describes an event or activity that is not complete, with reference to an ongoing event. It is thus incomplete in relation to another activity or event. In the examples below, although an activity has taken place, its relevance or effect is still ongoing. For instance, in example

(51), although the speaker has performed the act of going to school, it is understood that she is still in school and has not yet returned home. The same explanation goes for (52) and (53). In (52), the speakers, or subjects of the sentence, have arrived from school. The act of arrival is still felt at the moment of speech. They have not returned to school yet, but are still in the arrival mode. In (53), although the activity of eating has taken place sometime before the moment of speech, its effect is still being felt and is still considered incomplete with reference to other activity or event at the moment of utterance.


(51) 0 ti IQ si ile-iwo.
3pS RELATIONAL go DIREC school
'She has gone to school/She went to school.'

(52) A ti d6.
ipP REIAT arrive
'We have arrived/We are here.'
(53) f ti fiun.
2pP RELAT. eat
'You have eaten/You ate.'


2.3.2.4 The Irrealis Aspects

In the same manner that there is a realis completive (cf. 2.3.2.1.) and incompletive (cf. 2.3.2.2.), there is likewise an irrealis completive and incompletive. The irrealis aspects comprise two simple tenses: the anticipative, 'mda' and the intentional, 'yW6'. Whereas 'mAa' describes an anticipated event or activity, 'yi6' gives completeness to the anticipation in 'mAa'. Thus, 'yi6' is a






60


type of completive, an irrealis completive, while lmda' is an irrrealis incompletive, by virtue of the incompleteness of the knowledge involved (cf. (54-56)). With the intentional, the knowledge is full and complete (cf. (57-60)). I will be describing these two aspects in greater detail in the next two sections.


2.3.2.4.1 The Anticipative:

The anticipative is the first in the series of the irrealis aspects. With the anticipative, we have an activity that is non-existent but likely to take place. It is non-completive, not ongoing, and though it is likely to happen, we do not know for sure. It can therefore be used in predicting, planning, or speculation.

In the following examples, the activities have not yet taken place, and though the speakers have verbally made their intentions known about these "yet to take place" activities, there is nothing that guarantees that they surely will perform those activities. In (56) for instance, although the speaker expects and anticipates that the visitors in question will make the visit, she cannot be completely certain if they will indeed make it. In (54), the speaker anticipates, has plans or desires to go to the farm. This plan may or may not be realized, depending on the circumstances or other unpredictable factors. Thus it indicates a yearning, a desiring to do something. Similarly in (55), the speakers have some plans to go to the stream on the day in question, a plan that may or may not be realized. The main difference between this aspect and the next one--the intentional--is that whereas with the intentional the speaker exercises control over the actions to be performed, with the anticipative she has no control, or better still, does not exercise control (through the power of the will). One can therefore say that with the anticipative, there is a lack or an absence of will power.






61


(54) Mo mAa IQ si oko.
IpS ANTI go DIREC farm
'I will go to the farm/I might go to the farm/I have plans to go to
the farm.'

(55) A mAa IQ si ocb 16nii.
lpP ANTI go DIREC stream today
'We will/might go to the stream today/We have plans to go to the
stream today.'

(56) W5n miAna wd ki wa.
3pP ANTI come greet us
'They will/might come to visit us/They have plans to come and
visit us.'


2.3.2.4.2 The Intentional: 3i6

The intentional is very similar to the anticipative in that both refer to activities that are non existent but likely. In fact, it is the second in the series of the irrrealis aspects, which comprise the anticipative and the intentional (cf. 2.3.2.4). The main difference between them is that whereas the anticipative 'mra' has a decisiveness to it, the intentional 'yi6' has a certain intentionality to it--the object of the utterance is focalized for intention. Thus it has to do with the will of the speaker. It is something she has made up her mind about. It also denotes that the speaker has control over the performance of the activity in question, and has weighed all the options before making the decision.

It is important to note, too, that the syntax of 'mAa' is different from that of 'yi6' (cf. 2.3.2.4.1). While 'mAa' co-occurs with the regular pronouns, 'yi6' can only occur with the emphatic pronoun. Thus, 'yi6' has to be agented, with a force of will to come to pass. The will of the speaker has to be involved, and this requires the attributes of an agent to be emphasized. Below, in example

(57), the speaker-agent is determined to go to school, a determination that comes from the force of the will. What the speaker is saying, in practical terms is "I have made up my mind to go to school, come what may. I have made up my






62


mind about it." Similarly, in (59), the speakers have determined to complete the assigned work on the day of the utterance. They are saying in essence, "We have considered all the options and have come to the conclusion that this job must and will be completed by us today." In (58) the speaker has the privileged knowledge about a firm decision taken by a third person to buy a car that year, although she may not have any ability or power to make them do it. The speaker has power only over her own decisions and it is likely for this reason that in the second and third persons, although the emphatic form of the pronoun is preferred, the regular form of the pronoun is also allowed. However, in the first person, only the emphatic form of the pronoun may be used, as already explained in sections 2.3. 1. 1. and 2.3.1.2 above. The explanation for (58) is equally applicable to (60) in which second persons are involved.


(57) EMI yi6 IQ Si i1&iiwe.
ipS INTEN go DIREC school
I intend to go to school/ I have made up my mind to go
to school/ I have willingly chosen to go to school.

(58) OUN yf 6 ra m(5t0 ni Qdun yii.
2pS INTEN buy car PREP year this
'She intends to buy a car this year.'

(59) AWA yf6 par! i$0 yif l6nif.
lpP INTEN finish work this today 'We intend to finish/complete this job today.'

(60) fYIN yf6 w~i ki wa I(ia.
2 pP ITEN come greet us tomorrow
'You intend to come and greet/visit us tomorrow.'


The examples given for the five simple aspects above provide insight

into the internal workings of the YL verb. Each shows a different aspect of the performance of the same activity. Obligatory inflections of the verb are done by aspectual markers. It is therefore obvious that aspect is syntactically obligatory in YL sentences.






63


These clitics co-occur in a grammatically constrained order. Any

combination is possible except those containing 'yi6' and 'n'. These two are mutually exclusive. Table 2.2 below presents a comprehensive list of all the sequences of combination in the language, which can be summarized by the simple formula ((((yi6) + (((((ti)) + ((mda)))) + (n)))).


Table 2.2

i. yi6 ti

ii. yi6 ti mAa

iii. yi6 m.a

iv. ti m.a

v. ti mra

vi. ti

vii. mAa


2.3.3 The Complex Aspect Series

There are seven complex aspects in YL, each of them a combination of the simple aspects. Below are the combinations or co-occurences that make up the complex aspect series. Five of these complex aspects combine two simple aspects, while two consist of three simple aspects. Included in the first category are the backgrounder (yi6 ti), the inceptive (yi6 mra), the manifestive (ti mAa), the relevant-inceptive (ti n) and the habitual (mAa n). The second category of complex aspects comprises the expective (yi6 ti mAa) and antecedent completion (ti mda n). Below are a couple of illustrative examples of how the simple aspects combine to produce the complex aspects. In the next section I will be defining and giving several examples to illustrate the various aspects and how they operate in syntax. For now, however, I will limit






64


my consideration to the two- and three-part structures referred to above. In example (61), the anticipative 'm.ta' combines with the incompletive 'n' to derive the habitual 'mta n'.


(61) Mo maa zi wO 16joojum0.
ipS HABITUAL bathe daily
'I bathe daily/everyday.'


In example (62), the relational 'Iti', the anticipative 'nma' and the incompletive 'n' combine to derive the complex that I call the antecedent completion. These two aspects, as well as all of the others mentioned previously will be further discussed in the succeeding sections.


(62) A ti m~a Ii io tAn ki won t6 d.
lpP ANT COMP work finish before 3pP PART arrive 'We used to have finished working before they arrived.'


2.3.3.1 Backgrounder: Intentional/Decisive + Relational

The first in the series of the complex aspects is the BACKGROUNDER 'yi6 ti'. This is derived from the combination of the INTENTIONAL 'yi6' and the RELATIONAL 'ti'. It provides a background to another action that is yet to take place. It is important to mention, at this juncture, that every complex aspect that begins with 'yi6' must of necessity be preceded by an agent focuser, as exemplified in the sentences below (cf. 2.3.2.5 above.) Thus the explanation for 'yi6' as well as the constraints that go with it also applies to the BACKGROUNDER.

In the following examples, the backgrounder aspect operates within the main clause to provide a background to the event described in the subordinate clause that is introduced by 'ki' (before). In (63) for instance, the speaker, also the subject of the main clause, expects to have completed work before the arrival of the subject of the subordinate clause. She has resolved, having made






65


a decision by her will power to finish the work before the second person arrives on the scene. The same explanation is true for the remaining three examples, where 'yi6 ti' provides a background to the succeeding event in the sentence.


(63) Emi yi6 ti i tAn ki o tO de
lpS BACKGRD work finished before 2pS PARTICLE arrive
'I definitely will have finished working before you arrive.'

(64) Awa y16 ti IQ ki t6 pad.
lpP BACKGRD go before 2pP PART arrive
'We definitely/surely will have left before you return.'

(65) Oun yi6 ti sun ki o t6 joun tAn.
3pS BACKGRD sleep before 2pS PART eat finish
'He surelywill have slept before you finish eating.'

(66) IwQ yi6 ti gbA1o ki a t0 etAn.
2pS BACKGRD. sweep before lpP PART do+finish
'You surely will have swept the floor before we are ready.'


As an additional emphasis on the expected completion of the first event or activity prior to the second one, "tAn" (finish) is sometimes postposed to the main verb of the first clause (if it is a punctual verb), as example (63) illustrates. In this example, 'tAn' is not obligatory in the main clause, but is included for added emphasis on the intended completion of the main event prior to the second one. Thus, although "tdn" could be suffixed to the verbs in

(63) and (66), it cannot be added to the verbs 'lo' and 'sun' in (64) and (65) because "go" and "sleep" are not punctual activities.


2.3.3.2 Expective: Intentional+ Relational +Anticipative

The EXPECTIVE 'yi6 ti mAa' is a combination of three aspect markers, the intentional 'yi6', the relational 'ti' and the anticipative 'mAna'. It describes an activity that will have begun and still be ongoing before another one takes place. It is actually a complex of the backgrounder and the anticipative






66


aspects. Whereas with the backgrounder aspect (Section 2.3.3.1) the subject of the main clause intends to have completed the job at hand prior to the arrival of the subject of the subordinate clause, with the expective, she expects to have begun working prior to and would still be working when the subject of the second clause arrives on the scene. Thus, the work would have begun sometime before the arrival of the second person and would still be continuing and be ongoing while she arrives. Thus, whereas the backgrounder deals with an event that would have begun and have been completed before another event, the expective deals with an event that would have begun and would still be ongoing before a second event takes place. It should be observed that because of their basic differences, the EL translations provided below, being an attempt to capture the meaning of the YL combinations, may not necessarily to sound grammatical.


(67) Emi yi6 ti maa i k" o t6 dd
I EXPECTIVE work before 2pS PART arrive
'I will have/expect to have started working before you arrive.'

(68) IwQ yf6 ti m4a kv.we ki a t6 ii.
2pS EXPECTIVE read before lpP PART wake up
'You will have been reading before we wake up.'

(69) F'yin yi6 ti mAa gb,10 ki a t6 $etan.
2pP EXPECTIVE sweep before we PART finish
'You will have been sweeping before we finish.'


2.3.3.3. Incentive: Intentional/Decisive + Anticipative

The INCEPTIVE aspect is one of the important highlights of my analysis of YL aspectual categories, in that the two simple aspects that make up this complex aspect have been analyzed by almost all previous YL linguists as one and the same, whether they were classified as tenses (as in Bamgbose 1966, 1967; Ogunbowale 1970) or as aspects (as in Amoran 1986). The fact that both aspects can combine to form a complex aspect is a clear indication that both






67


cannot be one and the same. If they were synonymous, their combination must of necessity be redundant and meaningless. The very possibility of both of them combining in syntax to create another (complex) aspect points to the fact that they must, by all means, be different and separate aspects, rather than simple synonymous alternates of a single aspect.

The INCEPTIVE, 'yi6 mAa' is derived from two irrealis aspects: the

intentional 'yi6' and the anticipative 'maa'. It describes an activity that is yet to begin but which the speaker has decided to embark upon shortly. Thus, the subject of sentence (70) has made a decision--and it is this power of decision making that is involved which makes me feel that the "Decisive" is also an appropriate name for this aspect--by exercising the power of the Will, to leave. There is an anticipation, informed by a decision, to embark upon the process of leaving the place of utterance. A similar analysis goes for the other two examples in (7 1-72) where the enunciators of the utterances have made decisions, using the power of their volition to move from point A to point B. In all instances, though, the activities in question have not yet been performed. They are at the inceptive point.


(70) Emi yi6 mia IQ.
ipS INCEPTIVE go
'I will be leaving/I have made up my mind about leaving any
time from now/I anticipate leaving any moment from now due to
an exercise of my will and volition.'

(71) Awa yf6 m~a $iw.1iju yfn IQ.
(lpP INCEPTIVE precede 2pP go)
'We will be going ahead of you/We have decided to go on ahead of you and do intend to begin to do so right now/ any moment from
now.'

(72) Oun yf6 m~a W~ wa l(5ni.
3pS INCEPTIVE meet lpP on +way
'She will be meeting us ahead/We anticipate that she will
soon embark on the process of meeting us on the way because we
are aware of her decision to do so.,






68


2.3.3.4 Manifestive: Relational + Anticinative

The MANIFESTIVE 'Iti maa' combines the relational 'ti' and the

anticipative 'maa'. This sequence describes an activity that would have started prior to another one. Whereas in the previous aspect (the inceptive), the activity, though decided upon and expected to take place is yet to begin, in the manifestive the activity is expected to have begun and be ongoing before the second event takes place. This aspect is similar, in many ways, to the expective, the main difference between the two being that with the expective there is a quality decision taken, through the power of the will, thus providing a sense of certainty to the performance of the activity. With the manifestive, on the other hand, everything borders more on a desire to perform the activity. In

(73) below, the speaker expects, desires, intends to have begun working and to keep on doing so by the time the subject of the second clause arrives on the scene. The work would have begun and be ongoing when the other person arrives. In contrast to the backgrounder (cf. 2.3.3.1), where the first activity is expected to have terminated before the second event, the activity here would still be going on by the time the second event takes place.

(73) Mo ti m~a siso lI o t6 &J.
I MANIFESTIVE work before 2pS PART arrive
'I will/may have started working before you arrive.'

(74) A ti m1a IQ ki o t6 d6
lpP MANIFEST go before 2ps PART arrive.
'We will/may have left before you arrive.'

(75) Won ti m.4a j~un ki a t6 $etAn.
3pP MANIFEST eat before lpP PART finish
'They will/may have eaten before we get ready.'


2.3.3.5 Antecedent Comtletion: Relational + Anticipative + Incomtnletive

The ANTECEDENT COMPLETION 'ti mra n' is a combination of three aspect markers, viz the relational 'ti', the anticipative 'mAa' and the incompletive 'n'.






69


It can also be seen as the addition of incompleteness to the manifestive aspect, which combines the relational and the anticipative, but without the incompletive. This complex sequence describes an action that used to have been completed, on a regular basis, prior to another activity. Whereas the manifestive describes an activity that would have started prior to another one, the antecedent completion describes an activity or event that took place regularly before another one over a period of time prior to the moment of utterance. The next examples capture the complexity of this aspect. In (76), the subject of the main clause used to have completed working on a regular basis over an unspecified period of time in the past, prior to the arrival of the subject of the subordinate clause. In (77), the activity of eating used to have been performed prior to the departure of the subject of the second clause, and that on a regular basis. Again, as with the examples in the backgrounder aspect, the verb "tdn" is usually postposed to the main verb of the main clause to add a note of finality to the completion of the activity in the main clause prior to the one described in the subordinate clause. In both of (76) and (77) "Umn" is added to the main verb of the first clause to emphasize the completion of the first activity prior to the second one, however it will be redundant to do the same to the verb of the main clause in (78) because by its very nature 'pan' (finish, complete) carries with it a note of completion and finality. It therefore does not need the help of the verb "U~n", which carries a synonymous meaning.


(76) Mo ti m~a .6 $ to n ki 0 06 de.
ipS ANTE COMP work finish before you PART arrive
'I used to have finished working before you arrived.'

(77) W(5n ti mAan jqun t~n kf a t0 IQ.
3pP ANTE COMP eat finish before lpP PART go
'They used to have finished eating before we left.'






70


(7 8) ti mla ii parY iso kf a 0 boro.
2pP ANTE COMP finish work before lpP PART begin
'You used to have finished working before we began.'


2.3.3.6 Relevant-Incel2tiveo Relational + Incompletive

The next complex aspect is the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE 'ti n'. This aspect is a combination of the relational 'ti' and the incompletive W. It describes an activity that has or had just started but is or was still on-going before another one. In (79) the speaker has begun the activity anterior to the arrival of the addressee and is still continuing to do so while the latter arrives on the scene. The work, though begun prior to the moment of speech, still has relevance and effect at the moment of speech. Although begun in the past, it carries on into the present. The effect is still felt and continues to be felt at the moment of the arrival of the subject of the second clause. Most likely, the arrival of the addressee must have interrupted the activity. In (80), the subjects of the main clause had been sleeping and still would have been sleeping without the interruption of the subjects of the subordinate clause. The act of sleeping carried on into the moment of speech and probably was interrupted with the arrival of the persons in the second clause. Similarly, in (81), the subject of the subordinate met that of the main clause busy washing at the stream. Thus in the antecedent completion the event in the main clause began at some time before the event introduced in the second clause. Although it began sometime before the time of utterance, its effect remained and probably will continue after the moment of interruption. The difference between this aspect and the antecedent completion is that whereas in the latter the activity is completed before the one described in the second clause, in the relevant-inceptive, the activity is not completed before the inception of the second one. It is still relevant in the present.






71


(79) Mo ti ii si. ki o t6 dA
I REL-INCEP work before 2pS PART arrive
'I had begun and was working before you arrived/ I had begun
working and am still at it while you arrive on the scene.'

(80) WOn ti d sun ki a t6 d i1.
3pP REL-INCEP sleep before lpP PART arrive home
'They had already gone to bed and were sleeping before we got
home.'

(81) 0 ti f$o nigbti mo de od.
2pS REL-INCEP wash + clothes when lpS arrive stream
'You were washing already/you had been washing when I
arrived at the river.'


2.3.3.7 Habitual: Anticipative + Incompletive

The last aspectual combination, the HABITUAL, 'miaa n', is a sequence of the anticipative 'mAa' and the incompletive 'n'. It describes an activity that was performed on a regular basis prior to the present or is continually performed on a regular basis. It refers to a habitual event or activity, either in a timeless frame or in a past frame. Thus, without the addition of any adverb of time, the habitual could have either a timeless or a past interpretation. Example (82), for instance, could mean either "I used to work" or "I work always, habitually," the latter having no specific time frame of reference. In

(83), the adverb of time '16joojtim6' emphasizes the idea of regularity, but could be located either within a timeless frame or a past, just like example (82) indicates. In (84), the adverbial clause of time "nigb~ti mo wA ni ewe" frames the activity of working within a past time. It describes a regualr activity that took place on a habitual basis over a period of time when the speaker was still a youth. This is, however, no longer true of the speaker at the present moment.

(82) Mo m.1a d $40.
lpS HABITUAL work
'I work, habitually/I used to work, habitually/ I have or had a
habit of working on a regular and consistent basis.'






72


(83) Mo maa d io LOJOOJUMQ.
I HABITUAL work everyday
'I work daily/I used to work everyday/It is (was) habitual for me
to work daily'.

(84) Mo ma ii is NIGBATI MO WA NI EWE
ipS HABIT work when ipS be LOCATIVE youth
'I used to work (habitually) when I was young.'

(85) A mIa Io si i1-iw6 NIGBA YIUN.
lpP HABITUAL go DIREC school time that
'We used to go to school then/at that time.'

(86) Mo m.a ii IQ si ils-isin LQSWF_.
ipS HABITUAL go DIREC house of worship weekly 'I go to/ used to go to the house of worship every week.'


It is evident from the above analysis that although various aspectual markers can co-occur, the combinations themselves are aspects in their own right. These I have decided to refer to as complex aspects, to distinguish them from the simple aspects, and in doing so have answered Bolorunduro's question (cf. 2.0) with an affirmation: yes. If YL has simple, it also has complex aspects. These complex combinatorial sequences also help to expand the aspectual repertoire of YL, from what would have originally been just five to twelve in number--more than doubling its size. A careful look at the YL aspects described above reveal that although YL is fundamentally an aspectual language, it still has a way of relating events and activities to time, if and when it is necessary and important to do so. I will be focusing on how YL handles time in a greater detail in a later section (2.5) on time reference.


2.3.3.8 Two Maior Categories of the Complex Aspects

Further scrutiny of the complex aspects reveal that there are two main categories into which they can be subdivided--those that do not involve the RELATIONAL (simple) aspect and occur in simple sentences; and those that do and occur in complex sentences. Those that do not are two in number: the






73


INCEPTIVE, 'yi6 maa' and the HABITUAL, 'mla n' and those that do are five: the BACKGROUNDER 'yi6 ti', the EXPECTIVE 'yi6 ti mba', the MANIFESTIVE 't mda', the ANTECEDENT COMPLETION 'ti maa n' and the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE 'ti n'. In the next two subsections, I will be examining these two subcategories of the complex aspects.


2.3.3.8.1 Complex Aspects Involving the RELATIONAL Aspect

The complex aspects involving the relational aspect are as follows: the BACKGROUNDER (Intentional + Relational), the EXPECTIVE (Intentional + Relational + Anticipative), the MANIFESTIVE (Relational + Anticipative), the ANTECEDENT COMPLETION (Relational + Anticipative + Incompletive) and the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE (Relational + Incompletive). These complex constructions are found primarily in complex sentences and generally require the use of the preposition 'ki' (before) and the verbal particle 't6' (be enough, be sufficient, be adequate, etc.), a clear indication that all the simple aspects that make up these complex aspects must relate to one another as well as relate the various component events or activities of the sentence/other clauses to each other. In the next few sections I will be illustrating how the relational aspect operates in the context of these complex sentences.


2.3.3.8.1.1 The Backgrounder: Intentional + RELATIONal

The backgrounder (See section 2.3.3.1 for more details) combines the RELATIONAL with the intentional aspects. Examples (87-88) show how this combination operates in syntax.

(87) Emi y16 ti sfin ki o t6 d6
ipS INT + RELA sleep before 2pS PART arrive
'I definitely will have slept before you return.'






74


(88) Awa y16 ti jqun thin kf e t6 IQ.
1pP INT + REA eat finish before 2pP PART go
'We definitely will have finished eating before you leave.'


Examples (87) and (88) are both complex sentences comprising a main clause and a subordinate clause. The subordinate clauses are introduced by the preposition 'ki' (before) and their subjects are immediately followed by the verbal particle 't6'. The verbal particle 't6' could have any of the following interpretations -- "be adequate, be sufficient, be enough, reach limit". Each of these words have in their meanings a sense of "fullness" and "completeness". The verb 'td.n' in (88) also has a sense of completeness inherent in its meaning. In both instances, the main clause (containing the aspect markers) provides a background to the event described in the subordinate clause. Both clauses are related one to the other and neither can stand on its own and still be meaningful. The RELATIONAL 'U'l is a major player in this configuration, due to its nature as the aspect that relates one action, event or activity to another (cf. section 2.3.2.3 on this aspect).


2.3.3.8.1.2 The Exnective: Intentional + RELATIONAL + Anticipative

The expective (cf. 2.3.3.2).is made up of three simple aspects: the

RELATIONAL, along with the intentional and the anticipative. As with the backgrounder, the simple aspects combining together here are connected to each other by the RELATIONAL, 'ti'. It coordinates the relationship among all three aspects, a relationship that establishes the very definition of the expective-if it is completive and relational, then it can be expected, though related to other elements in the sentence. The examples below will illustrate how this operates in the sentence,






75


(89) Eni yi6 ti m wO ki 4 t6 d6 oh un.
lpS INT+RELA+ANTI bathe before 2pP PART arrive there
'I surely will have started bathing before you get there.'

(90) 1fyin yi6 ti nAa "w6 ki a t6 pad.A d6.
2pP INT+RLAI+ANTI read before lpP PART return
'You definitely will have begun reading before we return.'


Once again, we see in the above examples all of the common elements we found in the backgrounder: ki' and 't6', and both of them playing important roles in the two clauses that make up the sentences. Again, the relationship between the main and subordinate clauses is signaled in the main clause by 'Iti', the relational aspect marker and established firmly by the preposition, 'k' in the subordinate clause.


2.3.3.8.1.3 The Manifestive: RELATIONAL + Anticipative

Third in the series of complex aspects incorporating the relational is the manifestive (cf. 2.3.3.4) which combines the RELATIONAL and the anticipative aspects. Examples (91-92) reveal the internal workings of this complex aspect. Here, as in the two aspects treated above, it is the relational 'ti' which establishes the foundation of the relationship between the two clauses that make up the manifestive. The preposition 'ki' in the subordinate clause only serves to strengthen this bond already signaled by 'ti' in the main clause.


(91) Won ti mia iso IQ li a t6 d6 Ek6.
2pP RELAT+ANTI work go before lpP PART reach Lagos
'They will be busy at work by the time we get to Lagos.'

(92) W(5n ti ra m ura IQwQ ki t6 ddl1.
2pP RELAT+ANTI get ready before lpP PART reach+home
'They will be busy getting ready before we get home.'



2.3.3.8.1.4 Antecedent Completion: RELATIONAL + Anticipative + Incompletive






76


Next in the series of complex aspects involving the relational is the

Antecedent Completion (cf. 2.3.3.5), which combines three simple aspects in its formation: the RELATIONAL 'ti', the anticipative 'ma' and the incompletive 'n'. It is, in essence, an addition of a sense of "incompleteness" to the manifestive aspect already discussed in 2.3.3.8.3. As with the other aspects incorporating the relational, it is 'ti' that establishes the bond between the anticipative and the incompletive, with, of course, additional emphasis provided by 'ki' and 't6'. The latter pair confirm the relationship already signaled by 'ti' in the main clause. Examples (93-94) provide a sense of this complex dynamics.


(93) A ti maa ii we t~n ki o t6 ii.
lpP RELAT+ANTI+INCOM bathe finish before 2pS PART wake
'We used to have finished bathing before you woke up.'

(94) Mo ti mIa I ji ki o t6 sfin.
ipS RELAT+ANTI+INCOM wake before 2pS PART sleep
'I used to be awake before you went to sleep.'


2.3.3.8.1.5 The Relevant-Incentive: RELATIONAL + Incomtletive

Last in the series of the complex aspects involving the relational aspect is the relevant-inceptive, which combines two simple aspects: the RELATIONAL 'ti' and the incompletive 'n'. It is similar, in many ways, to the antecedent completion (cf. 2.3.3.5 & 2.3.3.8.4), except for the absence of the anticipative 'maa'. In fact, the main difference between the two is that in the antecedent completion aspect, the event in the main clause is terminated before the one in the subordinate clause, in the relevant-inceptive, the the activity described in the main clause is ongoing before and during the second activity in the subordinate intervenes.

(95) Mo ti 9 j qun ki V t6 wQ1.
lpS RELAT+INCOM eat before 2pP PART enter
'I have/had begun eating before you came in.'






77



(96) U ti 1i j6 kf a 0 il yfn.
2pP RELAT+INCOM go before lpP PART see 2pPOBJ
'You have/had started dancing before we saw you.'


In both of examples (95) and (96), Iti n' frames the key clause, which serves as a frame around which the subordinate clause occurs. Thus the activity in the main clause begins prior to the one in the subordinate clause and continues after the interruption. The subordinate clause is introduced in syntax by the preposition 'kF, though already signaled in the main clause by the relational 'ti.

Thus, we see that in all the five complex aspects involving complex

sentences, the RELATIONAL aspect is pivotal in the dynamics of these aspects. It is the relational that signals, right from the main clause, that a relationship is to be expected among the different clauses that will make up the entire sentence. Other elements, such as the preposition 'ki' (before) and the verbal particle 't6' (be sufficient, be enough, be adequate, attain limit, etc.) are introduced later on, in the subordinate clause, to reinforce and emphasize this relationship. The relational is therefore central to the formation of the complex aspects and complex sentences.

Another observation worth making at this juncture is that although the relational occurs in complex sentences, it can also occur alone (as one of the simple aspects), but even when it occurs alone, it still bears relationship to some other event at the moment of utterance, such as we see in section 2.3.2.3 examples (5 1-5 3) above, and 2.4.3 example (96) below, illustrating the relational aspect.






78


2.3.3.8.2 Complex Aspects not Involving the Relational Aspect

There are two complex aspects that do not involve the relational aspect, at least not directly. Although they are found primarily in simple sentence structures (97-98 & 99b-100), they are also attested in the habitual complex aspect when it involves an activity that was undertaken with regularity over a period of time prior to the moment of speech (99a). This group of complex aspects comprises the INCEPTIVE 'yi6 miLa' and the HABITUAL 'maa n'. As with the ones that have the relational in common (cf. 2.3.3.8.1 above), this category of complex aspects also have one simple aspect in common: the ANTICIPATIVE 'ma', which suggests that anticipation is a common element in both of these complex aspects. Also 'y6' and 'md.a' make up the irrealis aspects. The former is the irrealis completive and the latter the irrealis incompletive (cf. 2.3.2.4). Thus both are related, by virtue of belonging to the same sub-category: the irrealis.


2.3.3.8.2.1 The Inceptive: Intentional + Anticipative

The inceptive (cf. 2.3.3.3. for a more detailed discussion) is a complex of two simple aspects: the intentional 'y6' and the ANTICIPATIVE 'mi.a'. This aspect describes an event or activity that is yet to occur but is anticipated. The speaker has decided, by a force of the will, to embark upon it.

(97) Emi yi6 mAa lQ i6.
ipS INTEN + ANTI go home
'I intend to leave for/start going home.'

(98) Emi y46 mna bj io IQ.
ipS INTEN+ANTI with work go
'I intend to/will get back to work (and keep it going).'


The two examples above capture a scenario in which the speaker has made up her mind to embark on the activities mentioned in each sentence:






79


"leaving" in (97) and "working"~ in (98), respectively. The activities have not yet taken place but have been willed to take place shortly. There is therefore a sense of anticipation involved.


2.3.3.8.2.2 The Habitual: Anticipative + Incomnletive

The habitual aspect is created by a combination of two simple aspects: the ANTICIPATIVE 'mda' and the incompletive Wn. It refers to an activity that was habitually undertaken prior to the moment of speech (99a) or is still being undertaken up to and beyond the moment of speech (99b). In some way, this latter sense could have an eternal meaning, such as the sun rising in the east, as in example (100). It goes without saying that if something is habitual, then it can reasonably be anticipated.


(99a) Mo mia 11 j6 pupo nfgbati mo iid ni ewe.
ipS ANTI + INCOM dance plenty when ipS exist PREP youth
'I (used to) dance a lot when I was young.'

(99b) Mo mja ii j4?un 16joojtimO.
ipS ANTI + INCOM eat daily
'I eat daily.'

(100) Obrfin maia ii rAn ni i-obrfin.
Sun ANTI + INCOM shine PREP splitting-sun
'The sun rises (regularly, habitually) in the east.'


just as the relational is common to the other five series of complex aspects, in like manner the anticipative is common to the latter two. In the complex aspects not directly involving the relational, it is still a sense of relatedness that makes the anticipation possible when the two aspects combine. It is the intentionality in 2.3.3.8.2.1 that makes anticipation possible. Likewise in 2.3.3.8.2.2, it is the non-completion that informs the anticipation. Relationship is therefore a fundamental element in the chemistry that creates the complex aspects from otherwise independent simple aspects. This






80


relatedness points to a complex, internal harmony that undergirds the interconnectivity of the various aspectual elements.


2.4 Aspect Markers in Context

Having already emphasized that aspect markers can, and do, co-occur, I provide below a free text to illustrate how these markers interact within the VP as well as in the wider context of the YL sentence.

Text A below is an example of aspect markers in context. It is a text that I generated by myself, from my native speaker's intuition. A free translation is also provided below it. It is to be noted that in the text, aspect markers (in bold) always precede the verb (italicized).

In this text, the following aspects occur: the unmarked aspect (101-103, 104,107); the incompletive 'n', example (103/104); the relational 'ti', example (104); the anticipative 'mAa', example (107) and the intentional aspect 'yi6', example (108). Thus, in this short text we see all of the five simple aspects operating freely in discourse.

Text

(101) LAn A, mi Ati Ay6 1Q si ilM Awon bree wa
Yesterday, 1 and Ayo go to house PLUR friend our
(102) stgb6n a k6 b i Awon 6bii won nil.
but we NEG meet PLUR parent their LOC+home
(103) Awon omo won ni a b nil. W6n i
PLUR child their is we meet at+home. They INCOM
(104) sin 16w6. W6n sQ pL Awon 6bii won ti lQ
sleep at+hand. They say that PLUR parent their RELA go
(105) si Orlando 1,ti ijeta siLgb6n won k6
DIREC Orlando since day before yesterday but they NEG
(106) ni po pad d.
have late return arrive.
(107) W6n sQ p6 61a ni w6n mda pad d.
They say that tomorrow is they ANTI return arrive.
(108) Lhin n won yi6 10 si Tampa ftin oj6 die.
Afterwards they INTEN go DIREC Tampa for day few.






81


Free Translation of TextA

'Yesterday, Ayo and I went to the house of our friends but did not meet
their parents at home. Only the children were at home. They were
sleeping. They told us that their parents had gone to Orlando since the day before yesterday but they wouldn't be long in returning. They said
that they (the parents) would return the following day. Afterwards they
will (intend to) go to Tampa for several days.'


A close observation reveals that all the verb forms (in italics) remain unchanged, whether they are referring to activities or events that have already occured, as in examples (101) to (106), are yet to occur, as in (107) and (108), or are still in progress, as in (103/104). The aspect markers (in bolds) preceding the verbs simply describe different stages in the performance of the various activities.


2.4.1 Completive Asipect (Unmarked)

The completive aspect appears five times in the text, and every time it appears it has to do with completed actions. In all instances of its appearance the activity has both begun and has ceased to continue before the moment of speech.


2.4.2 Incompletive Aspect 'ii'

The incompletive appears only once in the text, (103/104). It refers to

an activity that began sometime before the speaker and his companion appear on the scene and is still in progress when they arrive at the home of their friends. The children of the friends were still sleeping when the visitors arrived and interrupted their sleep. It is important to note here that it is only through context that we know that the activity took place sometime in the past.

(109) Wo5n ii sdm lowco.
3pP INCOM sleep at hand
'They were/are busy sleeping.'






82


2.4.3 Relational 't i'

The relational also appears only once in the text, in example (104). Here, it refers to an activity that had taken place relative to the moment of speech: the parents had already left for Orlando before the arrival of the guests.


(110) W~n sQ P0 ~iwvn obi won t! 1 si Orlando..
3pPS say that PLUR parent 3pPO RI[AT go to Orlando...
'They said that their parents had gone to Orlando...'


2.4.4 Anticinative 'm~a'

The anticipative likewise appears just once in the text, in example (107). Here, the kids tell their visitors that their (the kids') parents should return the following day. The anticipative is used here because the children have no control over when their parents will return. They can therefore not say so with absolute certainty, for they could decide to return earlier than planned, or even much later.


(111) Wo5n SQ p6 01A ni won m Aa padA de3pPS say that tomorrow is 3pPO ANTI return arrive 'They said that they (the parents) would return tomorrow.'


2.4.5 Intentional vI6'

The intentional also appears once, in example (108). Here the children use the intentional--as opposed to the anticipative, as is the case in (107). They know with some degree of certainty that their parents, upon return from Orlando, will be heading for Tampa. Most likely, the kids know that their parents had purchased another ticket for Tampa for the day in question, probably a non-refundable ticket. It is the parents' will that is involved here. They must have made up their minds about going to Tampa on the said date so as not to lose their ticket money. Probably the parents had told the kids, "We're going to Orlando and will be back at the latest on such a date so we could catch






83


the flight for Tampa on such and such a date." Thus, although the day of the

parents' return from Orlando may not be hundred percent certain, it is

however their intention to make another trip to Tampa upon their return. It is

a decision they had taken before leaving for Orlando.

(112) L~hind wQn yif6 IQ si Tampa fin Qjo dio.
Afterwards 3pPS INTEN go to Tampa for day few
'Afterwards they will/intend to go to Tampa for a while.'

In order to capture a few more aspect markers, especially those that do

not occur in Text A, I provide yet another personally generated text below

(Text B). In this text, we observe some more complex aspects, in context.



(113) Emi ati Funmi yi6 1Q si NAijiriyA nindi osix
I and Funmi INTEN go DIREC Nigeria inside month
(114) kefA odfin yii. A ti if mira sfl6 bdyii.
sixth year this. We RELEV-INCEP prepare down now.
(115) A ti zi ra Awon Abim ti a mda fdn
We RELEV-INC buy PLUR gift that we ANTI give
(116) Awon ebi Ati 6rd nigbti a b dM.
PLUR. family and friend when we meet arrive+home.
(117) Gbogbo won yi6 ti mAa retd wa ki a
All them EXPECTIVE expect us before we
(118) t6 dl. Gbogbo igbA ti a bd IQ
reach arrive+home. All time that we meet go
(119) il& ni a mda ri ra bfin 16w6.
home is we HABITUAL buy gift in hand


Free Translation of Passage B

'Funmi and I will (be) go(ing) to Nigeria this June. We are busy making preparations right now. We've started buying gifts that we will give to
family and friends when we arrive home. Everyone will be expecting us
by the time we get home. Every time we go home we always take gifts
along.'

In line (113), we have a simple aspect 'yio' preceding the verb 'lo'. In

lines (114) and (115), however, we have examples of the relevant-inceptive

aspect 'ti n, a complex aspect involving the combination of the relational 'ti'






84


and the incompletive 'n'. In line (117) we have an example of the expective 'yi6 ti mAa', a combination of the intentional 'yi6', the incompletive 'ti' and the anticipative 'maa'. This is an example of three simple aspects co-occuring to derive a complex aspect. In line (119) the suppositional 'nMia' and the incompletive 'n' combine to derive the habitual complex aspect, 'mda n'.


2.4.6 Relevant-Inceptive 'ti i'

The relevant-inceptive aspect occurs twice in text B, lines (114) and

(115). In both instances of its occurence, it refers to an action that has begun and still is in progress.

(120) A ti ii mfira silo byii
lpP RELEV-INCEP prepare down now
'We are getting ready/getting prepared now.'

(121) A ti ii ra iwn Obun...
lpP RELEV-INCEP buy PLURAL gift
'We have been (busy) buying gifts...'


2.4.7 Exoective 'yi6 ti mAa'

The expective occurs in line (117) in the text. It is practically selfdefining in the context in which it appears, as it is immediately followed by the verb 'reti' (expect). It describes the state of mind of the people looking forward to the arrival of the speaker and to the gifts that they will receive. They are expectant.

(122) Gbogbo wVn yf6 ti mia red "Ia...
All 3pP EXPECTIVE expect lpP
'They will all be expecting us...'


2.4.8 Habitual 'ma i'

The habitual occurs in line (119). In that context, it describes an activity that takes place all the time. There is therefore a timelessness to it. It describes






85


an activity that the speaker performs all the time. It has already taken place in the past, it still goes on in the present and is expected to continue in the future. The speaker and his wife are in the habit of buying gifts along for people whenever they travel home.


(123) A m.4 a d ra Obtn kI0m.
IpP HABITUAL buy gift in hand
'We buy gifts to take along.'


A good grasp on the nature and the internal workings of these YL aspect markers is very crucial to the understanding and appreciation of Tutuola's language and Yoruba English in general, including most of what we encounter in the grammar of Nigerian English (NE). My next chapter shall focus on specific data from the works of Amos Tutuola to see how these aspect markers from YL have been transferred into this variety of NE.


2.5 Temnoral Relations In YorihbA

It is a known linguistic fact that every language has a means of

expressing time, if and when there is a need to do so. Although it is aspect that is obligatorily marked in YL (and not tense), the language does have a syntactic way of marking time, when such information is needed and is necessary. This is done largely by the use of adverbial expressions of time such as 'bAyii' (right now), '16w6' (at hand/at moment), 'IlanA' (yesterday), '161a' (tomorrow) 'l~Iur6 yii' (this morning), '1A6 AnA' (last night), 'lAip (soon), 'nigbA kan ri' (sometime ago), 'lay6 Atij6' (long time ago/in years gone by), etc. These adverbials are the principal means by which time may be marked in the grammar. Some of them are more time-specific (cf. 124-129) while others are more general in nature (130-132). These adverbs of time are normally placed postverbally. However, they could be placed preverbally,






86


when they are deliberately focused for emphasis in a sentence and, though the language does permit this syntactic fronting, generally it sounds awkward. The examples below will elucidate my point.


(124) Nibo ni o h IQ BAYI?
Where is you INCOMP go now?
'Where ARE you going now/at moment?'

(125) Nibo ni o 9 1 LANAA?
Where is you INCOMP go yesterday?
'Where WERE you going yesterday?'

(126) Mo i jeun LQV.
I INCOMP eat at hand/this moment
'I AM busy eating/I am eating at moment.'

(127) Mo ii jqun NIJETA
I INCOMP eat day before yesterday
'I WAS eating day before yesterday.'


In examples (124) and (125) above, the only indicators of time are the adverbs 'b.Ayii' (now) and 'lAn~A' (yesterday). The former adds the notion of present while the latter gives it a past interpretation. Otherwise the two expressions are devoid of any specific notion of time. The same is applicable to (126) and (127). In (126), '16w6' (at the moment/hand) gives it a present time frame while 'nijeta' (day before yesterday) gives example (127) a past frame of time. In the absence of 'nijeta' in (127), the sentence could also have a present interpretation.


(128) Mo ri KikO BAYII.
I see Kik now.
'I (can) SEE Kike (right) now/this moment.'

(129) Mo ri KikO LAAARQ YII.
I see Kik6 morning this.
'I SAW Kike this morning.'


Likewise in (128) and (129), it is 'byif' (now) and 'dAAr6 yii' (this morning) that help us fix the two similar expressions in time. In all of the






87


above given examples, the time adverbials refer to a more specific frame of time in which an action or an event took place. In (130-132), examples are provided of some less time-specific adverbials.


(130) Mo mAa 1Q sibi-iq LAIP.
lpS ANTI go to+workplace soon
'I will be going to work soon/I am looking forward to going to
work soon/I anticipate to be at work soon.'

(131) A ti Ipde rQ NIGBA KAN RI.
lpP RELAT meet 2pS some time ago
'We have met her/him sometime ago/We've met before.'

(132) AwQn baba wa jagun LAYEATIJQ.
PLURAL father lpPOBJ fought in+world+of old
'Our (fore)fathers fought wars in days gone by/in time of old.'


In (130) the time reference is indicated by the use of the time adverb, 'ldip6' (soon), which also places the expression in the future. In (131), the only element of time is introduced by the use of the adverb 'nigb kanri' (some time ago). Similarly, in (132), it is the adverb 'ly( Atij6' (in the olden days) that provides a time frame to the sentence.

Bolorunduro attempted to classify these adverbs of time into two main categories--specific and general--but appears to have jumbled them together. For instance he classified '16s66sdn' (every afternoon/in the afternoons) and '16joojuim6' (daily/everyday) under "Specific Time Adverbial" while, for reasons best known only to him, 'lIlaal6' (every night/nightly) was classified under "General Time Adverbial" (p. 25). Apart from such minor problems as discussed above, I think the categorization of the time adverbials into general and specific is largely accurate and does have some merit.

It is evident from the above examples that although tense is not

morphologically marked on YL verbs, the language does have its own way of indicating time relations, if and when it is important to do so.














CHAPTER 3
ASPECT IN NIGERIAN ENGLISH


The treatment of tense and aspect in NE is one of the most interesting aspects of EL usage. As has been mentioned in the previous chapter, YL is largely an aspectual. language while EL is primarily a tensed one. In fact, the place of tense is so strong in EL that aspect is often treated as tense. A good example of this is the so-called Perfect Tenses, which are apparently aspectual in nature. Take the following EL sentences for instance,


(1) 1 ate. (Past Simple Tense)
(2) 1 have eaten. ("Present Perfect Tense")


Example (1) above deals with an activity that took place in the past: the act of eating took place at some point in the past and is completed. In example

(2), however, we are not as much concerned with the time of the performance of the activity as with its internal state, i.e. the completion of the act of eating, relative to the moment of speech. It is clear from example (2) that what we are dealing with here is aspect rather than tense. However, most English grammar books refer to it as tense. It is this kind of grammatical analysis that has been carried over into YL by grammarians, who have mostly been trained in the United Kingdom. The effect of this training often shows itself in descriptions of YL made from an EL perspective. For instance, Bamgbose (1967: 26) classifies examples (3-4) below as "Continuous Tense", (5-6) as "Habitual Tense" and (7-8) as "Future Tense", although these can more appropriately be seen as examples of aspect. In fact, the terms "continuous" and "habitual"


88




Full Text
ASPECT IN YORUBA AND NIGERIAN ENGLISH
By
TIMOTHY TEMILOLA AJANI
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
2001

This work is dedicated to the loving memory of:
Jim Sharp, Jr.:
From the heavenly grandstands
I know you wear a proud grin at the
conclusion of this work;
and
My late father, Jacob jn,
who taught me how to read and write Yorb at home
while living in a foreign country;
And to
My mother, Rebecca Mdandl jn,
who has endured many years of my absence from home
while I pursued my education from one institution to another and
from one nation to another.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Successful completion of any exercise usually reflects the efforts of
more than one individual. This dissertation would never have been written
without the help, collaboration, encouragement, prayers and goodwill of a host
of people, both here in the United States and back home in Nigeria.
Foremost, my sincere gratitude goes to the chairperson of my doctoral
committee, Professor. M.J. Hardman who taught me how to look at language
critically and through unbiased lenses, to question assumptions and
previously held opinions, in the spirit of humility. I appreciate her patience
and thoroughness, especially during the initial stages of this study. I
appreciate her kindness, gentleness and sense of humor. I thank her for
adopting me and my young family into her own family. My first son fondly
calls her grandma. Working with her one-on-one has been a real privilege.
I have benefitted immensely from her excellent linguistic insights and
intuitions.
I also express my sincere gratitude to the other members of my
committee. I have learnt much about language and linguistics from them. I
worked closely with these committee members: Professor Jean Casagrande, Dr.
Diana Boxer, Dr. Peter Schmidt, and Professor Marie Nelson. Although
Professor Marie Nelson was the last to formally join the committee, she was
already a voluntary adjunct member. She willingly stepped in when Professor
Olabiyi Yai left the University to take a permanent assignment as
representative for his country at UNESCO.
iii

Drs. Casagrande and Yai were instrumental in bringing me to this
University, after I had completed my DEA (M. Phil, equivalent) in Paris,
France. When he was Chair of the Department of African and Asian Languages
and Literatures (AALL), Dr. Yai offered me an open-ended teaching
assistantship at the AALL during the Spring and Fall semesters, and
occasionally during the summer. Dr. Casagrande, then director of the Program
in Linguistics (PIL) and the English Language Institute (ELI), offered me
summer assistantships at the ELI during my first two years here. I taught
Yoruba for several years under the supervision of Dr. Yai, until he left for
France two years ago. I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at the
ELIunder the leadership of Dr. Casagrande and later, Dr. Boxer. My interest in
and love for Sociolinguistics really blossomed while I was a student in Dr.
Boxers Sociolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition (SLA) classes.
I am deeply indebted to Dr. Marie Nelson, who voluntarily offered to
read through all of my manuscripts, offering fresh insights, and making
useful comments and corrections.At the time, she was busy discharging her
many duties as director of the PIL. Dr. Peter Schmidt, Director of the Center for
African Studies, gave me a summer dissertation grant to do research in
Nigeria, and I thank him very much. I give many thanks go to Dr. Ann Wyatt-
Brown, who willingly offered me her personal laptop computer to use for as
along as I needed it, when I began my studies here in Gainesville. It was also
she who encouraged me to publish my first article in FOCUS on Linguistics, the
University of Florida working papers in Linguistics.
My experience at the University of Florida would have been very
different without the support of friends, colleagues, students and family, here,
in the United States, back home in Nigeria, and in other places. I am very
grateful for all the encouragement, financial support, and prayer support I
iv

have received over many years from groups and individuals alike: members of
the IGS Fellowship in Ibdn, Nigeria, Living Faith Fellowship in Gainesville
and my home group at The Rock of Gainesville, as well as the following
individuals: Dr. Michael and Alanna Boutin, the late Jim Sharp, Jr., who paid
for my first personal computer and printer with which this dissertation was
written; the Flads, Tom and Sharon Stebbins, Bill and Fay Alexander, Rob and
Sheryl Norton, Key and Ruth Ann Powell, Nellie Otero, Beth Alexander, the late
C.R., and Evelyn Smith, my big sister, Marylyn Perazzini and little brother,
Derek Tirado; Ms. Agnes Leslie; Beve Gunderson, Rena Smith, Kim Hewitt, Rosie
Piedra Hall, Jeanette Flanders and Ashley Hicks; Troy and Rene Clark, Carol
Lauriault, and the entire staff of the CAS. Outside of Florida, many thanks go to
my dear friends, Drs. Austin and Udy Inyang of Oklahoma; my little sisters
Fy and Folk, both of the United Kingdom; and my longtime friends, Drs.
George and Onrolad l of France.
Finally, my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation go to my family, both
immediate and extended, especially my siblings, my late father, and my aging
mother, Rebecca Mdandl, who has seen very little of me since I began my
long journey in academia; and lastly, my dear wife and life companion,
ajmok Olfnmilyo and our two precious sons, Ay991a llrolwa and
bkn Olbs^l, who have weathered the long summers and winters with me
here in Gainesville, with a lot of understanding, patience and equanimity. To
you all I say E § o. E k drti; a k er oko dl o. Amn.
v

TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS i
KEY TO SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS ix
ABSTRACT xi
CHAPTERS
1. INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 The Yorb People 1
1.2 The Yorb Language 9
1.2.1 Phonology 12
1.2.2 Morphology 15
1.2.3 Syntax 16
1.3 The Dynamics of Yorb and English in Nigeria 21
2. ASPECT IN YORUBA 29
2.1The Nature of the Verb Phrase (VP) in Yorb 42
2.2.1 The Incompletive Aspect 44
2.2.2 The Relational Aspect 45
2.2.3 The Habitual + Post-verbal Time Marker 45
2.2.4 The Intentional + Post-verbal Time Marker 46
2.2.5 Completive Aspect + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Focus) 46
2.2.6 The Anticipative + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Focus) 46
2.2.7 The Completive Aspect 47
2.3 Aspect in Yorb 47
2.3.1 Aspect Constraints on Person Marking and Pronoun Selection... 48
2.3.1.1 Intentional + regular pronoun 51
2.3.1.2 Intentional + emphatic pronoun 51
2.3.1.3 Completive aspect + regular pronoun 53
2.3.1.4 Completive aspect + emphatic pronoun 53
2.3.1.5 Relational aspect + regular pronoun 54
vi

2.3.1.6 Relational aspect + emphatic pronoun 54
2.3.1.7 Habitual Aspect + regular pronoun 54
2.3.1.8 Habitual Aspect + emphatic pronoun 55
2.3.1.9 Antecedent completion + regular pronoun 55
2.3.1.0 Antecedent completion + emphatic pronoun 56
2.3.2 The Simple Aspect Series 56
2.3.2.1 The Completive Aspect (Unmarked) 56
23.2.2 The Incompletive Aspect 58
23.2.3 The Relational Aspect 59
23.2.4 The Irrealis Aspects 59
23.2.4.1 The anticipative aspect 60
23.2.4.2 The intentional aspect 61
2.3.3 The Complex Aspect Series 63
2.33.1 Backgrounder 64
2.33.2 Expective 65
2.3.33 Inceptive 66
2.33.4 Manifestive 68
2.33.5 Antecedent Completion 68
2.33.6 Relevant-Inceptive 70
2.33.7 Habitual 71
2.33.8 Two Major Categories of the Complex Aspects 72
233.8.1 Those involving the relational aspect 73
233.8.2 Those not involving the relational 78
2.4 Aspect Markers in Context 80
2.4.1 Completive (Unmarked) Aspect 81
2.4.2 Incompletive Aspect 81
2.4.3 Relational Aspect 82
2.4:4 Anticipative Aspect 82
2.4.5 Intentional Aspect 82
2.4.6 Relevant-Inceptive Aspect 84
2.4.7 Expective Aspect 84
2.4.8 Habitual Aspect 84
2.5 Temporal Relations in Yorb 85
vii

3. ASPECT IN NIGERIAN ENGLISH 88
3.1 Amos Ttol: the Man 93
3.2 Amos Ttol: his Works 98
3.3 Amos Ttol: his Accomplishments 105
3.4 Aspect in Ttols Writings 107
3.4.1 The Incompletive Aspect 112
3.4.2 The Habitual Aspect 122
3.4.3 The Anticipative Aspect 125
3.4.4 The Relational Aspect 128
3.4.5 The Relevant-Inceptive 130
4. CONCLUSION 133
4.1 Summary 133
4.2 Implications 141
APPENDIX 148
REFERENCES 198
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 211
viii

KEY TO SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS
ANT(E) COMP
Explanation of Glossary
antecedent completion aspect
ANTI/ANTICIP
anticipative aspect
BACKGRD
backgrounder aspect
BAH
The Brave African Huntress
BE
British English
CLT
Communicative Language Teaching
CV
consonant vowel
DIREC
directional
EL
English language
Emp/EMP/EP
emphatic pronoun
ESL
English as a second language
ESP
English for specific purposes
HABIT
habitual aspect
HE
Hausa English
ICE
International Corpus of English
IE
Igbo English
INCOM/INCOMP
incompletive aspect
INT/INTEN
intentional aspect
INTV
interrogative verb
LBG
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
LOC
locative
LI
mother tongue
L2
second language
MANIFEST
manifestive aspect
NE
Nigerian English
NEG
negator
NP
noun phrase
NPE
Nigerian Pidgin English
O/Obj/OBJ
object
PART
particle
PLU/PLUR
plural
PP
prepositional phrase
PREP
preposition
PWD
The Palm-Wine Drinkard
RELA/RALAT
relational aspect
REL(EV)-INCEP
relevant-incpetive aspect
RP
regular pronoun
SF&F
Science Fiction and Fantasy
SNE
Standard Nigerian English
SVC(s)
serial verbal construction(s)
svo
subj ec t-verb-obj ec t
V-
vowel
VP
verb phrase
YE
Yoruba English
ix

Explanation of Glossary
YL
Yoruba language
YSL
Yoruba as a second language
YVP
Yoruba verb phrase
IpP
first person plural
IpS
first person singular
2pP
second person plural
2pS
second person singular
3pP
third person plural
3pS
third person singular
X

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
ASPECT IN YORUBA AND NIGERIAN ENGLISH
By
Timothy Tmilpl jn
May, 2001
Chair: Dr. MJ. Hardman
Major Department: Linguistics
Yorb, has, for the most part, been analyzed by earlier grammarians
from the perspective of English, thus leading to an English-oriented analysis
of the language. This study presents a strictly aspect-based analysis of Yorb
and its application to Ttols work and Nigerian English. Twelve identified
aspects are subdivided into two main categories comprising five simple and
seven complex aspects.
This dissertation makes an original contribution to Yorb grammar by
its presentation of Yorb as an aspect-based language, rather than a tense-
based one, as previous analyses have often tended to suggest. A closer look at
Ttols English reveals that many of the idiosyncracies of his language are a
result of the unconscious transfer of the aspectual system of his native Yorb
into the English of his writings. What this shows is that in Nigeria, the Yorb
language has influenced the way English is written and interpreted. Data from
The Palm-Wine Drinkard, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and The Brave African
Huntress, three of Amos Ttols earliest novels, were used to demonstrate
this important influence on the work of Ttol, a native of Yorbland who,
xi

in choosing to write in English, also chose not to leave behind many of the
features of his first language.
The implications of this study are several. At the disciplinary level, the
study affords the opportunity to capture linguistic data as they develop and to
provide fresh insights into the internal workings of the Yorb verb phrase
in general and aspectual relations in particular. These insights enhance our
understanding of the Yorb language as a linguistic system. The study has
implications for the history of the English language. The study also leads to an
understanding that language contact is a two-way process. When two
languages come into contact, mutual influences at various levels of grammar
and usage are inevitable.
At the national and international levels, our understanding of the
language of Ttols work can affect the way English is taught in nations
where English is a second language. Our understanding also can affect the way
Yorb is taught to speakers of English as a first language. The results of this
study also have general implications for the theory of second language
learning and teaching and for the science of language in general, as it could
lead to a better understanding of the role the mother tongue plays in the
acquisition of a second language in non-native contexts.
xii

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief historical and linguistic
background to Yorub--the people and the language--and Nigerian English
(NE). It answers the following pertinent questions: who are the Yorb? (§1.1);
what does the Yorub language look like? (§1.2); how did the English language
get into Nigeria and Yorbland in particular? and finally, how do both
languages interact within the linguistic and socio-cultural environment in
which they co-exist? (§1.3). The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of
the major themes of subsequent chapters.
1.1 The Yorb People
The Yorb are a group of people whose identity is linked by common
origins: a common ancestry to Odduw; a common language Yorb; and a
common historical link to the ancient city of li-If as cultural and spiritual
headquarters and cradle of the race (cf. Ajani 1998: 12-13). All the groups of
people who consider themselves as Yorb also identify themselves by these
three common bonds. Apart from ancestry and language, all Yorb peoples
also share a great similarity in culture and religious background.
Today most of the Yorb occupy southwestern Nigeria. Smaller
communities exist in the neighboring republics of Benin and Togo to the west.
Yorbland thus encompasses three different nations, with different modern
histories. Benin and Togo, for example, were colonized by the French, while
Nigeria was colonized by the British during the colonial period. Thus we find
1

2
Yorb people today who use French as an official language (those in Benin
and Togo) while others use English (in Nigeria). There is also a strong Yorub
cultural presence in Sierra-Leone (home of the late Bishop Samuel Ajayi
Crowther, who laid the foundation for Yorb studies by translating the Bible
and John Bunyans Pilgrim's Progress into Yorub and by writing the first
dictionary and orthography of the language). Here the descendants of Yorb
freed slaves who were resettled after abolition of the obnoxious trade in
human beings still bear Yorb names and carry on Yorb culture. The
Yorb language made the greatest contribution to the grammar, vocabulary
and sound systems of the Krio (Creole) language of Sierra-Leone, the principal
lingua franca of this tiny West-African coastal nation (UNESCO 1985). Today,
about 25-30 million Yorb people live in Yorbland, with probably several
million more in the diaspora around the world.
Although Oyewm (1997: 29-30) argues that Odduw, ancestor of the
Yorb is represented as female in some accounts, in Yorb folklore he is
generally considered to be the son of Oldmar, the Creator and life-giver,
the all-knowing, all-powerful and self-existent God who lives in the skies from
where he rules over all of creation with the help of the ris or lesser gods
who also serve as his intermediaries. As for Oldmar, Oyewm observes that
as a god this mythic figure could not have had gender.
According to the legend, it was Odduw who created dry land from the
huge mass of water after his older brother, Obtl failed, through negligence,
in the commission given to him by Oldmar. It is also believed that Odduw
molded the first human shapes out of clay. Furthermore, Odduws sixteen
sons (cf. Oyewm 1997 for more de taed discussion on the genderization of
Yorb) were sent out to found and to govern the various cities and kingdoms
that constitute present Yorbland. So strong and central is the figure of

3
Odduw to the identity of the Yorb that they fondly refer to themselves as
Qno Odduw (children, or descendants of Odduw). In fact the ancestors of
modem day Yorb people did not always refer to themselves by this name,
nor even consider themselves as one people, although they had much in
common.
The origin of the name Yorb itself is still shrouded in obscurity. It
is, however, believed to have been conferred on the Yoruba people by their
Hausa neighbors to the north who used to refer to the people of the old Oyo
Empire as the Yariba. Europeans then appropriated this name and began to
use it to refer to all the speakers of the Yoruba language. The present
generalized application is a result, then, of further extension. In fact, for a
long time only the Oy people were referred to as Yorb. The other Yorb
groups bore their own distinct names (such as Ijs, Ekiti, Egb, Ijb, etc.)
until the language became standardized by missionary-linguists in the
nineteenth century, at which point it came to be applied to all of Odduws
descendants.
Apart from the name Yoruba, Oduduwas descendants were called by
several other names before the current name Yoruba arose. In the past,
Europeans called them the Ak, a word derived from Yoruba greetings, most
of which begin with E k or A k. This label was originally used to
describe the freed slaves from Yorubaland who were later resettled in Sierra-
Leone. Their Hausa neighbors to the north still call them by the name
Yorubawa. Once, the Yoruba were also refered to as the Ey, a term
obviously derived from Oy. In the diaspora, enslaved Yorubas were referred
to as Nago in Brazil and Lukumi in Cuba. Nago is a derivative of the
name of one of the twenty Yoruba groups known as the Anago. Lukumi is a
word derived from the Yoruba phrase Olk mi, meaning My friend.

4
Lukumi also has become a generic name in Cuba where it has some other
variants such as Licomim, Ulkumi and Ulkami.
Although oral history puts the origins of Il-If at around 8 B.C.,
linguistic and archaeological evidence suggest that the Yoruba emerged near
the Niger-Benue confluence some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. From here, it is
believed, they migrated to their present location between the eighth and
eleventh centuries. Historians tell us that a powerful Yoruba kingdom already
existed in Il-If by the eighth century: one of the earliest in Africa south of
the Sahel region.
The Yoruba are among the most urbanized people in Africa. For
centuries before the arrival of the British colonial administration most Yoruba
already lived in well structured urban centers organized around powerful
city-states (il) centered around the residence of the oba (ruler). In ancient
times, most of these cities were fortresses, with high walls and gates. Yoruba
cities always have been among the most populous in Africa. Recent
archaeological findings indicate that Oy-il, capital of the Yoruba empire of
Oyo that flourished between 1000 and 1840 A.D. had a population of over 100,000
people (the largest single population in Africa at that time in history). For a
long time, Ibadan, one of the major Yoruba cities, was the largest city in the
whole of western Africa. Today, Lagos, another major Yoruba city, with a
population of about eight to ten million, remains the second largest in Africa,
apart from being the main commercial and economic nerve center of Nigeria
and the entire West-African sub-region. It also was the political capital of
Nigeria for decades, until very recently when a new capital (Abuja) was
founded in the center of the country.
The Yoruba are traditionally an agricultural people, as their
environment in conducive to farming. The Yoruba evidently, have always

5
lived in large cities. Each city usually is surrounded by an elaborate network
of farmlands (oko) around which villages (abl) developed. Each city
dwelling family generally also had a farm in the village. Although most
Yoruba people live in the villages, the city is considered the center of
civilization, culture and religion. Each year village dwellers go back to their
respective cities for annual religious festivities and social celebrations.
Carnivals in Brazil and other places in the Yoruba diaspora probably
originated from these annual festivals (Abimbola 1998: 36). The annual Osun
Festival of Osogbo has now become an international event that attracts people
from all over the world, especially people from the diaspora.
Traditionally, most Yoruba women specialized in commercial activities
such as marketing and trading. While the men did most of the farming, the
women bought produce from farms and sold it at the markets. They also sold
cloths woven by the men as well as tie-dyes made by the women. This middle-
person role played by the women generally made them wealthy and
financially independent. For this reason, Yoruba women do not fit the usual
traditional Western definition of a wife and a mother. Part of the role of a wife
and mother among the Yoruba is that of provider, which subsumes economic
activity and financial independence.
Although traditionally the Yoruba are agricultural people, today the
Yoruba could be found engaged in practically all forms of modern day
professions, ranging from education to medicine, arts and science to cutting-
edge high-tech jobs in technology and the computer industry. In fact, the first
African and black person to win the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature,
Wole Soyinka, is Yoruba. Though Soyinkas English is elegant and complex in
the usual sense, it is also distinctive in its use of Yoruba structures and
discourse features.

6
The Yoruba also are known around the world for their artwork. Their
naturalistic bronze and terra-cotta sculptures are found in museums all over
the world, among them the famous Ife heads. So remarkable were the
sculptures produced in Ile-Ife that when the German ethnographer, Leo
Frobenius, visited Ile-Ife in 1911, he could not believe what he saw with his
eyes and made up stories that they must have been the relics of the lost city of
Atlantis. Today, it is believed that these great works of art must have been
created by Yoruba sculptors. It is also no longer a hidden fact that some of
these great works of art were imitated by some of the great European artists.
The Yoruba are probably best known around the world for their
traditional religious belief system based on a pantheon of ris (lesser
divinities). Yoruba traditional religion consists of a pantheon of two hundred
one (or four hundred one, according to other accounts) ris. Names of the
well-known deities are Ogn, Sango and If or Ornmil, Other major deities
include Osun, Oya and Yemoja, Obtl or Orisnl, Snpnn, El and Es. The
Yoruba believe that Olodumare, the creator of all ris and humans, is too
powerful to be worshipped directly by mere mortals. Thus they need the
intermediary role of the ris, who are considered to be much closer to
humans, becomes apparent. The orisa are thus seen as the mediators between
Olodumare, the high God and mortals.
The worship of some of these deities was transported across the Atlantic
during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the 1800s, during which time many
Yoruba people were forcefully uprooted to the New World as slaves for
plantation owners of European descent. This resulted in a large Yoruba
diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbeans, where Yoruba culture and
religion is still very much vibrant and active, especially in places like Brazil,
Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as in more recent revivals in the

7
United States. These enslaved Yoruba took along with them their traditional
religious beliefs and married these to Catholic Saints to produce such syncretic
belief systems as Santera (in Cuba and the Caribbeans) and Candombl (in
Brazil). In Cuba, for instance, the enslaved Africans superimposed Catholic
saints on Yoruba deities to hide their true religious practices from their brutal
slave masters and missionaries. In the United States, it is estimated that more
than a million people in the Northeast alone practice some form of Yoruba
religion with more than 5,000 stores selling Santera paraphernalia
(Honebrink 1993: 46). Today New York and Washington D.C. remain a vibrant
center of Yoruba religious activity. In South Carolina, Oytnj Village (Oy
has revived) stands as a constant reminder of the ongoing Yoruba renaissance
in the United States of America.
Although Yoruba religion spread its influences beyond Yorubaland and
Africa, the Yoruba also embraced other religions, especially the two major
world religions, Christianity and Islam. The Yoruba are tolerant of other
religions, opinions, and ideas. Therefore it is not surprising that right now
most Yoruba people embrace Christianity and many have converted to Islam.
Just as new adherents embrace Yoruba religious beliefs, so have the Yoruba
themselves been open to new religious ideas from other parts of the world.
There is peaceful co-existence among people of different religious
persuasions. Often Christian and Muslim Yorubas also practice their family
religious traditions, side by side with their adopted religions. Yoruba Muslims
often go to church functions with their Christian friends and relatives and
vice versa. In fact, I know of a Yoruba couple in Gainesville. The husband is a
Catholic and the wife is a Muslim. Each of them still practice their different
religions. They have been happily married for more than twenty years now
and have four well adapted children. A Yoruba proverb says Esin-in baba ko

8
le gbomo la, meaning the religious beliefs of the father cannot save the
children. The wisdom of this proverb, in essence, is that we each must seek our
own salvation.
Finally, the Yoruba are also known for their rich and vibrant literary
tradition, especially their oral poetry which has attracted literary luminaries
from around the world. Yoruba oral literature is rich in proverbs and wise
sayings that reflect the values, hopes and aspirations of its people. Much
respect is given to old age among the Yoruba because the elderly are believed
to be the repositories of wisdom and knowledge. Old age is thus highly revered
among the Yoruba. In fact, probably the most important prayer that an older
person can say to a younger one is O ma dgb dargb (You shall grow old
and be full of years). Since the Yoruba are very religious, prayers play a very
important part in day to day communication, activities, and interactions.
Probably Yoruba religion and culture are the two most important
contributions of the Yoruba to world civilization. Every civilization and
culture undergoes changes over time and Yoruba is no exception. Their
culture and civilization have undergone changes and modifications over the
years, from both internal dynamics and external pressures. Such were the
imposition of European rule on Yorubaland during the colonial era and the
introduction of both Islam and Christianity at different times of their history.
The Yoruba have used all of these challenges and experiences to better their
lot and to advance their own civilization, adopting some changes that they
consider as progressive while throwing away others that are not viewed in
positive light.

9
1.2 The Yorub Language
Yoruba belongs to the Yoruboid group of the Kwa branch of the Niger-
Congo family of languages, which cuts across most of sub-Saharan Africa. It is
the largest of the five main language families of Africa. The others are
Nilo-Saharan, Afro-Asiatic, Khoisan and Austronesian (mainly in the island
nation of Madagascar). About half the population of Africa speak a language
belonging to the Niger-Congo family. Other groups in this family include the
Atlantic and the Kordofanian group of languages.
Yoruba is demographically and culturally the most important language
of the Gulf of Guinea. Spoken by more than 25 million people, it was one of the
earliest west African languages to have a written grammar and dictionary. The
first known written document in Yoruba appeared in 1819. It was a vocabulary
primer containing the numerals 1-10 and was published by the German
linguist, Bowdich. A more substantial list of vocabulary appeared some nine
years later in 1828 when Hannah Kilham published a collection of
vocabularies from thirty African languages while sojourning in Sierra-Leone
between 1827 and 1828. This was followed by the first recorded text and
dictionary in 1843. The former was a Yoruba translation of Luke 1:35, a sermon
text of the Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, a priest-linguist working under the
aegis of the Church Missionary Society (CMS). The first dictionary was also the
work of Bishop Crowther. He also produced the first grammar and vocabulary
in 1853 and the first translation of the Bible in 1856, the same year in which
the first Yoruba periodical also appeared. This was followed in 1875 by the first
standardized orthography (which remains essentially unmodified today),
issued by the CMS, under the supervision of Samuel Crowther.
The Reverend and later Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who became
instrumental in the codification of the Yoruba language and was by far the

10
most fervent contributor to early Yoruba studies, was himself a Yoruba native.
Enslaved and later liberated by the British Navy in 1821, Ajayi resettled in
Sierra-Leone, as did other West-Africans after the British empire abolished the
trade in humans. In Sierra-Leone, where many of the returning ex-enslaved
were of Yoruba origin, Samuel Crowther became a missionary for the CMS of
England. He was baptized in 1825 by John C. Raban, a German missionary
working for the CMS who also christened the young Ajayi as Samuel Crowther.
Raban exerted a profound and lasting influence on the young Crowther. His
influence allowed Crowther to play a key role in moving the center of the
study of the Yoruba language from Sierra-Leone to Yorubaland itself in a CMS-
led missionary effort to christianize the Yoruba-speaking areas of western
Africa. The effort to transform Yoruba from a mainly spoken language to a
written one was not the effort of one person alone. It was an international
effort mostly led by European missionaries whose main purpose was to
transmit the Judeo-Christian religion and culture. Apart from Samuel
Crowther and his mentor, Raban, several other European missionary-linguists
as well as other Yoruba-speaking people were involved. The significance and
implications of this European missionary-linguist-led effort and its effect on
Yoruba grammatical analysis are discussed further in the next chapter. This
was the seed of the English-based analysis that later returned to haunt the
grammatical analysis of the Yoruba language.
As one of the three largest groups of languages (classified as national
languages in the constitution) in Nigeria, Yoruba is spoken by more than
20% of the population of Nigeria (the largest single black nation on earth), a
country with a population of about 120 million people. The two other national
languages are Hausa and Igbo, both of which are also regional languages in
the north and southeastern parts of the country. In fact, Hausa is the most

11
widely spoken language within the West-African sub-region, followed by
Yoruba (although the latter also is used as language of religious rites and
communication outside the African continent). Standard Yoruba itself is an
amalgamation of several dialects, essentially the dialects of Oyo, Ibadan,
Abeokuta and Lagos, major activity centers of early CMS missionary activities,
making Yoruba itself a koin (Fagborun 1994), a process involving dialect
mixing, levelling, and simplification (Trudgill 1986:127, Siegel 1987: 186-7).
Apart from the standardized koin, there are twenty other dialects of
Yoruba: Cy, Ijsh, If, Ijb, Qnd, Ow, Ow, Egbd, Chr, Igbmin, Sbe,
Gbede, Egb, Akk, Ang, Bini, Yagb, Ekiti, Ikl and Awri. These dialects
are largely mutually intelligible, albeit with some variations in vocabulary
and phonology and were largely spoken by different groups of people who,
though tracing their descent to their common progenitor (Odduwa), did not
consider themselves as one people. In fact, these groups belonged to different
kingdoms and empires that fought each other in the past for various purposes,
including territorial expansion. The term Yorb itself was used to refer solely
to the people of the old savannah empire of Oy by their northern neighbors,
the Hausa, who referred to them as the Yariba and later on as Yorubawa.
Thus, the term Yoruba, first used by a neighboring people to refer to the
Yoruba, is itself most likely not of Yoruba origin. Although there are several
dialects of Yoruba, it is important to mention that my discussions and examples
in this analysis shall be based on the so-called standard Yoruba. This is the
only variety referred to as Yoruba and the only variety taught in schools in
Yorubaland and abroad. It is the language of the media and of official
government business. It also is my native language.
I have provided a brief historical background to the Yoruba language. I
now return to its identifying features, especially as these features relate to its

12
phonology, morphology and syntax. In doing so, I follow established
orthographic conventions which involves adding diacritics and two tone
marks with subscript dot to the Roman alphabet system.
1.2.1 Phonology
As shown in Table 1.1, standardized Yoruba segmental phonemes are as
follows. There are seven oral vowels and five nasalized vowels. The oral vowels
are i, e, e a, o, o, and u; with e and o orthographically notated as e and o
respectively. The nasalized vowels are in, en, an, on, and un. Orthographically
they are represented as vowel + n when immediately after an oral consonant
(e.g. sun, pin) and as a simple vowel when they are immediately after a nasal
consonant (e.g. mo, na). Thus, with the exception of /e/ and /o/ all the vowels
have nasalized counterparts. Long vowels are represented by a doubling of the
vowel, as in tr slender, dd exactly, etc. It is important to note that
nasalization is phonemic in the language; thus there is a difference in
meaning between ri to sink and rin to walk; between si (DIRECTIONAL)
and sin to sneeze.
There are certain restrictions on the occurrence and co-occurrence of
vowels. Vowel initial nouns, for example, cannot begin with [u] or a nasalized
vowel. There are two basic patterns of vowel harmony in the language. First,
the mid vowels e and o cannot cooccur with the mid vowels e and following examples indicate: week, ese foot, Qko husband, t lip, epo
oil, etc. The following combinations are not allowed: *pCo, *oCe, *oCp, eC£, etc.
Similarly, front and back vowels may also not cooccur in monomorphemic
CVCV sequences: bro younger sibling, ahr hut, kik fame, etc.
Although tones are not represented in Table 1.1 they are also phonemic
in Yoruba and bear a considerable functional load. The lexical importance of

13
tones is due to the role they play in differentiating between sets of lexical
items. They are also of grammatical importance because of the role they
sometimes play in grammatical distinction. These two features are discussed
more fully in later sections. Yoruba has an open-ended syllable structure. That
is, all syllables end in a vowel (which could be either an oral or a nasal vowel).
The language does not permit consonant clusters (note that orthographic gb,
as in gb in the example below, is not considered a consonant cluster but a unit
phoneme doubly articulated). Phonologically, a syllable consists of a vowel
nucleus with an optional consonant onset: o second person singular subject
pronoun, il house (V-syllables); ga to be tali, gb to take (CV-syllables);
tn to be finished, tn to spread, scatter (CV-syllable with a nasalized vowel
nucleus). A syllabic nasal constitutes a syllable in its own right, it cannot have
an onset. A syllabic nasal can occur only medially (as in Ogdgb name of a
person) and initially (k where is?, where about?), but not finally, and
must be homorganic with the following consonant. The nucleus of a syllable
assimilates to a nasal onset in terms of nasality; thus a vowel after a nasal
consonant automatically is nasalized.
There are three contrastive level tones: high ('), low (') and mid
(generally unmarked, but if it is necessary to mark it, then a macron is
placed over the syllabic nucleus, as with the other two tones). Although these
contrastive tones are level, phonetic contours occur in some environments.
For instance, a low tone immediately after a high tone is realized as a rising
tone (as in w she exists, wn sn they slept). Similarly, a high tone
immediately after a low tone is realized as a rising tone: iwe book, ore
friend; The functional importance of tones becomes obvious from the
following example sets of lexical items, distinguished in meaning solely by the
difference in tone marking: m (to take), mu (to drink), mu (to be deep); r (to

14
vanish), ra (to knead), r (to buy/ be rotten); igb (time, period), igba (two
hundred), igb (calabash), igb (climbing rope), igb (locust tree), etc. The
only thing differentiating meaning in the words above is the tone. Note that a
distributional restriction does not permit vowel-initial nouns to begin with a
high tone. With the sole exception of this restriction, tonal co-occurrence is
largely free in Yoruba nouns (rf. Comrie 1990 for further discussion).
As for the consonants, four basic places of articulation are
distinguished in the language: bilabial, alveolar, palatal and velar. In addition
to these, there are two doubly articulated stops in Yoruba-the labial-velar
stops-represented as p [kp] and gb [gb] respectively. The four voiceless
fricatives are: f (labial), s (alveolar) and h (glottal). The palato-alveolar
fricative [J] is written as a dotted /s/ (i.e. s). There are five sonorants: m
(bilabial nasal), 1 (alveolar lateral), r (alveolar tap), y (palatal glide), w (velar
glide), plus a syllabic nasal whose representation varies depending on the
environment. It is realized as a velar when followed immediately by a vowel, as
in n r [q r ] (I didnt buy/I wont buy). When it is followed by a
consonant, the syllabic nasal is homorganic to the following segment,
although in the written tradition this has been fossilized as a simple n, as in
Mmb (generally written as [m n bo]) (I am coming/I was coming)* Mo n
lo (I am going/I was going). There are five stops: b (voiced bilabial), d (voiced
alveolar), t (voiceless alveolar), g (voiced velar) and k (voiceless velar), plus
two doubly articulated labial-velars, as mentioned above and a palatal stop: [cfc]
simply written as /j/. The voiceless labial-velar also is represented
orthographically as a simple /p/, since there is no voiceless bilabial stop
counterpart in the language.

15
1.2.2 Morphology
The obligatory categories in Yoruba are syntactic while the derivational
categories are mainly morphemic. There are two main processes of word
formation, viz prefixation and reduplication. Nouns can be derived from verbs
in several ways. Prefixes deriving agentive nouns from verbs include a-, o-
and olu-. Of these three, the a- prefix is the most productive while 6- is the
least productive. A- is generally prefixed to a verb phrase (VP) to derive a
noun of the order one who does something, as in ape/a fisherperson
(literally one who kills fish: a + pa + eja), akorin singer (one who sings
songs: a + kp + orin) or an object that performs an action, as in abe knife
(that which cuts: a + be), ata pepper (that which stings: a + ta).
The prefix 0- harmonizes with its base VP to produce two variants: 0- and O-.
For instance worker (one who works: + se + is), but pmpw, a Ph.D.
holder (one who knows book: q + m + iw). Examples of derivations with olu-
incluse olugbl savior (one who saves: olu + gbl), olps one who
provides: ol + pes), oludmQrn counselor (one who counsels: olu +
dmrn), etc.
Prefixes that form abstract nouns from VPs include i- and a- as in imp
knowledge (the art of knowing: i + m), irt hope (the art of expecting: i +
ret); /p going (the art of going: +lo), s banquet (the art of cooking: +
s). These prefixes sometimes form nonabstract nouns: idi bundle (the art of
binding: i + di), itn story, history (the art of spreading: i + tan). Other
prefixes include ti- and ai- both of which are used to derive either infinitives
or gerunds. While ti- is used to derive affirmative forms, i- is used mainly in
the derivation of negative forms: ati$i$p to work, working (the art of doing
work: ti + se + is), tilo to go, going (the art of going: ti + lo); ini$

16
joblessness (the state of not having a job: i +n +is), isun vigil (the state
of not sleeping: ai + sun), etc.
Reduplication is another way in which new words are formed in
Yoruba. Although there are just two basic types of reduplicationcomplete
and partial reduplication, this process is also highly productive. Complete
reduplication is used mainly to express either intensification: pp many,
much but ppppo very many, much or it can be used to change
grammatical categories; dra be good (verb) but dradra good(adjective).
Another form of complete reduplication is the one that derives an agentive
nominal from a VP: jagunjagun warrior (fight war fight war: j + ogun),
klkl burglar (steal/gather house: k + il). Partial reduplication is used
to derive a noun from a verb. Generally, the initial consonant of a verb is
copied and then followed by a high-toned [i] as in lilo going (lo go), $/se
doing ($e do), etc. (cf. Comrie 1990).
1.2.3 Syntax
Syntactically speaking, Yoruba is a highly configurational language.
The basic word order is subject + verb + object (SVO). Noun phrases (NP), verb
phrases (VP) and prepositional phrases (PP) are head-initial (i.e. the head of a
phrase comes at the beginning. Examples (1-2) below show the basic word
order typology of Yoruba.
(1) Ol ra kk.
Ol buy bicycle
Ol bought a bicycle.
(2) Mo ni iw.
I have book
T have a book.
Both objects of a verb with more than one object follow the verb, with the
second object preceded by the semantically empty preposition ni.

17
(3)Mo fn Ty ni ow.
I give Ty PREP, money
T gave Ty some money.
Also when a verb has a verbal complement, the complement follows the verb.
(4) Mo r p o kr.
I think that you be+short
I think that you are short.
(5) Mo mQ p Kk mw.
I know that Kk know+book
I know that Kk is brilliant.
Adverbials generally are post-verbal (6-7), although a small number precede
the verb (8-9).
(6) Bd sanra pp,
Bade fat/big plenty/a lot
Bade is very fat/big
(7) Gbm dd gan an.
Gbm is+dark very/really
Gbm is very/really dark.
(8) Bb t t d.
Father quickly arrive
Father arrived quickly.
(9) Mo ss lQ-
I just go
T have just gone.
Aspect markers are pre-verbal. These markers are the object of the next
chapter and will be discussed in further detail.
(10)A ti ji.
We RELATIONAL wake up
We have awakened/We are awake.
(11)Ol n lo s il-iw.
Ol INCOMPLETIVE go DIRECTIONAL school
Ol is/was going to school.

18
Yes-no type questions are formed by placing either S, or Nj at the beginning
of the sentence or bi at the end:
(12)
S
o
ni
OW?
INTERROGATIVE PARTICLEyou
Do you have money?
have
money
(13)
Nj
o
ni
OW?
(14)
INTERROGATIVE PARTICLEyou
Do you have money?
0 ni ow bi?
have
money
You have money INTERROGATIVE PARTICLE
Do you have money?
Since NPs are head-initial (as discussed earlier), adjectives, determiners,
demonstratives and relative clauses appear post-nominally.
(15) li pupa
House red
Red house
(16) li n
House that
That house
(17) Ey$ t mo ri
Bird that I see
The bird (that) I saw.
One cannot bring this section on the structure of Yoruba to a close
without touching briefly on the subject of serial verbal constructions (SVC) in
the language. As is the case in many languages of the Kwa group, in Yoruba it
is possible for strings of VPs to appear one after the other without an
intervening conjunction or subordinator. SVCs are so common in Yoruba that
it is practically impossible to discuss the VP at any length without having to
address the issue of SVCs. In fact, they are one of the hallmarks of the VP in
Yoruba.

19
The SVCs exhibit very interesting properties, as can be observed in the
examples below.
(18) M xm w!
Bring it come
Bring it (here)!
(19) Mo gb e lo.
I carry it go
T took/carried it away.
(20) Tt ta igi fn Tol.
Tt sell wood give Tol
Tt sold Tolu some wood.
In examples (18) and (19), the second verbs (w, lo) indicate the
direction in which the actions performed by the subjects took place. Both the
first and second verbs point to the action of one and the same subject. In (20)
the second verb (fn) refers or points to the object of the benefactor of the
action referred to by the first verb. However, it is also possible to have an SVC
construction of this type in (18) and (19) where the subject of the second verb
becomes the object of the first verb. In that instance, it is the object of the
verb (ti push) who suffers the consequence of the action and not the subject
(as in the last two examples). Such is the case in example (21) below.
(21)Pd ti m lul$.
Pd push me hi t+ground
Pd pushed me down.
It is also possible to have two transitive verbs combined in the same SVC
construction. In such cases the serial verb sequence will have two object NPs,
as in (22) and (23) below.
(22)Tf pqb omi kn m.
Tf draw water fill pot
Tf filled the pot with water.

20
(23)Ol y an ibn pa erin.
Ol shoot gun kill elephant
Ol killed the elephant with a gun.
In many instances, however, the object NP separating the two transitive verbs
is also the object of both VPs.
(24) Knm se i§u t.
Knm cook yam sell
Knm cooked yam to sell.
(25) Mo ra br^di jq.
I buy bread eat
I bought bread to eat.
In both of the above examples, the NPs (isu) and (brdi) are the objects of the
verbs that both precede and follow them. There are many other types of serial
verb constructions than those given above. However, since serial verbs are
not the object of this dissertation, it will be impossible to give an exhaustive
analysis of this very interesting topic in Yoruba syntax. Neither will it be
necessary, especially since a lot of indepth analyses have already been carried
out by others (cf. Bamgbs 1966,1967, 1995, Awblyi 1967, Awyal 1988).
Although it is quite obvious from the brief summary of Yoruba
grammar given above, it will be pertinent to point attention to the fact that
articles, grammatical gender (cf. Oyewumi 1997 for a more detailed discussion
of the imposition of gender on Yoruba through translation tradition based on
English), number, and inflection are not relevant to Yorb. This is not to say
that Yorb is deficient or lacks some things in its grammatical make-up.
It only means that Yorb emphasizes different things than English or any
other language for that matter. This issue will be revisited in the next chapter.

21
1.3 The Dynamics of Yorb and English in Nigeria
In this final section of my introductory chapter I will present a brief
overview of the complex dynamics of Yoruba and English within the socio
cultural and political context of Nigeria. First, I will give a brief history of how
the English language came into what has come to be known as the present day
Nigeria and how this has affected English and Yoruba and how both languages
are used in Nigeria today.
English was officially introduced into Nigeria with the arrival of British
merchants on the west coast of Africa during the 17th century. During most of
this time English was confined to the coastal areas with which the British did
legitimate trade and later on the obnoxious trade in humans. The type of
English used then was a mixture of English words with West African syntax
(mostly of the Kwa group of languages, to which Yoruba belongs). It was this
variety of English that later on developed in what is today known as Nigerian
Pidgin English (NPE). The need for communication between European
merchants and their Nigerian counterparts gave birth to this form of
communication, a compromise speech of sorts, between the English-speaking
British merchants and their Nigerian trading partners who spoke indigenous
languages. Thus NPE was already widely spoken along the coast before the
coming of the colonial administration. However, what is today known as
standard Nigerian English (NE) did not emerge until the arrival of the
Christian missionaries who began to establish schools for purposes of religious
instruction. The preceding colonial administration did not see the need to
educate their African subjects in their own language. They felt that the
compromise that created NPE was good enough for their purposes. It was only
decades later that the colonial administration itself began to take some interest
in educating their Nigerian subjects, mostly for their own self-serving

22
reasons and partly because they wanted to wrest the power of educating the
people from the hands of the missionaries with whom they were not always on
good terms. The missionaries, whose mission was mainly religious and not
commercial, established schools and began to formally teach the Africans the
English language (Adknl 1985: 18-19). This is what Adekunle calls the first
phase in the evolution of NE. As has been mentioned earlier in this chapter, it
was also the missionaries who began to put the indigenous languages into
writing. Names like Raban, Gollmer and Venn come to mind hereall CMS
missionary-linguists who were seriously involved in codifying the Yoruba
language and who had a great impact on the Yoruba-born missionary-linguist,
Bishop Crowther.
The second phase of the establishment of English in Nigeria covers the
period from the amalgamation of Nigeria until the time of independence in
1960. It was during this period that the colonial administration got involved in
education and began to subsidize the efforts of the missionaries. The colonial
government had discovered that it needed some educated Nigerians to help in
the smooth running of the State, at least at the administrative level. At this
point in time, a number of Nigerians had already had the opportunity to travel
and to study in the United Kingdom under the auspices of the Mission Boards.
These returned to serve as middle level administrators. Meanwhile, the
number of native Britons had also increased in the country. It was during this
period that the standardized variety of NE began to stabilize, especially with
the establishment of more schools, as teachers began to teach a standardized
form of English in preference to the Pidgin English that had already spread
beyond the coastal areas into the far interiors of the country. This could be
called the middle period of the evolution of SNE.

23
The third phase in this evolution extends from the period of self-
determination (i.e. independence) until the present. During this phase, most of
the stabilizing effort was carried out by Nigerians trained in the UK. Many
Nigerians had already been trained as teachers by this time, and it was mostly
these British-trained women and men who began to do most of the teaching in
the classrooms of Nigeria. It is interesting to note here that these indigenous
teachers were adults who already spoke several Nigerian languages before
they began to learn English. They could therefore not have had native-like
accents and could probably not be considered as perfect bililnguals. The
English they spoke and taught in the schools was definitely not the English
spoken by the monolingual British person. Most of it would have been colored
by the native languages that they were already proficient in before they set
their foot in the classrooms of England. If SNE developed from these
circumstances, it is therefore obvious that SNE cannot by any standards be the
same as the so-called Queens English (See Ajani 1995, 1996) spoken by the
English people. This is not to imply that it was or is inferior, but rather that it
is different because it has been shaped by its environment. It must have
acquired a lot of indigenous flavor. It must be a localized form of English,
tailored to the needs of the Nigerian populace as well as influenced by the
languages with which it coexisted, or better said, was in competition with. And
I dont use the word competition lightly here, because until the post
independence period when nationalistic and forward-looking Nigerian leaders
decided to systematically implement a new language policy for the nation, it
was a major crime in the schools for any Nigerian child to speak her or his
mother tongue. There was therefore a calculated attempt by the colonialists to
stamp out the indigenous languages in favor of the English tongue. I can still
remember a lot of us being severely flogged during our elementary and high

24
school education for daring to speak our mother tongue while in school. The
rule was simple: English only; or face the dire consequences. It is interesting
to note that most of us already spoke two or more languages before setting foot
in the classrooms.
Having learnt English under these circumstances, it should not be
surprising that early writers like Amos Tutuola chose to write in English.
Neither is it surprising that Tutuolas English and the English of other modern
Nigerian writers, including the Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka and
internationally acclaimed novelists like Chinua Achebe, still write in an
English that is influenced by its writers multilingual and multicultural
background and experiences.
In Nigeria today, English is still very important and even ejoys much
higher status than any of our indigenous languages, including the major
lingua francas that had been used as languages of wider communication long
before the arrival of the British on those soils. Today, English is still the
language of social mobility, although its status has been reduced to.that of an
official language, as opposed to the three national languages Yorb, Hausa
and Igbo. All four languages now coexist in a diglossic state in the nation, with
SNE being used mostly by the educated lite, NPE by the not-so-educated
Nigerians who did not have the opportunity to go to college, although
practically all the educated lite also are either conversant with or are fluent
in NPE as well. They code-switch and code-mix between SNE, NPE and the
various local languages that they know. Thus code-switching and code-mixing
are a fundamental part of the linguistic environment of Nigeria, as it is in
most African languages today.
In the Yorubaland section of Nigeria, children begin their education in
Yorub and continue to receive all their academic instructions in it for at least

25
the first three years of elementary education, with English as a subject within
the curriculum. After the first three years of elementary education English
switches place with Yorb and becomes the language of instruction while
Yorb becomes a subject on the curriculum. This notwithstanding, Yorb
continues as an academic discipline and is studied up to the doctoral and post
doctoral levels in any of the several universities located within the Yorb
region of Nigeria. Today, Yorb studies is a serious and respectable discipline
with many people studying to the Ph.D. level and writing their dissertations
entirely in Yorb. Several news dailies are written in Yorb in the Yorb
states and there are radio and television programs written and presented
entirely in Yorb to the more than 20 million potential viewing audience in
the Yorb-speaking states of Nigeria as well those in neighboring Benin
Republic and Togo. Numerous books and articles, theses and dissertations on
both literary and scientific topics have been and still continue to be written
in the language.
The Yorb are great lovers of education and would leave no stone
unturned to better educate themselves and their children because, as the
Yorb saying goes, Ek n sonii deni giga (It is education that makes one a
person of importance. Thus, within the Nigerian socio-cultural and political
environment, Yorb and English continue to march on in peaceful
coexistence into the future, at least for now. Just as English has been
influenced by Yorb because of the historical circumstances that brought
both languages together, so has Yorb been influenced by English. In fact,
today there are many English loan words in the Yorb language, as both
languages and cultures continue to influence each other as they move on into
the future. English is now taught as a discipline up to the doctoral level in
Nigerian universities, and all Yorb children receiving a formal education

26
must of necessity learn English. English has permeated all facets of life in this
former British colony. It is interesting to add too that the Yorb language is
not only taught in Nigeria, but also in major British and American universities
and in other major universities of Europe. In fact, I have had the privilege of
teaching Yorb language, culture and civilization to students from all over
Europe at the National Institute of Oriental and African Languages (INALCO) in
Paris, France. Yorb is also one of the major African languages taught and
researched at the prestigious London School of Oriental and African Studies
(SOAS) in England. I am also aware that one of our Yoruba professors from
Nigeria (Dr. Olbd) now teaches Yoruba in one of the major universities in
Japan.
Today, Yorb remains one of the most studied and researched African
languages. The Yorb diaspora, which is mostly a direct result of the forced
transportation and relocation of able-bodied Yorb women and men from
their homeland to the New World, continues to produce and to generate studies
on the influence and impact of Yorb language, culture, religion and
civilization on the rest of the world. In places like Cuba, Brazil, Trinidad and
Tobago, Haiti and the United States, Yorb religion and the language of that
religion continues to gain loyal adherents and speakers. Similarly, Yorb art
is being exhibited in major cities of the world as the beautiful handiwork of
gifted and talented Yorb people continue to gain in prestige and importance,
both among the educated lite as well as among religious adherents. Due to the
recent economic hardship in Nigeria, there is now a new generation of
Yorb descendants scattered all over the world, especially in the more
economically prosperous lands of the West, the Middle-East and Asia. This
generation of new-comers too continues to spread the influence of Yorb
language and culture into every nook and cranny of the globe, thus

27
continuing to enrich the culture of our global village in which we all live
today.
This brief story of the dynamic relationship between English and
Yorb within the Nigerian context can serve, I think, as a reminder of the
verity of the basic principle of contact linguistics, that language contact is not
unidirectional but rather a two dimensional highway. As two languages and
peoples come into contact, both languages must of necessity exert some degree
of influence on each other, given the right circumstances. Unfortunately,
however, sometimes the result is not always the good ending of peaceful co
existence. This is the sad story of many indigenous languages that have
suffered death due to the contact they had with some languge of power at one
point in time or another. Sometimes the languages of the less powerful have
not only died, the speakers of such languages have perished along with their
languages. Language death is not just something of the past, it is still a sad
reality of our time and age. Maybe the kind of study in which I am engaged
will continue to serve as a reminder that languages can continue to co-exist,
just as people can, and that such peaceful co-existence can benefit not only
the people who speak those languges, but also enrich world civilization,
culture and language in general. People like Tutuola have not only enriched
world culture by sharing the lores of their culture with the rest of the world
through the instrumentality of the English languge. They also, as part of the
process of sharing, enrich language worldwide and the English language in
particular.
In the next chapter I focus on the Yorb language and especially the
structure of the verb phrase and more specifically the dynamics of
temporality in the language. I begin my discussion with a brief literature
review on time relations in Yorb and follow it with a personal reanalysis of

28
the subject. This prepares the way for a detailed analysis of Amos Tutuolas
English in Chapter 3. In Chapter 4,1 summarize some of the salient issues
involved in this study of aspect in Yoruba and Nigerian English and suggest
certain implications of this study for both English and Yorub, both as they
relate to theories of grammar and literary criticism and to teaching English
(ESL) and Yorub (YSL) as second languages.

CHAPTER 2
ASPECT IN YORUBA
The treatment of aspectual and temporal relations in the Yoruba
language (YL) has been fraught with confusion right from the onset of formal
analysis of the language. This confusion has a long history. It began with the
father of Yoruba linguisticsBishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, whose
foundational work, A Grammar of the Yoruba Language (1852), laid the
groundwork for all future grammars of the language. Bishop Crowthers work
was modeled meticulously after the analysis of the English language (EL), the
language in which he had received all of his linguistic training. He therefore
was very careful not to deviate from the English model. Unfortunately, almost
a century and a half afterwards, his methodology and basis of analysis by and
large still command the adherence of YL linguists. In fact, so strong is the
influence of Crowther that even Ayo Bamgbose (considered the "father" of
modem Yoruba linguistics) could not escape some of his methods and
conclusions (cf. the latter's A Grammar of Yoruba (1966) and A Short Grammar
of Yoruba (1967)).
As an example, most of what Bamgbose analyzed as tense markers are
indeed aspect markers, while some of them are actually either modals or
elements belonging to other categories in the grammar. For the purposes of
this dissertation I will be focussing on elements that belong to aspect but
which have been anylyzed as tenses. Bamgbose, for instance, classified the
INTENTIONAL aspect marker y and the ANTICIPATIVE ma as Future
Tenses and the INCOMPLETIVE n as Continuous Tense. He categorized all of
29

30
the above aspects under Simple Tenses. Interestingly enough, he also
classified the INCOMPLETIVE aspect marker n (which he had earlier on
analyzed as Continuous Tense) as a Habitual Tense, thus having two
different classifications for the same marker. It is to be noted, however, that in
languages that mark tense (such as EL) one tense marker cannot be used to
refer to two different time frames. Thus She will come cannot be both future
and past tense at the same time. Moreover, most of what I classify under the
rubric of Complex Aspects, Bamgbose classifies as Perfective Tenses.
Examples include the BACKGROUNDER aspect y ti, which he analyzed as
Perfective Future Tense; the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE aspect ti n, as
Perfective Continuous Tense; the ANTECEDENT-COMPLETION ti ma n as
Perfective Habitual Tense; and the RELATIONAL aspect (one of the simple
aspects) as Perfective Unmarked Tense. Although this aspect is overtly
marked, Bamgbose, for some reasons, still calls it an unmarked tense
(Bamgbose 1967: 25-31).
One other interesting aspect of Bamgboses analysis is the classification
of negation as tense, which led him to classify his simple tense into two
broad categories of Positive Tenses and Negative Tenses, as if there were
such a thing as negative time. I believe negation to be a completely separate
category in the grammar and it should be treated as such, rather than woven
into the category of tenses or even aspect for that matter. Bamgboses
analysis is therefore quite unsatisfactory and inadequate in the light of
current knowledge. But he is not alone in this. Other linguists before and after
him have done similar things that are worthy of mention at this point.
Before Bamgbose, Samuel Ajayi Crowther (1852), the pioneer of Yoruba
language studies, had analyzed YL verbs into three main time frames: present,
past indefinite, and future. He also identified sex-based gender in YL for

31
which, as a category, I do not find evidence in the language. Other categories
that he proposed occupy a different position in the grammar. Crowther, for
instance, tried hard to make tense happen in YL by postposing time adverbs
such as ln (yesterday), lni (today), and lla (tomorrow) to verbs and
using them to explain tense in YL, claiming that tense is grammatical in the
language. The only problem with this kind of analysis is that in YL the form of
the verb does not change (as it does in EL, the language he chose for his
model). In EL one does not need a time adverbial to indicate tense; rather it is
the inflection or change in the verb that brings this about, or in the case of
the future tense, the use of a modal.
A number of contemporary Yoruba linguists have recognized this
problem and have attempted to handle it in different ways (cf. Awoyale 1974,
Bolorunduro 1980, Amoran 1986) but the problem still remains.
Awoyale, for instance, devoted scarcely two pages to this all-important
issue of tense and aspect in his dissertation on the syntax and semantics of YL
nominalizations. In his attempt, he identified two tense markers in YLN and
tibut went right ahead to describe them in terms of aspect. He called the
former a progressive marker and the latter a perfective marker, both of
which are terms used in describing aspectual relations. Also, Awoyales
analysis, like many others before it, is laden with deficit hypothesis (See
Hardman 1988 for a more detailed discussion on deficit hypothesis). Again
and again he repeats the phrase Yoruba does not have.... One of such
instances is his comment on the present tense:
Yoruba does not have an overt marker for the present tense. That is,
there is no wav to sav in Yoruba
42) He struggles with death

32
without using the progressive marker, N (1974: 37-38).(my
underlining).
What is clearly observable in the above analysis is that Awoyale is using
the English language as a model for Yoruba. He therefore expects YL to have
everything that EL has in its grammar. When he does not find such similarity,
he declares YL as deficient, compared to EL. What Awoyale might have said, if
he had chosen to take a more descriptive approach, is that YL uses aspect to
perform the same function for which EL uses tense. Thus, where EL uses the
present simple tense, YL uses the progressive aspect (incompletive aspect in
my analysis--cf. Section 2.3.2.2.). Or he could simply say that tense is not of
primary importance in YL but aspect is. Without a deficit hypothesis as his
starting point, Awoyale would not have made the strong, but wrong, unilateral
statement quoted above There is no wav to sav in Yoruba is a statement that
makes YL to appear to be stuck and in need of rescue by EL What Awoyale
failed to take into account is the natural independence of individual
languages. Every language is a system in itself and individual speakers can,
and do, find ways to say what they want to say within that system. It should not
be expected that any two systems will correspond in the simplicity of
expression for any given idea. It is also true, of course, that no translation is
ever fully accurate. The differences in obligatory categorieswhat must be
said-always require that some ideas be expressed by one language that are not
required by the other. EL requires tense, YL requires aspect, so the two never
quite meet. Furthermore, Awoyale went on to say that YL does not have
(emphasis again mine) a special marker or inflection for the past tense
(1974:38). It would seem that he expects YL to use inflections and to have
something similar or equal to the EL past tense.

33
Awoyales work is just one example of problems that have resulted from
attempts of YL linguists educated in EL to impose rules related to tense upon a
language to which they do not apply.
Another attempt worth mentioning at this juncture is that of Amoran
(1986), an M.A. thesis on Auxiliaries and Time Reference in Yoruba. Amoran,
who devotes a chapter to Time Reference and Aspect in Yoruba, makes the
following interesting observations:
The indication of specific or absolute time does not appear to have a
pronounced place in the Yoruba verbal system. What is more important
is the spread of the action or state through time and its aspect in terms
of duration, progression, repetition, and completion rather than a
tripartite division into present, past and future...The trend has been to
treat tense as the dominant feature in Yoruba...I treat aspect as the
dominant feature in the Yoruba verbal system. Further, I consider
Yoruba a tenseless language... (pp. 32-33).
The above statement is both insightful and bold, in the light of previous
scholarship on this very important subject in YL grammar. Amoran rightly
makes allusions to earlier scholarship on this issue, such as those of Bamgbose
(1967), Awobuluyi (1967) and Ogunbowale (1970). He rightly points to the
inadequacy of Bamgboses analysis, judging from the fact that he treated tense
as the dominant feature in YL. Also, his two tense systemssimple and
perfective-was, as Amoran observed, an indication on Bamgboses confused
interpretation of aspect and tense. Amoran also noted that although Awobuluyi
went a step further than Bamgbose, his attempt was quite simplistic, in that he
identified mainly two aspectual components in YL, viz priority and duration as
well as a dual tense opposition, subdivided into definite and indefinite, where
definite tense corresponds to present and past tense forms and the indefinite
corresponds to future tense. Thus, according to Awobuluyis analysis,
anything future is an aspect while anything present or past is a tense
apparently a very simplistic view of a very complex issue. Similarly,
Ogunbowales analysis, observes Amoran, is very inadequate in that it followed

34
the tradition of Bamgbose and others before him, as it treated YL from a tense
perspective, subdividing it into a dichotomy of future and non-future tenses
(p. 34).
Having briefly teased out some of the major inadequacies of some of the
earlier analyses before him, Amoran proceeds to present his own analysis. He
identifies what others had called future tense as aspect markers and the non
future as tense. He then divides the latter into stative and non-stative verbs, a
position that is not too far afield from that of Awobuluyis. According to the
formers analysis, stative verbs are inherently timeless while non-stative
ones, by their nature have a past interpretation. His examples of non-stative
verbs with a past interpretation includes the following
[25] O lo
He went.
[26] O r
He bought it. (p.35)
For stative verbs, he has these examples,
[28] O f ow
He wants money.
[29] Mo gb
I agree or agreed. (p.35)
One inconsistency I find with this analysis is that although Amoran
says that stative verbs are timeless, he still goes on to translate example [29] as
present or past. Definitely I agreed is not timeless but rather a past event. I
believe it is much safer to call the unmarked aspect the completive aspect (my
interpretation) because calling it a past tense generates some other problems
For example, I wonder how Amoran would translate Mo r i (I see
her/him/it). If we follow Amorans analysis, it should be translated as a past

35
tense: I saw her/him/it, since the verb see is a non-stative verb. However,
that same sentence could also be translated as I can see it/I see it. It is due to
these types of confusion that I prefer to refer to the unmarked as an aspect-
completive aspectrather than a tense. Seeing it as an aspect will take care of
the confusion that calling it a tense would normally generate, especially since
aspect does not address itself to issues of time.
Another inconsistency in Amorans analysis is that although he says
that non-stative verbs have a past interpretation, he later on analyzes them as
simple aspects, giving some of them a present and others a past interpretation,
as can be seen in examples [33] and [34] respectively
[33] Ad je onje n
Ad eat food the
Ade eat (sic) the food.
[34] O lo s oj n
He go to marker the
He went to the market. (p.39)
Thus, although both verbs are non-stative, Amoran translates the first
as a present and the second as a past. Amorans classification is therefore
ambivalent. He wavers between calling the unmarked a tense or an aspect.
Also, one expects that if Amoran had a simple aspect he would also have a
complex aspect, but this is not the case. Apart from what he termed as the
simple aspect he has five other forms of aspect, viz the anticipative (ma, y,
, ), the perfective (ti), the continuative (n), the habitual (ma n) and the
inceptive ( maa variant of y ma).
A close look at this classification shows that Amoran is actually on track
in some of his denominations, such as the anticipative, the habitual and the
inceptive. The only problem is that he sometimes lumps different aspects
together into one single aspect, such as the case with his anticipative, which

36
also includes the intentional (y). The other two aspect markers, () and ()
are actually variants of ma and y, respectively. It is also quite
interesting that in his classification he fails to provide examples with the
other three aspect markers that make up his anticipative. His two examples
are only with ma. His definition of the perfective too is very inadequate and
does not really fully explain the function of ti\ He simply says that it
expresses an action that is completed. This definition sounds very much like
the completive to me. What Amoran calls the continuative I will classify as
incompletive, what he calls perfective, I will call relational. What he
calls simple, I will call completive. On the whole, Amorans efforts are in
the right direction, apart from some of the inadequacies mentioned above and
the fact that he does not account for all of the aspect markers in the language.
For instance, he leaves out several of the complex aspect markers such as y
ti, y ti ma and ti ma n. We also observe the same kind of trend that one
finds in previous analyses in the area of gender and pronouns. Amoran
consistently translates the genderless third person singular subject pronoun
as he. We find this in his examples [25], [26], [28] and [34] quoted above as
well as in all of his other examples in his analysis. In spite of all of these, I
believe Amoran still deserves commendation for his bold stance and for the
many declarations in his thesis that YL is fundamentally an aspect driven
language and should be treated as such, although he himself does not
completely follow his own advice.
One last example to be considered here is that of Bolorunduro (1980).
Bolorunduros work has so much merit in it that I will need to pause a little bit
at this point and provide some of his insights on the previous analyses of tense
and aspect in YL. Apart from a few inadequacies found in his own personal
analysis (which I shall address later on) I believe Bolorunduros work is an

37
important landmark in the analysis of temporality in YL. Like Amoran,
Bolorunduro found it necessary to begin with earlier analyses of temporality
in YL. In doing so, he appears to be very much on the right track. Bolorunduro
examines the works of five YL linguists, Bamgbose (1967), Delano (1965),
Awobuluyi (1978), Ayelaagbe (Undated M.A. thesis) and Ogunbowale (1970). In
his critique of the first three (i.e. Bamgbose, Delano and Awobuluyi), he
observes that they failed to make any clear distinction between tense and
aspect in YL, then goes on to make a similar comment on Bamgboses analysis,
pointing out that he jumbled tense with negation and subdivided tense into
simple and perfective tenses. Bolorunduro then asks a pertinent question:
if there is a simple tense, should there not be a complex tense also? He then,
continuing his critique, observes that instead of a complex tense, Bamgbose
posits a perfective tense, and that he identified aspect markers such as y,
n, ma n and ma as tense markers. Bolorunduro then asks another important
question, this one having to do with the positive-negative opposition,
Bamgbose further subdivides the so-called simple tense into Positive
and Negative tense. Here one is tempted to ask what difference exists
between positive and negative tenses. If the primary semantic function
of tense is to indicate the relation between the time at which the
sentence is uttered and the time of the action that is expressed in the
main verb, one could then ask if there is a positive time and a negative
time? To my mind this cannot be true. Tense, in those languages where
it exists, have [sic] no negative and positive concepts, (p. 8).
On Ayelaagbes analysis, Bolorunduro observes that the latter divides YL
verbs into two categoriesthose that can be marked for all tenses and those
that can only be marked for future tense. He rightly remarks that such a
division does not occur in YL. Again, what I see Ayelaagbe doing here is
similar to what I have remarked earlier on about a deficit hypothesis
syndrome that has plagued YL grammatical analyses. Apparently, Ayelaagbe
expects YL verbs to behave exactly the same way as EL verbs.

38
In Bolorunduros analysis of Delanos work, too, we see some of the same
problems. Delano analyzed YL verbs as having present, past and future tenses.
He also maintained that there exists in YL a difference between the form of the
verb (my emphasis) which expresses the present or past times and went ahead
to give such spurious examples as provided below,
Ojo
lo
= Ojo goes or Ojo went (present or past tense)
(Ojo
go)
Ojo
lo
ln
Ojo went yesterday (past tense)
(Ojo
go
yesterday)
Bolorunduro rightly observes that a close look at the above examples
shows clearly that there is no change in the form of the verb lo (to go) in
both instances--and ln (yesterday) is obviously not a verb! What makes
for the difference in time in the second sentence is not a change in the form
of the verb, but rather the addition of the time adverb ln. The idea of a
past time is therefore not marked on the verb, which obviously remains the
same in the two examples given. The only reference to time here is the adverb
of time ln. This kind of faulty analysis is reminiscent of the work of
Samuel Crowther before him, who also followed a similar line of analysis.
Apart from the above types of erroneous analysis, Delanos work is also
filled with terminological confusion. For example, here is one of the analyses I
find in his work. In the examples below, he identifies the aspect markers n,
ti, and y (y, in his analysis) as tense markers,
Olo =He goes
Oh lo =He is going
Oti lo =He has gone
Y lo =He will go (Bolorunduro: 12)

39
It is once again apparent that, in addition to the erroneous classification
of aspect markers as tense markers, the translation tradition that we find
illustrated above, a translation that consistently misrepresents the third
person subject pronoun as masculine leads to further difficulties. Gender is, in
fact, not an issue here, especially since the third person singular marker
is gender neutral and can be translated as she, he or even it. It is this
type of analysis that Hardman refers to as Derivational Thinking (cf. Hardman
1978, 1993a, 1993b, 1994), a type of thinking that is very characteristic of
Western thought, especially English, based on linearity and hierarchy and
which assumes this mode of thinking to be universal.
Finally, Bolorunduro turns attention to Awobuluyis analysis, which,
although he does not use the term tense or aspect, presents similar
problems. What Bamgbose calls preverbs, Awobuluyi calls pre-verbal
adverbs, and thus we are still faced with the same problems. Although
terminology is different, both are dealing with aspect markers, for, as
Awobuluyi later on goes on to say,
In positive sentences, future action is signified by the presence of any
one of y, , , a ma and r. (Bolorunduro 13).
Thus Awobuluyis analysis follows closely after that of Bamgbose, in
that he too identifies positive and negative tenses, and although the
former does not use the word tense in his analysis,he uses action
instead-he still makes reference to tense in the above statement. It is still the
same attempt to say that tense is a grammatical category in YL and thus is
significant.
Bolorunduro concludes his insightful examination of some of the
previous analyses by remarking that
There is the semantic concept of time reference (absolute or relative)
which may be grammaticalised in a language, i.e. a language may have
a grammatical category that expresses time reference in which case we

40
say that the language has tense. Yoruba for example does not have
grammaticalised time reference, though probably all languages
lexicalise time reference in the sense that they have temporal
adverbials and lexical items that locate situations in time such as ln,
lni, lla, ldn tkoj. (p. 15).
Bolorunduro goes on to note that what his predecessors had analyzed as
pre-verbal adverbs (pre-verbs in others) are in essence aspect markers
and not tense markers as they would have us believe. Thus, Bolorunduros
more thorough and accurate analysis provides a more useful perspective for
analysis of YL temporal relations.
Although Bolorunduro identified a number of inadequacies in previous
treatments of temporal relations and made a bold attempt to reanalyze YL
aspectual relations with a good measure of success, his analysis is still largely
unsatisfactory. He seems, first of all, to have either mingled other elements in
the grammar (e.g. locative and adverbial expressions) with aspect or
incorrectly analyzed some aspect markers. His analysis, with its 38 different
aspect markers, appears to unnecessarily cumbersome. His further claim that
there are between forty and fifty YL aspect markers (pp. 19-21) suggests a
need for fine tuning. It appears to me that in his zeal to propose an aspect
oriented grammatical analysis of YL, Bolorunduro also brought in other
elements that do not belong in the category of aspect. (His Group II aspect
category, for example, consists of mostly modals and other adverbials.) All this
notwithstanding, one must still give due credit to Bolorunduro for observing
correctly that tense has no systematic formal expression in Yoruba and that
Yoruba has an aspectual system rather than a tense system (p. 3). I believe this
observation of Bolorunduros is an important landmark in the analysis of YL
grammar. So far, he is the only one I know of who has made a deliberate effort
to depart from the previous line followed by earlier grammarians and

41
linguists and attempted to analyze YL as primarily an aspectual rather than a
tense language.
Having presented some of the merits of Bolorunduros analysis, I will
now attempt to show why his efforts, though commendable, are still far from
being adequate and satisfactory. Although he correctly identifies YL as
fundamentally an aspect driven language, and successfully defines and
differentiates between tense and aspect (cf. his definitions on pp.1-2, 6-7), he
appears to have lumped other elements into the category that belong
elsewhere in the grammar. Some of these elements include modals such as l
(can, could), gbodo (must); adverbials such as tet (quickly), $? (just), jaj
(afterall) fun (again), sb (usually), jiuno (together); negators such as ko, ki
connectives such as b (with), si (and, also), etc. Apparently the only
elements in Bolorunduros analysis that qualify as aspect markers are those in
his Group I, viz y/oo/a, ma, n, i, ti, r, a, i, although we still find a negator
(i, a shortened form of ki) and n, a negative form of the verbal particle ni
appearing in this category.
Bolorunduros difficulties begins with his division of aspect markers
into two categories. At this point he classifies those in the first group as
aspectual markers without any independent meaning and those in category
II as aspectual markers that have independent meaning (pp. 19-20).
Apparently, it goes without saying that if some aspect markers have
independent meaning of their own, they can no longer be considered as aspect
markers, since aspect markers, by definition, have only grammatical
functions and are devoid of any independent semantic meaning.
From every indication, YL is largely an aspectual rather than a tensed
language, as Comrie (1976: 82) also rightly observed, although he didnt go into
detail. In other words, a close look at the language reveals that the internal

42
temporary constituency of a particular activity or event is far more important
than the actual time of its performance. This is in no way to say that YL cannot
indicate time relations, when such information is relevant. Like any other
language, YL can and does indicate time relations, generally by the means of
adverbial expressions (syntactic) rather than by changes in the verb
(morphological). That is, such information, when appropriate, is coded by
means of additional lexical items rather than through inflection of the verb
stem. It may also be omitted if not relevant. Indeed, as Lyons has pointed out, in
YL the process of the action is primarily the focus of the aspectual markers
(cf. Lyons 1968). As we have seen, most of these markers have been analyzed,
to one degree or another, as tense markers by earlier Yoruba grammarians
(cf. Delano 1965, Bamgbose 1966, 1967, Ogunbowale 1970, Awobuluyi 1978,
Awoyale 1988, etc.). The purpose of this chapter is to attempt to bring some
degree of clarity into this often muddy area of YL grammar.
1,1 The Nature oLlke..Verb Phrase (VP) in YL
I begin my analysis with the nature of the verb phrase (VP), because I
believe that it is impossible to do any satisfactory analysis of aspectual, or even
temporal relations in the language without first of all understanding how the
VP operates in the overall syntactic set up.
The VP in Yoruba has probably received more attention from Yoruba
linguists than any other aspect of the language and has been the center of a
major controversy and debate for many years (Bamgbose 1972, Bolorunduro
1980). The nature of this controversy has been simply summarized by
Bamgbose,
The most problematic issue in the analysis of the Yoruba verb phrase
has always been how to find a defining criterion (or criteria) for verbs
which will be sufficiently powerful to embrace all verbs, and yet
exclude all non-verbs...In this matter, there are two schools of thought

43
the wide definition school who would accept as a verb any non-
nominal item in the verb phrase (sometimes including auxiliaries), and
the narrow definition school who would accept as verbs only those
items in the verb phrase which can occur in a minimal sentence (i.e. a
basic sentence having only one verb). (Bamgbose 1972:1,17).
This should not be a surprise to anyone who knows anything about the
central role the verb plays in a sentence. Due to the many disagreements on
the nature and order of the VP in YL, however, a foundational conference on
the Yoruba Verb Phrase (YVP) was convened under the auspices of the Egb
Onm Ed Yorb (The Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria) at the
University of Ibadan-Nigeria's foremost tertiary institutionon April 1-2,
1971 to discuss and consider possible solutions to this thorny issue in Yoruba
language studies. The 1971 seminar was itself a follow-up to an earlier one held
at another major Nigerian university, the Cbafemi AwolowO University (then
known as the University of If), Il-If from December 13-16, 1969. It was at
this conference that the issue of the YVP was raised. At the root of this
controversy are the many disagreements on what really constitutes a verb in
YL (cf. Bamgbose 1972.) The end product of the YVP Conference was a special
volume entitled The Yoruba Verb Phrase edited by Professor Ayo Bamgbose
and published in 1972. It contained a series of articles presented at the
conference by noted Yoruba linguistsAfolayan, Awobuluyi, Bamgbose,
Kujore, Oyelaran and Oke. Each paper contained the views and perspectives of
the various presenters at this important conference. There have been several
other conferences and colloquia on the Yoruba verb as well as other aspects of
the language since the first two mentioned above and several articles have
been written and yet the debate rages on.
According to my analysis, the VP in YL consists of ASPECT + VERB +
(OPTIONAL) ADVERB OF TIME Thus the verb is preceded by the obligatory
aspectual markers (see example (1) and (2) below) and followed optionally by

44
adverbial expressions of time, if and when necessary (examples (3) and (4)).
However, it is not uncommon to find adverbs of time preceding the aspect
markers and the verb, as examples (5) and (6) clearly demonstrate. Thus,
although the aspectual markers must obligatorily precede the verb, the time
adverbs can optionally appear at the beginning of a sentence, mostly as a
focus device (when writing they are immediately followed by a comma), to
draw attention to the time element in the sentence. Nevertheless, in a non
focus construction, the regular position of the time adverbs is post-verbal, as
examples (3) and (4) below indicate. The fact that the optional time adverbs
can either precede or come after the verb shows clearly their independent,
lexical nature. The aspect markers, however, do not have an independent
lexical meaning. The fact that they do have a grammatical meaning, though,
can be seen from the fact that when placed before verbs, they provide the
sentence with much needed aspectual information, but placed post-verbally,
they become grammatically meaningless. Their meaning is therefore derived
from their position before the verb. It is in this sense that they can be
classified as proclitics in particular and clitics in general. From the foregoing,
it is obvious that the optional elements in the grammar (e.g. time adverbs) are
for the most part post-verbal while those that are obligatory, such as pronouns
and aspect markers, are pre-verbal.
In examples (1-2) below, the incompletive aspect marker n and the
relational aspect marker ti precede the verbs sis and kw respectively.
In both cases the sentences would be ungrammatical if the aspect markers
were to follow the main verbs, as in examples (lb-2b) indicate,
2.2.1 The Incompletive Aspect
(1) Mo n sis.
IpS INCOMPLETIVE work
T am working/was working.'

45
(lb) *Mo sis r.
IpS work INCOMPLETIVE
'I am working/was working.'
2.2.2 The Relational Aspect
(2) O ti kw tn.
2pS RELATIONAL read+book finish
'You have finished reading/studying.'
(2b) *0 kw tn. ti.
2pS read+book finish RELATIONAL
'You have finished reading/studying.'
The ungrammaticality of examples (lb) and (2b) stems from the fact
that there is a violation of word order. In both instances, the aspect markers
n and ti are placed after the verbs sis and kw tn. The position of
aspect markers is obligatorily pre-verbal, so they cannot be placed post-
verbally under any circumstance.
2.2.3 The Habitual + Post-verbal Time Marker
The next two sentences provide examples of adverbial time marking. In
(3) the idea of time is provided only by the adverb ljoojm (daily); in (4) it
is the adverb Tola that provides us with definite time frame for the
performance of the activity in question. In both sentences, the aspect markers
m n and y do not provide us with any sense of time. In fact, sentence (3)
could have both a present and a past interpretation, depending on the context
of usage. It could mean either You work everyday or You used to work
everyday (in the past). Thus, the issue here is not that of time but rather of
the internal structure of the activity. Likewise, example (4) has nothing to do
with tense and everything to do with intentionality. It means that the speakers
intend to do something. It is the addition of Tola to it that frames it in time and
gives it a future interpretation.

46
(3)E ma sis (LOJOOJUMO.)
2pP HABITUAL work everyday
'You work everyday/used to work everyday.'
2.2.4 The Intentional + Post-verbal Time Marker
(4)Awa y lo s Oy (LOLA.)
IpP INTENTIONAL go DIREC Oy tomorrow
'We will go to Oy tomorrow.'
2.2.5 Completive Aspect + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Introducing a Focus)
In examples (5-6) the time adverbs ln and 161a have been focused,
to signal a focus construction. In these examples, the adverbs of time have
replaced the pronouns won and a in the subject position to indicate the
speakers intention to emphasize the time frame in which the activity was or
would be performed.
(5)(LANAA,) wpn lo si Ibadan.
Yesterday, 3pP go DIRECTIONAL Ibadan
'Yesterday, they went to Ibadan.'
2.2.6 The.Aaticipative t Pre-verbal Time Marker. (Focus)
(6)(LOLA,) a ma §e irinajo.
Tomorrow IpP ANTICIP do journey
'Tomorrow, we might/probably will travel.'
As amply demonstrated in the introductory part of this chapter, time (or
tense) is not of utmost importance in YL, as aspect is, which is obligatorily
marked. Aspect is important conceptually and syntactically obligatory. The
omission of an aspect marker in a YL sentence does not mean that aspect is not
present, but rather that the completive aspect is meant (cf. section 2.2.5 &
2.2.7.)

47
2.2.7 The Completive Aspect
The completive aspect is generally unmarked in syntax, as the following
example indicates:
(7) Mo j$un.
IpS eat
'I ate'.*
In the above example, there is no overt marking for aspect. The first
person personal pronoun Mo (I) is immediately followed by the verb jeun
(to eat). However, the sentence has a completive interpretation. The activity of
eating has both begun and ended; it is full and complete. There is nothing to be
added to or taken away from it, as would have been the case with the
incompletive aspect, which describes an activity still in progress.
2,3 Aspect in Yoruba
Overall there are twelve identifiable aspects in YL which Can be further
categorized into two types: simple and complex aspects. The simple aspect
series consists of five aspects. Four of these are marked by single aspect
markers while one is the unmarked. The complex aspect series consists of
seven sequences of combinations of the simple aspects. Five of them are a
series of two simple aspects co-occuring in a syntactically constrained order
while two are a complex of three simple aspects, also co-occuring in a
syntactically constrained order. Like I have mentioned earlier and will discuss
in greater detail shortly, aspect is of utmost importance in YL and is
obligatory, so much so that even when it is not overtly marked in syntax, it is
still assumed to be present, in an unmarked form (cf. completive aspect in 2.2.7
and 2.3.2.1).

48
2.3.1 Aspect Constraints On Person Markins And Pronoun Selection
In YL, subject pronoun selection is partially determined by aspect.
There are basically two types of subject pronouns: regular and emphatic (also
referred to in the literature as pronominals due to the similarity of their
behavior to nouns). Both forms of the pronoun can occur in subject position
before the VP, with certain restrictions on the regular pronouns. The regular
pronouns, for example, cannot occur before an interrogative sentence ending
with the interrogative and locative verbs d and nk and the subsequent
responses to these questions(cf. examples 8-llb). They also do not occur before
the existence verb, ni and the non-existence verb, k, (cf. 12-15b) nor in
compound NP structures, using a conjunction (cf. 16-18b). Above all, they
cannot occur before the intentional aspect y (cf. 19-20b), albeit they are
acceptable before the alternative form , which is probably a contracted
form of y. The anticipative aspect ma is the preferred form, however, in
such instances (cf. section 2.3.2.5. & 2.2.2.4). In all of the above mentioned
instances, only the emphatics may be used.
Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Interrogative Verb: da
In examples (8-8b) below, the use of the regular pronoun before the
interrogative verb da is ungrammatical, but replacing the regular pronoun
with the emphatic makes it acceptable. The same analysis is true for examples
(9) and (9b), where the regular pronoun Won must be replaced by the
emphatic Awon to make the sentence grammatically acceptable.
(8) *0 d?
2pS(RP) INTV?
(8b) Iwo d?
2pS(EP) INTV?
Where is she/he/it?

49
(9)
*Wn
da?
3pP(SP)
INTV?
(9b)
A won
da?
3pP(EP)
INTV?
Where are they?
Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Interrogative Verb; nk
In the following examples, the interrogative verb nk cannot cooccur
with the regular forms of the pronoun subject Aand Mo (10, 11); only the
emphatic forms of the pronoun, Awa and Emi (10b, lib), are acceptable.
(10)
*A
nk?
lpP(RP)
INTV
(10b)
Awa
nk?
lpP(EP)
INTV
What about us?/And us?
(11)
*Mo
nk?
lpS(RP)
INTV
(lib)
Emi
nk?
lpS(EP)
INTV
What about me?/And me?
Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Presentative Verbs; ni and k
Likewise, the regular pronouns are not acceptable before both the
affirmative and negative forms of the so-called presentative verb. The
examples below will illustrate my point.
(12)
*Mo
ni
Tmi.
lpS(RP)
be
Tmi
(12b)
Emi
ni
Tmi.
lpS(EP)
be
Tmi
T am Temi/My name is Tmi.
In (12) above, the sentence is ungrammatical because the presentative
verb ni is not permitted to select a regular pronoun. (12b) is grammatical

50
because ni is preceded by the emphatic form of the first person singular
subject pronoun emi\ In (13 & 13b) below, the same rule is applicable to the
negative form of the verb ni\ As in the affirmative form, k is allowed to
select only the emphatic form of the pronoun. The same explanation for (12-
12b) goes for examples (14-15b).
(13)
*Mo
k
(ni)
Tmi.
lpS(RP)
NEGbe (be)
Tmi
(13b)
Emi
k
(ni)
Tmi.
lpS(RP)
NEGbe be
Tmi
I am not Tmi.
(14) *0 ni.
2pS(RP) be
(14b) Iwo ni.
2pS(EP) be
Its you.
(15) *0 k.
2pS(RP) NG
(15b) Iwo kq.
2pS(EP) NEG
It isnt you.
Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Compound NP Structures
The regular subject pronoun forms (16, 17 and 18) cannot occur in a
compound NP structure using a conjunction, as illustrated in the examples
below. Compound NP structures require the use of emphatic pronouns, as we
find in (16b, 17b and 18b). The regular pronoun forms make examples (16, 17
and 18) ungrammatical, as illustrated below.
(16) *Mo
kti
o
f
re
lpS(RP)
and
2pS(RP)
want
work
(16b) Emi
ti
un
f
re
lpS(EP)
and
2pS(EP)
want
work
She/He and I want to work.

51
(17)
*E
2pP(RP)
pl
with/and
won
3pP(RP)
f
want
j?un.
eat
(17b)
Eyin
2pP(EP)
p$l
with/and
wQn
2pP(EP)
f
want
je;un.
eat
You and they want to eat.
(18)
*Ta
ni,
o
tabi
?
Who
be
2ps(RP)
or
3pS(RP)
(18b)
Ta
ni,
1WO
tabi
dun?
Who
be,
2pS(EP)
or
3pS(EP)
Who is it, she/he or you?
Finally, there is a syntactic constraint that does not permit the
intentional aspect y to select the personal pronoun subject, a clear
indication that aspect also determines the choice of pronoun. Thus the
intentional aspect y selects only the emphatic pronoun, while the other
aspect markers can select either the regular or the emphatic pronoun.
However, when they do select the emphatic it is generally for purposes of
emphasis. Thus sentences (21-22) below are grammatical, while sentence (19-
20) arent.
,3.1.1 Intentional Aspect + Regular Pronoun
(19)
*Mo
y
lQ
si
il-iw.
lpS(RP)
INTEN
go
DIRECTIONAL school
(20)
*Wq>n
y
lo
si
il-iw.
3pP(RP)
INTEN
go
DIREC school
! Intentional + Emphatic Pronoun
(21)
EMI
y
lo
si
il-iw.
lpS(EP)
INTEN
go
DIREC
school
T intend to go to school.
(22) AWON y lo s il-iw.
3pP(EP) INTEN go DIREC school
They intend to go to school.

52
Examples (19-20) above are ungrammatical because the intentional
aspect y selects the regular pronoun mo and wn\ which cannot cooccur
with the intentional. A table of the two types of subject pronoun in YL is also
given below.
IMLLl
Person
Number
Pronoun Type
Pronoun Type
F.mnhatic
1st
Singular
mo
mi
2nd
0
iwo
3rd

un
1st
Plural
a
wa
2nd
e
yin
3rd
won
won
The above table shows clearly that YL pronouns are marked for both
person (1st, 2nd & 3rd) and number (singular & plural) but not for gender. The
third person of both singular and plural could refer to either female or male,
human or non-human. Thus the third person singular could mean any of
she, he or it. For every form of the regular pronoun there is a corresponding
emphatic pronoun. In fact, a closer scrutiny reveals that the regular forms
might have been derived from the emphatic or pronominal forms. This is
probably why linguists like Ogunbowale (1970) prefer to call the regular
pronouns short forms and the emphatic as full forms, suggesting that the
shorter forms must have been derived from the longer or full forms.
Bamgbose (1967) sees the emphatic pronouns as a noun which
resembles a pronoun (p. 11) and refers to them as pronominals, making

53
allusion to their ambivalent nature. Other linguists have called them
independent pronouns, due to their ability to also play the role of nouns in
certain contexts (ibid.). Bamgboses stance is that they are indeed nouns, due to
their ability to take qualifiers and their tonal behavior which is similar to that
of nouns. Recognizing their role in emphasis, Bamgbose adds that they act as
emphatic equivalents of pronouns (ibid.). But he insists that they are more
than just pronouns due to the fact that they can substitute for pronouns where
the regular pronouns cannot occur in syntax (i.e. in the instances already
mentioned above).
2.3.1.3 Completive Aspect + Regular Pronoun
In the sentences that follow, examples are provided of instances when
various aspect markers cooccur, first with the regular pronouns, then with
the emphatic pronouns. In examples (23-24), the completive aspect
(unmarked) cooccurs with the first and second person regular subject
pronouns Mo and O respectively.
(23)
MO lo si
IpS go DIREC
T went to school.'
il-iw.
school
(24)
0 lo si
2pS go DIREC
'You went to school.'
il-iw.
school
2.3.1.4 Completive Aspect + Emphatic Pronoun
In the next two examples (25-26), the two sentences above (23-24) are
repeated, but this time the emphatic pronoun is used in place of the regular
pronouns. The only difference in these examples and the previous ones is
simply that of emphasis -- the speaker is emphasized in (25-26).

54
(25)
EMI
lQ
si
il-iw,
IpS EMPH
go
DIREC
school
I indeed did go to school.
(26)
TWO
lo
si
il-iw.
2pS
go
DIREC
school
'You indeed did go to school.'
2.3.1.5Relational Aspect + Regular Pronoun
In the following two examples, the relational aspect ti occurs with the
third and second person regular pronouns Won and E respectively.
(27) HOV ti lo s il-iw.
3pP RELAT go DIREC. school
'They have gone to school.'
(28) E ti 1q s il-iw.
2pP RELAT go DIREC school
'You have gone to school.'
2.3.1.6Relational Aspect + Emphatic Pronoun
In examples (29-30) we have the emphatic forms of the pronouns in
(27-28) above, an indication that the relational aspect can cooccur with either
forms of the pronouns, the only difference being the emphasis that the latter
add to the statements through the use of the pronominals or emphatics.
(29) AWON ti lo s il-iw.
3pP EMPH RELAT go DIREC school
'They indeed have gone to school.'
(30) EYIN ti 1q s il-iw.
2pP EMPH RELAT go DIREC school
'I indeed have gone to school.'
2.3.1.7Habitual Aspect + Regular Pronoun
In (31) the habitual aspect occurs with the second person singular
regular pronoun o while in (32) it occurs with the third person plural
regular pronoun won.

55
(31) O ma r lo s il-iw.
2pS HABITUAL go DIREC. school
'She/he (habitually) goes to school/went to school.'
(32) Won malo s il-iw.
3pP HABITUAL go DIREC school
'They habitually go to school/went to school.'
2.3.1.8 Habitual + Emphatic Pronoun
In the next examples, the emphatic forms of the pronouns in (31-32) are
used to show that the habitual can select either the regular or the emphatic
forms (iwo and won) of the same pronouns (33-34). Again, the difference
is mainly that of emphasis-the emphatics are used to bring an added emphasis
to the subject of the sentences.
(33) IWO ma r lo s il-iw.
2pS EMPH HABITUAL go DIREC school
'She/he indeed goes/went (habitually) to school.'
(34) AWON ma rilo s il-iw.
3pP EMPH HABITUAL go DIREC school
'They indeed go to school/went to school.'
2.3.1.9 Antecedent Completion + Regular Pronoun
In examples (35-36) below, we have instances of the occurrence of
forms of the regular pronoun occuring with the antecedent completion aspect
(ma n).
(35) A ti ma r lo s il-iw.
IpP ANTECOMP go DIREC school
'We used to have gone to school.'
(36) E ti ma r lo s il-iw.
2pP ANTE COMP go DIREC school
'You used to have gone to school.'

56
2.3.1.0 Antecedent Completion + Emphatic Pronoun
In sentences (37-38) the emphatic forms of the first and second person
plural regular pronouns (A and E) cooccur with the antecedent completion
aspect.
(37) AW A ti ma n lo s il-iw.
IpPEMPH ANTE COMP go DIREC school
'We (indeed) used to have gone to school.'
(38) EYIN timar 1q s il-iw.
2pP EMPH ANTE COMP go DIREC school
'You (indeed) used to have gone to school.'
The examples above indicate that although the intentional must of
necessity select the emphatic, the other aspect markers can select either the
regular pronoun forms or the emphatic forms (for purposes of emphasis). This
goes for both the simple (19-30) and complex (31-38) aspects, as the sentences
above amply illustrate.
2.3.2 The Simple Aspect Series
There are five identifiable simple aspects in YL: the completive aspect
which is unmarked, the incompletive n, the relational ti\ the anticipative
ma, and the intentional y. It is these simple aspects which combine in
their various forms to produce the complex aspects.
.3,2,1 The Completive Aspect (Unmarked)
The unmarked form of the verb indicates a completed action. Some
linguists (cf. Comrie 1976: 82) have sought to exclude stative verbs from this
aspect form by using a stative/active dichotomy, under the rubric of
perfective/imperfective opposition. In such analyses, active verbs (See
examples 39-41 below) are classified as having perfective meaning, while

57
stative verbs (42-44) are classified as having imperfective meaning. I,
however, believe that the completive (perfective in Comries classification)
includes both the active and stative forms of the verb. My reason for this all-
inclusive classification is that in (42-44) the states of wanting, knowing and
having something is complete. In (43) my knowledge of the third person is
complete, while in (42) and (44), the states of wanting and having are also
full, or complete. It is in this sense that I believe that the completive should
include both active and stative forms of the verb.
The completive aspect constitutes the unmarked form of the aspect
system. It is therefore to be noted that in YL, even when you don't mark aspect,
it still is an aspect. The following examples will amply illustrate my point.
(39) Mo lo s il-iw.
IpS go DIREC school
'I went to school.'
(40) A j$un.
IpP eat
'We ate.'
(41) E
2pP work
You worked.
(42) Wn f$ ow.
3pP want money
They want money.
(43) Mo mo .
IpS know 3pS
T know her/him/it.
(44) Mo ni il.
IpS have house
T have a house.'
It is to be observed in the above examples that, by default, the unmarked
form of the verb (39-44) is automatically given a completive interpretation,

58
whether it be stative or non-stative verb. I therefore consider the completive
aspect the first in the series of the simple aspects.
23.2.2 The Incomoletive Aspect; n
Next in the series of simple aspects is the incompletive /realised by n/.
Here, the focus is ongoingness of the activity. As the illustrative examples
indicate, the time, past, current, or recent, is not carried by this aspect. The
activity could be in progress either in the present or before the present. For
example, (45-47) could be rendered both in the present or in the past, in the
absence of context or adverbs indicating time. If we must insist on the
knowledge of time, then we must rely on the discourse context surrounding
the statement (where a context is provided) or on time adverbials, such as are
provided in (48-50) below. In (48), the adverb byi situates the activity in a
present time frame, whereas in (49-50), the past time frame of the activities
involved is provided by the time adverbials ln and lkan respectively.
(45) Mo n lo s Qj.
IpS INCOM go DIREC. market
T am going/was going to the market.'
(46) Won n §is$.
3pP INCOM work
'They are busy/were busy working.'
(47) A r o ngbt o n lo sl.
IpP see you when you INCOM go DIREC+home
'We saw you when you were going home.'
(48)
Mo n lo s Qj
IpS INCOM go DIREC market
T am going to the market right now.'
BAYI1.
now
(49)
E n <¡sq LANAA.
2pP INCOM work yesterday
'You were working yesterday.'
(50)
A ri q ngbt o n
lo l
LEEKAN.
IpP see you when you INCOM go home a while ago
'We saw you when you were going home a short while ago.'

59
2.3.2.3 The Relational; ti
The relational aspect describes an event or activity that is not complete,
with reference to an ongoing event. It is thus incomplete in relation to
another activity or event. In the examples below, although an activity has
taken place, its relevance or effect is still ongoing. For instance, in example
(51), although the speaker has performed the act of going to school, it is
understood that she is still in school and has not yet returned home. The same
explanation goes for (52) and (53). In (52), the speakers, or subjects of the
sentence, have arrived from school. The act of arrival is still felt at the
moment of speech. They have not returned to school yet, but are still in the
arrival mode. In (53), although the activity of eating has taken place sometime
before the moment of speech, its effect is still being felt and is still considered
incomplete with reference to other activity or event at the moment of
utterance.
(51) O ti 1q s il-iw.
3pS RELATIONAL go DIREC school
'She has gone to school/She went to school.'
(52) A ti d.
IpP RELAT arrive
'We have arrived/We are here.'
(53) E ti jun.
2pP RELAT. eat
'You have eaten/You ate.'
2.3.2.4 The Irrealis Aspects
In the same manner that there is a realis completive (cf. 2.3.2.1.) and
incompletive (cf. 2.3.2.2.), there is likewise an irrealis completive and
incompletive. The irrealis aspects comprise two simple tenses: the anticipative,
ma and the intentional, y\ Whereas ma describes an anticipated event
or activity, y gives completeness to the anticipation in ma. Thus, y is a

60
type of completive, an irrealis completive, while ma is an irrrealis
incompletive, by virtue of the incompleteness of the knowledge involved (cf.
(54-56)). With the intentional, the knowledge is full and complete (cf. (57-60)).
I will be describing these two aspects in greater detail in the next two sections.
2.3.2.4.1 The Anticipative; ma
The anticipative is the first in the series of the irrealis aspects. With the
anticipative, we have an activity that is non-existent but likely to take place. It
is non-completive, not ongoing, and though it is likely to happen, we do not
know for sure. It can therefore be used in predicting, planning, or
speculation.
In the following examples, the activities have not yet taken place, and
though the speakers have verbally made their intentions known about these
yet to take place activities, there is nothing that guarantees that they surely
will perform those activities. In (56) for instance, although the speaker
expects and anticipates that the visitors in question will make the visit, she
cannot be completely certain if they will indeed make it. In (54), the speaker
anticipates, has plans or desires to go to the farm. This plan may or may not be
realized, depending on the circumstances or other unpredictable factors. Thus
it indicates a yearning, a desiring to do something. Similarly in (55), the
speakers have some plans to go to the stream on the day in question, a plan
that may or may not be realized. The main difference between this aspect and
the next onethe intentionalis that whereas with the intentional the
speaker exercises control over the actions to be performed, with the
anticipative she has no control, or better still, does not exercise control
(through the power of the will). One can therefore say that with the
anticipative, there is a lack or an absence of will power.

61
(54) Mo ma lo s oko.
IpS ANTI go DIREC farm
'I will go to the farm/I might go to the farm/I have plans to go to
the farm.
(55) A ma 1q si odd lni.
IpP ANTI go DIREC stream today
'We will/might go to the stream today/We have plans to go to the
stream today.'
(56) Wn ma w k wa.
3pP ANTI come greet us
'They will/might come to visit us/They have plans to come and
visit us.'
2.3.2.4.2 The Intentional; v
The intentional is very similar to the anticipative in that both refer to
activities that are non existent but likely. In fact, it is the second in the series
of the irrrealis aspects, which comprise the anticipative and the intentional
(cf. 2.3.2.4). The main difference between them is that whereas the
anticipative 'ma' has a decisiveness to it, the intentional y has a certain
intentionality to it-the object of the utterance is focalized for intention. Thus
it has to do with the will of the speaker. It is something she has made up her
mind about. It also denotes that the speaker has control over the performance
of the activity in question, and has weighed all the options before making the
decision.
It is important to note, too, that the syntax of ma is different from that
of y (cf. 2.3.2.4.1). While ma co-occurs with the regular pronouns, y
can only occur with the emphatic pronoun. Thus, y has to be agented, with
a force of will to come to pass. The will of the speaker has to be involved, and
this requires the attributes of an agent to be emphasized. Below, in example
(57), the speaker-agent is determined to go to school, a determination that
comes from the force of the will. What the speaker is saying, in practical terms
is I have made up my mind to go to school, come what may. I have made up my

62
mind about it. Similarly, in (59), the speakers have determined to complete
the assigned work on the day of the utterance. They are saying in essence, We
have considered all the options and have come to the conclusion that this job
must and will be completed by us today. In (58) the speaker has the privileged
knowledge about a firm decision taken by a third person to buy a car that year,
although she may not have any ability or power to make them do it. The
speaker has power only over her own decisions and it is likely for this reason
that in the second and third persons, although the emphatic form of the
pronoun is preferred, the regular form of the pronoun is also allowed.
However, in the first person, only the emphatic form of the pronoun may be
used, as already explained in sections 2.3.1.1. and 2.3.1.2 above. The explanation
for (58) is equally applicable to (60) in which second persons are involved.
(57) EMI y 1q s il-iw.
IpS INTEN go DIREC school
I intend to go to school/ I have made up my mind to go
to school/ I have willingly chosen to go to school.
(58) OUN y ra mQt ni Qdn yii.
2pS INTEN buy car PREP year this
'She intends to buy a car this year.'
(59) AW A y par i$4 yi lni.
IpP INTEN finish work this today
'We intend to finish/complete this job today.'
(60) EYIN y w k wa lla.
2pP INTEN come greet us tomorrow
'You intend to come and greet/visit us tomorrow.'
The examples given for the five simple aspects above provide insight
into the internal workings of the YL verb. Each shows a different aspect of the
performance of the same activity. Obligatory inflections of the verb are done
by aspectual markers. It is therefore obvious that aspect is syntactically
obligatory in YL sentences.

63
These clitics co-occur in a grammatically constrained order. Any
combination is possible except those containing y and n. These two are
mutually exclusive. Table 2.2 below presents a comprehensive list of all the
sequences of combination in the language, which can be summarized by the
simple formula ((((y) + (((((ti)) + ((ma)))) + (n)))).
Table 2,2
i.
y
ti
ii.
y
ti
ma
iii.
y
ma
iv.
ti
ma
V.
ti
ma
rf
vi.
ti
r
vii.
ma
n
2,3,3 The Complex Aspect Series
There are seven complex aspects in YL, each of them a combination of
the simple aspects. Below are the combinations or co-occurences that make up
the complex aspect series. Five of these complex aspects combine two simple
aspects, while two consist of three simple aspects. Included in the first
category are the backgrounder (y ti), the inceptive (y ma), the
manifestive (ti ma), the relevant-inceptive (ti n) and the habitual (ma n).
The second category of complex aspects comprises the expective (y ti ma)
and antecedent completion (ti ma n). Below are a couple of illustrative
examples of how the simple aspects combine to produce the complex aspects. In
the next section I will be defining and giving several examples to illustrate the
various aspects and how they operate in syntax. For now, however, I will limit

64
my consideration to the two- and three-part structures referred to above. In
example (61), the anticipative ma combines with the incompletive n to
derive the habitual ma n.
(61) Mo ma n w ljoojm.
IpS HABITUAL bathe daily
'I bathe daily/every day.'
In example (62), the relational ti, the anticipative ma and the
incompletive n combine to derive the complex that I call the antecedent
completion. These two aspects, as well as all of the others mentioned previously
will be further discussed in the succeeding sections.
(62) A ti ma n si$ tn k wn t d.
IpP ANT COMP work finish before 3pP PART arrive
'We used to have finished working before they arrived.'
2.3.3.1 Backgrounder; Intentional/Decisive + Relational
The first in the series of the complex aspects is the BACKGROUNDER y
ti. This is derived from the combination of the INTENTIONAL y and the
RELATIONAL ti. It provides a background to another action that is yet to take
place. It is important to mention, at this juncture, that every complex aspect
that begins with y must of necessity be preceded by an agent focuser, as
exemplified in the sentences below (cf. 2.3.2.5 above.) Thus the explanation for
y as well as the constraints that go with it also applies to the
BACKGROUNDER.
In the following examples, the backgrounder aspect operates within the
main clause to provide a background to the event described in the subordinate
clause that is introduced by ki (before). In (63) for instance, the speaker, also
the subject of the main clause, expects to have completed work before the
arrival of the subject of the subordinate clause. She has resolved, having made

65
a decision by her will power to finish the work before the second person
arrives on the scene. The same explanation is true for the remaining three
examples, where y ti provides a background to the succeeding event in the
sentence.
(63) Emi y ti $i$ tn k o t d.
IpS BACKGRD work finished before 2pS PARTICLE arrive
T definitely will have finished working before you arrive.'
(64) Awa y ti lo k e t pad.
lpP BACKGRD go before 2pP PART arrive
'We definitely/surely will have left before you return.'
(65) Oim y ti sun k o t j$un tn.
3pS BACKGRD sleep before 2pS PART eat finish
'He surelywill have slept before you finish eating.'
(66) Iwo y ti gbl k a t $etn.
2pS BACKGRD. sweep before lpP PART do+finish
'You surely will have swept the floor before we are ready.'
As an additional emphasis on the expected completion of the first event
or activity prior to the second one, tn (finish) is sometimes postposed to the
main verb of the first clause (if it is a punctual verb), as example (63)
illustrates. In this example, tn is not obligatory in the main clause, but is
included for added emphasis on the intended completion of the main event
prior to the second one. Thus, although tn could be suffixed to the verbs in
(63) and (66), it cannot be added to the verbs To and sim in (64) and (65)
because go and sleep are not punctual activities.
,3,3.2 Expective; fatentfonalt Relational tAnticipative
The EXPECTIVE y ti ma is a combination of three aspect markers, the
intentional y, the relational ti and the anticipative ma. It describes an
activity that will have begun and still be ongoing before another one takes
place. It is actually a complex of the backgrounder and the anticipative

66
aspects. Whereas with the backgrounder aspect (Section 2.3.3.1) the subject of
the main clause intends to have completed the job at hand prior to the arrival
of the subject of the subordinate clause, with the expective, she expects to have
begun working prior to and would still be working when the subject of the
second clause arrives on the scene. Thus, the work would have begun
sometime before the arrival of the second person and would still be continuing
and be ongoing while she arrives. Thus, whereas the backgrounder deals with
an event that would have begun and have been completed before another
event, the expective deals with an event that would have begun and would still
be ongoing before a second event takes place. It should be observed that
because of their basic differences, the EL translations provided below, being
an attempt to capture the meaning of the YL combinations, may not
necessarily to sound grammatical.
(67) Emi y ti ma si$ k o t d
I EXPECTIVE work before 2pS PART arrive
T will have/expect to have started working before you arrive.'
(68) Iwo y ti ma kw k a t j.
2pS EXPECTIVE read before IpP PART wake up
'You will have been reading before we wake up.'
(69) Eyin y ti ma gbl k a t $etn.
2pP EXPECTIVE sweep before we PART finish
'You will have been sweeping before we finish.
2.3.3.3. Inceptive; Intentional/Decisive + Anticipative
The INCEPTIVE aspect is one of the important highlights of my analysis
of YL aspectual categories, in that the two simple aspects that make up this
complex aspect have been analyzed by almost all previous YL linguists as one
and the same, whether they were classified as tenses (as in Bamgbose 1966,
1967; Ogunbowale 1970) or as aspects (as in Amoran 1986). The fact that both
aspects can combine to form a complex aspect is a clear indication that both

67
cannot be one and the same. If they were synonymous, their combination must
of necessity be redundant and meaningless. The very possibility of both of
them combining in syntax to create another (complex) aspect points to the fact
that they must, by all means, be different and separate aspects, rather than
simple synonymous alternates of a single aspect.
The INCEPTIVE, y ma is derived from two irrealis aspects: the
intentional y and the anticipative ma. It describes an activity that is yet
to begin but which the speaker has decided to embark upon shortly. Thus, the
subject of sentence (70) has made a decision-and it is this power of decision
making that is involved which makes me feel that the Decisive is also an
appropriate name for this aspect-by exercising the power of the will, to leave.
There is an anticipation, informed by a decision, to embark upon the process
of leaving the place of utterance. A similar analysis goes for the other two
examples in (71-72) where the enunciators of the utterances have made
decisions, using the power of their volition to move from point A to point B. In
all instances, though, the activities in question have not yet been performed.
They are at the inceptive point.
(70) Emi y ma 1q.
IpS INCEPTIVE go
'I will be leaving/I have made up my mind about leaving any
time from now/I anticipate leaving any moment from now due to
an exercise of my will and volition.'
(71) Awa y ma $wju yin lo.
(IpP INCEPTIVE precede 2pP go)
'We will be going ahead of you/We have decided to go on ahead of
you and do intend to begin to do so right now/ any moment from
now.'
(72) Oun y ma b wa lona.
3pS INCEPTIVE meet IpP on + way
'She will be meeting us ahead/We anticipate that she will
soon embark on the process of meeting us on the way because we
are aware of her decision to do so.'

68
2.3.3 A Manifestive; Relational + Anticipative
The MANIFESTIVE ti ma combines the relational ti and the
anticipative ma. This sequence describes an activity that would have started
prior to another one. Whereas in the previous aspect (the inceptive), the
activity, though decided upon and expected to take place is yet to begin, in the
manifestive the activity is expected to have begun and be ongoing before the
second event takes place. This aspect is similar, in many ways, to the expective,
the main difference between the two being that with the expective there is a
quality decision taken, through the power of the will, thus providing a sense
of certainty to the performance of the activity. With the manifestive, on the
other hand, everything borders more on a desire to perform the activity. In
(73)below, the speaker expects, desires, intends to have begun working and to
keep on doing so by the time the subject of the second clause arrives on the
scene. The work would have begun and be ongoing when the other person
arrives. In contrast to the backgrounder (cf. 2.3.3.1), where the first activity is
expected to have terminated before the second event, the activity here would
still be going on by the time the second event takes place.
(73) Mo ti ma td o t d.
I MANIFESTIVE work before 2pS PART arrive
T will/may have started working before you arrive.'
(74) A ti ma 1q k o t d.
IpP MANIFEST go before 2ps PART arrive.
'We will/may have left before you arrive.'
(75) Wn ti ma j$un k a t $etn.
3pP MANIFEST eat before IpP PART finish
'They will/may have eaten before we get ready.'
2,3,3,5.Antecedent Coippie.on; Relational + Anticipative + Incompletive
The ANTECEDENT COMPLETION ti ma n is a combination of three aspect
markers, viz the relational ti, the anticipative ma and the incompletive n.

69
It can also be seen as the addition of incompleteness to the manifestive aspect,
which combines the relational and the anticipative, but without the
incompletive. This complex sequence describes an action that used to have
been completed, on a regular basis, prior to another activity. Whereas the
manifestive describes an activity that would have started prior to another one,
the antecedent completion describes an activity or event that took place
regularly before another one over a period of time prior to the moment of
utterance. The next examples capture the complexity of this aspect. In (76), the
subject of the main clause used to have completed working on a regular basis
over an unspecified period of time in the past, prior to the arrival of the
subject of the subordinate clause. In (77), the activity of eating used to have
been performed prior to the departure of the subject of the second clause, and
that on a regular basis. Again, as with the examples in the backgrounder
aspect, the verb tn is usually postposed to the main verb of the main clause
to add a note of finality to the completion of the activity in the main clause
prior to the one described in the subordinate clause. In both of (76) and (77)
tn is added to the main verb of the first clause to emphasize the completion
of the first activity prior to the second one, however it will be redundant to do
the same to the verb of the main clause in (78) because by its very nature
pari (finish, complete) carries with it a note of completion and finality. It
therefore does not need the help of the verb tn, which carries a
synonymous meaning.
(76) Mo ti ma n $is tn k o t d.
IpS ANTE COMP work finish before you PART arrive
'I used to have finished working before you arrived.'
(77) Wn ti ma n jeun tn k a t lo.
3pP ANTE. COMP eat finish before IpP PART go
'They used to have finished eating before we left.'

70
(78) E ti ma par is ka t br.
2pP ANTE COMP finish work before IpP PART begin
'You used to have finished working before we began.'
2.3.3.6 Relevant-Inceptive; Relational + Incompletive
The next complex aspect is the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE ti n\ This aspect is
a combination of the relational ti and the incompletive n\ It describes an
activity that has or had just started but is or was still on-going before another
one. In (79) the speaker has begun the activity anterior to the arrival of the
addressee and is still continuing to do so while the latter arrives on the scene.
The work, though begun prior to the moment of speech, still has relevance
and effect at the moment of speech. Although begun in the past, it carries on
into the present. The effect is still felt and continues to be felt at the moment
of the arrival of the subject of the second clause. Most likely, the arrival of the
addressee must have interrupted the activity. In (80), the subjects of the main
clause had been sleeping and still would have been sleeping without the
interruption of the subjects of the subordinate clause. The act of sleeping
carried on into the moment of speech and probably was interrupted with the
arrival of the persons in the second clause. Similarly, in (81), the subject of
the subordinate met that of the main clause busy washing at the stream. Thus
in the antecedent completion the event in the main clause began at some time
before the event introduced in the second clause. Although it began sometime
before the time of utterance, its effect remained and probably will continue
after the moment of interruption. The difference between this aspect and the
antecedent completion is that whereas in the latter the activity is completed
before the one described in the second clause, in the relevant-inceptive, the
activity is not completed before the inception of the second one. It is still
relevant in the present.

71
(79) Mo ti r sis k o t d.
I REL-INCEP work before 2pS PART arrive
T had begun and was working before you arrived/ I had begun
working and am still at it while you arrive on the scene.'
(80) Wn ti i sn k a t d il.
3pP REL-INCEP sleep before IpP PART arrive home
'They had already gone to bed and were sleeping before we got
home.'
(81) O ti n foso ngbt mo d odd.
2pS REL-INCEP wash + clothes when IpS arrive stream
'You were washing already/you had been washing when I
arrived at the river.
2.3.3.7 Habitual; Ancipave + Incompletive
The last aspectual combination, the HABITUAL, ma n, is a sequence of
the anticipative ma and the incompletive n. It describes an activity that
was performed on a regular basis prior to the present or is continually
performed on a regular basis. It refers to a habitual event or activity, either in
a timeless frame or in a past frame. Thus, without the addition of any adverb of
time, the habitual could have either a timeless or a past interpretation.
Example (82), for instance, could mean either I used to work or I work
always, habitually, the latter having no specific time frame of reference. In
(83), the adverb of time ljoojm emphasizes the idea of regularity, but
could be located either within a timeless frame or a past, just like example (82)
indicates. In (84), the adverbial clause of time ngbt mo w ni we frames
the activity of working within a past time. It describes a regualr activity that
took place on a habitual basis over a period of time when the speaker was still
a youth. This is, however, no longer true of the speaker at the present moment.
(82)Mo ma n sis.
IpS HABITUAL work
T work, habitually/I used to work, habitually/ I have or had a
habit of working on a regular and consistent basis.

72
(83) Mo ma sis LOJOOJUMO.
I HABITUAL work everyday
T work daily/I used to work everyday/It is (was) habitual for me
to work daily.
(84) Mo ma n sis NIGBTI MO W NI EWE.
IpS HABIT work when IpS be LOCATIVE youth
T used to work (habitually) when I was young.
(85) A ma n lo s il-iw NIGB YEN.
IpP HABITUAL go DIREC school time that
We used to go to school then/at that time.
(86) Mo ma r lo s il-isin LOSOCSE.
IpS HABITUAL go DIREC house of worship weekly
T go to/ used to go to the house of worship every week.
It is evident from the above analysis that although various aspectual
markers can co-occur, the combinations themselves are aspects in their own
right. These I have decided to refer to as complex aspects, to distinguish them
from the simple aspects, and in doing so have answered Bolorunduros
question (cf. 2.0) with an affirmation: yes. If YL has simple, it also has complex
aspects. These complex combinatorial sequences also help to expand the
aspectual repertoire of YL, from what would have originally been just five to
twelve in number-more than doubling its size. A careful look at the YL
aspects described above reveal that although YL is fundamentally an aspectual
language, it still has a way of relating events and activities to time, if and
when it is necessary and important to do so. I will be focusing on how YL
handles time in a greater detail in a later section (2.5) on time reference.
2.3.3.8 Two Major Categories of the Complex Aspects
Further scrutiny of the complex aspects reveal that there are two main
categories into which they can be subdividedthose that do not involve the
RELATIONAL (simple) aspect and occur in simple sentences; and those that do
and occur in complex sentences. Those that do not are two in number: the

73
INCEPTIVE, y ma and the HABITUAL, ma n and those that do are five: the
BACKGROUNDER y ti, the EXPECTIVE y ti ma, the MANIFESTIVE ti ma,
the ANTECEDENT COMPLETION ti ma n and the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE ti n. In
the next two subsections, I will be examining these two subcategories of the
complex aspects.
2.3.3.8.1 Complex Aspects Involving the RELATIONAL Aspect
The complex aspects involving the relational aspect are as follows: the
BACKGROUNDER (Intentional + Relational), the EXPECTIVE (Intentional +
Relational + Anticipative), the MANIFESTIVE (Relational + Anticipative),
the ANTECEDENT COMPLETION (Relational + Anticipative + Incompletive) and
the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE (Relational + Incompletive). These complex
constructions are found primarily in complex sentences and generally
require the use of the preposition ki (before) and the verbal particle t (be
enough, be sufficient, be adequate, etc.), a clear indication that all the simple
aspects that make up these complex aspects must relate to one another as well
as relate the various component events or activities of the sentence/other
clauses to each other. In the next few sections I will be illustrating how the
relational aspect operates in the context of these complex sentences.
2,3.3.8.1.1 The Backgrounder: Intentional + RELATIONAL
The backgrounder (See section 2.3.3.1 for more details) combines the
RELATIONAL with the intentional aspects. Examples (87-88) show how this
combination operates in syntax.
(87) Emi y ti sun k o t d
IpS INT + RELAT sleep before 2pS PART arrive
T definitely will have slept before you return.

74
(88) Awa y ti jeun tn k e t lo.
IpP INT + REI .AT eat finish before 2pP PART go
We definitely will have finished eating before you leave.
Examples (87) and (88) are both complex sentences comprising a main
clause and a subordinate clause. The subordinate clauses are introduced by the
preposition ki (before) and their subjects are immediately followed by the
verbal particle t. The verbal particle t could have any of the following
interpretations be adequate, be sufficient, be enough, reach limit. Each of
these words have in their meanings a sense of fullness and completeness.
The verb tn in (88) also has a sense of completeness inherent in its
meaning. In both instances, the main clause (containing the aspect markers)
provides a background to the event described in the subordinate clause. Both
clauses are related one to the other and neither can stand on its own and still
be meaningful. The RELATIONAL ti is a major player in this configuration,
due to its nature as the aspect that relates one action, event or activity to
another (cf. section 2.3.2.3 on this aspect).
2,3,3.8.1,2 The Expective; Intentional t RELATIONAL + Anticipatiye
The expective (cf. 2.3.3.2).is made up of three simple aspects: the
RELATIONAL, along with the intentional and the anticipave. As with the
backgrounder, the simple aspects combining together here are connected to
each other by the RELATIONAL, ti. It coordinates the relationship among all
three aspects, a relationship that establishes the very definition of the
expectiveif it is completive and relational, then it can be expected, though
related to other elements in the sentence. The examples below will illustrate
how this operates in the sentence,

75
(89) Emi y ti ma w k e t d Qhn.
IpS INT+REI.AT+ANTI bathe before 2pP PART arrive there
T surely will have started bathing before you get there.
(90) Eyin y ti ma kaw k a t pad d.
2pP INT+REI.AT+ANTI read before IpP PART return
You definitely will have begun reading before we return.
Once again, we see in the above examples all of the common elements we
found in the backgrounder: ki and t, and both of them playing important
roles in the two clauses that make up the sentences. Again, the relationship
between the main and subordinate clauses is signaled in the main clause by
t, the relational aspect marker and established firmly by the preposition,
ki in the subordinate clause.
2.3.3.8.1.3 The Manifestive: RELATIONAL + Anticipative
Third in the series of complex aspects incorporating the relational is
the manifestive (cf. 2.3.3.4) which combines the RELATIONAL and the
anticipative aspects. Examples (91-92) reveal the internal workings of this
complex aspect. Here, as in the two aspects treated above, it is the relational ti
which establishes the foundation of the relationship between the two clauses
that make up the manifestive. The preposition ki in the subordinate clause
only serves to strengthen this bond already signaled by ti in the main clause.
(91) Wn ti ma §ise lo k t d Ek.
2pP RELAT+ANTI work go before IpP PART reach Lagos
'They will be busy at work by the time we get to Lagos.'
(92) Wn ti ma mura lowo k t dl.
2pP RELAT +ANTI get ready before IpP PART reach+home
'They will be busy getting ready before we get home.
2.3.3.8.1.4 Antecedent Completion: RELATIONAL + Anticipative + Incompletive

76
Next in the series of complex aspects involving the relational is the
Antecedent Completion (cf. 2.33.5), which combines three simple aspects in its
formation: the RELATIONAL ti, the anticipative ma and the incompletive
n. It is, in essence, an addition of a sense of incompleteness to the
manifestive aspect already discussed in 2.3.3.83. As with the other aspects
incorporating the relational, it is ti that establishes the bond between the
anticipative and the incompletive, with, of course, additional emphasis
provided by ki and t. The latter pair confirm the relationship already
signaled by ti in the main clause. Examples (93-94) provide a sense of this
complex dynamics.
(93) A ti ma n w tn k o t ji.
IpP RELAT+ANTI+INCOM bathe finish before 2pS PART wake
We used to have finished bathing before you woke up.
(94) Mo ti ma r j k o t sun.
IpS RELAT+ANTI+INCOM wake before 2pS PART sleep
T used to be awake before you went to sleep.
2.33.8.1.5 The Relevant-Inceptive: RELATIONAL + Incompletive
Last in the series of the complex aspects involving the relational aspect
is the relevant-inceptive, which combines two simple aspects: the RELATIONAL
ti and the incompletive n. It is similar, in many ways, to the antecedent
completion (cf. 2.33.5 & 233.8.4), except for the absence of the anticipative
ma. In fact, the main difference between the two is that in the antecedent
completion aspect, the event in the main clause is terminated before the one
in the subordinate clause, in the relevant-inceptive, the the activity described
in the main clause is ongoing before and during the second activity in the
subordinate intervenes.
(95)Mo ti r jeun k e t wol.
IpS RELAT+INCOM eat before 2pP PART enter
T have/had begun eating before you came in.

77
(96) E ti r j k a t r yin.
2pP RFLAT+INCOM go before IpP PART see 2pPOBJ
You have/had started dancing before we saw you.
In both of examples (95) and (96), ti n frames the key clause, which
serves as a frame around which the subordinate clause occurs. Thus the
activity in the main clause begins prior to the one in the subordinate clause
and continues after the interruption. The subordinate clause is introduced in
syntax by the preposition ki, though already signaled in the main clause by
the relational ti.
Thus, we see that in all the five complex aspects involving complex
sentences, the RELATIONAL aspect is pivotal in the dynamics of these aspects.
It is the relational that signals, right from the main clause, that a relationship
is to be expected among the different clauses that will make up the entire
sentence. Other elements, such as the preposition ki (before) and the verbal
particle t (be sufficient, be enough, be adequate, attain limit, etc.) are
introduced later on, in the subordinate clause, to reinforce and emphasize this
relationship. The relational is therefore central to the formation of the
complex aspects and complex sentences.
Another observation worth making at this juncture is that although the
relational occurs in complex sentences, it can also occur alone (as one of the
simple aspects), but even when it occurs alone, it still bears relationship to
some other event at the moment of utterance, such as we see in section 2.3.2.3
examples (51-53) above, and 2.4.3 example (96) below, illustrating the
relational aspect.

78
2.3.3.8.2 Complex Aspects not Involving the Relational Aspect
There are two complex aspects that do not involve the relational aspect,
at least not directly. Although they are found primarily in simple sentence
structures (97-98 & 99b-100), they are also attested in the habitual complex
aspect when it involves an activity that was undertaken with regularity over a
period of time prior to the moment of speech (99a). This group of complex
aspects comprises the INCEPTIVE y ma and the HABITUAL ma n\ As with
the ones that have the relational in common (cf. 2.3.3.8.1 above), this category
of complex aspects also have one simple aspect in common: the ANTICIPATIVE
ma, which suggests that anticipation is a common element in both of these
complex aspects. Also y and ma make up the irrealis aspects. The former
is the irrealis completive and the latter the irrealis incompletive (cf. 2.3.2.4).
Thus both are related, by virtue of belonging to the same sub-category: the
irrealis.
2.3.3.8.2.1 The Inceptive: Intentional + Anticipative
The inceptive (cf. 2.3.3.3. for a more detailed discussion) is a complex of
two simple aspects: the intentional y and the ANTICIPATIVE ma. This
aspect describes an event or activity that is yet to occur but is anticipated. The
speaker has decided, by a force of the will, to embark upon it.
(97) Emi y ma lo il.
IpS INTEN + ANTI go home
T intend to leave for/start going home.
(98) Emi y ma b is lo.
IpS INTEN + ANTI with work go
T intend to/will get back to work (and keep it going).
The two examples above capture a scenario in which the speaker has
made up her mind to embark on the activities mentioned in each sentence:

79
leaving in (97) and working in (98), respectively. The activities have not
yet taken place but have been willed to take place shortly. There is therefore a
sense of anticipation involved.
2.3.3.8.2.2 The Habitual; Anticipative + Incomplefiyg
The habitual aspect is created by a combination of two simple aspects:
the ANTICIPATIVE ma and the incompletive n. It refers to an activity that
was habitually undertaken prior to the moment of speech (99a) or is still being
undertaken up to and beyond the moment of speech (99b). In some way, this
latter sense could have an eternal meaning, such as the sun rising in the east,
as in example (100). It goes without saying that if something is habitual, then
it can reasonably be anticipated.
(99a) Mo ma n j pp ngbt mo w ni we.
IpS ANTI + INCOM dance plenty when IpS exist PREP youth
I (used to) dance a lot when I was young.
(99b) Mo ma n jeun ljoojm.
IpS ANTI + INCOM eat daily
T eat daily.
(100) Oorim ma n ran ni il-orn.
Sun ANTI + INCOM shine PREP splitting-sun
The sun rises (regularly, habitually) in the east.
Just as the relational is common to the other five series of complex
aspects, in like manner the anticipative is common to the latter two. In the
complex aspects not directly involving the relational, it is still a sense of
relatedness that makes the anticipation possible when the two aspects
combine. It is the intentionality in 2.3.3.8.2.1 that makes anticipation possible.
Likewise in 2.3.3.8.2.2, it is the non-completion that informs the anticipation.
Relationship is therefore a fundamental element in the chemistry that creates
the complex aspects from otherwise independent simple aspects. This

80
relatedness points to a complex, internal harmony that undergirds the
interconnectivity of the various aspectual elements.
2.4 Aspect Markers in Context
Having already emphasized that aspect markers can, and do, co-occur, I
provide below a free text to illustrate how these markers interact within the
VP as well as in the wider context of the YL sentence.
Text A below is an example of aspect markers in context. It is a text that I
generated by myself, from my native speakers intuition. A free translation is
also provided below it. It is to be noted that in the text, aspect markers (in bold)
always precede the verb (italicized).
In this text, the following aspects occur: the unmarked aspect (101-103,
104,107); the incompletive n, example (103/104); the relational ti, example
(104); the anticipative ma, example (107) and the intentional aspect y,
example (108). Thus, in this short text we see all of the five simple aspects
operating freely in discourse.
TextA;
(101) Ln, mi ti Ayo lo s il won ore wa
Yesterday, 1 and Ayo go to house PLUR friend our
(102) sgbn a k b won bi won nl.
but we NEG meet PLUR parent their LOC+home
(103) Awon omo won ni a b nl. Wn n
PLUR child their is we meet at+home. They INCOM
(104) sn lw. Wn so p won bi won ti 1q
sleep at+hand. They say that PLUR parent their RELA go
(105) si Orlando lti ijeta sgbn won ko
DIREC Orlando since day before yesterday but they NEG
(106) ni p4 pad d
have late return arrive.
(107) Wn sq p ola ni wn ma pad d.
They say that tomorrow is they ANTI return arrive.
(108) Lhin n won y lo s Tampa fn oj die.
Afterwards they INTEN go DIREC Tampa for day few.

81
Free Translation of Text A
Yesterday, Ayo and I went to the house of our friends but did not meet
their parents at home. Only the children were at home. They were
sleeping. They told us that their parents had gone to Orlando since the
day before yesterday but they wouldnt be long in returning. They said
that they (the parents) would return the following day. Afterwards they
will (intend to) go to Tampa for several days.
A close observation reveals that all the verb forms (in italics) remain
unchanged, whether they are referring to activities or events that have
already occured, as in examples (101) to (106), are yet to occur, as in (107) and
(108), or are still in progress, as in (103/104). The aspect markers (in bolds)
preceding the verbs simply describe different stages in the performance of
the various activities.
2.4.1 Completive Aspect (Unmarked)
The completive aspect appears five times in the text, and every time it
appears it has to do with completed actions. In all instances of its appearance
the activity has both begun and has ceased to continue before the moment of
speech.
2.4.2 Incomptetiye Aspect ri
The incompletive appears only once in the text, (103/104). It refers to
an activity that began sometime before the speaker and his companion appear
on the scene and is still in progress when they arrive at the home of their
friends. The children of the friends were still sleeping when the visitors
arrived and interrupted their sleep. It is important to note here that it is only
through context that we know that the activity took place sometime in the past.
(109) Won n sun lw.
3pP INCOM sleep at hand
'They were/are busy sleeping.'

82
2.4.3 Relational ti
The relational also appears only once in the text, in example (104). Here,
it refers to an activity that had taken place relative to the moment of speech:
the parents had already left for Orlando before the arrival of the guests.
(110) Wn so p wpn bi won ti 1q s Orlando...
3pPS say that PLUR parent 3pPO RELAT go to Orlando...
'They said that their parents had gone to Orlando...'
2.4.4 Anticipative ma
The anticipative likewise appears just once in the text, in example (107).
Here, the kids tell their visitors that their (the kids') parents should return the
following day. The anticipative is used here because the children have no
control over when their parents will return. They can therefore not say so
with absolute certainty, for they could decide to return earlier than planned,
or even much later.
(Ill) WQn sq p Qla ni wn ma pada d.
3pPS say that tomorrow is 3pPO ANTI return arrive
'They said that they (the parents) would return tomorrow.'
2.4.5Intentional v
The intentional also appears once, in example (108). Here the children
use the intentional-as opposed to the anticipative, as is the case in (107). They
know with some degree of certainty that their parents, upon return from
Orlando, will be heading for Tampa. Most likely, the kids know that their
parents had purchased another ticket for Tampa for the day in question,
probably a non-refundable ticket. It is the parents will that is involved here.
They must have made up their minds about going to Tampa on the said date so
as not to lose their ticket money. Probably the parents had told the kids, Were
going to Orlando and will be back at the latest on such a date so we could catch

83
the flight for Tampa on such and such a date. Thus, although the day of the
parents' return from Orlando may not be hundred percent certain, it is
however their intention to make another trip to Tampa upon their return. It is
a decision they had taken before leaving for Orlando.
(112)Lhin WQn y lo s Tampa fn Qj d$.
Afterwards 3pPS INTEN go to Tampa for day few
Afterwards they will/intend to go to Tampa for a while.
In order to capture a few more aspect markers, especially those that do
not occur in Text A, I provide yet another personally generated text below
(Text B). In this text, we observe some more complex aspects, in context.
Text g;
(113) Emi ti Fnmi y lo s Nijry nn os
I and Funmi INTEN go DIREC Nigeria inside month
(114) kef odn yi. A tin mra s byi.
sixth year this. We RELEV-INCEP prepare down now.
(115) A ti ri ra won bn t a ma fn
We RELEV-INC buy PLUR gift that we ANTI give
(116) won eb ti or ngbt a b dl.
PLUR. family and friend when we meet arrive+home.
(117) Gbogbo won y ti ma ret wa k a
All them EXPECTIVE expect us before we
(118) t dl. Gbogbo igb t a b 1q
reach arrive+home. All time that we meet go
(119) il ni a ma ra bn lw.
home is we HABITUAL buy gift in hand
Free Translation of Passage B
Funmi and I will (be) go(ing) to Nigeria this June. We are busy making
preparations right now. Weve started buying gifts that we will give to
family and friends when we arrive home. Everyone will be expecting us
by the time we get home. Every time we go home we always take gifts
along.
In line (113), we have a simple aspect yio preceding the verb lo. In
Unes (114) and (115), however, we have examples of the relevant-inceptive
aspect ti n, a complex aspect involving the combination of the relational ti

84
and die incompletive n. In line (117) we have an example of the expective
y ti ma, a combination of the intentional y, the incompletive ti and
the anticipative ma. This is an example of three simple aspects co-occuring
to derive a complex aspect. In line (119) the suppositional ma and the
incompletive n combine to derive the habitual complex aspect, ma n.
2.4.6 Relevant-Inceptive ti ri
The relevant-inceptive aspect occurs twice in text B, Unes (114) and
(115). In both instances of its occurence, it refers to an action that has begun
and still is in progress.
(120) A ti n mra s$ byi.
IpP RELEV-INCEP prepare down now
We are getting ready/getting prepared now.
(121) A ti n ra won $bun...
IpP RELEV-INCEP buy PLURAL gift
We have been (busy) buying gifts...
2.4.7 Expective v ti ma
The expective occurs in line (117) in the text. It is practically self
defining in the context in which it appears, as it is immediately followed by
the verb ret (expect). It describes the state of mind of the people looking
forward to the arrival of the speaker and to the gifts that they will receive.
They are expectant.
(122) Gbogbo wQn y ti ma ret wa...
All 3pP EXPECTIVE expect IpP
They will all be expecting us...
2.4.8 Habitual ma ri
The habitual occurs in line (119). In that context, it describes an activity
that takes place all the time. There is therefore a timelessness to it. It describes

85
an activity that the speaker performs all the time. It has already taken place in
the past, it still goes on in the present and is expected to continue in the
future. The speaker and his wife are in the habit of buying gifts along for
people whenever they travel home.
(123) A ma n ra ebiin lw.
IpP HABITUAL buy gift in hand
We buy gifts to take along.
A good grasp on the nature and the internal workings of these YL
aspect markers is very crucial to the understanding and appreciation of
Tutuolas language and Yoruba English in general, including most of what we
encounter in the grammar of Nigerian English (NE). My next chapter shall
focus on specific data from the works of Amos Tutuola to see how these aspect
markers from YL have been transferred into this variety of NE.
2.5 Temporal Relations In Yorub
It is a known linguistic fact that every language has a means of
expressing time, if and when there is a need to do so. Although it is aspect that
is obligatorily marked in YL (and not tense), the language does have a
syntactic way of marking time, when such information is needed and is
necessary. This is done largely by the use of adverbial expressions of time
such as byi (right now), lw (at hand/at moment), ln (yesterday),
lla (tomorrow) lr yii (this morning), ll n (last night), lip
(soon), ngb kan ri (sometime ago), lay tij (long time ago/in years gone
by), etc. These adverbials are the principal means by which time may be
marked in the grammar. Some of them are more time-specific (cf. 124-129)
while others are more general in nature (130-132). These adverbs of time are
normally placed postverbally. However, they could be placed preverbally,

86
when they are deliberately focused for emphasis in a sentence and, though
the language does permit this syntactic fronting, generally it sounds awkward.
The examples below will elucidate my point.
(124) Nbo ni o n lo BAYII?
Where is you INCOMP go now?
Where ARE you going now/at moment?
(125) Nbo ni o n 1q LANAA?
Where is you INCOMP go yesterday?
Where WERE you going yesterday?
(126) Mo n jeun LOWX
I INCOMP eat at hand/this moment
T AM busy eating/I am eating at moment.
(127) Mo n jeun NIJETA
I INCOMP eat day before yesterday
T WAS eating day before yesterday.
In examples (124) and (125) above, the only indicators of time are the
adverbs byi (now) and ln (yesterday). The former adds the notion of
present while the latter gives it a past interpretation. Otherwise the two
expressions are devoid of any specific notion of time. The same is applicable to
(126) and (127). In (126), lw (at the moment/hand) gives it a present time
frame while nijeta (day before yesterday) gives example (127) a past frame of
time. In the absence of nijeta in (127), the sentence could also have a present
interpretation.
(128) Mo t Kk BAYII.
I see Kk now.
T (can) SEE Kike (right) now/this moment.
(129) Mo r Kk LAAARO YII.
I see Kk morning this.
T SAW Kike this morning.
Likewise in (128) and (129), it is byi (now) and lr yii (this
morning) that help us fix the two similar expressions in time. In all of the

87
above given examples, the time adverbials refer to a more specific frame of
time in which an action or an event took place. In (130-132), examples are
provided of some less time-specific adverbials.
(130) Mo ma lo sbi-isq LAIPE.
IpS ANTI go to+workplace soon
T will be going to work soon/I am looking forward to going to
work soon/I anticipate to be at work soon.
(131) A ti pde re NIGBA KAN RI.
IpP RELAT meet 2pS some time ago
We have met her/him sometime ago/Weve met before.
(132) Awon baba wa jagun LAYE ATIJO.
PLURAL father IpPOBJ fought in+world+of old
Our (fore)fathers fought wars in days gone by/in time of old.
In (130) the time reference is indicated by the use of the time adverb,
lip (soon), which also places the expression in the future. In (131), the
only element of time is introduced by the use of the adverb ngbkanr (some
time ago). Similarly, in (132), it is the adverb ly tij (in the olden days)
that provides a time frame to the sentence.
Bolorunduro attempted to classify these adverbs of time into two main
categories-specific and general-but appears to have jumbled them together.
For instance he classified lsosn (every afternoon/in the afternoons) and
ljoojm (daily/everyday) under Specific Time Adverbial while, for
reasons best known only to him, llaal (every night/nightly) was classified
under General Time Adverbial (p. 25). Apart from such minor problems as
discussed above, I think the categorization of the time adverbials into general
and specific is largely accurate and does have some merit.
It is evident from the above examples that although tense is not
morphologically marked on YL verbs, the language does have its own way of
indicating time relations, if and when it is important to do so.

CHAPTER 3
ASPECT IN NIGERIAN ENGLISH
The treatment of tense and aspect in NE is one of the most interesting
aspects of EL usage. As has been mentioned in the previous chapter, YL is
largely an aspectual language while EL is primarily a tensed one. In fact, the
place of tense is so strong in EL that aspect is often treated as tense. A good
example of this is the so-called Perfect Tenses, which are apparently aspectual
in nature. Take the following EL sentences for instance,
(1) I ate. (Past Simple Tense)
(2) I have eaten. (Present Perfect Tense)
Example (1) above deals with an activity that took place in the past: the
act of eating took place at some point in the past and is completed. In example
(2), however, we are not as much concerned with the time of the performance
of the activity as with its internal state, i.e. the completion of the act of eating,
relative to the moment of speech. It is clear from example (2) that what we are
dealing with here is aspect rather than tense. However, most English grammar
books refer to it as tense. It is this kind of grammatical analysis that has been
carried over into YL by grammarians, who have mostly been trained in the
United Kingdom. The effect of this training often shows itself in
descriptions of YL made from an EL perspective. For instance, Bamgbose (1967:
26) classifies examples (3-4) below as Continuous Tense, (5-6) as Habitual
Tense and (7-8) as Future Tense, although these can more appropriately be
seen as examples of aspect. In fact, the terms continuous and habitual
88

89
themselves betray them as aspects and not tenses, especially since these are
generally used in the literature to describe aspect markers.
(3) A nsise We are working.
(4) Nwon tie nkorin daadaa They are even singing well.
(5) A maa nkorin We usually sing.
(6) Emi maa nlo soko T usually go to the farm.
(7) Awa yo. mo We will know.
(8) Ojo ma roIts going to rain.
A more accurate classification of the above should have been as follows:
(3-4) as Incompletive ASPECT, (5-6) as Habitual ASPECT, (7) as Intentional
ASPECT and (8) as Anticipative ASPECT. A reanalysis of the above sentences is
provided in (9-14) below. It is also interesting to note that Bamgbose had
attached most of these aspect markers to the verbs, as though they were
affixes, so they could agree with EL morphologically based tense analysis. He
also split some aspect markers (e.g. the HABITUAL ma n in (5-6)), using the
first one ma as a clitic and the second n as an affix, thus creating quite
some confusion. In my analysis, both aspect markers are treated as one unit of
a complex aspect form (cf. chapter 2, section 2.3.3.7). A reanalysis of
Bamgboses examples (3-8) above appear as (9-14) below,
(9) A n $i$$.
IpP INCOMPLETIVE work
We are working/were working.
(10) Wqii tie n korin dada.
3pP even INCOMPLETIVE sing well
They are even singing/were even singing well.
(11) A ma n korin.
IpP HABITUAL sing
We usually sing/usually sang.
(12) Emi ma n lo sko.
IpSEmp HABITUAL go DIRECTIONAL+farm
T (for sure) usually go/ususally went to the farm.

90
(13) Awa y mq.
IpPEmp INTENTIONAL know
We definitely intend to know/We definitely will know.
(14) Oj ma rq.
Rain ANTICIPATE fall
We anticipate rain to/will fall.
The above reanalysis raises a few questions that must be answered. First,
what Bamgbose had analysed as three tenses (Continuous, Habitual and
Future) are actually four separate aspects (INCOMPLETE:, HABITUAL,
INTENTIONAL and ANTICIPATE). Bamgbose calls the HABITUAL a tense,
however, within the structure of YL it is an ASPECT. Also, what he calls the
future tense (7-8) is a result of reliance on a long tradition of translation
instead of looking at the structure of the language itself. Properly analyzed,
Bamgboses future becomes two separate and different aspects the
INTENTIONAL (7) and the ANTICIPATE (8). Actually, both the INTENTIONAL
and ANTICIPATE: are two forms of the IRREALIS group of aspects, the former
having a completive and the latter an incompletive sense. Y in example
(13) is the irrealis counterpart of the completive (unmarked) aspect. As has
been amply explained in chapter two, sections 2.3.2.4 and 2.3.2.5, the
intentional y is structurally different from the anticipative ma. Whereas
the anticipative takes a regular pronoun, the intentional occurs principally
with an emphatic pronoun. For instance, while (15) below is grammatical, (16)
is not. However, both (17) and (18) are allowed. Thus, the intentional is more
restrictive in its usage than the anticipative.
(15) Emi y lo.
IpSEmp INTEN go
T will go/ I intend to go.
(16) *Mo y lo.
IpS INTEN go

91
(17) Mo ma lo.
IpS ANTI go
T will go/ I anticipate going.
(18) Emi ma 1q.
IpSEmp ANTI go
I definitely will/intend to go
Secondly, the fact that the denomination tense is inaccurate is clear
from the fact that what Bamgbose calls the Continuous Tense (3-4) and
Habitual Tense (5-6) could be interpreted as having already taken place in
the past or are taking place in the present, depending on the context, as is
clearly evident in the reanalysis in examples (9-10) and (11-12) respectively,
or by a simple addition of time adverbs, as in examples (19-26) below. Thus, it is
misleading to refer to them as tense, especially since one tense can refer only
to one possible timepast, present or futureand not two time frames
simultaneously, as Bamgboses analysis suggests.
Examples of Incompletive as a Present (/n7 + /lw/)
(19)A n LOWD.
IpP INCOMPLETIVE work now
We are busy working (right now).
Examples of Incompletive as a Past (/n7 + /ln/)
(20)A n LANAA.
IpP INCOMPLETIVE work yesterday
We were working yesterday.
Examples of Incompletive as a Present (/ri/ + /lw/)
(21)Wqn ti n korin dada LOWD.
3pP even INCOMPLETIVE sing well now
They are even singing well (this very moment).

92
Examples of Incompletive as a Past (/n7 + /ln/)
(22)Won tie n kQrin diada LANAA.
3pP even INCOMPLETIVE sing well yesterday
They were even singing well yesterday.
In the examples above, the notion of time is not conveyed by the aspect
marker n, but rather by the time adverbs, LOWO (now/at moment/at this
time/ at hand) and LANAA (yesterday) respectively. In the absence of these
adverbs of time, each of the sentences could be rendered either in the present
or in the past, leaving us with context only to decipher their location in time,
if we must indicate time. Thus, sentence (19), without the adverb LOWO could
be translated as either We ARE working or We W^ERE working and (21)
without the adverb LANAA could mean either They ARE even singing well
or They WERE even singing well. The concept of time, therefore, is
introduced only with the addition of the time adverbs LOWO, in (19) and (21)
and LANAA in (20) and (22) respectively.
Habitual + Adverb of Time
(23) A ma n korin ljoojm.
IpP HABITUAL sing daily
We sing everyday.
(24) A ma n korin ngbt a j we.
IpP HABITUAL sing when IpP be youth
We used to sing when we were young.
(25) Emi ma n lo sko ljoojm.
IpSEmp HABITUAL go to+farm daily
T do go to the farm everyday.
(26) Emi ma n lo sko ngbkan r.
IpSEmp HABITUAL go to+farm sometime ago
T used to go to the farm sometime ago (in the past).
The analysis for (19-22) is equally valid for (23-26). In (23) and (25), it is
the time adverb LOJOOJUMO (daily, everyday) that conveys a sense of time

93
while in (24) and (26) it is the adverbial phrases NIGBATI A JE EWE and
NIGBAKAN RI respectively. In the absence of these subordinate clauses of
time, all four sentences could have either a present or a past interpretation.
NE speakers often use aspect markers where a British or American
speaker of English would use tense. The works of Amos Tutuola are replete with
such transfers and a knowledge of this difference is crucial to understanding
the languge and works of Tutuola and many other YL speakers of English. The
rest of this chapter will be devoted to this aspect transfer.
3.1 Amos Tutuola; the Man
Amos Tutuola was born in 1920 in Abeokuta, a city about 64 miles from
Lagos, the commercial capital (and for many decades the political capital) of
Nigeria and passed on to the Deads Town (to use his own terminology) on
Saturday, June 7, 1997, having lived a long, fruitful and often controversial
life. He was 77 when he died quietly at his home in Od-On, in the surburbs of
Ibadan, another major Yoruba city, next only to Lagos in demographic
importance. In spite of his international popularity, he died unsung at home,
in obscurity and almost destitute.
Here is what Oyekan Owomoyela had to say in his full-length book on
Amos Tutuola,
He died as he had lived, amid uncertainties, contradictions, and
controversy. The causes and circumstances of his death reflect a major
contradiction in his life and career. Diabetes and hypertension, the
conditions to which he succumbed, need not prove fatal to a patient able
to afford proper medical care; unfortunately Tutuola was not, for despite
his literary success and international fame, at the time of his death, he
was destitute. In the view of many who mourned him,... he got far less
from life and much less from his society than he deserved.... His virtual
local anonymity in his last days, despite his international fame, is also
something of a contradiction. (Owomoyela, 1999: 146, my emphasis).

94
Abeokuta (meaning beneath the stone/rock in Yoruba), Tutuolas
birth place and hometown, is one of the major cities of the Yoruba, located in
the rain-forest region of south-western Nigeria, a geographical location that
would later inform, shape and influence his writings. The spiritual
atmosphere of Abeokuta and its environs during Tutuolas growing years was
that of a syncretism birthed by the presence of a strong Yoruba traditional
belief and value systems and a heavy Christian missionary activity, mostly by
the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S).
Tutuola hailed from an honorable and respectable background.
According to Michael Thelwell in his informative introduction to The Palm-
Wine Drinkard, Tutuolas grandfather, the Odafin Odegbami, was a well
respected administrative ruler among his people, being one of the sub-chiefs
and spiritual leaders of Abeokuta. He had six wives and more than twenty
children. As a spiritual leader of his people, he was a practitioner of one the
African traditional religions--Ogn. In fact, his name, Odegbami itself
means the deity Ogn saves, or accepts me. Ogn is the Yoruba patron deity
of hunters, smiths and warriors; the god of iron, fire, technological knowhow
and political authority.
Amos Tutuolas father, Charles Tutuola Odegbami, had three wives and
several children. Although his parents were firm believers in Yoruba
traditions and values, they had converted to Christianity as a result of strong
missionary activitity in Abeokuta area during most of the nineteenth and the
early twentieth centuries. Thus, Tutuola was born into an extended family in
which Yoruba traditional religion was practised side by side with European-
introduced Christianity, a background that would forever influence his
outlook, life and works. Although Tutuolas grandparents practised indigenous
Yoruba religion, his parents were firm believers in the Christian religion.

95
Tutuola has been quoted as saying that I met my father and mother as
Christians (Tutuola 1984: 182). Thelwell believes that it is this conflicting
religious background that must have influenced Tutuolas decision to change
his name from Oltbsn (his given name, meaning wealth or honor is still
increasing) to Amos (most probably his baptismal name), a name reminiscent
of the biblical fiery prophet of righteousness in the Jewish Old Testament.
Changing his last name from Odgbm (his family name, bearing loyalty to
the deity, Ogn) to Ttol, his fathers given name (meaning fresh wealth,
and with no religious connotations) is reminiscent and indicative of the then
Christian missionary practise of asking their adherents to expunge from their
names any references or allusions to African deities. This is how Oltbsn
Odgbm became Amos Ttol, the name by which Tutuola is now known and
recognized around the world. In this name lies the history of Tutuolas
transformation as well as an important key to understanding his works, works
that mix Yoruba beliefs and cosmology with Christian beliefs and western
technology and transfer underlying Yoruba linguistic structures into English
to produce writings that appeal to both Yoruba and English speakers alike.
As one of several children in a large family, Tutuola had a rough time
growing up, especially with regard to his academic upbringing. As a
struggling cocoa farmer, his father could not afford the luxury of sending him
to school, at least not without some help from the extended family. His fathers
meagre income from cocoa farming was not sufficient to take care of his large
family and send all the children to school. Although cocoa was a major cash
crop, most of the profit that came from it went, unfortunately, to the colonial
authority and the few middle men that it had created and very little to the
hardworking farmers who owned the land and did most of the work. Thus, his
father struggled financially and was able, with some help, only to put Tutuola

96
into school for a few years. His uncle, Mr. Dailey, arranged for him to live with
his friend, Mr. F. 0. Monu, a civil servant, to earn his tuition working for the
latter as a household servant. The young Tutuola quickly jumped at this
opportunity and left his father to live with Monu, while working his way
through school at the Salvation Army School, Abeokuta. He was, then, about
12-14 when he began his formal education, but quickly proved himself to be a
brilliant and promising student. This is what Tutuola had to say himself about
his academic abilities and potentials,
I started my first education at the Salvation Army School, Abeokuta, in
the year 1934, and Mr. Monu was paying my school fees regularly,
which were 1/6 a quarter, and also buying the school materials, etc., for
me. But as I had the quicker brain than the other boys in our class
(Class I infant), I was given the special promotion from Class I to Std. I at
the end of the year... [M]y weekly report card columns were always
marked 1st position on every week-end, which means I was the first boy
out of 50 boys in the class throughout the year. At the end of that year I
was in the 1st position out of 150 boys and this was the final examination
of the year. (Tutuola, 1953:126-127).
Tutuola later on moved to Lagos with his employer and there enrolled at
the Lagos High School where he continued with his education. However, due to
the verbal and physical abuse he suffered from his masters wife (whom he
unflatteringly referred to as a cruel and hard-hearted woman), he had to
return to his native Abeokuta without completing his education. Upon his
return home, he continued with his education at the Anglican Central School,
Ipose Ake, also in Abeokuta. Here he remained until 1939, when his final hopes
of completing his formal education were dashed as a result of his fathers
untimely death. He had had in all only six years of formal education.
After an unsuccessful attempt at farming, during a drought, he
returned to Lagos the following year, but this time, to live with one of his half-
brothers. Back in Lagos he successfully learnt blacksmithing which landed
him a job as a coppersmith with the West African Air Corps of the British
Royal Air Force in 1942. In 1945, following the end of the Second World War, he

97
was discharged from the Royal Air Force and made an attempt to establish his
own blacksmithing practice but failed because he did not have enough capital
to properly establish the business.
A year later, he wound up as a mesenger with the Department of Labour
in Lagos. It was during his tenure here that the idea of writing his first book,
The Palm-Wine Drinkard and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Deads Town
came to him. It is said that he wrote the enitre book within the space of two
days (Africana 1999: 1905). It was his creative way of easing his boredom while
working as a messenger, a job he would later on refer to as this
unsatisfactory job. Although he wrote this first full-length narrative ever to
be written by a West-African in the English language in 1946, this pioneering
work would not be published until in 1952six years after it had been written.
He married Victoria Alake in 1947, the year after completing his audacious
book. The couple was blessed with three children during their fruitful
marriage, which lasted half a century. Tutuola also had three other wives with
whom he had eight more children, bringing the total number of his children
by all four wives to eleven (West Africa 1997:1267).
In 1957 Tutuola secured a job as a storekeeper with the Nigerian
Broadcasting Corporation in Lagos and was subsequently transferred to Ibadan
where he continued with his writing career. At Ibadan, he teamed up with
Professor Collis of the University of Ibadan to adapt his first book, PWD, for the
stage while he worked on his fourth, The Brave African Huntress (henceforth
BAH), published in 1958 by the same publishers, Faber and Faber, which had
published his first three books and later would publish most of his books yet to
be written.

98
3 2 .Amos TutoQlai Ms.w
Before Tutuola went to join his ancestors in June of 1997, he had eleven
books to his credit: nine novels and two collection of stories, all produced
within the span of about forty years, from 1952-1990 and published almost
exclusively by Faber and Faber, London. Although two of these works The
Palm-Wine Drinkard (1952) and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954) -- share
recognition as his most famous, he is best known for his first and now classic
novel, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, now translated into almost twenty languages
around the world, including French, German, Italian, Swedish, Romanian,
Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, Czech, and several other European and African
languages (cf. Eko 1974:19; Thelwell 1984:187). His other works include Simbi
and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle (1955), The Brave African Huntress (1958),
Feather Woman of the Jungle (1962), Ajaiyi and His Inherited Poverty (1967),
The Witch-Herbalist of the Remote Town (1981), The Wild Hunter in the Bush of
Ghosts (1982), Yoruba Folktales (1986), Pauper, Brawler, and Slanderer (1987)
and The Village Witch Doctor and Other Stories (1990).
His first two novels, and by far his most popular -- The Palm-Wine
Drinkard (henceforth PWD) and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (henceforth
LBG) were also adapted for the stage in Nigeria in 1958. PWD was first
produced as a Yoruba opera in 1968 by the popular Yoruba dramatist Kl
Ognml. In 1995, a stage adaptation of LBG was presented in the United
Kingdom as Nigerias entry play for the Africa95 international festival held in
London that year. Several other performances of these two books have been
made by various local operas since their first stage presentations, a testimony
to their popularity among the masses of the people at the home front.
Tutuolas popularity among non-lite Yoruba speakers and the
common Nigerian could be attributed to the fact that his works spoke to their

99
hearts they could identify with the folktales and the folklores of their
common backgrounds. Because his works and the way he used his language
(i.e. English) conveyed the worldview of YL speakers, it was easy for the
common people to identify with and appreciate his works. Although he drew
from a common pool of knowledge, he went one step further by making that
knowledge his own first before sharing it with an international audience.
Despite the hostile attitude towards Tutuola and his works and his
apparent non popularity among a large segment of the Nigerian educated
lite, an excellent proof of the general popularity of Tutuolas works and their
influences on the Yoruba lite was Wole Soyinkas staging of the PWD in
Yorubaland, which was followed by several other stagings of both English and
Yoruba versions by various theater groups across West Africa, especially in
Nigeria and Ghana in the early sixties. In fact, according to Eko (1974:20), the
first Yoruba stage adaptation and performance of PWD by Kola Ogunmola (with
parallel English translation) in April 1963 was an immense success with the
public, especially African intellectuals, and received an excellent review from
Wole Soyinka.
It should also be observed that Tutuolas fiction has received high praise
from his fellow novelists. Soyinka (the internationally renowned playwright,
author and critic and the 1986 winner of the Nobel prize in literature as well
as the first black person to win this prestigious award) and Chinua Achebe
(the acclaimed author of the world-famous Things Fall Apart, translated into
some fifty languages around the world) are known to openly admire Tutuola
and his works. Achebe is known to have referred to Tutuola as the most
moralistic of African writers while Soyinka has popularized his works among
the masses through theatrical performances. Both authors are the two most
famous writers to come out of Nigeria, and probably Africa as a whole.

100
Tutuola has been unequivocally recognized as the first person to write
any full-length narrative in English in Nigeria as well as the first West
African writer of English expression to win considerable international
attention. Ebele Eko has this to say about Tutuolas pioneering effort:
Amos Tutuola was undeniably the first West African writer of English
expression to win considerable international recognition. The
publication of The Palm-Wine Drinkard in 1952 marked the beginning
of modern Nigerian literature and apparently took the literary world by
surprise. An important review by Dylan Thomas launched the book on
its way to fame and the author on his way to becoming one of the most
controversial writers of modern African literature (Eko 1974:19,
emphasis mine).
Bernth Lindfors, who has written a full-length Critical Perspectives on
Amos Tutuola (1975) and has studied Tutuola and his works over several
decades, has the following observation to make with regards to the publication
of Tutuolas pioneering work,
Amos Tutuolas The Palm-Wine Drinkard was the first substantial
literary work written in English by a Nigerian author, and its
publication in 1952 created a stir. (1973: 51)
In a posthumous eulogy recognizing Tutuolas achievements, the editor
of West Africa magazine referred to Tutuolas first novel in the following
terms
Today, this book is recognised as a significant milestone indeed, the
first milestone -- on the long road that Nigerian authors writing in
English have travelled since that time. It was the national equivalent of
The Canteburv Tales in British literature. Tutuola being anglophone
Africas aboriginal Chaucer (1997:1268, my emphasis).
Tutuola, then, has been given credit for opening up the new field of
modern African literature in English for Achebe, Soyinka and the other
Nigerian writers who followed. It should be acknowledged, however, that
although Tutuola pioneered creative writing in English, he himself was
following in the footsteps of another compatriot and kinsman, Daniel O.
Fagunwa, who was actually the first person to codify Yoruba folktales in

101
creative written form, the only difference being that he chose to write in
Yoruba rather than in English. Just as Tutuola was influenced by his
predecessor, Fagunwa, so also has Tutuola influenced Wole Soyinka. These
three are inseparably linked to each other and are recognized as the three
most outstanding Yoruba writers, all three drawing from the same sources -
their common background in a rich and vibrant tradition of storytelling and
Yoruba folklore.
Tutuola built his literary career primarily by the creative retelling and
expansion of Yoruba folktales, stories that not only he, but all other Yoruba
children like him have heard recited again and again by adults under the
bright moon-lit African sky. They are stories that have been told and retold,
from one generation to another over the millenia. All of his eleven books draw
from these common sources. Throughout his life, Tutuolas goal was to
preserve Yoruba culture by codifying his peoples folklore; his choice of
language was English, but his was a modified English, an English that could
convey adequately the culture he was trying to preserve without doing much
damage to its originality and intensity, an English made to serve his people, an
English created in the image and likeness of his people and their language.
Here, in his own words, is the reason Tutuola decided to put down into writing
the folklore of his people and the reason he wrote the way he did,
I dont want the past to die. I dont want our culture to vanish. Its not
good. We are losing [our customs and traditions] now, but Im still trying
to bring them into memory. So far as I dont want our culture to fade
away, I dont mind about English grammar ... I should feel free to write
my story. I have not given my manuscript to any one who knows
grammar to edit. (West Africa, 11-17 August, 1997:1299)
What Tutuola was saying in essence is this: I will not be bogged down by trying
to write English like an American or a British. I am going to domesticate the
English language to serve my own ends. I am going to let it bear the burden
of my experience. I am a man with a message and a mission and I shall not be

102
distracted by elitist critics. I will use the English language as an instrument to
convey my mission to the next generation. I am trying to preserve the culture
and customs of my people before it dies away. About a decade later, Chinua
Achebe would capture the spirit of what Tutuola was doing with his English in
the following often quoted response to those who feel that Africans must speak
English like the British
So my answer to the question, Can an African ever learn English well
enough to be able to use it effectively in creative writing? is certainly
yes. If on the other hand you ask: Can he ever learn to use it like a
native speaker? I should say, I hope not. It is neither necessary nor
desirable for him to be able to do so. The price a world language must be
prepared to pay is submission to many different kinds of use. The
African writer should aim to use English in a way, that brines out his
message best without altering the language to the extent that its value
as a medium of international exchange will be lost. He should aim at
fashioning out an English which is at once universal and able to carry
his peculiar experience....It will have to be a new English still in full
communion with its ancestral home, but altered to suit its new African
surroundings (1965: 29-30, all emphases mine).
But almost a decade before Tutuolas novel came on the scene, another
writer from far away India had already shared similar convictions in another
well-known and often cited quotation
wg catmot writs like the English, We should not- We cannot write only
as Indians. We have grown to look at the large world around us as part
of us. Our method of expression therefore has to be a dialect which will
some day prove to be as distinctive and colorful as the Irish and the
American. Time alone will justify it (Rao 1943: viii, my emphasis)
The existence of different varieties of EL is now a well established fact.
Much has been written on Indian, South African, Liberian, Nigerian,
Ghanaian, Cameroonian and other Englishes around the world. In fact,
American English itself is a variety or dialect of English, with its own
idiosyncracies that set it apart from the British or any other variety of EL.
What both Achebe and Rao said above is exactly what Tutuola has done,
and this he has done well. Proof of his success is to be found in the effusive

103
praise and adulation showered upon him in numerous posthumous tributes in
the Nigerian press after his passing away. One writer refered to him as
Nigerias Nobel Literature Laureate who never won (West Africa 1997:1266).
Another described him as an honored ancestor, an inspirational father
figure to a whole generation of younger writers (ibid.). Another tribute
writer in the same article quoted above put it so well in one single but
powerful sentence: Tutuola may have died, but what he left to the world lives
on (p. 1267). In other words, Tutuola has left a lasting legacy to generations
yet unborn.
When the London firm, Faber and Faber, published his first novel, The
Palm-Wine Drinkard, on May 2, 1952, it became an instant success, mostly due
to a positive review by Dylan Thomas in The London Observer of July 6,1952.
Other rave reviews of the book followed, especially after the American edition
of PWD appeared the following year, issued by Grove Press. The seriousness
with which the American audience took his work could be seen in the many
reviews that it enjoyed in leading newspapers and magazines across the
country. According to Ebele Eko, within three years of its publication, PWD was
translated into four other European languages: French, German, Italian and
Serbo-Croatian. (1974:19)
While Tutuola enjoyed mostly favorable reviews in Europe and America,
the story was quite different at home; he was booed and jeered at by the
Nigerian educated lite, who felt he had disgraced them because of the
unconventional way in which he wrote his English. They were afraid
Europeans would label them incompetent to acquire the glorious English
language. They felt he was an anomaly and a disgrace because he had not
followed strictly the rules of the Queens English. In short, they got stuck on
his language and forgot to look at his message. Although many well-known

104
writers and critics, such as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi,
Harold Collins, Bernth Lindfors, to mention just a few, have come to appreciate
and to positively appraise Tutuolas works and worth, there are still a few,
mostly Nigerian, who feel Tutuola is not deserving of all the attention he is
being accorded (cf. Owomoyela 1999). In the midst of all this, however, Tutuola
is being discovered by others in other realms where his name had been
hitherto practically unknown. He is now receiving honorable mention in
science fiction circles (Hardman 1999: Personal communication). This is
because the dividing line between science fiction and fantasy (SF & F) is
sometimes very blurred and thin, and Tutuolas works are rich in the fantastic.
It is therefore no surprise that SF & F is now claiming him as one of their own.
This, definitely, will further expand the support base for Tutuolas works and
increase his recognition around the world.
Furthermore, Tutuolas works and name also figure prominently on the
world-wide web, especially on Amazon-dot-com, the commercial internet site
that has become very popular in the book sales world. The public reviews of
his works on this web site have been consistently very positive, as most
reviewers have given his works five star ratingsthe highest in that rating
system. One internet reviewer and admirer had this to say about Tutuola and
his use of the English language
Amos Tutuola is one of the handful of master stylists in the English of
the 20th century ... Tutuola is, in fact, a stylist and not, as it once seemed
possible, a naive product of an unusual and scanty education in English
in Nigeria. The compelling factor in his style is his rhvthm. presumably
related to his mother tongue of Yoruba. It has something of the cyclical
nature of extended drumming. (Harry Eager, Amazon.com, Inc.: 1998,
my emphasis).
Another internet reviewer called Tutuola The voice of the Yoruba
people...when he died he was one of the most appreciated authors of the

105
African continent. (Martin Eriksson, Amazon.com., Inc.: 1997, emphasis
mine).
3.3 Amos Tutuola: his Accomplishments
While Amos Tutuola was still alive, he was showered with many honors,
but mostly outside Nigeria. In 1979 he was appointed a writer-in-residence at
the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Il-If, one of the
most prestigious universities in Nigeria, located in the heart of Yorubaland. It
was during this tenure at my alma mater that I met him for the first time when
he was invited by my professor to come recite folktales to my freshman
Literature in English class. Although I was fascinated by his English back
then, I didnt have much clue as to why he spoke the way he did. I could,
however, identify with his stories. Tutuolas use of languagethe English
language was quite fascinating to me, as another Yoruba user of English, for
it struck a chord within me, as I began to recognize underneath his English a
lot of structures and usages that are very recognizably Yoruba. His stories are
drawn from a commonly shared pool of Yoruba folklore, but with a personal
touch and flavor that is distinctly his. It would take more than a decade after
that initial encounter for me to revisit the man and his works. By this time I
had already acquired enough linguistic tools to be able to begin to reappraise
and appreciate his works and his then strange but harmonious and musical
English. This is the English that Cyprian Ekwensi, another veteran Nigerian
novelist, was referring to when he wrote
Tutuola wrote music with his words. Although his medium was prose, Ms
writing appeared more musical, more lyrical and more poetic than
many of those who actually set out to write poetry. (West Africa 1997:
1266, my emphases).

106
In 1983 Tutuola received three awards: USIA International Visitor
Program, Fellow of the Iowa Writing Workshop, and an Honorary Citizenship
of New Orleans. The following year he received the Grimzane and Cavour Prize
in Italy. In 1989 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Modern Language
Association and in 1992 he was designated Noble Patron of the Arts by the Pan-
African Writers Association, in recognition of his contribution to the African
literary world. Three years later, in 1996, he received a Special Fellowship
Award form the Oyo State Chapter of the National League of Veteran
Journalists. Delivering an eulogy following his death in 1997, Cyprian Ekwensi
recommended, among other things, that an Amos Tutuola Prize for Literature
be established by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a well-deserving
honor for the hardy literary pioneer.
Throughout his life and long career, Tutuola saw himself as a folklorist
whose life ambition was to preserve Yoruba culture. He had always been
fascinated by the folklore of his people and spent the rest of his life trying to
preserve this legacy for generations to come. He had spent a lot of time with
wise elders among his people, learning from them as they told their stories of
days gone by. This way, he himself acquired the knack for story telling. Here,
in his own words, is how he became the good storyteller that he later became:
[In school] we used to tell folktales to our schoolmates and teachers.
Each time we got our holiday, I used to go to my people in the village.
There was no radio or television, but our source of amusement was to tell
forktales after dinner. I used to listen to old people and the folktales
they told. Each time I returned to school, I told the story to other
schoolmates and I became a very good storyteller. They used to give me
presents for telling incredible folktales. (West Africa 1997:1268, my
emphasis).
A Yoruba proverb readily captures the experience Tutuola describes
above: Those who know how to wash their hands properly could eat with the
elders (i.e. if you humble yourself before the elders and conduct yourself

107
appropriately, you will eventually learn of their wise ways). Apparently
Tutuola knew how to conduct himself well and was granted the honor of
dining at the same table as the sages among his people.
3.4 Aspect in Tutuolas Writings
What became Tutuolas bane at the home front also became his blessing
abroadhis use of English. The main reason he was villified and disdained by
his detractors back home, who would not even take a serious look at his works
was their response to the unconventional way he wrote. They felt his oral
storytelling style would make native speakers of English in Europe and
America look down on them as people who could not correctly acquire the
Queens English. They felt his works would serve to confirm the erroneously
held belief in some Western circles that Africans are too backward and are
incapable of learning the noble ways of the West. That Tutuola was attracting a
great deal of positive interest presented his critics with a serious problem. So
great was the ripple that the publication of his pioneering work created in
Nigeria that while he was still receiving highly positive reviews in the West,
his fellow countrymen were writing criticisms intended to descredit the very
authenticity and originality of his work. Instead of studying his language and
trying to find out why he wrote the way he did, they dismissed it as the half-
baked, uneducated babble of a childish mind. They went on to predict that the
euphoria surrounding his works in the West would soon wane and that Tutuola
would end up in the trash heap of history. Time, however, would prove them
wrong, very wrong.
A closer look at Tutuolas language reveals some fascinating and
intriguing structures that the casual observer cannot simply discern from
afar off. An unbiased and serious observer will, however, not go too far before

108
beginning to discover that there is a regularity and systematicity underlying
the entire linguistic processes undergirding Tutuolas language. Any person
for whom Yoruba is a first language, however, can easily identify the
underlying structures upon which Tutuola has superimposed his English.
Amos Tutuola has a way with language that defies the conventions of
English grammar as set forth by the British, the introducers of this language
on the Nigerian scene. He constantly weaves the grammar of his native
Yoruba into that of the English of his writings and this is most obvious in the
area of tense and aspect. Geoffrey Parrinder gives us an insight into this
non-conventional use of EL in his introduction to Tutuolas second book: My
Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954) when he comments,
Tutuolas writing is original and highly imaginative. His direct style,
made more vivid by his use of English as it is spoken in West Africa, is
not polished or sophisticated and gives his stories unusual energy. It is a
beginning of a new type of Afro-Enelish literature ... (p. 12, my
emphases).
A few decades later, a fellow Yoruba and a highly respected Professor of
English at one of Nigerias foremost institutions of higher learning, Adebisi
Afolayan, would identify Tutuolas English as Yoruba English, a language
possessing Yoruba deep grammar that nevertheless has many of the surface
features of conventional English grammar. (Parckh & Jagne 1998: 473, my
emphasis). Harold Collins who wrote the first monograph on Tutuola spoke of
Tutuolas imaginative use of the English language and describes him as A
conscious craftsman whose unconventional English syntax, spelling and
punctuation represent an artful technique that asssists readers in
comprehending Tutuolas imaginary worlds where all conventional rules of
order are suspended. (1969).
What Afolayan and others are saying in essence is quite simple to
understand by any Yoruba, or, for that matter, any Nigerian or West African

109
speaker of EL. The term West African English is already known and is well
attested in the literature on New Englishes, but so is the term Nigerian
English (cf. Bamgbose 1982, Ajani 1996a.) Under the umbrella of the latter,
three main sub-varieties have been identified: Yoruba English (YE), Hausa
English (HE) and Igbo English (IE), sub-varieties representing the three
majority groups of Nigeria that constitute about 70% of the population. Thus,
although there is a superordinate variety known as Nigerian English (NE),
there are enough idiosyncracies in usage that makes the Hausa person use NE
quite differently from say an Igbo or a Yoruba speaker of NE (cf. Odumuh
1987). The reason for this is not far fetched: the mother tongue (LI) of each of
the speakers of the three sub-varieties mentioned above affects the way they
use English. These differences come, in part, from the differences that exist
among the various Lis. For instance, the way Tutuola and Soyinka use English
is quite different from the way Achebe uses it. It is a well known fact that
Achebe draws a lot from his Igbo background when he writes and this is most
obvious in his world classic Things Fall Apart (1958) in which he uses a lot of
his native Igbo proverbs, sayings and lexical items. The same could be said of
Soyinka and his use of Yoruba vocabulary, sayings and especially cultural and
religious items from Yoruba traditional religion. We find a lot of these in his
popular Collected Plays (1973).
Of course, we do know, too, that the quality and amount of formal
education acquired by the various speakers of the same sub-variety will also
affect the amount of transfer from the LI into the target language. Evidence
for this can be seen in the NE versions of Tutuola and Soyinka. Whereas it is
much easier to identify YL substratum in Tutuolas NE, they are much more
subtle in Soyinkas works. The reason for this is that although both Soyinka
and Tutuola speak the same dialect of YL, they stand at different points along

110
the continuum of YL and NE. Whereas Soyinka had a college education and
even lived and worked in England for a while, Tutuolas entire formal
education lasted only six years and took place solely in Nigeria and Yorubaland
specifically. This explains why although both authors draw heavily from their
common backgound, Tutuolas NE is much closer to YL while Soyinkas is
rather closer to EL.
What I will be attempting to do here is show some of the ways that the
grammar of Tutuolas first language reveals itself in the way he wrote in
English. Using three of Tutuolas earliest narratives--The Palm-Wine Drinkard
(PWD), My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (LBG) and The Brave African Huntress
(BAH)-I will also attempt to show that what Tutuola did with his language is
neither strange, unusual nor unheard of. In fact, the systemacity we find in
the whole process is proof that it is not random, but rather rule-governed. It is
a normal occurence in any language contact situation, as many researches in
contact linguistics and especially second language acquisition (SLA) amply
attest. (Weinreich 1953, Nemser 1971, Selinker 1972, 1992; Corder 1978, Cook
1993, etc.) Kirk-Greene, in his article entitled The Influence of West African
Languages on English rightly observes that
The English used in West Africa reveals in varying degrees vernacular
influence? aiihe-marphologicah .syntactic and semantic levels; as well,
of course, as at the phonological level in spoken English. ...
[Characteristic deviations from standard English usage may be
ascribed to the influence exercised by a dominant West African
language...there mav result an English surface structure with a
vernacular deep structure-The sub-stratum syntax is there, and now
and, again it comes to .the surface-(spencer 1971:141,131,133, all
emphases mine)
Thus Spencer and several others mentioned earlier in this section have
correctly pointed out certain identifying features of West African and
Nigerian English, features at different levels of the grammar: syntactic,
morphological and semantic; phonological, stylistic, etc. Tutuolas works are

Ill
replete with examples of the influence of the YL aspectual system, which shall
be the focus of the rest of this chapter .
The Corpus
My corpus, gleaned from the three narratives of Tutuola just mentioned
(The Palm-Wine Drinkard, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and The Brave
African Huntress), contains 50 pages of data, with 200 separate entries. The
statistical breakdown of the corpus, according to number of pages, number of
entries and percentage of total is provided in table 3.1 below
Table 3,1
Asneet
Pages
# of Entries
% of Total
Incompletive
36
144
72
Habitual
10
40
20
Anticipative
2
8
4
Relational
1
4
2
Relevant-Inceptive
1
4
2
TOTAL
50
200
100
An analysis of the above table shows that of a total 200 entries covering
50 pages of data, the incompletive aspect makes up 72%, with 144 entries,
covering 36 pages. The habitual comes next in order of significance, with 20%
and 40 entries, spanning 10 pages of data. Next comes the anticipative, with
only 4% of the total, having just 8 entries in 2 pages of data. Least represented
and almost insignificant are the relational and relevant-inceptive, both of
which make up a meager 4% of the total corpus, with 4 entries each spread
over 1 page of data respectively. From a statistical perspective, only the

112
incompletive and the habitual appear to be of any significance, with both
gulping 184 of a 200-page data, a whopping 92% of the whole corpus, leaving
the remaining aspects to share a mere 8% of data space. Of the two most attested
aspects, the incompletive far outweighs the habitual by an almost 4 to 1
margin. Other aspects not attested in the data are the completive, the
intentional, the backgrounder, the expective, the inceptive, the manifestive
and the antecedent completion.
A breakdown of the corpus reveals that Tutuola tends to transfer mostly
the incompletive and the habitual aspects. Standing at two pages and one page
of data each, transfer of the anticipative, the relational and the relevant-
inceptive aspects are not very significant. My focus therefore will be placed
on the two aspects with the most significant amount of transfer: the
incompletive and the habitual.
3.4.1 The Incompletive Aspect ri
As has been mentioned above, Tutuola appears to transfer the
incompletive aspect far more than any of the other eleven aspects in YL. In
fact, taking 72% of the total, it stands far apart from all the other aspects
combined. As one of the simple aspects, the incompletive has only a single
marker, n and does not have a specific time referent (cf. Section 2.3.2.2). Its
basic referent is the ongoingness of an activity, event or situation. Time:
present, past or future is not relevant to this aspect, as it could deal with all of
these, depending on the context of usage. Take the following examples for
instance,
(27) Mo pde Kk ngbt mo n lo sEk ln.
IpS meet Kike when IpS INCOM. go to+Lagos yesterday
T met Kike on my way to Lagos yesterday.

113
(27b) Mo n lo sEk ln.
IpS INCOM. go to+Lagos yesterday
I was going to Lagos yesterday.
(28) Mo n lo slbdn byi.
IpS INCOM. go to+Ibadan now
'I am on my way to Ibadan right now/this moment.
(29) Mo n lo sOgbm$ lQla.
IpS INCOM. go to+Ogbomoso tomorrow
I am going to Ogbomoso tomorrow.
In example (27), the main indicator of time is the time adverbial,
ln (yesterday), although it still lends itself to a past interpretation due to
the use of the completive aspect (unmarked). In spite of this, though, the real
marker of time is the adverb ln. Actually the sentence could not have the
completive interpretation that it has were it not for the main clause, Mo
pde Kk... for it is the main clause that is written in the completive aspect.
If we were left only with the subordinate clause, Mo n lo sEk ln, as in
example (27b) then the sentence could not have a past interpretation without
the adverb, ln-the only indicator of time in that sentence. Thus (27b)
lends itself to no particular time interpretation and we need a time adverb to
assign it to any specific time frame. Otherwise the statement itself is tenseless.
Similarly, in (28), it is the adverb of time, byi (right now, this
moment) that lends the statement any sense of time. Otherwise, it could have
either a past or a present, or even a future interpretation, depending on the
context of usage. What is true of (28) is equally true of (29). The statement, Mo
n lo sOgbms alone, without the time adverbial Tola (tomorrow) is devoid
of any sense of time. What gives it a future interpretation is the inclusion of
this futuristic adverb.
What we see from these examples is that the incompletive covers the
entire gamut of all the three major tenses of English. It is therefore not

114
surprising that Tutuola easily transfers it into EL, using it to cover various
tenses of EL in his works, as demonstrated in the data below.
3.4.1.1 Examples of Incompletive Referring to a Past Event:
The past tense in EL has several manifestations, the most basic ones
being the past simple, past continuous and the past perfect. The data show a lot
of contexts that require the past simple in BE being translated into the past
continuous forms in Tutuolas EL. There are a few other contexts that call for
the past continuous but which Tutuola renders in the present continuous
tense. In all instances, the YL incompletive aspect adequately translates the
ideas carried by these EL tenses. I will take each of these past tense forms one
by one and explain them within the contexts in which they appear in the data.
Contexts Requiring the Past Simple Tense in BE
(30) I thought within myself that old people were saying that the people
who died in this world, did not go to heaven directly, but they were
living in one place somewhere in this world. (Appendix: 1)
(31) He picked one cowrie out of the pit, after that he was running
towards me, and the whole crowd wanted to tie the cowrie on my neck
too. (Appendix: 2)
(32) I was told that he was now at Deads town and they told me that he
was living with deads at the Deads town, they told me that the town
was very far away and only deads were living there. (Appendix: 2)
(33) After a while he came out with two of his attendants who were
following him to wherever he wanted to go. Then the attendants
loosened me from the stump, so he mounted me and the two attendants
were following him with whips in their hands and flogging me along
in the bush. (Appendix: 3)
In all four of the examples above, Tutuola uses the past continuous in NE
to render situations that would have required the past simple tense forms in
BE. For instance, the appropriate BE rendition for Tutuolas were living in
(30) above would be the simple past form, lived. The same is true of was

115
running in (31), which should be rendered simply as ran in BE. In example
(32), BE requires the past simple form of the verb: lived. Similarly, in (33), BE
would have required the simple form, followed rather than Tutuolas were
following. It is quite easy to explain what Tutuola is doing in all these
instances: he was translating his thoughts from the Yoruba where the
incompletive, ri adequately renders all of the scenarios represented here. In
examples (3Ob-3 3b) below, I will be providing the YL rendition of the EL
clauses that contain these BE tense forms.
(30b) $gbn wn n gb ni ibikan
but they INCOM.+live PREP somewhere
but they live/lived/are living/were living somewhere
Devoid of the specific context in which we find clause (30b), it could
have any of the above interpretations in BE. The YL clause from which Tutuola
translates his idea could have a present simple or a past simple interpretation.
It could also be translated into the EL present or past continuous tenses, as
context dictates. In the Yoruba mind, all that matters is that the state of the
verb is tenseless. It is still in an inconclusive or incompletive stage. It could be
interpreted as, they live there; they are (still) living there; they lived there
or they were (still) living there. Since the context of usage dictates a past
event, however, Tutuola renders the auxiliary verb (were) in its past tense
form, but puts the main verb (living) in the continuous form, thus giving it
an incompletive sense.
(31b) lghin n n sr b sdQ mi
after that 3pS INCOM.+run come towards me
after that he runs/ran/is running/was running towards
me

116
In (31b), as in (30b), the idea Tutuola is translating into EL is the YL
incompletive r sr which could be conveniently rendered by the BE runs,
is running, ran, was running. To the YL speaker, the important thing here is
that the activity of running is incompletive, and this could be in the past or in
the present, if context so dictates. Again, since the context of usage
presupposes a past time frame, Tutuola uses the past form for the auxiliary
verb (was), but since the action is inconclusive, he renders the main verb in
the continuous form running.
(32b) won k nikan ni si n gb ib
PLUR. dead only be 3pS and INCOM.+ve there
and only the dead live/lived/are living/were living there
Example (32b) is similar to (30b) in that both use the same verbs. The
explanation is therefore the same in both instances. Here, as in (30b), Tutuola
is translating the YL n gb: live, lived, are living, were living. Again, the
context dictates an activity that took place before the present time; however, it
still was continuous during that time frame, thus Tutuolas justification for
using the past continuous form in EL.
(33b) won omo-d r mji t n t$l e
PLUR. attendants 3pS two who 3pS INCOM.+follow 3pSObj
two of his attendants who follow/followed/are
following/were following/keep following/kept
following him
Again, the YL ri tel could be rendered as any of the above. It could
translate the BE are following, were following; follow, followed; keep
following and kept following, context being the deciding factor in all cases.
Since Tutuola is narrating an event that has already taken place, once more,
he reverts to the past continuous form in EL. The past continuous giving a
sense of the past, but also capturing the YL sense of incompletion.

117
The YL rendition in (30b-33b) above throw some light into what was
going on in Tutuolas mind when he wrote those sentences. He was making his
constructions in YL and translating them into EL. Since in YL, the
incompletive adequately translates all of the above temporal situations, Tutuola
therefore renders all of them in the past progressive form in NE. The issue in
YL is not that of the time of the performance of the various activities involved
but rather their ongoingness. The activities involved were not completive.
They were still in the process of happening. What Tutuola does, both here and
elsewhere, is what Young captures so well in the following quote.
Alongside experiment runs writing drawing upon the indigenous
languages unconsciously because of the amount of European education
the writer happened to receive. Amos Tutuola is the best known
representative of this group ... Tutuola ... perhaps sheds light on the
complexity of the influence of indigenous languages, in this case
Yoruba, on the language of writing in English. He writes first in his
own language and himself translates it into English. This naturally has
its effect on the language of his works. (Young 1971: 180, emphasis
added).
Contexts Requiring the Past Continuous ixlEE
Not only does Tutuola use the past continous tense for situations that call
for the use of the simple past in BE but he sometimes uses the present
contiuous tense where BE requires the past continous. An instance of this is
captured in the data provided below
(34) Then I told the old man (god) that I am looking for my palm-wine
tapster who had died in my town some time ago, he did not answer to my
question but asked me first what was my name (Appendix: 1)
In (34) Tutuola uses the present simple form, to describe an event that
took place in the past. The accurate BE version should have been the past
continuous form, was looking. However, what Tutuola does here is very
typical of YL speakers of NE, including, once in a while, the so-called educated
lite who have been well schooled in the British and American traditions. The

118
reason for this is not far fetched, in YL the verb is not inflected for tense and
the aspect markers do not point to any specific time frame. It is therefore easy
for the YL speaker of EL to transfer this linguistic habit into EL. A YL
translation of the clause containing this verb form will further clarify my
point.
(34b) p mo n w admuu mi
that IpS INCOM. looking for palm-wine tapper IpSObj
that I am/was looking for my palm-wine tapper.
The aspect/verb combination ri w could be translated either as am
looking for or was looking for since the aspect marker ri does not have
any time indication. Although, in the data, the context calls for a past time
frame, Tutuola still uses a present time frame anyhow. This type of transfer is
very unconscious for YL speakers who also unconsciously use the feminine
and masculine forms of the third person EL subject pronouns she and he
often indiscriminately. I have caught myself doing this many a time already
and I have caught many a Yoruba speaker of EL, including the most educated
and sophisticated, doing this at various times. Some have even attempted to
deny doing so although caught red handed. The reason for this subconscious
transfer is not far fetched either; in YL, the third person singular subject
pronoun is not inflected for gender nor is it differentiated for humanness, as
is the case in EL. In fact there is only one marker for the semantic fields
covered by EL she, he and it. It is the pronoun . This pronoun is used for
both humans and non-humans, female or male. Thus ti d could mean
either of She is here, He is here or It is here.

119
3.4.2 Verbs that do not take in g in EE
Another interesting area of Tutuolas transfer of the YL incompletive is
that involving certain EL verbs of perception such as to hear and to see. In
BE grammar, these verbs cannot take the ing inflection in the general sense
of their meaning. In the following examples, (35a) and (36a) are
ungrammatical while (35b) and (36b) are not.
*(35a)I am hearing you.
(35b)I can hear you.
(35c)I am listening to you
*(36a)I am seeing you.
(36b) I can see you.
(36c) I am seeing her.
In (35a), the verb hear can only be rendered in the simple form even
if the act of hearing has an incompletive sense. BE has two possible ways of
rendering this: either in the form in (35b) or (35c), although in (35c) a
different verb has to be used. In (35b) the verb hear is preceded by the modal
can. The verb to listen is allowed to have an -ing inflection, however.
In (36a), BE grammar blocks the -ing form of the verb to see, except, of
course, as a gerund. Notice (36c), however. In this example, the verb to see
can take the -ing form, but then its meaning is no longer the same. Now it has
a meaning synonymous with dating. Thus, I am seeing her does not have
the sense of I am looking at her, but rather, I am currently in a dating
relationship with her.
In YL, however, the semantic field of the verb gbg includes all of ELs
to hear, to listen, to understand as well as to smell. The sense is that of to
perceive. Thus in YL you can gb, a smell, a sound or even someone. The
following examples will clarify what I am saying.
(37) Mo r gbQ rnnilkan.
IpS INCOM. perceive smell something
T can smell something.

120
I can perceive the smell of something.
(38) Mo r gbQ ohun t o n so.
IpS INCOM. listen thing that 2pS INCOM. say
I am listening to what you are saying.
(39) Mo n gbqyin.
IpS INCOM. listen 2pP
I am listening to you.
(40)
Mo gbq ohun t
o
so.
IpS understand thing that
T understand what you said.
2pS
say
(41)
Mi gbQ ohun t
o
SQ.
IpS NEG. hear thing that
I did not hear what you said.
2pS
say
In (37), gbQ has the sense of perceive, while in (38) and (39) the sense
is that of to listen. In (40), the sense is that of understand and in (41) it
means to hear. What the examples above show is that the semantic field of
gb in YL is quite broad, covering the meanings of all of the following EL
verbs: to hear, to listen, to understand and to perceive.
Due to the broad nature of the usage of this verb in YL, one often hear
YL speakers of English utter the following utterances, which have become
some of the characteristic features of NE:
(42) She doesnt hear word.
(43) I am hearing you.
(44) I can hear a smell.
(45) Do you hear me?
The BE interpretation of (42-45) above is listed as (42b-45b) below
(42b) She doesnt listen.
(43b) I am listening to you (Depending on the context, this could also
have the sense of I can hear you.)
(44b) I can perceive a smell.
(45b) Do you understand me?
In the above situations it is apparent that the YL speaker assigns the
same semantic value to the EL verb to hear that is attached to the YL verb
gb thus using hear in all the instances where the BE speaker of EL would
have used different verbs, such as listen, perceive and understand. The BE

121
verb hear is thus extended to include the role normally assigned to all of the
above verbs of perception whereby to hear actually means to perceive.
Examples (46) through (51) are instances involving Tutuolas transfer
of the YL incompletive aspect onto certain verbs of perception to produce
structures that would be considered ungrammatical in British English (BE).
(46) So that since that day that I had brought Death out from his
house, he has no permanent place to dwell or stay, and we are hearing
his name about in the world (Appendix: 1).
In (46), we find Tutuola transferring the YL a si rf gbQ orko re into
EL to produce the and we are hearing his name in the above passage. The
more precise BE translation of this clause would be and we continue to hear
his name or and we still hear his name. Or it could even be rendered by the
passive, and his name is still being heard. Tutuolas and we are hearing
his name is ungrammatical in BE, as the verb to hear is not allowed to take a
progressive form, except, of course, as a gerund.
In example (47), we find the same type of scenario. Again, Tutuola adds
an i n g ending to a verb that normally does not take an i n g ending in BE. He
signals that the event took place in the past by using the past tense form of the
auxiliary verb, was. The -ing ending captures the sense of the YL
incompletive aspect. The more accurate BE rendition of Tutuolas and when
the homeless-ghost was hearing my voice inside the wood would be and
when the homeless-ghost heard my voice inside the wood.
(47) But as this snake was also fearful to me too, then I was crying
louder than before, and when the homeless-ghost was hearing my
voice inside this wood, it was a lofty music for him, then he started to
dance the ghosts dance ... (Appendix: 6).
Other instances involving a peculiar use of EL perception verbs are
given in examples (48-52). In (48) an accurate BE rendition would be we

122
heard faintly. In (49), BE would have required the simple past form, was
heard. The same analysis goes for the verb to see in (50-52) where Tutuola
uses the unacceptable form of the verb was seeing, to translate the YL
incompletive form h ri. In all the examples cited, Tutuola ignores some
restrictive rules guiding the use of certain verbs of perception, such as to
hear and to see. These verbs are not permitted to carry the i n g inflection
in the contexts in which we find them in Tutuolas usage.
(48) As these hunters were still telling me the story of Odara as we
were going along to the river, there we were hearing faintly, the
noises which were coming from a long distance (Appendix: 11).
(49) When Odara came nearer all the hills and trees were shaking,
his voice was hearing all over the jungle (Appendix: 12).
(50) After I travelled in this jungle for a few minutes the great
fears, wonders, and uncountable of undescriptive strange things, which
I was seeing here and there were stopped me by force (Appendix: 18).
(51) After I killed obstacle I travelled in this jungle till six oclock
in the evening. As I was travelling along it was so I was killing all the
wild animals that I was seeing on the way (Appendix: 27).
(52) As I was looking for this boa constrictor it was so I was killing all
the wild animals which I was seeing on the way. And in a few days
time I killed the whole of them (Appendix: 30).
3,4,f,2 Examples friyoiying the Habitual Aspectma n
Next in order of significance are examples involving the transfer of the
YL habitual aspect to produce structures that perfectly make sense in YL and
Yoruba English (YE) but are unacceptable in BE. These include rendering in
the past continuous, and occasionally in the past perfect continuous tense,
contexts that in BE would have required either the past simple (as in (57-59))
or the phrasal verb used to (as in.(53-56) below).

123
Contexts Requiring the Modal Verb Used to in BE
As with the other forms of transfer discussed earlier on, the data also
contains many examples of the past continuous being used in contexts where
BE would have required the used to form of the past tense. Examples (53-56)
below are just a few of such instances. In all of these examples, the YL habitual
aspect ma n adequately translates the ideas being conveyed.
The YL rendition of the phrase I was drinking palm-wine from
morning till night in (53) is provided as (53b) below while those tranlating
the ideas being conveyed by (54-56) are provided as (54b-56b) respectively.
(53) My father got eight children and I was the eldest among them, all
of the rest were hard workers, but I myself was an expert palm-wine
drinkard. I was drinking palm-wine from morning till night and
from night till morning (Appendix: 37).
(53b) Mo ma mu emu lti ro di al
IpS HABITUAL drink palm-wine from morning till night
T used to drink palm-wine from morning till night
Examples (54-56) provide further instances where Tutuola transfers the
YL habitual aspect to produce the past continuos tense in contexts that would
have required the phrasal verb used to. Each example from the data is
followed by a YL translation of the sentence or phrase containing the VP in
order to elucidate what exactly was going on in Tutuolas mind when he wrote
those statements. In (54) for instance, his was tapping perfectly translates
the YL ma n d (54b).
(54) So my father gave me a palm-tree farm which was nine miles
square and it contained 560,000 palm-trees, and this palm-wine tapster
was tapping one hundred and fifty kegs of palm-wine every morning
(Appendix: 37)
(54b) admu yi ma n d djo agb emu
palm-wine tapper this HABIT, tap 150 keg palm-wine
this palm-wine tapper used to tap one hundred and fifty kegs of
palm-wine

124
Similarly, Tutuolas were doing and was doing in (55) and (56)
respectively, are a transfer of the YI habitual aspect ma n (55b, 56b). All of
the examples involve activities that took place continuously over a period of
time before the present. They were habitual events. Thus Tutuola is more
concerned about the internal consistency of the activities rather than in the
time of their performance.
(55) I was seven years old before I understood the meaning of bad
and good, because it was at that time I noticed carefully that my father
married three wives as they were doing in those days, if it is not
common nowadays (Appendix: 38).
(55b) bb mi iyw mta b wn se ma se ly tij
father my marry wife three as PLU.do HABIT, do in-world old
my father had married three wives as they used to do in days
gone by/as the practice was in those days
(56) Immediately I held the cudgel and I was expecting him to come
down as he was doing before. A few minutes after that he did not hear
the sound of my shakabullah gun again, he flew down (Appendix: 43).
(56b) mo n ret p ma sokal w b se ma n
IpS INCOM. hope that 3pS ANTI, descend come as 3pS do HBIT.
se t$l$.
do before
T was expecting him to come down as he used to do before.
Contexts Requiring the Past Simple Tense in BE
Examples (57) through (59) provide instances of contexts in which BE
would have required the past simple or past historic tense. Once again, Tutuola
transfers the YL habitual aspect to derive the past continuous tense which is
perfectly within the range of coverage of the former. The logic is simple: the
activities took place in the past, thus the past tense forms witnessed in the
auxiliary verb were. The activities were habitual, thus incompletive, so we
have the -ing endings in the main verbs (assembling, coming, making). In
Tutuolas mind, the BE verbs, met, assembled (57b), came (58b), made (59b), are
too finite and punctual and do not do justice to the incompleteness and

125
ongoingness of the activities in question, thus his resort to the past
continuous, which captures more vividly the internal consistency of the YL
habitual aspect.
(57) It was in this town I saw that they had an Exhibition of Smells.
All the ghosts of this town and environs were assembling yearly and
having a special Exhibition of Smells and the highest prizes were
given to one who had the worst smells and would be recognized as a
king since that day (Appendix: 39).
(57b) Gbogbo won k il yi ti agbgb r£ ma
All PLU. ghost town this and surrounding 3PSObj. HABIT.
pd ldQQdn
meet yearly
All the ghosts of this town and its environs met/assembled
yearly
(58) The market day was fixed for every 5th day and the whole people
of that town and also spirits and curious creatures from various bushes
and forests were coming to this market every 5th day to sell or buy
articles (Appendix: 39).
(58b) won abmi d ma n w s oj yi
PLU. curious creature HABIT. come to market this
curious creatures...came to this market
(59) And under the ground of this jungle, there were metals as brass,
copper, etc., with which the people were making the cutlasses, knives,
hoes, etc., from the iron which were dug out from there. All these
things were attracting the people to force themselves to go there as well
(Appendix: 41).
(59b) t won niyn f ma n se d, Qb$, ok
which PLU. people use HABIT, do cutlass, knives, hoe
with which the people made the cutlasses, knives, hoes
3.4,3 Examples Involving the Anticioative Aspect ma
Although a great majority of Tutuolas transfer involves the
incompletive and the habitual aspects, there are a few examples based on the
transfer of the anticipative aspect. As I have already explained in the previous
chapter (cf. 2.3.2.4), the anticipative aspect describes an activity or event that
is non-existent but likely to take place. It is non-completive and not ongoing
and although such an activity or event has a likelihood of taking place, there

126
are no guarantees it would. It is therefore used in planning, speculating or
predicting. It is used to describe activities or actions that the speaker
anticipates to perform. This aspect is traditionally referred to in the literature
as future tense but the following examples indicate that the anticipative does
not necessarily correspond to the future tense.
(60) Mo ma par i? yi k n t loQl.
IpS ANTI, finish work this before I reach go+home
T plan to complete this job before I go home/ I anticipate
completing this piece of work before going home.
(61) Mo f$4 ma 1q.
IpS want ANTI, go
T am planning to/about to leave.
In both of the examples above, it is obvious that ma is not referring to
some future event, but rather to the present state of mind of the speaker. In
(60), she anticipates finishing whatever job she has already started to do
before leaving for home. Meanwhile she keeps on doing the work and does not
plan to quit until it is completed. In (61), the speaker has probably been
visiting for a while and, remembering that he probably has some other things
to do at home, decides its time to leave.
Contexts acquiring the Conditional Present Simple in BE
In the following examples from the data, Tutuola transfers the
anticipative aspect to EL to derive such conditional past continuous phrases as
would be drinking (62), would be returning (63) and should be
talking (64).
A Yoruba rendition of the clauses containing the highlighted verb
phrases (VPs) in examples (62-64) are given in (62b-64b). In all of the YL
translations, the anticipative aspect adequately captures the ideas being

127
conveyed in the given contexts but BE calls for the use of present simple form
of the verb, preceded by a modal.
(62) After that he would go and tap another 75 kegs in the evening
which I would be drinking till morning (Appendix: 47)
(62b) nrol t mo ma mu tt drQ
in+evening which IpS ANTI, drink until become+morning
in the evening which I would drink until day break
(63) By 4 oclock in the evening, the market would close for that day
and then everybody would be returning to his or her destination or
to where he or she came from (Appendix: 47).
(63b) lhin n gbogbo niyn ma pad s ibd won
after that all people ANTI, return to place 3pPObj.
afterwards everybody would return to their destinations
(64) As I was following them to the river, they were telling me that I
should be talking to them very softly because if Odara the giant
like or cyclops-like creature as I could describe him and who was the
owner of this semi-jungle, heard my voice or any one else, would come
out and kill us (Appendix: 47).
(64) wn n so fn mi p k n ma b won sor
3pP INCOM. teil give me that should I ANTI, with 3pPObj. talk
they were telling me that I should talk to them
Contexts Requiring the Present Simple Tense in BE
In the following examples, Tutuola uses the form "to be + -ing" to
translate the YL "lti (to/in order to) + ma (anticipative)" in contexts where
BE calls for the infinitival form "to + verb".
(65) And also the mosquitoes which were as big as flies did not let me
rest once till the morning, but I had no hands to be driving
them away from my body (Appendix: 47)
(65b) sugbn mi ni ow lti ma l wq>n
but IpS NEG. have hand to ANTI, with chase 3pPObj.
'but I didn't have any hands (with which) to drive them away'
(66) After I ate the porcupine to my satisfaction, I began to think in
mind whether to kill the whole of the wild animals first... or to be
looking for where the pigmies were living in this jungle first before I
would come back to kill those wild animals (Appendix: 48).

128
(66b) tblti ma w ibi t won arar n n gb
or to ANTI, search place which PLUR pigmy those INCOM live
or to look for/keep looking for where the pigmies lived
(67) This huge man was one of the obstacles of this jungle. He was
one of the strongest and the most cruel pigmies who were keeping
watch of the jungle always. His work was to be bringing any hunter
or anyone who came to the jungle, to the town of the pigmies, for
punishment (Appendix: 48).
(67b) Is r$ ni lti ma m odekde tb enikeni
Work 3pSObj. is to ANTI, bring any+hunter or anyone
His work was to bring any hunter or anyone
(68) After he handed my property to the king and another pigmy put
them on the ceiling and the king thanked him greatly and advised him
as well to be going round the jungle every day and night and
bringing all hunters or huntresses he might see in the jungle...
(Appendix: 48).
(68b) lti ma pyi igbo n lrr ti llaal
to ANTI, go+round forest that each+morning and at+night
to go round/keep going round the jungle day and night
What we see in these constructions is that Tutuola appears to derive two
different EL tenses from one and the same YL aspect. The first group are those
he renders with modal+copula+-ing (62-64b) and the second are those with
the form infinitive+copula+-ing (65-68b). In both instances YL uses the
anticipative aspect to achieve the same purpose.
3,4,4 Examples Involving the Relational Aspect ti
The next group of examples from the data, though quite scanty (there
are only four such examples), involves those in which Tutuola transfers the
YL relational aspect to EL to produce the past simple tense in NE. In all of the
contexts, however, BE calls for the past perfect tense. All four instances are
reproduced below, each one followed by a (b) which is a YL translation of the
relevant clauses.

129
(69) After I ate the porcupine to my satisfaction, I began to think in
mind whether to kill the whole of the wild animals first... or to be
looking for where the pigmies were living in this jungle first before I
would come back to kill those wild animals (Appendix: 49).
(69b) Lhin t mo ti je dore n t ara mi lqrn
After that IpS RELAT. eat porcupine that to self me satistaction
After I had eaten the porcupine to my satisfaction
(70) After I killed obstacle I travelled in this jungle till six oclock
in the evening. As I was travelling along it was so I was killing all the
wild animals that I was seeing on the way (Appendix: 49).
(70b) Lhin t mo ti pa idwQ mo rin nn igbo yii
After that IpS ANTI, kill obstacle IpS walk inside forest this
After I had killed obstacle I travelled in this jungle
(71) After I rested for a few minutes then I started to beat him with
my poisonous cudgel until when he was completely powerless and then
he died after some munutes. It was like that I killed this super-animal
as I could call him (Appendix: 49).
(71b) Lhin t mo ti sinmi fn i?j d
After that IpS RELAT. rest for minute few
After I had rested for a few minutes
(72) As I was looking for this boa constrictor it was so I was killing all
the wild animals which I was seeing on the way. And in a few days time
I killed the whole of them (Appendix: 49).
(72b) nwonba ojQ d mo ti Pa gbogbo won tn
during day few IpS RELAT. kill all 3pPObj. finish
in a few days time I had killed all of them
It is quite interesting here that although in the YL VPs the main verb is
usually preceded by an aspect marker (the relational ti in this context),
Tutuola chooses to use the past simple tense in NE, as if he were transfering
the YL completive aspect which, generally, is unmarked in syntax.
Furthermore, the YL relational aspect generally refers to an event or activity
that is yet incomplete with reference to an ongoing one. Thus for Tutuola to
have resorted to the past simple (which is the closest to the YL completive
aspect) is difficult to understand. One would have expected that since the YL
structure is a compound one (i.e. ti + verb), Tutuola would have used a similar
EL tense (i.e. one with a compound structure, such as the present or past

130
perfect). Whatever be the case, though, Tutuola is very consistent in his
transfer and use of his structure of choice.
3.4.5 Examples Involving the Relevant-Inceptive Aspect ti ri
The last group of examples from the data are those involving the
transfer of the relevant-inceptive aspect from YL to derive the past
continuous in contexts where BE calls for either the past perfect or the past
simple tenses. The data contains only four of such usages, two in contexts
where BE would have required the past perfect tense and two in those where
BE would have required the past simple.
Contexts Requiring the Past Perfect in BE
In the examples below Tutuola uses the past continuous tense. The more
accurate tense in BE is the past perfect, in both instances
(73) But when my palm-wine tapster completed the period of 15 years
that he was tapping the palm-wine for me, then my father died
suddenly, and when it was the 6th month after my father had died, the
tapster went to the palm-tree farm on a Sunday evening to tap palm-
wine for me (Appendix: 50).
(73b) t ti n d emu fn mi
that 3pS REL.-INCEP. tap palm-wine give IpSObj.
that he had been tapping palm-wine for me
(74) Because I ought to do all these three works -- To see that I... kill
the whole of the pigmies who were detaining many hunters or to
drive them away from this jungle and the third work was to see that I
bring my four brothers back to my town, because I had promised my
people and the people of my town to do these three works ... (Appendix:
50).
(74b) gbogbo won arr t wn ti n d p ode dr
all PLUR. pigmy who 3pP REL.-INCEP. keep many hunter wait
all of the pigmies who had been detaining many a hunter

131
Contexts Requiring the Past Simple in BE
Two examples from the data fall into this category and these are given
below. In both cases Tutuola uses the past continuous tense, as with the two
examples already discussed above.
(75) His arms were very long and thick. He had a big half fall goitre
on his neck and he had a very big beHy which, whenever he was
going or running along, would be shaking here and there and
sounding heavily (Appendix: 50).
(75b) igbkgb t b ti lo
whenever that 3pS would REL.-INCEP. go
whenever he went
(76) We first wrestled for about fifteen minutes. And each time that he
was flinging me away with great anger, to his surprise, I was
standing up and gripping him before my feet were touching the ground
(Appendix: 50).
(76b) gbogbo igb t ti n j mi n
all time that 3pSObj. REL.-INCEP. throw IpSObj. lost
each time that he flung me away
It is quite understandable why Tutuola would revert to the past
continuous tense of EL to translate the YL relevant-inceptive aspect. Like the
continuous tense of EL, there is an element of incompletion involved in the
relevant-inceptive aspect as it describes an activity or event that has a
starting point in the past but still has relevance into the moment of speech. It
S'
is therefore quite logical that Tutuola would use the past continuous tense of EL
to render these expressions in NE. Although BE would require two different
tenses in these instances, as the data demonstrates, in YL the same aspect is
adequate to cover the ideas conveyed by these two tenses.
In conclusion, since the YL aspects transferred (especially the
incompletive and habitual) have narrative functiona function that is very
conducive to story tellingTutuola appears to have capitalized on these, thus
using them to translate several EL tenses. Tutuola himself being a story-teller

132
whose main purpose was to tell and retell the stories of his people to a world
audience, this function seems very appealing and he took advantage of it to
the very limits of its elasticity. He also broadened the scope of some EL verbs
by assigning to them the semantic characteristics of similar YL verbs. By so
doing, he was able to produce structures that, though unacceptable in BE, do
make a lot of sense within the context of YL and NE.

CHAPTER 4
CONCLUSION
This final chapter consists of two parts: a brief summation of the issues
discussed in the main body of the dissertation, and a consideration of possible
implications for linguistic theory, second language pedagogy and literary
criticism as they relate to the new Englishes and Nigerian English.
4,i.s.mnmacy
This entire dissertation is the result of a brief meeting with Amos
Tutuola a little over twenty years ago. He had, I immediately noticed, a peculiar
way of using the English language that was both fascinating and interesting.
As a young freshman, sitting in a literature in English class and listening
attentively to a humble looking, softspoken, and scantily educated elderly
Yorubaman garbed in a simple Yoruba native attire of bb and skt tell
folktales to us well educated (or at least, so we believed) university students,
I found his language was absolutely intriguing. As a Yoruba person myself, I
could readily identify with some of his stories but there was something about
the way he spoke English that captured my undivided attention. I knew some
of his sentences were grammatically incorrect while some of his
expressions were outright unacceptable to our English-educated minds, which
had given us rules for speaking correct English. This notwithstanding, I was
still able to follow, understand, and even identify with his story. But this
wasnt too strange after all. Tutuolas story readily struck a chord within me.
Although linguistically I couldnt make much sense of what really was going
133

134
on at that time, several years of studying language and linguistics finally
began to give me some clues as to why Tutuola used English the way he did and
why, although most of his structures were grammatically incorrect according
to the British tradition that was imported into Nigeria, I still was able to
understand what he was saying with little or no effort.
Thanks to the linguistic tools I have acquired over the past years, I have
found, in revisiting of Tutuolas works that it has become much easier to have
a better understanding of his language. In addition, I think I have begun to
understand why he spoke and wrote the way he did, or to put it in a better way,
why he wrote the way he spoke, and, in addition, that the way he spoke
actually was an outflow of the way he thought. What Tutuola was doing in
essence was to think in Yoruba, then translate his thoughts into English
before putting them into writing. The end result of this linguistic alchemy was
an English language touched by, then molded and shaped by Yoruba
worldview and thought processes, a new type of English that Afolayan,
another Yoruba and a distinguished professor of English, would later on refer
to as Yoruba English and an internet reviewer would describe as having the
cyclical nature of extended drumming, a good reminder of the Yoruba
language itself, a tonal language that uses the talking drum as one of its
means of communication through an artful combination and manipulation of
the three tonal system of the language.
In order to anchor Tutuola and his language properly in its own
context, I have provided a brief background (in Chapter 1) to the peculiar
situation that brought two languages, from two different worlds of experience
to have a destiny that is so close but yet different. This was the main thrust of
my first chapter in which I told who the Yoruba are, where they live and
interact, and how the colonial experience came to alter forever the destinies of

135
the Yoruba people and their British subjugators as well as those of their
languages, and thereby creating new varieties of Yoruba and English through
that process. Secondly, I gave a brief attention to the Yoruba language,
showing that it is a coherent system in its own right. This was to lay the
necessary foundation for demonstrating how it has contributed to the way
English is used in the Nigerian context, and most importantly, in Tutuolas
writings.
Most of the studies on language contact and influence, especially those
dealing with the contact between English and other languages, have been
undertaken from the perspective of English and have focussed mainly on the
influence of English on these languages. Comparatively little, however, has
been done on how these other languages have also influenced, affected, and
changed the face of English and the way it is used around the world. It was the
second concern that became important in chapter three.
In Chapter 2, my focus was on the internal workings of the Yoruba verb
phrase, with particular emphasis on temporal relations in the language.
However, within this system the story of the contact with English is replayed
again, by the way Yoruba grammatical description itself has been shaped and
influenced by English over the years as a result of the English-based
educational background of the linguists and grammarians doing the analysis.
Thus, I pointed out some of these problematic areas of Yoruba grammatical
description and attempted a more Yoruba-based and Yoruba-centric approach.
The main thrust of Chapter 2, then, was to propose that rather than a
tense based language, as most previous grammars have suggested, Yoruba is
primarily an aspect-driven language. A twelve aspect classification was
proposed, with two main subdivisions into simple and complex aspects. The
simple aspects include the completive, incompletive, relational, anticipative

136
and the intentional. The complex aspect series comprises the backgrounder,
expective, inceptive, manifestive, antecedent completion, relevant-inceptive
and the habitual. The simple aspects consist of single aspect markers while the
complex ones are various combinations of the simple aspect markers, some two
and others three. These complex combinations were shown to be
rule-governed and syntactically constrained, having the order: ((((y) +
(((((ti)) + ((ma)))) + (n)))). Thus apart from the fact that each of the aspect
markers can stand as aspects in their own rights, we have three other
combinatorial sequences involving y: y ti, y ti ma and y ma;
four complex combinations involving ti: y ti, y ti ma, ti ma, ti ma
n and ti n; five combinations involving ma: y ti ma, y ma, ti
ma, ti ma n and ma n; and three combinatorial possibilities of rf: ti
ma n, ti n and ma n. These combinations, together with the individual
single (simple) aspects, make up the repertoire of aspects in the Yoruba
language.
Although some of these aspects have been identified in earlier anlyses
(mostly in unpublished theses and articles), earlier attempts were inadequate
in a number of ways. Some writers failed to identify aspect markers and thus
assigned them to other categories of the grammar. Others referred to most of
these aspect markers as either tense markers, preverbs or modals. One other
problem with these earlier classifications is that exemplified by Bolorunduros
analysis. In that analysis he proposed some 40-50 different aspects for Yoruba
of which he came up with just 38. Some of these are actually verbs, others
modals or even morpho-phonological variants of the same aspect. The main
problem with Bolorunduros study is its lack of rigorous analysis and its
consequent need for fine-tuning.

137
One of the main purposes of my analysis has been to provide a more
rigorous, comprehensive and exhaustive list of Yoruba aspects and their
combinatorial possibilities in the language. I have also attempted to answer
Bolorunduros lingering question about Bamgboses classification of Yoruba
tenses into simple without a corresponding complex tense. The latters
question was that if there is a simple tense, shouldnt there also be a complex
tense? My analysis of Yoruba aspect into simple and complex aspects, I believe,
answers that question, albeit in a different way from previously attempted
efforts to answer that question. While Bamgboses analysis identifies Yoruba as
a tense language, mine calls for an aspect-oriented approach to the language.
The nagging problem with Yoruba grammatical analysis is that it has been
approached from the perspective of the English language, which in turn has
given rise to the deficit hypothesis syndrome that has plagued most attempts at
a more independent analysis of the language. In this study, I have made a
concerted effort to look at Yoruba for what it is: Yoruba (and not English or
any other language for that matter). I believe that Yoruba, like any other
language, should be seen as a complete system within itself and be anaylzed as
such, rather than compared, favorably or unfavorably, to another language.
To me, this is the only path to a fair, just and honest grammatical analysis of
any language.
In Chapter 3, my analysis of Tutuolas English is intended to show how
other languages, and Yoruba specifically, have affected and continue to affect
the way English is being described and used around the globe. In order to
demonstrate how Yoruba has contributed to how English is used, judged and
perceived in the Nigerian environment, however, I needed to, by necessity,
give a brief analysis of the Yoruba language as a linguistic system on its own
merit, and this is what I did in the chapters prior to this one.

138
The purpose of this dissertation is to show why Tutuola wrote the way he
did, using just one of the major elements of influence from his mother tongue,
Yoruba. I chose to focus on the influence of Yoruba aspect because it happens
to be the most pervasive as well as the most subtle element in the syntactic
make-up of Tutuolas English. A close look at how aspect operates in the
Yoruba language was very useful and necessary in deciphering the
underlying structures of Tutuolas supposedly mangled English.
Of course, aspectual influences alone cannot explain all of the
idiosyncracies of his grammar. Other influences also exist, especially those we
find in his noun phrases, which involve the omission of certain elements such
as articles and other determinants and modifiers that are obligatory in the
target British English or even Standard American English. It is only this type
of careful and painstaking analysis that could help us properly appraise the
language of Tutuola and consequently his works and thus place the man and
his works in their rightful place in the literary world and give him the honor
that he so much deserves--a comfortable place among the literary giants of
our time.
What I have attempted to demonstrate here is that what Tutuola does is
not arbitrary at all, but is, instead, rather systematic and even rule-governed.
Tutuolas English cannot just be simply dismissed as errors of grammar or of
usage, in the very negative sense of those terms, but rather the painstaking
effort of a man with little formal education in English who carefully patterns
his English after the structure and rules of his mother tongue in order to
communicate to posterity a passionthat of preserving the folklore of his
people for generations yet unborn. To achieve this noble objective, Tutuola
has had to domesticate the English lnaguage, remold and refashion it into a
useful tool to communicate his message to a worldwide audience. He would not

139
allow the fear of not writing or speaking correct grammar to dissuade him
from leaving a legacy for the next generation. Rather than see in EL a
handicap, he saw in it a tool, a powerful tool, to communicate the passion of his
life to posterity.
In these days when some educators and language teachers are more
interested in grammatical accuracy, people like Tutuola continue to remind us
that the communication of ideas is far more important than grammatical
correctness. Of course, this is not to encourage a deliberate mutilation of
grammatical structures, but rather to put things into a perspective that places
more emphasis on communicative competence than on grammatical
competence. It is this dimension, this balance, that linguistics and, especially
the sub-field of sociolinguistics has sought to bring to language education in
recent decades by its emphasis on language in use, in society. By this, it
recognizes the chief purpose of language: to communicate, and not just to be
able to produce correct sentences. Communication is far more complex than
just the ability to put words and phrases together in a perfect sequence. In
fact, so strong is the stance of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA)--the
highest linguistic body in the United States-on this matter that it boldly issued
a statement of position during the highly publicized and polarized debate on
the Oakland Ebonics issue affirming the legitimacy of Ebonics as a coherent
linguistic system. Tutuola and his like continue to remind us that a person with
a message should not be at the mercy of those who have assumed authority
over grammatical correctness. The message must not be at the mercy of the
medium. A person with a message should not be stifled; that message should be
heard, its communication enhanced.
Tutuola was a man with a message, a universal message, and he did not
allow any form of distractions to deter him from giving his message to the

140
world. That The Palm-Wine Drinkard which was first published in 1952, is still
being translated into more languages around the world today is a proof of the
legacy of a man who could not be stopped or silenced. Amos Tutuola was a man
with a will and a purpose, and although he himself has gone to the the Deads
Town, his story and his message still live on as constant reminders of the
power and universality of the Story. For, the Story does for our soul what no
medicine can do--it soothes, inspires, encourages, challenges, appeals, reaches
deep down to our very essence and being.
Rather than demonized as some critics have attempted to do, I believe
Tutuola should instead be praised for taking the bold steps that he took at a
time when no one else had attempted to do so among his own people. It is this
pioneering spirit of Tutuolas that should be celebrated over and above the
clanging cymbals of noise over grammatical correctness. The words of wisdom
of Achebe, Obi Wali, Soyinka, and many others come in as excellent reminders
of the real issues at stake here and of the importance of handling them
carefully so as not to do damage to the man, his message and his legacy.
My closing challenge to Tutuolas critics and detractors out there,
especially those that abhor his language, is to replicate this type of research
in other areas of influence such as those mentioned above. Then and only
then will we become able to honestly and properly critique his works. At this
juncture, one cannot help but remember two famous and often quoted
statements of Tutuolas contemporaries, one a fellow Nigerian, the other an
Indian cousin (cf. § 3.2), regarding the English language and its use in new
contexts. What Tutuola did was to make the English language carry the
weight of his African experience and in doing so he had to transform it,
stretch it, impact it, fragment and reassemble it, in the words of Wole
Soyinka, without any apologies whatsoever. He had to remold it so as to make it

141
bear, by necessity, the burden of his experiences. I believe that Tutuola has
achieved the purpose for which he wrote. Evidence for this is seen in the fact
that his works continue to attract followers and admirers around the world, as
he continues to be re-discovered and discovered in places where he had been
hitherto unknown. Several years after his death, many still continue to
reclaim him as their own. To borrow the age-old biblical saying, it can be
safely said of Tutuola too that he being dead yet speaketh.
My hope is that this effort will encourage similar researches into other
areas of Tutuolas English and bring the findings to the awareness of those
who might wish to study his works. Such analyses shoud help to elucidate the
mans vision and thus his mission. Such knowledge should help in reducing
the hostility towards Tutuolas works that one often finds among Nigerian
critics. If the present work has helped in some way to take one necessary step
towards a better understanding and appreciation of Tutuola, then his work will
not have been in vain.
4.2 Implications of the Study
The implications of this study are several and far-reaching. Foremost is
the implication for a theory of grammar. It has been the contention of
linguistic science for decades now that every language is a self-sufficient
system and can be used to express all of the experiences, hopes and aspirations
of its speakers as well as new experiences that may present themselves. Earlier
grammarians have tended to look at Yoruba from the perspective of English
and the direct effect of that view was grammars based on the English
language, all of which have proved inadequate for a proper and adequate
analysis of Yoruba. In chapter two I proposed a strictly aspect-based analysis
of the Yoruba language as a means of accounting more accurately for many of

142
the confusions brought about by previous tense-based analyses. This approach
is especially important and may have far-reaching consequences for the field
linguist who wishes to embark on the analysis of a previously unwritten
language. A linguist who hopes to succeed in this effort must shed all previous
misconceptions about what the language should look like or what it should or
shouldnt contain within its system. It is only such an unbiased approach that
can produce a grammar that is devoid of false representations.
Studies like the one I have presented here also have implications for
second language acquisition theory. Within the context of language contact
where the transplanted language is used in an official capacity in places
where there exist active and vibrant indigenous languages that are languages
of wider communication within their own regions, used side by side with
English as languages of the media, of regional government and intra- and
inter-state commerce, this approach can be particularly important. In such an
environment, it is very natural to expect strong mutual influences, resulting
in changes in the ways both established and transplanted languages are used.
English now belongs to the world community. Normal language changes
chronicled in the linguistics literature apply to International English in ways
comparable to other language change. Some changes are occasioned by
language contact, others by normalizationalso known in linguistic
terminology as linguistic productivity. Productive changes are reflected in the
ways that generation after generation acquires structure. The unbiased field
method approach can be expected to prove valuable. This type of analysis is
valuable to nations around the world in which this kind of process is still
taking place, if only to show that what some language users might assume to
be a deteriorated form of language is, in fact, evidence of the life of the
language. Efforts along these lines may also shed light on questions

143
concerning ways that other native languages affect English when it is used as
an official language, within a different socio-cultural context.
The implication of this study for contact linguistics are quite simple and
obvious: it leads to an understanding that language contact and interaction is a
two-way process. When two languages come into contact, there are bound to be
mutual influences at various levels of grammar and usage. As both languages
interact with each other, a complex chemistry begins to take place within both
languages that results in changes-not corruptionwithin the two systems.
Tutuolas English, and by the same token, Nigerian English and other forms of
English used in non-native contexts, are a direct product of such linguistic
alchemy. Such knowledge will help to foster a better understanding and
toleration for varieties and diversity within the English family of languages
around the globe.
Such an understanding can also have repercussions in the area of
literary criticism. It is of utmost importance that critics of literary works have
a good grasp of the theory and implications of language variation and change.
This should help to avoid the type of intolerance and rigidity towards
variations in language use that characterize many a critical work. As I have
mentioned elsewhere in this study, the type of heavy-handedness to which
Tutuolas works have been subjected, as a result of the peculiarities of his
language, would not have shown itself had such critics had a basic
understanding of the theory of language contact, with its explanation of
changes that take place as a part of the normal process of acculturation and
nativization.
Studies of the type in which I have been engaged here also have
obvious implications for second language learning and teaching. This is
particularly true with regard to the teaching of English as a second language

144
(ESL), especially within the Nigerian context. ESL teachers must have an
understanding that languages change as they journey to new destinations and
take up new life in different geo-cultural milieus. In fact, I propose that
courses in language variation and change be included in the curriculum of
those who are trained to become ESL teachers in places (such as Nigeria)
where English is not a mother tongue. The knowledge acquired from such
courses will help teachers handle the idiosyncracies they may come across in
their students usage in the ESL classroom. Instead of handling the
interlanguge grammar of their students with unbending rigidity, (cf. Lado
1957, Selinker 1972, 1992; Cook 1993) they will be able to look beyond such
interferences (cf. Weinreich 1953) and deviations and see these so-called
errors of usage as normal steps in the learning process. They will also
understand that learners and speakers of a transplanted language, as is the
case with English in Nigeria, cannot, and should not be expected to use the
language in exactly the same way as speakers for whom it is a first language,
and for most, probably the only language. Most Nigerian (and in fact, African)
users of English are multilingual and for a great majority of them English
comes along as either a second, third or even fourth language, in order of
acquisition. With understanding of changes that result from language contact,
ESL teachers will understand that it is quite preposterous to expect their
students to speak and use English exactly the same way as a British or
American monolongual speaker uses English. Achebes and Raos unequivocal
and unapologetic response to such an unrealistic expectation are worth
repeating here.
So my answer to the question, Can an African ever learn English well
enough to be able to use it effectively in creative writing? is certainly
yes. If on the other hand you ask: Can he ever learn to use it like a
native speaker? I should say, I hope not. It is neither necessary nor
desirable for him to be able to do so (Achebe: 1965: 29-30).

145
Achebes statement echoes that of another creative writer in English from far
away India who wrote with similar convictions more than two decades before
him. Rajah Raos deep seated conviction is captured in two brief but strong
sentences: We cannot write like the English. We should not. (Rao 1943: vii).
Another issue this raises is that of the often heard and debated
argument about what constitutes the English literary canon. Since African
writers and others in the Outer Circle (to borrow Kachrus terminology),
have written in English and have been able to excel at this, receiving
international recognition, awards and encomiums, we are forced to have to
face the issue of the English literary canon, which has hitherto been mainly
Euro-centric. It probably is about time (as Kachru and other users of the so-
called non-native varieties of English have been advocating for years now) to
reconsider a revision of this canon to include the works of other non-native
speakers of English. This call is for a more inclusive and diversified canon,
especially since the latter serves as the basis of our judgment and criticism of
works written in English language.
This question about the English literary canon brings us to another
very important issue in ESL pedagogy, theory, methodology, and materials
development. Let us first consider the issue of models and norms. ESL teachers
must recognize that the British or even the American model of English is no
longer valid nor practical as a sole guide for speaking and writing English in
nations like Nigeria, where new models have evolved due to nativization and
acculturation (see Kachru 1982, 1987 for further discussions on models and
norms for non-native varieties of English). The implication of this on the
pragmatics of teaching English as an international language is also far-
reaching, as it has repercussions on the teaching of English for specific
purposes (ESP) and communicative language teaching!CLT). The ESL teacher

146
of the so-called non-native varieties of English must come to grips with the
reality of change in norms and models in those places where English has
acquired new life and flavor in new contexts and environments. The
implications of this will also reverberate in the areas of ESL teaching
materials, methodology as well as in language testing and evaluation. Just as
the British model cannot be the model taught in American classrooms, neither
should it be the sole model used for teaching English in Nigeria. This is
actually a very sensitive issue in ESL teaching in Nigeria today. Here English
teachers who do not themselves speak the British model of English
nevertheless still expect their students to speak like the British. Since this is
practically impossible, a lot of students receive bad grades in English, which
consequently impedes their academic progress and educational attainment
since English is still the language of academic and social mobility in the
country.
A further understanding of the relationship between the two or more
languages spoken by students in developing countries will make it apparent
that there is a need for a revision of outmoded English curricula and syllabi
throughout the nation. What I am proposing here is that, along with the
current texts used as models of English in the country, stories by Tutuola and
his likes should also be read.
It is not a secret that the English used in Nigeria today is no longer the
English that the Christian missionaries and British colonial authorities
brought into the region during the early years of the nineteenth century. The
very face of English has changed a lot since then, whether in Nigeria or in its
original homeland of Britain. It is a well established linguistic fact than
languages change with time, and Nigerian English is clearly no exception. ESL

147
teachers must be open to new ideas and new findings about language, and
ready to use what they learn as they teach.
On a final note, not only does this dissertation have implications for the
teachers of English to Yoruba speakers, but also to teachers of Yoruba to
English speakers, both in Nigeria and abroad. It should lead to a better
understanding and appreciation of the internal workings of both languages
and how to successfully teach those learning them as a second language. It is
my hope that work along these lines will eventually facilitate communication
and understanding at both regional and global levels. Such studies can, I
think, not only contribute to a better appreciation of Tutuolas works, but to a
better understanding of Nigerian English as a whole, and to the ongoing effort
to define the corpus of Nigerian English within the larger framework of the
International Corpus of English (ICE). In practical terms it should contribute
to a better understanding of the influence of the mother tongue (LI) on the
acquisition of a second language (L2) in general and English as a second
language (ESL) in particular, and finally may foster a better understanding of
the important contributions indigenous languages are making to English
worldwide and in so doing, enriching the latter while changing its face
globally.

APPENDIX
aspect Habitual
quote My father got eight children and I was the
eldest among them, all of the rest were hard
workers, but I myself was an expert palm-
wine drinkard. I was drinking palm-wine
from morning till night and from night till
morning.
YL maan NE was drinking
B E used to
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 7
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote So my father gave me a palm-tree farm which
was nine miles square and it contained
560,000 palm-trees, and this palm-wine
tapster was tapping one hundred and fifty
kegs of palm-wine every morning...
book title PWD
page 7
YL maan NE was tapping
B E used to
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote So my friends were uncountable by that time
and they were drinking palm-wine with
me from morning till a late hour in the night
book title PWD
page 7
YL maan NE were drinking
B E habitually
aspect Habitual
quote When I saw that there was no palm-wine for
me again, and nobody could tap it for me,
then I thought within myself that old people
were saying that the whole people who had
died in this world, did not go to heaven
directly...
YL maan NE were saying
B E used to
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 9
148

149
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote I was seven years old before I understood the
meaning of bad and good, because it was
at that time I noticed carefully that my father
married three wives as they were doing in
those days, if it is not common nowadays
book title LBG
page 17
YL maa n NE were doing
B E used to
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote My mother was a petty trader who was
going to various markets every day to sell
articles and returning home in the evening,
or if the market is very far she would return
next day in the evening
book title LBG
page 17
YL maa n NE was going
B E used to
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote But as my mother was a petty trader who was
going here and there, so one morning she
went to a maket which was about three miles
away from our town...
book title LBG
page 18
YL maa n NE was going
B E used to
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote [...] She left two slices of cooked yam for us
(my brother and myself) as she was usually
doing
book title LBG
page 18
YL maa n NE was usually doing
B E usually

150
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote [...] I never drank water since I left my
brother or since I entered into the Bush of
Ghosts, but they gave me urine as it was
their water which they were storing in a
big pot, of course I refused to drink it as well
book title LBG
page 34
YL maan NE were storing
B E usually
aspect Habitual
quote It was in this town I saw that they had an
Exhibition of Smells. All the ghosts of this
town and environs were assembling yearly
and having a special Exhibition of Smells
and the highest prizes were given to one who
had the worst smells and would e recognized
as a kine since rhat dav...
YL maan NE were assembling
B E habitually
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 35
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote I thought within myself that old people were
saying that the whole people who died in this
world, did not go to heaven directly, but they
were living in one place somewhere in this
world.
book title PWD
page 9
YL n NE were living
B E continue to
aspect Anticipative
author Tutuola
quote After that he would go and tap another 75
kegs in the evening which I would be
drinking till morning.
book title PWD
page 7
YL maa NE would be drinking
B E would

151
aspect Relevant-inceptive
quote But when my palm-wine tapster completed
the period of 15 years that he was tapping
the palm-wine for me, then my father died
suddenly, and when it was the 6th month
after my father had died, the tapster went to
the palm-tree farm on a Sunday evening to
tan nalm-wine for me.
YL tin NE was tapping
B E had been
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 8
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Then I told the old man (god) that I am
looking for my palm-wine tapster who had
died in my town some time ago, he did not
answer to my question but asked me first
what was my name?
book title PWD
page 10
YL n NE am looking for
BE was
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote So that since the day that I had brought Death
out from his house, he has no permanent
place to dwell or stay, and we are hearing
his name about in the world.
book title PWD
page 16
YL n NE are hearing
BE continue to/still
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote The market day was fixed for every 5 th day
and the whole people of that town and also
spirits and curious creatures from various
bushes and forests were coming to this
market every 5th day to sell or buy articles.
book title PWD
page 17
YL maa n NE were coming
B E habitually

152
aspect Anticipative
quote By 4 oclock in the evening, the market would
close for that day and then everybody would
be returning to his or her destination or to
where he or she came from.
YL maa NE would be returning
B E would
author Tutuola
book tltlePWD
page 17
aspect Habitual
quote So, one day she went to the market on a
market-day as she was doing before, or to
sell her articles as usual; on that market-day,
she saw a curious creature in the market, but
she did not know where the man came from
and never knew him before.
YL maa n NE was doing
B E used to
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 18
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote But as she was following the complete
gentleman along the road, he was telling
her to go back or not to follow him, but the
lady did not listen to what he was telling her
and when the complete gentleman had tired
of telling her not to follow him or to go back
ro her town, he left her to follow him.
YL n NE was telling
B E repeatedly told
book tltlePWD
page 19
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote When I travelled with him a distance of about
twelve miles away to that market, the
gentleman left the really road on which we
were travelling and branched into an endless
forest and I was following him ...
book title PWD
page 26
YL n NE was following
B E followed

aspect Incompletive
153
quote He picked one cowrie out of the pit, after that
he was running towards me, and the whole
crowd wanted to tie the cowrie on my neck
too.
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 27
YL n NE was running
BE ran
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Immediately the whole Skull family heard the
whistle when blew to them, they were
rushing out to the place and before they
could reach there, I had left their hole for the
forest...
book title PWD
page 28
YL n NE were rushing
B E rushed
aspect Incompletive
quote I was told that he was now at Deads town
and they told me that he was living with
deads at the Deads town, they told me that
the town was very far away and only deads
were living there.
YL n NE was living/were living
B E lived
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 41
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote After a while he came out with two of his
attendants who were following him to
wherever he wanted to go. Then the
attendants loosened me from the stump, so he
mounted me and the two attendants were
following him with whips in their hands
and flogging me along in the bush.
YL n NE were following
B E followed
book title LBG
page 37

154
aspect Incompletive
quote Having finished the corn another terrible
ghost whose eyes were watering all over his
body and his large mouth faced his back
brought urine which was mixed with
limestone to me to drink as thery were not
using ordinary water there because it is too
clean for them.
YL n NE were not using
B E did not use
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 39
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote And the worst part of these punishments was
that as I was tied in the sun all the young
ghosts of this village were mounting me
and getting down as if I am a tree as they
were very surprised to see me as a horse.
book title LBG
page 39
YL n NE were mounting
B E kept mounting
aspect Incompletive
quote As it was very dark at that time, so I was
staggering or dashing into trees along
the way when he was returning to his town,
and it was almost one oclock midnight before
we reached his town.
YL n NE staggering or dashing
B E staggered or ...
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 39
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote But after I ate some of this food he changed
me again to the form of a camel and then his
sons were using me as transport to carry
heavy loads to long distances of about twenty
of forty miles.
book title LBG
page 40
YL n NE were using
BE used

155
aspect Incompletive
quote But when the rest of the smelling-ghosts
noticed that I was useful for such purpose
then the whole of them were hiring me
from my boss to carry loads to long distances
and returning again in the evening with
heavier loads.
YL n NE were hiring
B E hired
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 40
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote But as soon as he went away I saw where he
hid the juju which he was using to change
me to any animal or creature that he likes, so
I took it and put it into my pocket so that he
might not change me to anything again.
book title LBG
page 40
YL n NE was using
B E used
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote God is so good, he did not remember to take
the juju when he came out from the house, he
thought that he had already put it inside the
pocket of his leathern trousers which he was
always belting with a big boa constrictor ...
book title LBG
page 40
YL ma'n NE was always belting
B E always belted
aspect Habitual
quote Of course as a stream crossed the road on
which we were travelling to this pasture so
I was drinking the water from it when going
early in the morning and alsowhen
returning in the evening and I was feeding
only on this water as food.
YL maa n NE were travelling
B E travelled
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 44

156
aspect Habitual
quote Of course as a stream crossed the road on
which we were travelling to this pasture so I
was drinking the water from it when going
early in the morning and also when
returning in the evening and I was feeding
only on this water as food.
YL maan NE was drinking/was feeding
B E drank/fed
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 44
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote Then they started to flog me with heavy clubs
and also ill treat me as they were treating
wild or stubborn cows, so I was feeling much
pain and still I was unable to eat the grasses
or to be doing as other cows were doing.
book title LBG
page 44
YL maan NE were treating
B E treated
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Then they started to flog me with heavy clubs
and also illtreat me as they were treating wild
or stubborn cows, so I was feeling much
pain and still I was unable to eat the grasses
or to be doing as other cows were doing.
book title LBG
page 44
YL n NE was feeling
BE felt
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Then they started to flog me with heavy clubs
and also illtreat me as they were treating wild
or stubborn cows, so I was feeling much pain
and still I was unable to eat the grasses or to
be doing as other cows were doing.
book title LBG
page 44
YL n NE were doing
BE did

157
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote So when these cow-men were returning to
their town in the evening with me as no one
bought me on that market day again, they
were abusing and clubbing me repeatedly
along the homeway.
book title LBG
page 45
YL n NE were returning
B E returned
aspect Incompletive
quote So when these cow-men were returning to
their town in the evening with me as no one
bought me on that market day again, they
were abusing and clubbing me
repeatedly along the homeway.
YL n NE were abusing and clubbing
B E abused/clubbed
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 45
aspect Anticipative
author Tutuola
quote And also the mosquitoes which were as big as
flies did not let me rest once till the morning,
but I had no hands to be driving them away
from my body...
book title LBG
page 46
YL maa NE be driving
B E drive
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote But as this snake was also fearful to me too, book title LBG
then I was crying louder than before, and page 50
when the homeless-ghost was hearing my
voice inside this wood, it was a lofty music for
him, then he started to dance the ghosts
dance ...
YL n NE was crying
B E cried

158
aspect Incompletive
quote But as this snake was also fearful to me too,
then I was crying louder than before, and
when the homeless-ghost was hearing
my voice inside this wood, it was a lofty music
for him, then he started to dance the ghosts
dance ...
YL n NE was hearing
B E heard
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 50
aspect Habitual
quote He would kill many goats for his gods, he
would sacrifice a large number of cocks and
plenty of palm oil to the witches -- those old
and weary mothers who were sleeping
always in the dark rooms -- the windowless
and unventilated rooms which surrounded
the rorrmound.
YL maa n NE were sleeping
B E sleep
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 9
aspect Habitual
quote And under the ground of this jungle, there
were metals as brass, copper, etc., with which
the people were making trays, bowls, gods,
idols. They were also making the cutlasses,
knives, hoes, etc., from the iron which were
dug out from there. All these things were
attracting the neonle to force themselves to
YL maa n NE were making
BE made
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 11
aspect Habitual
quote And under the ground of this jungle, there
were metals as brass, copper, etc., with which
the people were making trays, bowls, gods,
idols. They were also making the cutlasses,
knives, hoes, etc., from the iron which were
dug out from there. All these things were
attracting the neonle to force themselves to
YL maa n NE were also making
B E also made
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 11

159
aspect Habitual
quote And under the ground of this jungle, there
were metals as brass, copper, etc., with which
the people were making trays, bowls, gods,
idols. They were also making the cutlasses,
knives, hoes, etc., from the iron which were
dug out from there. All these things were
attracting the neonle to force themselves to
YL maan NE were attracting
B E attracted
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 11
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote As a great number of the people were
perishing in this jungle every year, then
the people of about fifty towns made a
meeting between themselves to go there and
kill all the wild animals, etc., and all the
pigmies.
YL n NE were perishing
B E perished
book title BAH
page 12
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Of course all hunters believed that the
pigmies were living in there but they did
not know the real part of it in which they
were living.
book title BAH
page 12
YL n NE were living
B E lived
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Of course all hunters believed that the
pigmies were living in there but they did not
know the real part of it in which they were
living.
book title BAH
page 12
YL n NE were living
B E lived

160
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote As from that time he was going to hunt in
this jungle regularly. But he was still in great
sorrow because as he was going there he did
not see any trace of his sons at all.
book title BAH
page 12
YL maa n NE was going to hunt
BE went
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As from that time he was going to hunt in this
jungle regularly. But he was still in great
sorrow because as he was going there he did
not see any trace of his sons at all.
book title BAH
page 12
YL n NE was going
BE went
aspect Incompletive
quote So since that day he bacame a farmer. He was
planting his food as yam, cassava, corn,
pepper, etc. But as he was the head of all the
hunters who were always coming to his house
for advices about the wild animals, dangerous
creatures, etc.
YL n NE was planting
B E planted
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 14
aspect Habitual
quote So since that day he bacame a farmer. He was
planting his food as yam, cassava, corn,
pepper, etc. But as he was the head of all the
hunters who were always coming to his
house for advices about the wild animals,
dangerous creatures, etc.
YL maa n NE were always coming
B E always came
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 14

161
aspect Completive
quote So whenever those hunters were coming to
his house, they were coming there with many
smoked small animals which they killed in
the jungle and they would give them to him
as presents and thus they were giving him
the animals every day.
YL unmarked NE were coming
BE came
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 14
aspect Habitual
quote So whenever those hunters were coming to
his house, they were coming there with
many smoked small animals which they kiUed
in the jungle and they would give them to
him as presents and thus they were giving
him the animals every day.
YL maa n NE were coming
BE came
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 14
aspect Habitual
quote So whenever those hunters were coming to
his house, they were coming there with many
smoked small animals which they killed in
the jungle and they would give them to him
as presents and thus they were giving him
the animals every day.
YL maa n NE were giving
BE gave
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 14
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote When I overheard from this woman and
when I ran back home, I sat closely to my
father. Then I was thinking seriously in
my mind whether my father had had another
sons before I was born.
book title BAH
page 15
YL n NE was thinking
B E thought

162
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote When my father explained to me like that
with laugh, I told him again that I would first
kill all of the wild animals before I would
start to find where the pigmies were living
in the jungle.
book title BAH
page 16
YL n NE were living
B E lived
aspect Habitual author Tutuola
quote He said that this animal had a kind of two
fearful eyes which had a kind of powerful
light. The ray of the light was round and was
moving along with this animal as it was
going along. The light of the eyes never
quenched at any time but it (light) could not
travel far.
YL
maa n
NE was moving
BE
moved
book title BAH
page 16
aspect Incompletive
quote He said that this animal had a kind of two
fearful eyes which had a kind of powerful
light. The ray of the light was round and was
moving along with this animal as it was
going along. The light of the eyes never
quenched at any time but it (light) could not
travel far.
YL n NE was going
BE went
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 16
aspect Incompletive
quote After I did all these things I knelt down
before those hunters. As they were praying
for me that -- Though you are a lady and you
are still young to go and hunt in the Jungle of
the Pigmies, but as you are going there or
volunteer your life to go there for the benefit
of this town and others...
YL n NE were praying
B E prayed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 20

163
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was going along the whole people were
following me and the hunters were shooting
their guns repeatedly. The people who were
not hunters were telling me loudly -- Come
back, dont go to the Jungle of the Pigmies, it
is a bad jungle! but I did not listen to them, I
was iust going on as hastily as I could.
YL n NE was going
BE went
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 20
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was going along the whole people were
following me and the hunters were
shooting their guns repeatedly. The people
who were not hunters were telling me loudly
-- Come back, dont go to the Jungle of the
Pigmies, it is a bad jungle! but I did not listen
to them. T was iust going on as hastily as T
YL n NE were following
B E followed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 20
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was going along the whole people were
following me and the hunters were
shooting their guns repeatedly. The people
who were not hunters were telling me loudly
-- Come back, dont go to the Jungle of the
Pigmies, it is a bad jungle! but I did not listen
to them. T was iust going on as hastily as T
YL n NE were shooting
B E shot
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 20
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was going along the whole people were
following me and the hunters were shooting
their guns repeatedly. The people who were
not hunters were telling me loudly --
Come back, dont go to the Jungle of the
Pigmies, it is a bad jungle! but I did not listen
to them. I was iust going on as hastily as T
YL n NE were telling
BE told
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 21

164
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was going along the whole people were
following me and the hunters were shooting
their guns repeatedly. The people who were
not hunters were telling me loudly -- Come
back, dont go to the Jungle of the Pigmies, it
is a bad jungle! but I did not listen to them, I
was iust eoine on as hastilv as T could.
YL n NE was just going
BE went
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 21
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote This was the junction of roads that which
used to confuse the stranger, because I did not
know which of these roads to travel to the
jungle. Then I stopped there and I was
thinking in mind how to distinguish the
right one which led to the jungle.
YL
n
NE was thinking
BE
thought
book title BAH
page 22
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was following them to the river, they
were telling me that I should be talking to
them very softly because if Odara the giant
like or cyclops-like creature as I could
describe him and who was the owner of this
semi-jungle, heard my voice or any one else,
would come out and kill us.
YL n NE was following
B E followed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 24
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was following them to the river, they
were telling me that I should be talking to
them very softly because if Odara the giant
like or cyclops-like creature as I could
describe him and who was the owner of this
semi-jungle, heard my voice or any one else,
would come our and kill us.
YL n NE were telling
BE told
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 24

165
aspect Anticipative
quote As I was following them to the river, they
were telling me that I should be talking to
them very softly because if Odara the giant
like or cyclops-like creature as I could
describe him and who was the owner of this
semi-jungle, heard my voice or any one else,
would come out and kill us.
YL maa NE should be talking
BE talk
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 25
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As these hunters were still telling me the
story of Odara as we were going along to
the river, there we were hearing faintly, the
noises which were coming from a long
distance.
book title BAH
page 25
YL n NE were going
BE went
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As these hunters were still telling me the
story of Odara as we were going along to the
river, there we were hearing faintly, the
noises which were coming from a long
distance.
book title BAH
page 25
YL n NE were hearing
B E heard
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote The noises were just as if thousands of book title BAH
hooligans were foiling their cruel and page 25
merciless leader to some place where they
were going to cause harm to several people.
Then these hunters who had already known
the attitudes of Odara listened to the noises
as we were still eoine alone.
YL n NE were still going
B E still went

166
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote A few minutes more, these noises were
approaching us nearer and thus the noises
were approaching us more and more until the
hunters were quite sure that Odara and his
followers were coming to that direction.
book title BAH
page 25
YL n NE were approaching
B E approached
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote This tree was not far from the road so that I
might see Odara and his followers clearly
when they were passing along through
that place.
book title BAH
page 25
YL n NE were passing
B E passed
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As they were going along as hastily as they
could it was so they were looking at back
always just to see whether their leader,
Odara was approaching nearer.
book title BAH
page 26
YL n NE were going
BE went
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As they were going along as hastily as they
could it was so they were looking at back
always just to see whether their leader,
Odara was approaching nearer.
book title BAH
page 26
YL n NE were looking
B E kept looking

167
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote When Odara came nearer all the hills and
trees were shaking, his voice was hearing
all over the jungle.
book title BAH
page 27
YL n NE was hearing
B E heard
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote And as he was still shouting greatly I saw him
clearly. He was too terrible indeed to be seen
for a human being, and I feared him so much
that I did not know when I opened my mouth
and the spit was dropping down.
book title BAH
page 27
YL n NE was dropping
B E began to droop
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As he was chasing us along it was so he was
throwing his cudgels to us repeatedly until
we came to the road that which went along to
those hunters town.
book title BAH
page 30
YL n NE was chasing
B E chased
aspect Habitual
quote But as it was only one slender stick was put
across the river with which the people of the
town were crossing it so after we crossed it
to the second side and when Odara walked
on this slender stick to the middle of the river
with greediness.
YL maan NE were crossing
B E crossed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 31

168
aspect Incompletive
quote The stick broke into two and then fell into the
water unexpectedly, because he was heavier
than what the stick could hold. But as Odara
was so greedy and cruel was that as he was
struggling very hardly to come out from
the water it was so he was still throwing his
noisonous cudgels at us.
YL n NE was struggling
BE struggled
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 31
aspect Incompletive
quote They were following us along and they
were looking at me with great wonder when
they saw that I put the gun and hunting bag
on my left shoulder like a hunter. They were
asking from one another that -- Is this a
young lady huntress?
YL n NE were following
B E followed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 32
aspect Incompletive
quote They were following us along and they were
looking at me with great wonder when they
saw that I put the gun and hunting bag on my
left shoulder like a hunter. They were asking
from one another that -- Is this a young lady
huntress?
YL n NE were looking
B E kept looking
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 32
aspect Incompletive
quote They were following us along and they were
looking at me with great wonder when they
saw that I put the gun and hunting bag on my
left shoulder like a hunter. They were
asking from one another that -- Is this a
young lady huntress?
YL n NE were asking
B E asked
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 32

169
aspect Incompletive
quote Then the whole people did not laugh or talk
but they were looking at me with sadness
until when their king asked from me again
whether I knew the kinds of the cruel and
harmful creatures, apart from the wonderful
wild animals, who were living in this jungle.
YL n NE were looking
B E looked
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 33
aspect Incompletive
quote Then the whole people did not laugh or talk
but they were looking at me with sadness
until when their king asked from me again
whether I knew the kinds of the cruel and
harmful creatures, apart from the wonderful
wild animals, who were living in this
iunele.
YL n NE were living
B E lived
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 33
aspect Incompletive
quote They were closing the doors and windows
immediately they were entering their houses.
All the domestic animals were running here
and there and they were hiding themselves as
well. All the fires which were at outsides of
the houses before that time were quenched
with water at once before these neonle
YL n NE were closing
B E began to close
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 34
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote They were closing the doors and windows
immediately they were entering their
houses. All the domestic animals were
running here and there and they were
hiding themselves as well. All the fires which
were at outsides of the houses before that time
were Quenched with water at once before
YL
n
NE were entering
BE
entered
book title BAH
page 34

170
aspect Anticipative
author Tutuola
quote He was still finding me with hands when I
asked from him that why there was no light
at all in this palace. But instead to answer my
question first he warned me very quietly that
I must be talking gently.
book title BAH
page 34
YL ma NE must be talking
B E should talk
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote He told me furthermore that this bird was a
mighty and curious one, because whenever it
was coming to the town the noises and
breeze of its wings would nearly to break
down all the houses.
book title BAH
page 36
YL n/ tin NE was coming
BE came
aspect Habitual
quote Truly speaking, as the king had told me, when
this bird was still in a distance of two miles I
nearly died for fear and I nearly to give up
my promise because the noises which its
wings were making showed that indeed it was
a bad and terrible bird which was bold
enoueh that it was eating together with
YL maa n NE was eating
BE ate
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 37
aspect Habitual
quote I am a wonderful bad creature who is half
human and half bird. I am so bad, bold, cruel
and so brave that I am eating together with
witches! I am one of the fears of the Jungle
Pigmies! I am a bad semi-bird who has long
sharp thorns on both my wings!...
YL maa n NE am eating
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 38
BE

171
aspect Incompletive
quote Again as he was coming down for the second
time with great anger I shot him. But when
the gun-shots hit his body this time, his body
simply flung all the gun-shots away instead
to kill him or to wound him. It was like that I
was shooting him repeatedly until when
the eun-nowder and sun-shots finished.
YL n NE was shooting
B E shot
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 39
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote Immediately I held the cudgel and I was
expecting him to come down as he was doing
before. A few minutes after that he did not
hear the sound of my shakabullah gun
again, he flew down.
book title BAH
page 39
Y L maa n N E was doing
B E used to do
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As he was looking round and round all over
the spot just to find me out and then to carry
me away, I hastily threw one of the poisonous
cudgels to him.
book title BAH
page 39
YL n NE was looking
B E looked
aspect Anticipative
quote After he (king) pulled out some of the wings
and put them round his crown, just to be
remembering for ever that a semi-bird had
once been carrying them away alive, then
each of the people took some of the feathers
to his or her house and kept them for the
future.
YL maa NE be remembering
B E remember
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 40

172
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote After the whole people had seen the dead
body of this semi-bird and went beck to their
houses, then I took the two poisonous cudgels
and my shakabullah gun and I went back to
the palace. So as from that day the king and
his people were taking great care of me as
if T was their daughter.
YL n NE were taking
BE took
book title BAH
page 40
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote The same day, he gave me the knife with
which to clear the hairs off and I started to
clear it at once. But as I was clearing it, it was
so he was warning me repeatedly not to let
the knife touch the two horns or if the knife
touched them he would feel pain even nearly
to death.
YL
n
NE was warning
BE
warned
book title BAH
page 42
aspect Incompletive
quote At last when I believed that I would die in a
few days time, then I went to an old man
whose house was far away from the palace of
the king. I told him that I did not know the
reason why I was leaning more and more
every day.
YL n NE was leaning
B E grew lean
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 43
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote Therefore, I took out one wonderful juju from
my hunting bag. This juju was the very one
which my father had been using
whenever he was going to this Jungle of the
Pigmies.
book title BAH
page 48
YL maa n NE had been using
B E had used

173
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Therefore, I took out one wonderful juju from
my hunting bag. This juju was the very one
which my father had been using whenever
he was going to this Jungle of the Pigmies.
book title BAH
page 48
YL n NE was going
BE went
aspect Incompletive
quote But when the darkness did not me to see
again, then I stopped, I climbed a big tree and
I slept on its branches till the daybreak. But
when I came down in the morning, I did not
travel so far when I was seeing the jungle
of the Pigmies far away from me.
YL n NE was seeing
BE saw
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 48
aspect Habitual
quote He was so short that he did not reach my waist
and this showed me that he was a pigmy. His
heavy head was helping him indeed
whenever he wanted to kill a powerful
creature because once he hit that creature
with it, it would die at once.
YL maan NE was helping
B E helped
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 50
aspect Incompletive
quote He always held one heavy cudgel which had a
very big round head. And as he was talking
to me it was so he was looking at the big
round head of this cudgel and after a few
minutes he would glance at my own head, and
this showed me that he was thinking in mind
that he was going to beat mv head with this
YL n NE was talking
B E talked
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 51

174
aspect Incompletive
quote He always held one heavy cudgel which had a
very big round head. And as he was talking to
me it was so he was looking at the big round
head of this cudgel and after a few minutes he
would glance at my own head, and this
showed me that he was thinking in mind that
he was eoinp to beat mv head with this
YL n NE was looking
BE kept looking
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 51
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote But it was a great surprise to him when he
saw that my body did not even touch the rock
before I stood upright and I was telling him
loudly Cat never touch the ground with its
back whenever it falls! When he was
hearing what I was saying repeatedly he
became more anerv and he ran to me and
YL
n
NE was hearing
BE
heard
book title BAH
page 53
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote After I travelled in this jungle for a few
minutes the great fears, wonders, and
uncountable of undescriptive strange things,
which I was seeing here and there were
stopped me by force.
YL n NE was seeing
B E kept seeing
book title BAH
page 55
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote I sat on one of its branches and as it was a
leafy tree therefore these leaves were
covered me and I peeped out very seriously as
when an offender peeped out from the small
window of his cell. Then I was looking at
these handiworks of God with great wonder.
YL
n
N E was looking
BE
looked
book title BAH
page 55

175
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
The birds of the sky were perched on the
book title BAH
branches of the mighty tall trees, except
those of the minute birds as canaries,
page
56
migratory birds, etc., etc., which were
jumping from one branch to another.
Although the doves were crying in five
minutes interval as thev were telling the
YL
n NE were crying
BE
kept crying
aspect
Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
The birds of the sky were perched on the
book title BAH
branches of the mighty tall trees, except
those of the minute birds as canaries,
page
56
migratory birds, etc., etc., which were
jumping from one branch to another.
Although the doves were crying in five
minutes interval as thev were telling the
YL
n NE were telling
BE
told
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
Because their hoot was driving animals to the
book title BAH
hunters and it (hoot) was also amusing the
hunters as they (hunters) had no partners in
the jungle.
page
56
YL
n NE was also amusing
BE
amused
aspect Habitual
author
Tutuola
quote
And all these creatures were kept quiet where
they were for the sun was too hot. Because the
sun of this jungle was also very curious.
Whenever it was out it would be as hot as fire
and that was why these living creatures
were hiding themselves from it whenever
it was out.
book title BAH
page 56
YL
maa n N E were hiding
BE
hid

176
aspect Incompletive
quote When I sat on the branch of this tree and I
did not see any living creature to move or
walk about by that time and as the jungle was
as calm as if there were none living
creatures, then I was enjoying the peaceful
cool breeze which my cerator was sending to
me.
YL n NE was enjoying
BE enjoyed
author Tutuola
book title 6AH
page 56
aspect Incompletive
quote As this thick smoke was rushing out in
large quantity it was so the sweet smell of
food was rushing out as well and this showed
me that many of the pigmies who were the
inhabitants and owners of this jungle were
living under the ground.
YL n NE was rushing
B E rushed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 56
aspect Incompletive
quote As this thick smoke was rushing out in large
quantity it was so the sweet smell of food was
rushing out as well and this showed me that
many of the pigmies who were the
inhabitants and owners of this jungle were
living under the ground.
YL n NE was rushing
BE rushed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 56
aspect Incompletive
quote As this thick smoke was rushing out in large
quantity it was so the sweet smell of food was
rushing out as well and this showed me that
many of the pigmies who were the
inhabitants and owners of this jungle were
living under the ground.
YL n NE were living
B E lived
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 57

177
aspect Incompletive
quote After a while all the trees were blowing
author Tutuola
book title BAH
here and there, they were touching the
ground with their tops. As I still held the
branch of the tree on which I was so tightly
that I might not fall down, the wild animals,
as lions, tigers, wolves, etc., came to that spot.
page
57
YL
n NE were blowing
BE
began to blow
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As I still held the branch of the tree on which
book title BAH
I was so tightly that I might not fall down, the
wild animals as lions, tigers, wolves, etc.,
came to that spot. As they were running to
and fro, they raised up their heads and they
were sniffing my smell.
page
57
YL
n N E were running
BE
ran
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As I still held the branch of the tree on which
book title BAH
I was so tightly that I might not fall down, the
wild animals as lions, tigers, wolves, etc.,
came to that spot. As they were running to
and fro, they raised up their heads and they
were sniffing my smell.
page
57
YL
n NE were sniffing
BE
sniffed
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As they were surrounded the tree closely it
book title BAH
was so the strong wind was forcing it to
touch the ground repeatedly. Each time that it
touched the ground thesewild animals were
hastily jumping to where I sat on the branch,
but they were unable to touch me before the
tree would stand unriehr aeain.
page
57
YL
n N E was forcing
BE
forced

178
aspect Incompletive
quote As they were surrounded the tree closely it
was so the strong wind was forcing it to touch
the ground repeatedly. Each time that it
touched the ground these wild animals were
hastily jumping to where I sat on the
branch, but they were unable to touch me
before the tree would stand unrieht again.
YL n NE were hastily jumping
BE hastily jumped
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 57
aspect Incompletive
quote It was like these wild animals were
jumping to me every time that the tree was
bending down and getting up again .Luckily
they were unable to take me away from the
top of this tree until when the strong wind
was stopped at about seven oclock in the
evening.
YL n NE were jumping
BE jumped
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 58
aspect Incompletive
quote It was like these wild animals were jumping
to me every time that the tree was bending
down and getting up again .Luckily they were
unable to take me away from the top of this
tree until when the strong wind was stopped
at about seven oclock in the evening.
YL n NE was bending
B E bent
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 58
aspect Incompletive
quote It was like these wild animals were jumping
to me every time that the tree was bending
down and getting up again .Luckily they
were unable to take me away from the top of
this tree until when the strong wind was
stopped at about seven oclock in the evening.
YL n NE getting up
B E got up
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 58

aspect Incompletive
179
quote Of course, I was woken very early in the
morning with great fear of the numerous
birds which were surrounded me and they
were crying repeatedly because I was
curious to them.
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 59
YL n NE were crying
B E cried
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote But to my fear these birds were still
following me and they were crying with
their loudest voices. I was running away from
them so that they might not suspect me to
those super-human creatures.
YL n NE were still following
B E still followed
book title BAH
page 59
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote But to my fear these birds were still following
me and they were crying with their loudest
voices. I was running away from them so that
they might not suspect me to those super
human creatures.
book title BAH
page 60
YL n NE were crying
B E cried
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote But to my fear these birds were still following
me and they were crying with their loudest
voices. I was running away from them so
that they might not suspect me to those
super-human creatures.
book title BAH
page 60
YL n NE was running
BE ran

180
aspect Incompletive
quote It was like that I was travelling along and I
was looking here and there perhaps I would
see my four brothers in respect of whom I
came to hunt in this jungle, till the light of
the sun came down to all over the jungle
when it was about nine oclock and then I
sfonned.
YL n NE was travelling
B E travelled
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 60
aspect Relational
quote After I ate the procupine to my satisfaction, I
began to think in mind whether to kill the
whole of the wild animals first... or to be
looking for where the pigmies were living in
this jungle first before I would come back to
kill those wild animals.
YL ti NE ate
B E had eaten
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 60
aspect Anticipative
quote After I ate the procupine to my satisfaction, I
began to think in mind whether to kill the
whole of the wild animals first... or to be
looking for where the pigmies were living
in this jungle first before I would come back
to kill those wild animals.
YL maa NE be looking for
B E look for
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 60
aspect Incompletive
quote After I ate the procupine to my satisfaction, I
began to think in mind whether to kill the
whole of the wild animals first... or to be
looking for where the pigmies were living
in this jungle first before I would come back
to kill those wild animals.
YL n NE were living.
B E lived
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 60

181
aspect Relevant-Inceptive
quote Because I ought to do all these three works -
To see that I... kill the whole of the pigmies
who were detaining many hunters or to
drive them away from this jungle and the
third work was to see that I bring my four
brothers back to my town, because I had
nromised mv neonle and the neonle of mv
YL tin NE were detaining
BE had been
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 60
aspect Incompletive
quote But immediately I concluded this thought, to
my fear there I saw that a very small round
hill which was at a little distance from me,
splitted or parted into two suddenly and at the
same moment a heavy black smoke was
rushing out in large quantity.
YL n NE was rushing
B E rushed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 61
aspect Incompletive
quote This huge man was one of the obstacles of
this jungle. He was one of the strongest and
the most cruel pigmies who were keeping
watch of the jungle always. His work was to
be bringing any hunter or anyone who came
to the jungle, to the town of the pigmies, for
nunishment.
YL n NE were keeping
B E kept
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 61
aspect Anticipative
quote This huge man was one of the obstacles of
this jungle. He was one of the strongest and
the most cruel pigmies who were keeping
watch of the jungle always. His work was to
be bringing any hunter or anyone who
came to the jungle, to the town of the pigmies,
for nunishment.
YL maa NE be bringing
BE bring
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 61

182
aspect Relevant-Inceptive
quote His arms were very long and thick. He had a
big half fall goitre on his neck and he had a
very big belly which, whenever he was
going or running along, would be shaking
here and there and sounding heavily.
YL ti n NE was going or running
B E went or ran
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 61
aspect Relevant-Inceptive
author Tutuola
quote We first wrestled for about fifteen minutes.
And each time that he was flinging me
away with great anger, to his surprise, I was
standing up and gripping him before my feet
were touching the ground.
book title BAH
page 62
YL tin NE was flinging
BE flung
aspect Completive
author Tutuola
quote We first wrestled for about fifteen minutes.
And each time that he was flinging me away
with great anger, to his surprise, I was
standing up and gripping him before my feet
were touching the ground.
book title BAH
page 62
YL unmarked NE were touching
B E could touch
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Again, as he was still looking on, I ran to the
tree on which I leaned the two poisonous
cudgels, I took one and with all my power I
beat obstacle with it, for I thought the
poison of this cudgel would kill him.
book title BAH
page 63
YL n NE was still looking on
B E still looked on

183
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote When he cut it off I fell down at once and I
was crying loudly for pain. As I was doing
like that and blaming myself that if I had
known I should had not come to the Jungle of
the Pigmies, he came and stood at my front.
book title BAH
page 63
YL n NE was crying
B E cried
aspect Incompletive
quote Then I held the tree under which we were
fighting with all my power. He was pulling
me with all his power but I did not loose my
hands away from this tree. As he was trying
hardly to take me away it was so I was
shouting greatly that you would not take me
awav and he too was saving that at all costs he
YL n NE was pulling
B E pulled
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 64
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote Then I held the tree under which we were
fighting with all my power. He was pulling
me with all his power but I did not loose my
hands away from this tree. As he was trying
hardly to take me away it was so I was
shouting greatly that you would not take me
awav and he too was saving that at all costs he
YL
n
NE was trying
BE
tried
book title BAH
page 64
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote But God was so good as he was dragging me
along as hastily as he could he did not know
when he hit his head on the branch of a tree
which was full of bees and wasps.
book title BAH
page 64
YL n NE was dragging
B E dragged

184
aspect Incompletive
quote But as he was defending himself it was so
these insects were increasing and stinging
him badly. As he was still staggering here
and there I hastily ran back to the tree on
which I leaned my gun. I loaded it with
plenty of gun-powder and gun-shots, I ran
back to him and I shot him on the head.
YL n NE were increasing
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 64
B E increased
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
But as he was defending himself it was so
book title BAH
these insects were increasing and stinging
him badly. As he was still staggering here
and there I hastily ran back to the tree on
which I leaned my gun. I loaded it with
plenty of gun-powder and gun-shots, I ran
bark to him and T shot him on the head.
page
64
YL
n NE were increasing
BE
increased
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
But as he was defending himself it was so
book title BAH
these insects were increasing and stinging
him badly. As he was still staggering here
and there I hastily ran back to the tree on
which I leaned my gun. I loaded it with
plenty of gun-powder and gun-shots, I ran
back to him and I shot him on rhe head.
page
64
YL
n NE stinging
BE
stung
aspect Relational
author
Tutuola
quote
After I killed obstacle I travelled in this
book title BAH
jungle till six oclock in the evening. As I was
travelling along it was so I was killing all the
wild animals that I was seeing on the way.
page
65
YL
ti N E killed
BE
had killed

185
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote After I killed obstacle I travelled in this
jungle till six oclock in the evening. As I
was travelling along it was so I was killing
all the wild animals that I was seeing on the
way.
book title BAH
page 65
YL n NE was travelling
B E travelled
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote After I killed obstacle I travelled in this
jungle till six oclock in the evening. As I was
travelling along it was so I was killing all the
wild animals that I was seeing on the way.
book title BAH
page 65
YL n NE was seeing
BE saw
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote The teeth of his mouth were so plenty and
long that whenever he was eating a person
who was in two miles away would be hearing
the noises which they were making.
book title BAH
page 66
YL n NE was eating
BE ate
aspect Habitual author Tutuola
quote The teeth of his mouth were so plenty and book title BAH
long that whenever he was eating a person page 66
who was in two miles away would be
hearing the noises which they were
making.
YL maa n NE would be hearing
B E would hear

186
aspect Incompletive
quote The teeth of his mouth were so plenty and
long that whenever he was eating a person
who was in two miles away would be hearing
the noises which they were making.
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 66
YL n NE were making
BE made
aspect Incompletive
quote Even as the teeth and the horns of his mouth
and head were so fearful many of the wild
animals who saw him when he was coming
to kill them with all these things were dying
for themselves before he would reach them
instead to kill them with his teeth and horns,
because thev were too fearful to them.
YL n NE was coming
BE came
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 66
aspect Incompletive
quote Even as the teeth and the horns of his mouth
and head were so fearful many of the wild
animals who saw him when he was coming to
kill them with all these things were dying
for themselves before he would reach them
instead to kill them with his teeth and horns,
because thev were too fearful to them.
YL n NE were dying
BE died
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 66
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote The powerful light that these eyes were
bringing out could not go far or straight but
they were bringing out the clear and round
light. The ray of this light was always round
him and it could be seen clearly from a long
distance.
book title BAH
page 66
YL n NE were bringing
BE brought

187
aspect Incompletive
quote The powerful light that these eyes were
bringing out could not go far or straight but
they were bringing out the clear and
round light. The ray of this light was always
round him and it could be seen clearly from a
long distance.
YL n NE were bringing
BE brought
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 66
aspect Incompletive
quote He had a kind of a terrible shout with which
he was frightening the animals and his
humming was also terrible to hear. All the
rest animals were so hated and feared that
they never went near the place that he
travelled for one week.
YL n NE was frightening
BE frightened
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 66
aspect Incompletive
quote He first sighted all his horns towards me and
then he was running to me as fast as he
could. But when I thought within myself that
if I stood on the ground and shot him, he
would kill me instantaneously, because my
shakabullah gun would not be able to kill
him in one shot, therefore T hastilv climbed a
YL n NE was running
BE ran
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 67
aspect Incompletive
quote And it was this day that I believed that the
half killed snake is the most dangerous.
Because this animal was then shrieking and
shouting and humming more terribly with
angry voice than ever. His fearful humming
was hearing all over the jungle.
YL n NE was hearing
B E was heard
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 68

188
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote So as was running furiously towards me
with all his power and when he was about to
reach me, I hastily leapt again to my right
unexpectedly and unfortunately he simply
butted the stump of that tree.
book title BAH
page 68
YL n NE was running
BE ran
aspect Relational
quote After I rested for a few minutes then I
started to beat him with my poisonous cudgel
until when he was completely powerless and
then he died after some minutes. It was like
that I killed this super-animal as I could
call him.
YL ti NE rested
B E had rested
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 69
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As I was looking for this boa constrictor it
was so I was killing all the wild animals
which I was seeing on the way. And in a few
days time I killed the whole of them.
book title BAH
page 69
YL n NE was killing
BE kept killing
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As I was looking for this boa constrictor it
was so I was killing all the wild animals
which I was seeing on the way. And in a
few days time I killed the whole of them.
book title BAH
page 69
YL n NE was seeing
BE saw

189
aspect Relational
author Tutuola
quote As I was looking for this boa constrictor it
was so I was killing all the wild animals
which I was seeing on the way. And in a few
days time I killed the whole of them.
book title BAH
page 69
YL ti NE killed
B E had killed
aspect Habitual
quote So when I believed that it would help me in
future I wrapped it with the skin of animal
and I kept it in my hunting bag. As from that
day I was using it in the night as my light
and I was wearing it on on the head
whenever I was hunting. So this wonderful
head became a verv useful thine at last.
YL maa n NE was using
B E have used
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 70
aspect Habitual
quote So when I believed that it would help me in
future I wrapped it with the skin of animal
and I kept it in my hunting bag. As from that
day I was using it in the night as my light and
I was wearing it on on the head whenever I
was hunting. So this wonderful head became
a verv useful thine at last.
YL maa n NE was wearing
B E have worn
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 70
aspect Incompletive
quote So when I believed that it would help me in
future I wrapped it with the skin of animal
and I kept it in my hunting bag. As from that
day I was using it in the night as my light and
I was wearing it on on the head whenever I
was hunting. So this wonderful head
became a verv useful thine at last.
YL n NE was hunting
BE went hunting
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 70

190
aspect Relational
quote Of course I saw several small animals on my
way coming to these rocks but I did not
attempt to kill any one of them for my food
because I had tired of eating animals every
day, for I did not see another thing to eat
since when I had entered this jungle.
YL ti NE had entered
B E entered
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 73
aspect Incompletive
quote In my dreams, all these terrible images, etc.,
were chasing me about to kill. It was so they
were troubling me until one of them which
was the skeletons of a giant caught me and as
he wanted to stab me at belly, so I woke with
great fear...
YL n NE were troubling
BE kept troubling
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 73
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote When I woke up I went to the spot where
there were plenty of wild grasses. As I
believed that these kind of grasses were
always holding the dew which was falling
down from the sky in the night.
book title BAH
page 73
YL maa n NE were always holding
B E always held
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote When I woke up I went to the spot where
there were plenty of wild grasses. As I
believed that these kind of grasses were
always holding the dew which was falling
down from the sky in the night.
book title BAH
page 73
YL maan NE was falling
BE fell

191
aspect Incompletive
quote After I ate the fruits and I was still hearing
the noises I thought within myself that
perhaps if I kept longer than that in this spot
some of the creatures who were living
under this rock might come out and when
they met me there they might kill me.
YL n NE were living
B E lived
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 74
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was going along it was so I was stumbling
my right foot thumb on the ground after a
few minutes interval and this was a very bad
omen. Again several birds were flying past
my head and everyone of them was striking
my eyes with its wings and this was a very
bad sien indeed.
YL n NE were flying
BE flew
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 74
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote I did not know whether as these squirrels
were barking at me repeatedly their noises
were suspecting me to these small animals
and by that they were hiding themselves
before I was travelling to where they were.
book title BAH
page 74
Y L n N E were barking
B E barked
aspect Incompletive
quote I did not know whether as these squirrels
were barking at me repeatedly their noises
were suspecting me to these small animals
and by that they were hiding themselves
before I was travelling to where they
were.
YL n NE was travelling
B E travelled
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 74

192
aspect Incompletive
quote Having done so I bagan to keep watch of the
animals. Of course as I was doing this thing
it was so I was thinking in mind of all the
signs which I had seen on the way before I
travelled to this tree
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 75
YL n NE was doing
BE did
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
Whenever he was walking very hastily
book title BAH
along, this navel would be shaking and
sounding heavily as when the water was
shaking in a large tube and it appeared on his
belly as if a very large bowl covered the
belly.
page
77
YL
n N E was walking
BE
walked
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As he was following me along and flogging
book title BAH
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting
horribly on me -- Thief! thief! thief! I catch
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but
one day is for the owner to catch the thief! It
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was
shouting on me greatlv.
page
77
YL
n N E was following
BE
followed
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As he was following me along and flogging
book title BAH
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting
horribly on me Thief! thief! thief! I catch
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but
one day is for the owner to catch the thief! It
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was
shouting on me greatlv.
page
77
YL
n NE flogging
BE
flogged

193
aspect Incompletive
quote As he was following me along and flogging
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting
horribly on me -- Thief! thief! thief! I catch
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but
one day is for the owner to catch the thief! It
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was
shouting on me greaflv.
YL n NE was shouting
B E shouted
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 77
aspect Incompletive
quote As he was following me along and flogging
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting
horribly on me -- Thief! thief! thief! I catch
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but
one day is for the owner to catch the thief! It
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was
shouting on me greatlv.
YL n NE was shouting
B E shouted
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 77
aspect Incompletive
quote When this punishment was too severe for me
then I became powerless to walk after a short
time. I was unable to go along any longer.
When he saw this, he started to push me along
with his fearful large navel and I was
staggering along powerlessly.
YL n NE was staggering
B E staggered
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 77
aspect Incompletive
quote When he heard all these words from me the
punishment which he was then giving me
was more severe than before. It was like that
he was pushing me along with his navel as
hastily as he could until when he pushed me
to these vast rocks and mountains and without
hesitation he nushed me like this into one of
YL n NE was pushing
B E pushed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 78

194
aspect Incompletive
quote As he was still pushing me along they were
rushing to me just to kill or swallow me but
when they saw that it was this pigmy who was
pushing me along, they would not do
anything to me but they were parting to both
sides of the road for us to pass.
YL n NE were rushing
BE rush
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 78
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote I believed that all these creaturtes were also
the keepers of this road. They were killing
and eating all the enemies of these pigmies.
book title BAH
page 78
YL maa n NE were killing and eating
B E killed and ate
aspect Incompletive
quote As the attitudes of these creatures were too
horrible for me as we were meeting them
on this road, so whenever I feared and ran to
either sides of the road, this pigmy would
whip me very severely at the same time and
then he would shout greatly that just be
going along, vou dont see wonders vet. vou
Y L n N E were meeting
BE met
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 78
aspect Habitual
quote This ape was as strong as a giant. Of course he
was not tall but he was so stout that he was
easily opening and closing the door of
this gate.
YL maa n NE was easily opening and closing
B E opened & close
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 79

195
aspect Incompletive
quote As this pigmy was pushing me along in the
town, uncountable pigmies like himself were
shouting on me -- Ah, this is another one of
the thieves of animals! They were making a
mock and deriding of me, and it was so I was
breathing quickly and audible because I was
so tired that I was unable to move mv feet...
YL n NE was pushing
B E pushed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 80
aspect Incompletive
quote As this pigmy was pushing me along in the
town, uncountable pigmies like himself were
shouting on me -- Ah, this is another one of
the thieves of animals! They were making a
mock and deriding of me, and it was so I was
breathing quickly and audible because I
was so tired that T was unable to move mv feet
YL n NE was breathing
B E breathed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 80
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As he was pushing me along I noticed that the
domestic animals of this town were
outnumbered the pigmies and this showed me
that they were not killing these animals
for their food at all.
book title BAH
page 80
YL n NE were not killing
B E did not kill
aspect Anticitpative
quote After he handed my property to the king and
another pigmy put them on the ceiling and
the king thanked him greatly and advised
him as well to be going round the jungle
every day and night and bringing all hunters
or huntresses he might see in the jungle ...
YL maa NE be going
BE go round
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 81

196
aspect Anticipative
quote After he handed my property to the king and
another pigmy put them on the ceiling and
the king thanked him greatly and advised
him as well to be going round the jungle
every day and night and bringing all hunters
or huntresses he might see in the jungle ...
YL
maa
NE
bringing
BE
bring
aspect Completive
quote As he was pushing me along to the custody
thousands of pigmies were surrounded me
and they were looking at me with great
surprise. Not as I was a huntress but because
I was taller than everyone of them. They
raised up their heads and were saying -- how
a nerson was so tall as this.
YL unmarked NE were surrounded
B E surrounded
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote As he was pushing me along to the custody
thousands of pigmies were surrounded me
and they were looking at me with great
surprise. Not as I was a huntress but because
I was taller than everyone of them. They
raised up their heads and were saying --
how a nerson was so tall as this.
YL
n
NE were saying
BE
said
aspect Incompletive
quote Because they themselves were not more than
three or four feet tall. And I too bent my head
downward and I was looking at each of
them with great surprise that how a person
was as short as this.
YL n NE was looking at
B E looked at
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 82
book title BAH
page 82
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 82
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 81

197
aspect Habitual
author
Tutuola
quote
There were many big and deep wells
book title BAH
everywhere in the town in which they were
storing their palm-oil. Everyone of them
with his own family were living together in
each of these small houses.
page
82
YL
maa n N E were storing
BE
stored
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
There were many big and deep wells
book title BAH
everywhere in the town in which they were
storing their palm-oil. Everyone of them with
his own family were living together in
each of these small houses.
page
82
YL
n N E were living
BE
lived
aspect Habitual
author
Tutuola
quote
Then this stern pigmy told him concisely that
book title BAH
I was one of the hunters who were stealing
away their animals from their jungle.
page
83
YL
maa n N E were stealing
BE
stole
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As I stood in one place and I was noticing
all these things and as I was just thinking in
mind that in a few months to come, I too
would become as dirty and in nakedness as
these people or perhaps I would be killed in a
few days time. There I saw a very weak man ...
book title BAH
page 87
YL
n NE was noticing
BE
noticed

REFERENCES
Abimbola, Wande (1998). A Preference for City Life. In CALLIOPE: World
History for Kids Vol. 8, no. 6, February 1998. Rosalie F. Baker, Charles F.
Baker (Eds.). Peterborough: Cobblestone Publishing Company.
Achebe, Chinua (1958). Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann.
Achebe, Chinua (1960). No Longer at Ease. London: Heinemann.
Achebe, Chinua (1965). English and the African Writer. In Transition 18: 27-
30.
Achebe, Chinua (1966). The English Language and the African Writer. In
Insight, October/December 1966.
Adegbija, E. (1989). "Lexico-semantic Variation in Nigerian English", World
Englishes Vol. 8, no. 2: 165-177.
Adegbija, E. (1994). Language Attitudes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A
Sociolinguistic Overview. Bristol: Longhorn Press.
Adejare, O. (1992). Language and Style in Soyinka. Ibadan: Heinemann.
Adekunle, M. A. (1972). "Sociolinguistic Problems in English Language
Instruction in Nigeria". In D. Ed. Smith and R. Shuy, Sociolinguistics and
Cross-cultural Analysis. Washington D. C.: Georgetown University Press.
Adekunle, M. A. (1974). "The Standard Nigerian English". In Journal of the
Nigeria English Studies Association (JNESA) 6(1).
Adekunle, M. A. (1985). The EngUsh Language in Nigeria as a Modem Nigerian
Artifact. Jos, Nigeria: University of Jos Press.
Adesanoye, F. (1990). "Tertiary (Graduate) English in Nigeria: Some
Observations". In OYE: Ogun Journal of Arts vol. III. Ago-Iwoye: Ogun
State University.
Adetugbo, A. (1979). "Appropriateness in Nigerian English" & "Nigerian
English and Communicative Competence". In E. Ubahakwe (Ed.).
Varieties and Functions of English in Nigeria, pp. 137-165 & 167-183
respectively. Ibadan: African Universities Press.
Adetugbo, A. (1984). The EngUsh Language in the Nigerian Experience. Lagos:
Lagos University Press.
198

199
Agheyisi, R. (1971). West African Pidgin English: Simplification and
Simplicity. Stanford University.
Agheyisi, R. (1977). "Language Interlarding in the Speech of Nigerians." In P.
Kotey and H. Der-Houssikian (Eds.), Language and Linguistic Problems
in Africa, pp. 97-110. London: Longman.
Agheyisi, R. (1988). "The Standardization of Nigerian Pidgin English," English
World-Wide Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 227-241.
Ajani, T.T. (1990). tude Contrastive de lAdjectif Qualificatif en Yoruba et en
Franjis. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Universit de la Sorbonne Nouvelle,
Paris, France.
Ajani, T.T. (1994). "The Influence of Nigerian Languages on Nigerian English,"
FOCUS on Linguistics (University of Florida Working Papers in
Linguistics) Vol. IV, no. 1, pp. 34-48.
Ajani, T.T. (1995). "The Influence of Yoruba on Nigerian English." Paper
presented at the 26th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL
26), UCLA, March 1995.
Ajani, T.T. (1996a). "Is There Indeed a 'Nigerian English'?." Paper Presented at
the 27th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL 27),
University of Florida, March 1996.
Ajani, T.T. (1996b). "Whatever Happened to 'Queen's English'?: Creativity and
Innovation in Wole Soyinka's Collected Plays. Paper presented at the
Creative Writing in English: Focus Africa Conference, West Chester
University, Pennyslvania, October 1996.
Ajani, T.T. (1998). Ife: The Cradle of All Mankind. In CALLIOPE. Vol. 8, no. 6,
12-13, February 1998. Rosalie F. Baker, & Charles F. Baker, (Eds.)
Peterborough: Cobblestone Publishing Company.
Ajani, T.T. (1999a). Tense and Aspect in Yoruba and Nigerian English. Paper
presented at the Linguistic Seminar of the Program in Linguistics,
University of Florida, March 25, 1999.
Ajani, T.T. (1999b). The Influence of Yoruba Aspect Marking on Amos
Tutuola's English. Paper presented at the African and Asian Languages
nd Literatures Departmental Seminar Series, University of Florida,
November 17,1999.
Ajani, T.T. (2000). Change, Relevance and Continuity: Nigerian Writers, the
Diaspora, and the Queens English. Paper presented to the faculty of
the Department of Africana Studies, Rutgers University, March 28, 2000.
Ajani, T.T. (2001). Consequences of the Internationalization of English: A
Perspective from Nigerian English. Paper presented to the Department
of English Faculty, Fayetteville State University, N.C., March 28, 2001.
Akere, F. (1982). "Sociocultural Constraints and the Emergence of a Standard
Nigerian English." In J. B. Pride (Ed.) New Englishes (pp. 85-89).

200
Akindele, F. and Adegbite, W. (1992). The Sociology and Politics of English in
Nigeria: An Introduction. Ile-Ife: Debiyi-Iwa Publishers.
Amoran, O. (1986). Auxiliaries and Time Reference in Yoruba. Unpublished
M.A. Thesis, University of Florida.
Amuda, A. (1994). "Yoruba/English Conversational Code-switching as a
Conversational Strategy." In African Languages and Cultures, Vol. 7, no.
1, pp. 121-131.
Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined Communities. New York: Verso.
Ansre, G. (1971). "The Influence of English on West African Languages." In J.
Spencer (Ed.). The English Language in West Africa. London: Longman
Group Ltd., pp. 145-164.
Appiah K.A. & Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Eds.) (1999). Africana: The Encyclopedia
of the African and African American Experience. USA: Basic Civitas
Books.
Asante, M. (1990). "African Elements in African-American English." In Joseph
E. Holloway (Ed.). Africanisms in American Culture. Bloomington:
Indiana University Press.
Ashcroft, B. et al. (1989). The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in
Post-colonial Literatures. London: Roufledge.
Atoye, R. (1991). "Word Stress in Nigerian English," World Englishes Vol. 10, no.
1, pp. 1-6.
Awobuluyi, O. (1967). Studies in the Syntax of the Standard Yoruba Verb.
Ph.D. Thesis, Colombia University.
Awobuluyi, O. (1992). "Lexical Espansion in Yoruba: Techniques and
Principles." In L. O. Adewole (Ed.) Research in Yoruba Language and
Literature, no.2, 1992, pp. 14-30.
Awonusi, V.O. (1994). The Americanization of Nigerian English. In World
Englishes, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 75-82.
Awoyale, Yiwola (1974). Studies in the Syntax and Semantics of Yoruba
Nominalizations. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana
Champaigne.
Awoyale, Yiwola (1988). Complex Predicates and Verb Serialization. Lexcon
Project Working Papers 28, Cambridge, MA: MIT Center for Cognitive
Science.
Ayelaagbe, J. A. Sentential Complementative in Yoruba: A Syntactic and
Semantic Analysis. Unpublished, Undated M.A. Thesis. University of
Ibadan.
Balogun, I. O. (1980). "Varieties of English in Nigeria: Its Implications for
Developmental Reading." In JLAC Nov., 45-53.

201
Bamgbose, A. (1966). A Grammar of Yoruba. Cambridge University Press.
Bamgbose, A. (1967). A Short Yoruba Grammar. Ibadan: Heinemann
Educational Books (Nigeria) Ltd.
Bamgbose, A. (Ed.) (1972). The Yoruba Verb Phrase. Ibadan: Ibadan
University Press.
Bamgbose, A. (1982). "Languages in Contact: Yoruba and English in Nigeria,"
Education and Development Vol. 2, no. 1, (pp. 329-341).
Bamgbose, A. (1982). "Standard Nigerian English: Issues of Identification." In
Braj. B. Kachru (Ed.) The Other Tongue: English Across Cultures. Urbana:
University of Illinois Press.
Bamgbose, A. (1986). Yoruba: A Language in Transition. IKeja, Lagos: Animo
Press Ltd.
Bamgbose, A. (1991). Language and the Nation. Edinburgh: Edinburgh
University Press.
Bamgbose, A. (1994). "Issues in Second Language Learning in a Multilingual
Context." In F. Boutin and Y. Kachru (Eds.) Pragmatics and Language
Learning Vol. 5, pp. 25-38. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Bamgbose, A. (1994). "Language and Cross-cultural Communication." In Martin
Putz (Ed.) Language Contact and Language Conflict, 1994, pp. 89-101.
Bamgbose, A., Banjo, A., Thomas, A. (Eds.) (1995). New Englishes: A West African
Perspective. Ibadan: Mosuro.
Bamiro, E. (1991a). "Nigerian Englishes in Nigerian English Literature," World
Englishes Vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 7-17.
Bamiro, E. (1991b). "The Social and Functional Power of Nigerian English,"
World Englishes Vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 275-286.
Banjo, Ayo (1970a). A Historical View of the English Language in Nigeria.
Ibadan 28,63-67.
Banjo, Ayo (1973). Aspects of Tutuolas Use of English. In Spectrum 3.
Atlanta: Georgia State University.
Banjo, Ayo. (1983). "Aspects of Yoruba/English Language Mixing." In Journal
of Nigerian Languages, no. 1, 1983. Ibadan: Department of Linguistics
and Nigerian Language, University of Ibadan.
Banjo, Ayo (1986). Varieties of English in a Multilingual Setting in Nigeria,
In Georgetown University Round Table: 1986. Washington, D.C.:
Georgetown University Press
Banjo, Ayo (1997). Aspects of the Syntax of Nigerian English. In Schneider,
E. W. (Ed.) Enghshes Around the World, vol. 2. Amsterdam &
Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

202
Barbag-Stoll, A. (1983). Social and Linguistic History of Nigerian Pidgin
English. Tubingen: Stauffenberg-Verlag.
Bhabha, Homi (Ed.) (1990). Nation and Narration. New York: Routledge.
Bickerton, D. (1973). "The Nature of a Creole Continuum," Language, 49, 640-
669.
Bokamba, E. (1982). "The Africanization of English." In Braj. B. Kachru (Ed.)
The Other Tongue, pp. 77-98. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Bokamba, E. (1988). "Code-mixing, Language Variation and Linguistic Theory:
Evidence from Bantu Languages," Lingua, 76:1, 21-62.
Bokamba, E. (1991). "West Africa" (overview article). In Jenny Cheshire (Ed.),
pp. 493-508.
Bokamba, E. and N. K. Kamwangamalu (1987). "The Significance of Code-mixing
to Language Theory: Evidence from Bantu Languages," Studies in
Linguistic Sciences, 17:2, 21-44.
Bolorunduro, H. M. (1980). The System of Tense and Aspect in Yoruba: A
Critical Analysis. M.A. Thesis. University of Ife, Ile-Ife.
Brosnahan, L. and J. Spencer (1962). Language and Society. Ibadan: Ibadan
University Press.
Campbell, George L. (1991). Compendium of the Worlds Languages. London and
New York: Routledge.
Cheshire, J. (1991). English Around the World: Sociolinguistic Perspectives.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Collins, H. (1969). Amos Tutuola. New York: Twayne.
Collins, J. (1983). "Translation Traditions and the Organization of Productive
Activity: The Case of Aymara Affinal Kinship Terms". In Andrew W.
Miracle, Jr. (Ed.) Bilingualism: Social Issues and Policy Implications.
Athens: The University of Georgia Press.
Comrie, Bernard. (1976). Aspect: An Introduction to the Study of Verbal Aspect
and Related Problems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Comrie, Bernard (Ed.) (1990). The Worlds Major Languages. New York, Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
Cook, Vivian. (1993). Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. New York:
St. Martins Press.
Corder, S. P. (1978). Language-learner Language. In J. C. Richards (Ed.).
Understanding Second and Foreign Language Learning: Issues and
Approaches. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House.

203
Cortes-Conde, F. (1993). "English in an Immigrational Setting: The Anglo-
Argentine Case". Ph. D. Dissertation. University of Texas at Austin.
Crowther, S. A. (1852). A Grammar of the Yoruba Language. London: Seeley.
Delano, I. O. (1965). A Modern Yoruba Grammar. London: Thomas Nelson.
Disyer, D. (1978). An Introduction to West African Pidgin English. Michigan
State University African Studies Center.
Eager, Harry. (1998). Stylish Excursion into the Wild. Amazon.com, Inc.
Eko, Ebele O. (1974). The Critical Reception of Amos Tutuola, Chinua Achebe
and Wole Soyinka, in England and America, 1952-1974. Ph. D.
Dissertation. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Ellis, A. B. (1974). The Yoruba-Speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast of West
Africa. Lagos: Pilgrim Books; Longon: Curzon Press.
Ericsson, Martin. (1998). The voice fo the Yoruba People. Amazon.com, Inc.
Fagborun, Gbenga (1994). The Yoruba Koin: Its History and Linguistic
Innovations. Mnchen Newcastle: Lincom Europa.
Faraclas, N. (1986). "Pronouns, Creolizadon and Decreolization in Nigerian
Pidgin: A Pilot Study", The Journal of West African Language. Dallas:
West African Linguistic Society, Vol. XVI, No. 2, pp. 3-8.
Fishman, J., Cooper, W., Conrad, A. (1977). The Spread ofEnghsh. Rowley,
Massachusetts: Newbury House Publishers, Inc.
Garcia, O. and R. Ortheguy (Eds.) (1989). English Across Cultures, Cultures
Across English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Garcia, O. and R. Ortheguy (Eds.) (1991). "English Across Cultures, Cultures
Across English," World Englishes Vol. 2, No. 1, pp.97-111.
Gibbs, J. (1980). Critical Perspectives on Wole Soyinka. Washington, D.C.: The
Three Continents Press, Inc.
Gibbs, J. and Lindfors, B. (Eds.). (1993). Research on Wole Soyinka. New Jersey:
Africa World Press, Inc.
Goffman, E. (1955). "On Face-work: An Analysis of Ritual Elements in Social
Interaction". In Psychiatry, 18: 213-231. In Laver and Hutcheson (1972).
Communication in Face to Face Interaction. Harmondsworth, England:
Penguin Books.
Goke-Pariola, A. (1993). "Language and Symbolic Power." In Language and
Communication Vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 219-234.
Goke-Pariola, Biodun (1987). Language Transfer and the Nigerian writer of
English. In World Englishes, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 127-136.

204
Graddol, D., Leith, D., Swann, J. (1996). English: History, Diversity and Change.
London and New York: Routledge.
Grice, H. P. (1975). "Logic and Conversation." In P. Cole and J. Morgan (Eds.)
Syntax and Semantics. Vol. 3, Speech Acts. New York: Academic Press.
Grimes, Barbara F. (Ed.) (1992). Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Dallas,
Texas: Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc.
Hardman, M. J. (1978). "Linguistic Postulates and Applied Anthropological
Linguistics." In Linguistics and Child Language Memorial Volume in
Honor of Ruth Hirsch Weir. The Hague: Mouton.
Hardman, M. J. (Ed.) (1981). Introductory Essay. In The Aymara Language in
Its Social and Cultural Context. Gainesville: University Presses of Florida.
Hardman, M.J. (1988). Andean Ethnography: The Role of Language Structure
in Observer Bias. In Semitica, Vol. 71-3/4, pp. 339-372.
Hardman, M.J. (1994). And if We Lose Our Name, then What About Our Land?
or, What Price Development?. In Differences That Make a Difference:
Examining the Asumptions in Gender Research. Lynn H. Turner and
Helen M. Sterk. Westport & London: Bergin & Garvey, pp. 151-162.
Hardman, MJ. and S. Hamano. (1993). Language Structure Discovery Methods.
Andean Press.
Hardman-de-Baudsta, M. J. (1982). "The Mutual Influence of Spanish and the
Andean Languages," WORD, Vol. 3, No. 1-2.
Herbert, R. (1992). Language and Society in Africa. Cape Town: Witwatersrand
University Press.
Holm, J. (1989). Pidgins and Creoles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Honebrink, Andrea (1993). Yoruba Renaissance: the Religious Teachings of a
Great Civilization Attract Followers. In Utne Reader,
November/December 1993.
Hymes, D. (Eds.) (1971). Pidginization and Creolization of Languages.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hymes, D. (1974). Foundations in Sociolinguistics: An Ethnographic Approach.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Hymes, Dell (1968). "The Ethnography of Speaking." In J. Fishman, Readings in
the Sociology of Language. The Hague: Mouton.
Ikiddeh, I. (1983). "English Bilingualism and a Language Policy for Nigeria,"
Ibadan Journal of Humanistic Studies, No. 3.
Jibril, M. (1979). "Regional Variation in Nigerian Spoken English". In E.
Ubahakwe (Ed.) Varieties and Functions of English in Nigeria.

205
Jibril, M. (1982). "Nigerian English: An Introduction." In J. B. Pride (Ed.) New
Englishes, pp. 73-84.
Jones, E. (1987). The Writing of Wole Soyinka. Portsmouth, N. H.: Heinemann.
Jowitt, D. (1991). Nigerian English Usage: An Introduction. Ikeja: Longman
Nigeria Ltd.
Kachru, B. (1982a). The Other Tongue: English Across Cultures. Urbana:
University of Illinois Press.
Kachru, B. (1986). The Alchemy of English. Urbana: University of Illinois
Press.
Kachru, B. (1987). "The Alchemy of English: The Speed, Functions and Models
of Non-native Englishes", World Englishes, Vol. 8,No. 2, pp.239-241. Revd.
by J. Fishman.
Kachru, B. (1992a). "World Englishes. In Language Teaching. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Kachru, Braj B. (1965). The Indianness of Indian English. In Word 21 (3):
391-410.
Kachru, Braj B. (1981). The Pragmatics of non-native Varieties of English. In
Smith, Larry (Ed.) English for Cross-cultural Communication. London:
Macmillan.
Kachru, Braj B. (1982b). "The Bilingual's Linguistic Repertoire". In B. Hartford
et al. (Eds.) Issues in Bilingual Education: The Role of the Vernacular,
pp. 25-52. New York: Plenum Press.
Kachru, Braj B. (1982c). Models for Non-Native Englishes. In Braj B. Kachru
(1982): 31-57.
Kachru, Braj B. (1988). The Spread of English and Sacred Linguistic Cows. In
Lowenberg, P. H. (Ed.) Language Spread and Language Policy: Issues,
Implications and Case Studies. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University
Press, pp. 207-226.
Kachru, Braj B. (1994). Englishization and Contact Linguistics. In World
Englishes, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 135-154.
Kirk-Greene, A. (1971). "The Influence of West African Languages on English."
In J. Spencer (Ed.) The English Language in West Africa. London:
Longman.
Krop Dakubu, M. E. (Ed.) (1997). English in Ghana. Accra: Black Mask
Publishers.
Kujore, O. (1985). "English Usage: Some Notable Nigerian Variations," World
Englishes, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 239-241. Revd. by C. F. Myer; English Usage:
Some Notable Nigerian Variations. Ibadan: Evans Brothers Ltd..

206
Labov, W. (1972). Sociolinguistic Patterns. Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press.
Lado, R. (1957). Linguistics Across Cultures. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University
of Michigan Press.
Laitin, D. (1992). Language Repertoires and State Construction in Africa.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Laprade, R, (1981). "Some Salient Dialectal Features of La Paz Spanish." M. A.
Thesis, University of Florida.
Laprade, R. (1981). "Some Cases of Aymara Influence on La Paz Spanish." In M.
J. Hardman (Ed.), 1981, pp. 207-227.
Lindfors, Bernth (1973). Oral Tradition and the Individual Literary Talent. In
Folklore in Nigerian Literature, 23-50. New York: Africana.
Lindfors, Bernth (Ed.) (1975). Critical Perspectives on Amos Tutuola.
Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press.
Lindfors, Bernth (1981). Amos Tutuolas Earliest Long Narrative: In Journal
of Commonwealth Literature, 16,1.
Lindfors, Bernth (1997). Dirge for a Legend (I). In West Africa, 4-10 August
1997, pp. 1266-68.
Lindfors, Bernth (1997). Dirge for a Legend (II). In West Africa, 11-17
August 1997, p. 1299.
Lowenberg, P. (Ed.) (1988). Language Spread and Language Policy: Issues,
Implications and Case Studies: Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University
Press.
Lyons, John (1968). Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Mafeni, B. (1971). "Nigerian Pidgin." In J. Spencer (Ed.) The English Language
in West Africa. London: Longman.
Malherbe, Michel (1983). Les Langages de lHumanit. Paris: Seghers.
Moore, Gerald (1962). Seven African Writers. New York: Oxford University
Press.
Nemser, W. (1971). Approximative Systems of Foreign Language Learners. In
International Review of Applied Linguistics, 9, pp. 115-23; reprinted in
Richards (Ed.) 1974.
Obiechinna, E. (1974). "Varieties Differentiation in English Usage." Journal of
the Nigerian English Studies Association, 6:1, 24-42.
Odumuh, A. (1987). Nigerian English (NigE). Zaria, Nigeria: Ahmadu Bello
University Press Ltd.

207
Odumuh, A. (1993). Sociolinguistics and Nigerian English. Ibadan: Sam
Bookman.
Ogu, J. (1992). A Historical Survey of English and the Nigerian Situation. Lagos:
Krafts Books Ltd.
Ogunbowale, P. O. (1970). The Essentials of the Yoruba Language. London
University Press.
Ogunyemi, A. (1991). "Yoruba: A Language with an Unhastened Development."
In: F. Soyoye and O. Adewole (Eds.) In Honour of Ayo Bamgbose. Ile-Ife:
Obafemi Awolowo University, pp. 93-94.
Oloruntoba, C. (1992). Sociocultural Dimensions of Nigeraian Pidgin Usage.
Ph.D. Thesis, Indiana University.
Omotoso, K. (1995). Achebe or Soyinka: A Study in Contrasts. London,
Melbourne, Munich, New Jersey: Hans Zell Publishers.
Owolabi, K. (1995). Language in Nigeria: Essays in Honour of Ayo Bamgbose.
Ibadan: Group Publishers.
Owomoyela, Oyekan. (1999). Amos Tutuola Revisited. New York: Twayne
Publishers.
Oyewm, Oyrnk. (1997). The Invention of Women: Making an African
Sense of Western Gender Discourses. University of Minnesota Press.
Parekh, P. N., Jagne, S. F. (Eds.) (1998). Postcolonial African Writers. Westport,
Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
Platt, J., Weber, H., Lian, H. (1984). The New Englishes. London: Routledge and
Kegan Paul Publishers.
Pride, J. (1982). New Englishes. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House.
Putz, M. (Ed.) (1994). Language Contact and Language Confict.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Quirk, Randolph (1987). The Question of Standards in the International Use of
English. In Georgetown University Round Table: 1987, pp. 229-241.
Rao, Raja (1943). Kanthapura. London: Oxford University Press. (First
published in 1938, Allen and Unwin.)
Renkema, J. (1993). Discourse Studies: An Introductory Textbook. Philadelphia:
John Benjamins.
Richards, J. C. (Ed.) (1974). Error Analysis. London: Longman.
Salami, A. (1968). "Defining a Standard Nigerian English." In JNESA Vol. 2, no.
2, pp. 99-106.
Schiffrin, D. (1994). Approaches to Discourse. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers.

208
Schmied, J. (1991). English in Africa: An Introduction. Essex: Longman.
Sebba, M. (1997). Contact Languages: Pidgins and Creoles. New York: St.
Martins Press.
Selinker, L. (1969). Language Transfer. In: General Linguistics, 9,1-12.
Selinker, L. (1972). Interlanguage. In IRAL, 10(3); reprinted in Richards
(Ed.) 1974.
Sey, K. A. (1973). Ghanaian English: An Exploratory Survey. London:
Macmillan.
Siegel, Jeff (1987). Language Contact in a Plantation Environment: A
Sociolinguistic History of Fiji. Studies in the Social and Cultural
Foundation of Language 5. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Smith, L. (Ed.) (1981). English for Cross-cultural Communication. London:
Macmillan.
Smith, L. (Ed.) (1983). Readings in English as an International Language.
London: Prentice Hall.
Soyinka, Wole (1973). Collected Plays. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Soyoye, Ayo (1986). Etude contrastive des systmes verbaux du yoruba et du
frangais: une mthodologie de travail. DEA thesis, Universit de la
Sorbonne nouvelle, Paris III.
Spencer, J. (Ed.) (1971). The English Language in West Africa. London:
Longman.
Sridhar, S. N. (1982). "Non-Native English Literatures: Context and Relevance".
In B. B. Kachru (Ed.) The Other Tongue.Urbana, Illinoi: University of
Illinois Press.
Strevens, Peter (1982). The Localized Forms of English. In Braj B. Kachru
(Ed.) The Other Tongue. Urbana, Chicago, London: University of Illinois
Press, pp. 23-30.
Taiwo, Oladele (1976). Culture and the Nigerian Novel. New York: St. Martins
Press.
Thomas, Dylan (1952). Blithe Spirits. In Review of The Palm-Wine Drinkard.
The London Observer, 6 July 1952, p. 7; reprinted in Lindfors 1975, 7-8.
Todd, L. (1982). "The English Language in West Africa". In R. W. Bailey and M.
Gorlach (Eds.), English as a World Language. Ann Arbor: University of
Michigan Press.
Trudgill, P. and Hannah, J. (1982). International English. London: Edward
Arnold.
Trudgill, Peter (1986). Dialects in Contact. Oxford: Basil Balckwell.

209
Tutuola, Amos (1952). The Palm-Wine Drinkard and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster
in the Deads Town. London: Faber; New York: Grove Press, 1953.
Tutuola, Amos (1954). My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. New York: Grove Press;
reprinted by London: Faber (1978).
Tutuola, Amos (1955). Simbi and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle. London: Faber.
Tutuola, Amos (1958). The Brave African Huntress. New York: Grove Press.
Tutuola, Amos (1962). Feather Woman of the Jungle. London: Faber.
Tutuola, Amos (1967). Ajaiyi and His Inherited Poverty. London: Faber.
Tutuola, Amos (1981). The Witch-Herbalist of the Remote Town. London: Faber.
Tutuola, Amos (1982). The Wild Hunter in the Bush of Ghosts. Washington, D.C.:
Three Continents Press.
Tutuola, Amos (1986). Yoruba Folktales. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.
Tutuola, Amos (1987). Pauper, Brawler, and Slanderer. London: Faber.
Tutuola, Amos (1990). The Village Witch Doctor and Other Stories. London:
Faber.
Ubahakwe, E. (1979). "Varieties and Functions of English in Nigeria." Journal
of the English Studies Association, 2:2,47-55.
Ufomata, T. (1991). "Englishization of Yoruba Phonology." World Englishes, Vol.
10, No. 1; Education and Development, Vol. 2, No. 1,1982, pp. 329-341.
UNESCO (1985). African Community Languages and their Use in Literacy and
Education. Dakar: UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Africa.
Viereck, W. and Bald, W. (Eds.) (1986). English in Contact with other Languages.
Budapest: Akademiai Kiado.
Vincent, T. (1974). "Registers in Achebe." JNESA. pp. 95-106.
Walsh, N. (1967). "Distinguishing Types and Varieties of English in Nigeria."
Journal of the Nigerian English Studies Association, 2:2,47-55.
Wardough, R. (1992). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Cambridge:
Blackwell.
Weinreich, U. (1953). Languages in Contact. Linguistic Circle of New York; The
Hague: Mouton.(1968).
Wierzbika, Anna (1994). "'Cultural Scripts': A New Approach to the Study of
Cross-cultural Communication." In Martin Putz (Ed.), 1994, pp. 69-87.
Wigwe, C. (1990). Language, Culture and Society in West Africa. Ems Court:
Arthur H. Stockwell Ltd.

210
Wolfson, N. (1989). Perspectives: Sociolinguistics and TESOL Boston: Heinle and
Heinle Publishers.
Young, P. (1971). "The Language of West African Literature in English. In J.
Spencer (Ed.). The English Language in West Africa. London: Longman.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Timothy Tmilol jn grew up in Ghana where he also completed his
elementary education before his parents returned to Nigeria in the late 1960s.
Back in Nigeria, he attended the Nigerian Military School, Zaria from 1974 to
1979. On graduating from the Military School, he was sponsored by the
Nigerian Army to study French at the University of If§, Il-If£ (now Cbfmi
Awlw University) where he obtained his Bachelors degree with honors in
French in June 1983. He did his mandatory National Youth Service as a French
lecturer at the Qnd State College of Education, Ikr-Ekiti from 1983 to 1984. In
March 1985 he took a job with the Cyo State Schools Board and taught French
at the Iklb Grammar School, Agodi, Ibadan until September 1988.
In October 1988 he won a French Government Ministry of Foreign
Affairs scholarship to study Applied Linguistics at the Universit de la
Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III). He obtained his M.A. and D.E.A. (M.Phil.
equivalent) degrees in December 1990 and October 1991 respectively. While
studying for his graduate degrees, he also taught Yorb at the Institu
National des Langues et Civilizations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris.
At the tail end of Tims D.E.A. degree, he gained admission into the
University of Floridas Program in Linguistics (PIL) to study for his Ph.D.
degree. He earned his graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second
Language (TESL) from the PIL in May 1993 and his ABD in the Spring of 1996
when he was received into doctoral candidacy. While a graduate student in the
PIL, Terni taught Yorb and African Humanities courses at the Department of
African and Asian Languages and Literatures (AALL); African Experience and
211

212
Introduction to African Literature classes at the Center for African Studies
(CAS) and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at the English Language
Institute (ELI). Tim also taught African Cultures and Literature courses as an
Adjunct Instructor at Central Florida Community College (CFCC), Ocala during
the Spring of 1998 and Fall of 1999. He has also been a regular instructor for
African Literatures and Cultures, and Humanities at the CAS annual Summer
Institute for K-12 teachers from 1997 until the present. In the Fall of 1998 and
the Spring of 1999, he was a Consultant in African Cultures and Humanities at
the Valencia Community College, Orlando, Florida.
For three consecutive summers in 1996, 1997 and 1998, Tim was an
examiner and interviewer for the CAS Title VI Intensive Advanced Yorb and
Hausa Group Project Abroad (GPA) program in Nigeria. He was a member of the
Editorial Board of FOCUS on Linguistics (the University of Florida Working
Papers in Linguistics) in the Spring of 1994 and a language Consultant in an
Anthropological Linguistics Field Methods class during the Spring of 1995 and
1997. He served as the Interim President of the African Students Union during
the 1997/98 academic year. He is currently an internal reviewer for African
Studies Quarterly (ASQ), the electronic journal of the UF Center for African
Studies and was a reviewer for Al-Arabivva. the journal of the American
Association of Teachers of Arabic in the Spring of 1995. In October 1996, Tim
won the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Doctoral Dissertation
Fellowship to do research in Nigeria in the summer of 1997. In April 2000, he
won an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award (given annually to
international students who have demonstrated excellence in the pursuit of
their degree at the University of Florida).

213
Tim married Fnmi in London, England in December 1994. Their
marriage has been blessed with two sons, Ayool Ilrolwa and Ibkn
Olbsl, born on February 15, 1996 and October 27, 2000 respectively.

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fulh
scope and quality, as a dissertation for
I certify that I havexiad this^tudy ana that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Marie Nelson
Professor of Linguistics
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
sagrande
sor of Linguistics
I certify that I have read this st/dv^nd that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Diana Boxer
Associate Professor of Linguistics
I certify that 1 have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a dissertation for tlrevdegree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Peter FL Schmidt
Professor of Anthropology
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Program
in Linguistics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate
School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
May 2001
Dean, Graduate School

-i 7 on
i i oU
20 £Li
. A vz



26
must of necessity learn English. English has permeated all facets of life in this
former British colony. It is interesting to add too that the Yorb language is
not only taught in Nigeria, but also in major British and American universities
and in other major universities of Europe. In fact, I have had the privilege of
teaching Yorb language, culture and civilization to students from all over
Europe at the National Institute of Oriental and African Languages (INALCO) in
Paris, France. Yorb is also one of the major African languages taught and
researched at the prestigious London School of Oriental and African Studies
(SOAS) in England. I am also aware that one of our Yoruba professors from
Nigeria (Dr. Olbd) now teaches Yoruba in one of the major universities in
Japan.
Today, Yorb remains one of the most studied and researched African
languages. The Yorb diaspora, which is mostly a direct result of the forced
transportation and relocation of able-bodied Yorb women and men from
their homeland to the New World, continues to produce and to generate studies
on the influence and impact of Yorb language, culture, religion and
civilization on the rest of the world. In places like Cuba, Brazil, Trinidad and
Tobago, Haiti and the United States, Yorb religion and the language of that
religion continues to gain loyal adherents and speakers. Similarly, Yorb art
is being exhibited in major cities of the world as the beautiful handiwork of
gifted and talented Yorb people continue to gain in prestige and importance,
both among the educated lite as well as among religious adherents. Due to the
recent economic hardship in Nigeria, there is now a new generation of
Yorb descendants scattered all over the world, especially in the more
economically prosperous lands of the West, the Middle-East and Asia. This
generation of new-comers too continues to spread the influence of Yorb
language and culture into every nook and cranny of the globe, thus


36
also includes the intentional (y). The other two aspect markers, () and ()
are actually variants of ma and y, respectively. It is also quite
interesting that in his classification he fails to provide examples with the
other three aspect markers that make up his anticipative. His two examples
are only with ma. His definition of the perfective too is very inadequate and
does not really fully explain the function of ti\ He simply says that it
expresses an action that is completed. This definition sounds very much like
the completive to me. What Amoran calls the continuative I will classify as
incompletive, what he calls perfective, I will call relational. What he
calls simple, I will call completive. On the whole, Amorans efforts are in
the right direction, apart from some of the inadequacies mentioned above and
the fact that he does not account for all of the aspect markers in the language.
For instance, he leaves out several of the complex aspect markers such as y
ti, y ti ma and ti ma n. We also observe the same kind of trend that one
finds in previous analyses in the area of gender and pronouns. Amoran
consistently translates the genderless third person singular subject pronoun
as he. We find this in his examples [25], [26], [28] and [34] quoted above as
well as in all of his other examples in his analysis. In spite of all of these, I
believe Amoran still deserves commendation for his bold stance and for the
many declarations in his thesis that YL is fundamentally an aspect driven
language and should be treated as such, although he himself does not
completely follow his own advice.
One last example to be considered here is that of Bolorunduro (1980).
Bolorunduros work has so much merit in it that I will need to pause a little bit
at this point and provide some of his insights on the previous analyses of tense
and aspect in YL. Apart from a few inadequacies found in his own personal
analysis (which I shall address later on) I believe Bolorunduros work is an


5
lived in large cities. Each city usually is surrounded by an elaborate network
of farmlands (oko) around which villages (abl) developed. Each city
dwelling family generally also had a farm in the village. Although most
Yoruba people live in the villages, the city is considered the center of
civilization, culture and religion. Each year village dwellers go back to their
respective cities for annual religious festivities and social celebrations.
Carnivals in Brazil and other places in the Yoruba diaspora probably
originated from these annual festivals (Abimbola 1998: 36). The annual Osun
Festival of Osogbo has now become an international event that attracts people
from all over the world, especially people from the diaspora.
Traditionally, most Yoruba women specialized in commercial activities
such as marketing and trading. While the men did most of the farming, the
women bought produce from farms and sold it at the markets. They also sold
cloths woven by the men as well as tie-dyes made by the women. This middle-
person role played by the women generally made them wealthy and
financially independent. For this reason, Yoruba women do not fit the usual
traditional Western definition of a wife and a mother. Part of the role of a wife
and mother among the Yoruba is that of provider, which subsumes economic
activity and financial independence.
Although traditionally the Yoruba are agricultural people, today the
Yoruba could be found engaged in practically all forms of modern day
professions, ranging from education to medicine, arts and science to cutting-
edge high-tech jobs in technology and the computer industry. In fact, the first
African and black person to win the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature,
Wole Soyinka, is Yoruba. Though Soyinkas English is elegant and complex in
the usual sense, it is also distinctive in its use of Yoruba structures and
discourse features.


13
tones is due to the role they play in differentiating between sets of lexical
items. They are also of grammatical importance because of the role they
sometimes play in grammatical distinction. These two features are discussed
more fully in later sections. Yoruba has an open-ended syllable structure. That
is, all syllables end in a vowel (which could be either an oral or a nasal vowel).
The language does not permit consonant clusters (note that orthographic gb,
as in gb in the example below, is not considered a consonant cluster but a unit
phoneme doubly articulated). Phonologically, a syllable consists of a vowel
nucleus with an optional consonant onset: o second person singular subject
pronoun, il house (V-syllables); ga to be tali, gb to take (CV-syllables);
tn to be finished, tn to spread, scatter (CV-syllable with a nasalized vowel
nucleus). A syllabic nasal constitutes a syllable in its own right, it cannot have
an onset. A syllabic nasal can occur only medially (as in Ogdgb name of a
person) and initially (k where is?, where about?), but not finally, and
must be homorganic with the following consonant. The nucleus of a syllable
assimilates to a nasal onset in terms of nasality; thus a vowel after a nasal
consonant automatically is nasalized.
There are three contrastive level tones: high ('), low (') and mid
(generally unmarked, but if it is necessary to mark it, then a macron is
placed over the syllabic nucleus, as with the other two tones). Although these
contrastive tones are level, phonetic contours occur in some environments.
For instance, a low tone immediately after a high tone is realized as a rising
tone (as in w she exists, wn sn they slept). Similarly, a high tone
immediately after a low tone is realized as a rising tone: iwe book, ore
friend; The functional importance of tones becomes obvious from the
following example sets of lexical items, distinguished in meaning solely by the
difference in tone marking: m (to take), mu (to drink), mu (to be deep); r (to


173
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Therefore, I took out one wonderful juju from
my hunting bag. This juju was the very one
which my father had been using whenever
he was going to this Jungle of the Pigmies.
book title BAH
page 48
YL n NE was going
BE went
aspect Incompletive
quote But when the darkness did not me to see
again, then I stopped, I climbed a big tree and
I slept on its branches till the daybreak. But
when I came down in the morning, I did not
travel so far when I was seeing the jungle
of the Pigmies far away from me.
YL n NE was seeing
BE saw
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 48
aspect Habitual
quote He was so short that he did not reach my waist
and this showed me that he was a pigmy. His
heavy head was helping him indeed
whenever he wanted to kill a powerful
creature because once he hit that creature
with it, it would die at once.
YL maan NE was helping
B E helped
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 50
aspect Incompletive
quote He always held one heavy cudgel which had a
very big round head. And as he was talking
to me it was so he was looking at the big
round head of this cudgel and after a few
minutes he would glance at my own head, and
this showed me that he was thinking in mind
that he was going to beat mv head with this
YL n NE was talking
B E talked
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 51


87
above given examples, the time adverbials refer to a more specific frame of
time in which an action or an event took place. In (130-132), examples are
provided of some less time-specific adverbials.
(130) Mo ma lo sbi-isq LAIPE.
IpS ANTI go to+workplace soon
T will be going to work soon/I am looking forward to going to
work soon/I anticipate to be at work soon.
(131) A ti pde re NIGBA KAN RI.
IpP RELAT meet 2pS some time ago
We have met her/him sometime ago/Weve met before.
(132) Awon baba wa jagun LAYE ATIJO.
PLURAL father IpPOBJ fought in+world+of old
Our (fore)fathers fought wars in days gone by/in time of old.
In (130) the time reference is indicated by the use of the time adverb,
lip (soon), which also places the expression in the future. In (131), the
only element of time is introduced by the use of the adverb ngbkanr (some
time ago). Similarly, in (132), it is the adverb ly tij (in the olden days)
that provides a time frame to the sentence.
Bolorunduro attempted to classify these adverbs of time into two main
categories-specific and general-but appears to have jumbled them together.
For instance he classified lsosn (every afternoon/in the afternoons) and
ljoojm (daily/everyday) under Specific Time Adverbial while, for
reasons best known only to him, llaal (every night/nightly) was classified
under General Time Adverbial (p. 25). Apart from such minor problems as
discussed above, I think the categorization of the time adverbials into general
and specific is largely accurate and does have some merit.
It is evident from the above examples that although tense is not
morphologically marked on YL verbs, the language does have its own way of
indicating time relations, if and when it is important to do so.


199
Agheyisi, R. (1971). West African Pidgin English: Simplification and
Simplicity. Stanford University.
Agheyisi, R. (1977). "Language Interlarding in the Speech of Nigerians." In P.
Kotey and H. Der-Houssikian (Eds.), Language and Linguistic Problems
in Africa, pp. 97-110. London: Longman.
Agheyisi, R. (1988). "The Standardization of Nigerian Pidgin English," English
World-Wide Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 227-241.
Ajani, T.T. (1990). tude Contrastive de lAdjectif Qualificatif en Yoruba et en
Franjis. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Universit de la Sorbonne Nouvelle,
Paris, France.
Ajani, T.T. (1994). "The Influence of Nigerian Languages on Nigerian English,"
FOCUS on Linguistics (University of Florida Working Papers in
Linguistics) Vol. IV, no. 1, pp. 34-48.
Ajani, T.T. (1995). "The Influence of Yoruba on Nigerian English." Paper
presented at the 26th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL
26), UCLA, March 1995.
Ajani, T.T. (1996a). "Is There Indeed a 'Nigerian English'?." Paper Presented at
the 27th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL 27),
University of Florida, March 1996.
Ajani, T.T. (1996b). "Whatever Happened to 'Queen's English'?: Creativity and
Innovation in Wole Soyinka's Collected Plays. Paper presented at the
Creative Writing in English: Focus Africa Conference, West Chester
University, Pennyslvania, October 1996.
Ajani, T.T. (1998). Ife: The Cradle of All Mankind. In CALLIOPE. Vol. 8, no. 6,
12-13, February 1998. Rosalie F. Baker, & Charles F. Baker, (Eds.)
Peterborough: Cobblestone Publishing Company.
Ajani, T.T. (1999a). Tense and Aspect in Yoruba and Nigerian English. Paper
presented at the Linguistic Seminar of the Program in Linguistics,
University of Florida, March 25, 1999.
Ajani, T.T. (1999b). The Influence of Yoruba Aspect Marking on Amos
Tutuola's English. Paper presented at the African and Asian Languages
nd Literatures Departmental Seminar Series, University of Florida,
November 17,1999.
Ajani, T.T. (2000). Change, Relevance and Continuity: Nigerian Writers, the
Diaspora, and the Queens English. Paper presented to the faculty of
the Department of Africana Studies, Rutgers University, March 28, 2000.
Ajani, T.T. (2001). Consequences of the Internationalization of English: A
Perspective from Nigerian English. Paper presented to the Department
of English Faculty, Fayetteville State University, N.C., March 28, 2001.
Akere, F. (1982). "Sociocultural Constraints and the Emergence of a Standard
Nigerian English." In J. B. Pride (Ed.) New Englishes (pp. 85-89).


172
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote After the whole people had seen the dead
body of this semi-bird and went beck to their
houses, then I took the two poisonous cudgels
and my shakabullah gun and I went back to
the palace. So as from that day the king and
his people were taking great care of me as
if T was their daughter.
YL n NE were taking
BE took
book title BAH
page 40
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote The same day, he gave me the knife with
which to clear the hairs off and I started to
clear it at once. But as I was clearing it, it was
so he was warning me repeatedly not to let
the knife touch the two horns or if the knife
touched them he would feel pain even nearly
to death.
YL
n
NE was warning
BE
warned
book title BAH
page 42
aspect Incompletive
quote At last when I believed that I would die in a
few days time, then I went to an old man
whose house was far away from the palace of
the king. I told him that I did not know the
reason why I was leaning more and more
every day.
YL n NE was leaning
B E grew lean
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 43
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote Therefore, I took out one wonderful juju from
my hunting bag. This juju was the very one
which my father had been using
whenever he was going to this Jungle of the
Pigmies.
book title BAH
page 48
YL maa n NE had been using
B E had used


177
aspect Incompletive
quote After a while all the trees were blowing
author Tutuola
book title BAH
here and there, they were touching the
ground with their tops. As I still held the
branch of the tree on which I was so tightly
that I might not fall down, the wild animals,
as lions, tigers, wolves, etc., came to that spot.
page
57
YL
n NE were blowing
BE
began to blow
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As I still held the branch of the tree on which
book title BAH
I was so tightly that I might not fall down, the
wild animals as lions, tigers, wolves, etc.,
came to that spot. As they were running to
and fro, they raised up their heads and they
were sniffing my smell.
page
57
YL
n N E were running
BE
ran
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As I still held the branch of the tree on which
book title BAH
I was so tightly that I might not fall down, the
wild animals as lions, tigers, wolves, etc.,
came to that spot. As they were running to
and fro, they raised up their heads and they
were sniffing my smell.
page
57
YL
n NE were sniffing
BE
sniffed
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As they were surrounded the tree closely it
book title BAH
was so the strong wind was forcing it to
touch the ground repeatedly. Each time that it
touched the ground thesewild animals were
hastily jumping to where I sat on the branch,
but they were unable to touch me before the
tree would stand unriehr aeain.
page
57
YL
n N E was forcing
BE
forced


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
ASPECT IN YORUBA AND NIGERIAN ENGLISH
By
Timothy Tmilpl jn
May, 2001
Chair: Dr. MJ. Hardman
Major Department: Linguistics
Yorb, has, for the most part, been analyzed by earlier grammarians
from the perspective of English, thus leading to an English-oriented analysis
of the language. This study presents a strictly aspect-based analysis of Yorb
and its application to Ttols work and Nigerian English. Twelve identified
aspects are subdivided into two main categories comprising five simple and
seven complex aspects.
This dissertation makes an original contribution to Yorb grammar by
its presentation of Yorb as an aspect-based language, rather than a tense-
based one, as previous analyses have often tended to suggest. A closer look at
Ttols English reveals that many of the idiosyncracies of his language are a
result of the unconscious transfer of the aspectual system of his native Yorb
into the English of his writings. What this shows is that in Nigeria, the Yorb
language has influenced the way English is written and interpreted. Data from
The Palm-Wine Drinkard, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and The Brave African
Huntress, three of Amos Ttols earliest novels, were used to demonstrate
this important influence on the work of Ttol, a native of Yorbland who,
xi


192
aspect Incompletive
quote Having done so I bagan to keep watch of the
animals. Of course as I was doing this thing
it was so I was thinking in mind of all the
signs which I had seen on the way before I
travelled to this tree
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 75
YL n NE was doing
BE did
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
Whenever he was walking very hastily
book title BAH
along, this navel would be shaking and
sounding heavily as when the water was
shaking in a large tube and it appeared on his
belly as if a very large bowl covered the
belly.
page
77
YL
n N E was walking
BE
walked
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As he was following me along and flogging
book title BAH
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting
horribly on me -- Thief! thief! thief! I catch
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but
one day is for the owner to catch the thief! It
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was
shouting on me greatlv.
page
77
YL
n N E was following
BE
followed
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As he was following me along and flogging
book title BAH
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting
horribly on me Thief! thief! thief! I catch
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but
one day is for the owner to catch the thief! It
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was
shouting on me greatlv.
page
77
YL
n NE flogging
BE
flogged


8
le gbomo la, meaning the religious beliefs of the father cannot save the
children. The wisdom of this proverb, in essence, is that we each must seek our
own salvation.
Finally, the Yoruba are also known for their rich and vibrant literary
tradition, especially their oral poetry which has attracted literary luminaries
from around the world. Yoruba oral literature is rich in proverbs and wise
sayings that reflect the values, hopes and aspirations of its people. Much
respect is given to old age among the Yoruba because the elderly are believed
to be the repositories of wisdom and knowledge. Old age is thus highly revered
among the Yoruba. In fact, probably the most important prayer that an older
person can say to a younger one is O ma dgb dargb (You shall grow old
and be full of years). Since the Yoruba are very religious, prayers play a very
important part in day to day communication, activities, and interactions.
Probably Yoruba religion and culture are the two most important
contributions of the Yoruba to world civilization. Every civilization and
culture undergoes changes over time and Yoruba is no exception. Their
culture and civilization have undergone changes and modifications over the
years, from both internal dynamics and external pressures. Such were the
imposition of European rule on Yorubaland during the colonial era and the
introduction of both Islam and Christianity at different times of their history.
The Yoruba have used all of these challenges and experiences to better their
lot and to advance their own civilization, adopting some changes that they
consider as progressive while throwing away others that are not viewed in
positive light.


194
aspect Incompletive
quote As he was still pushing me along they were
rushing to me just to kill or swallow me but
when they saw that it was this pigmy who was
pushing me along, they would not do
anything to me but they were parting to both
sides of the road for us to pass.
YL n NE were rushing
BE rush
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 78
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote I believed that all these creaturtes were also
the keepers of this road. They were killing
and eating all the enemies of these pigmies.
book title BAH
page 78
YL maa n NE were killing and eating
B E killed and ate
aspect Incompletive
quote As the attitudes of these creatures were too
horrible for me as we were meeting them
on this road, so whenever I feared and ran to
either sides of the road, this pigmy would
whip me very severely at the same time and
then he would shout greatly that just be
going along, vou dont see wonders vet. vou
Y L n N E were meeting
BE met
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 78
aspect Habitual
quote This ape was as strong as a giant. Of course he
was not tall but he was so stout that he was
easily opening and closing the door of
this gate.
YL maa n NE was easily opening and closing
B E opened & close
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 79


Drs. Casagrande and Yai were instrumental in bringing me to this
University, after I had completed my DEA (M. Phil, equivalent) in Paris,
France. When he was Chair of the Department of African and Asian Languages
and Literatures (AALL), Dr. Yai offered me an open-ended teaching
assistantship at the AALL during the Spring and Fall semesters, and
occasionally during the summer. Dr. Casagrande, then director of the Program
in Linguistics (PIL) and the English Language Institute (ELI), offered me
summer assistantships at the ELI during my first two years here. I taught
Yoruba for several years under the supervision of Dr. Yai, until he left for
France two years ago. I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at the
ELIunder the leadership of Dr. Casagrande and later, Dr. Boxer. My interest in
and love for Sociolinguistics really blossomed while I was a student in Dr.
Boxers Sociolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition (SLA) classes.
I am deeply indebted to Dr. Marie Nelson, who voluntarily offered to
read through all of my manuscripts, offering fresh insights, and making
useful comments and corrections.At the time, she was busy discharging her
many duties as director of the PIL. Dr. Peter Schmidt, Director of the Center for
African Studies, gave me a summer dissertation grant to do research in
Nigeria, and I thank him very much. I give many thanks go to Dr. Ann Wyatt-
Brown, who willingly offered me her personal laptop computer to use for as
along as I needed it, when I began my studies here in Gainesville. It was also
she who encouraged me to publish my first article in FOCUS on Linguistics, the
University of Florida working papers in Linguistics.
My experience at the University of Florida would have been very
different without the support of friends, colleagues, students and family, here,
in the United States, back home in Nigeria, and in other places. I am very
grateful for all the encouragement, financial support, and prayer support I
iv


108
beginning to discover that there is a regularity and systematicity underlying
the entire linguistic processes undergirding Tutuolas language. Any person
for whom Yoruba is a first language, however, can easily identify the
underlying structures upon which Tutuola has superimposed his English.
Amos Tutuola has a way with language that defies the conventions of
English grammar as set forth by the British, the introducers of this language
on the Nigerian scene. He constantly weaves the grammar of his native
Yoruba into that of the English of his writings and this is most obvious in the
area of tense and aspect. Geoffrey Parrinder gives us an insight into this
non-conventional use of EL in his introduction to Tutuolas second book: My
Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954) when he comments,
Tutuolas writing is original and highly imaginative. His direct style,
made more vivid by his use of English as it is spoken in West Africa, is
not polished or sophisticated and gives his stories unusual energy. It is a
beginning of a new type of Afro-Enelish literature ... (p. 12, my
emphases).
A few decades later, a fellow Yoruba and a highly respected Professor of
English at one of Nigerias foremost institutions of higher learning, Adebisi
Afolayan, would identify Tutuolas English as Yoruba English, a language
possessing Yoruba deep grammar that nevertheless has many of the surface
features of conventional English grammar. (Parckh & Jagne 1998: 473, my
emphasis). Harold Collins who wrote the first monograph on Tutuola spoke of
Tutuolas imaginative use of the English language and describes him as A
conscious craftsman whose unconventional English syntax, spelling and
punctuation represent an artful technique that asssists readers in
comprehending Tutuolas imaginary worlds where all conventional rules of
order are suspended. (1969).
What Afolayan and others are saying in essence is quite simple to
understand by any Yoruba, or, for that matter, any Nigerian or West African


90
(13) Awa y mq.
IpPEmp INTENTIONAL know
We definitely intend to know/We definitely will know.
(14) Oj ma rq.
Rain ANTICIPATE fall
We anticipate rain to/will fall.
The above reanalysis raises a few questions that must be answered. First,
what Bamgbose had analysed as three tenses (Continuous, Habitual and
Future) are actually four separate aspects (INCOMPLETE:, HABITUAL,
INTENTIONAL and ANTICIPATE). Bamgbose calls the HABITUAL a tense,
however, within the structure of YL it is an ASPECT. Also, what he calls the
future tense (7-8) is a result of reliance on a long tradition of translation
instead of looking at the structure of the language itself. Properly analyzed,
Bamgboses future becomes two separate and different aspects the
INTENTIONAL (7) and the ANTICIPATE (8). Actually, both the INTENTIONAL
and ANTICIPATE: are two forms of the IRREALIS group of aspects, the former
having a completive and the latter an incompletive sense. Y in example
(13) is the irrealis counterpart of the completive (unmarked) aspect. As has
been amply explained in chapter two, sections 2.3.2.4 and 2.3.2.5, the
intentional y is structurally different from the anticipative ma. Whereas
the anticipative takes a regular pronoun, the intentional occurs principally
with an emphatic pronoun. For instance, while (15) below is grammatical, (16)
is not. However, both (17) and (18) are allowed. Thus, the intentional is more
restrictive in its usage than the anticipative.
(15) Emi y lo.
IpSEmp INTEN go
T will go/ I intend to go.
(16) *Mo y lo.
IpS INTEN go


169
aspect Incompletive
quote Then the whole people did not laugh or talk
but they were looking at me with sadness
until when their king asked from me again
whether I knew the kinds of the cruel and
harmful creatures, apart from the wonderful
wild animals, who were living in this jungle.
YL n NE were looking
B E looked
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 33
aspect Incompletive
quote Then the whole people did not laugh or talk
but they were looking at me with sadness
until when their king asked from me again
whether I knew the kinds of the cruel and
harmful creatures, apart from the wonderful
wild animals, who were living in this
iunele.
YL n NE were living
B E lived
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 33
aspect Incompletive
quote They were closing the doors and windows
immediately they were entering their houses.
All the domestic animals were running here
and there and they were hiding themselves as
well. All the fires which were at outsides of
the houses before that time were quenched
with water at once before these neonle
YL n NE were closing
B E began to close
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 34
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote They were closing the doors and windows
immediately they were entering their
houses. All the domestic animals were
running here and there and they were
hiding themselves as well. All the fires which
were at outsides of the houses before that time
were Quenched with water at once before
YL
n
NE were entering
BE
entered
book title BAH
page 34


15
1.2.2 Morphology
The obligatory categories in Yoruba are syntactic while the derivational
categories are mainly morphemic. There are two main processes of word
formation, viz prefixation and reduplication. Nouns can be derived from verbs
in several ways. Prefixes deriving agentive nouns from verbs include a-, o-
and olu-. Of these three, the a- prefix is the most productive while 6- is the
least productive. A- is generally prefixed to a verb phrase (VP) to derive a
noun of the order one who does something, as in ape/a fisherperson
(literally one who kills fish: a + pa + eja), akorin singer (one who sings
songs: a + kp + orin) or an object that performs an action, as in abe knife
(that which cuts: a + be), ata pepper (that which stings: a + ta).
The prefix 0- harmonizes with its base VP to produce two variants: 0- and O-.
For instance worker (one who works: + se + is), but pmpw, a Ph.D.
holder (one who knows book: q + m + iw). Examples of derivations with olu-
incluse olugbl savior (one who saves: olu + gbl), olps one who
provides: ol + pes), oludmQrn counselor (one who counsels: olu +
dmrn), etc.
Prefixes that form abstract nouns from VPs include i- and a- as in imp
knowledge (the art of knowing: i + m), irt hope (the art of expecting: i +
ret); /p going (the art of going: +lo), s banquet (the art of cooking: +
s). These prefixes sometimes form nonabstract nouns: idi bundle (the art of
binding: i + di), itn story, history (the art of spreading: i + tan). Other
prefixes include ti- and ai- both of which are used to derive either infinitives
or gerunds. While ti- is used to derive affirmative forms, i- is used mainly in
the derivation of negative forms: ati$i$p to work, working (the art of doing
work: ti + se + is), tilo to go, going (the art of going: ti + lo); ini$


104
writers and critics, such as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi,
Harold Collins, Bernth Lindfors, to mention just a few, have come to appreciate
and to positively appraise Tutuolas works and worth, there are still a few,
mostly Nigerian, who feel Tutuola is not deserving of all the attention he is
being accorded (cf. Owomoyela 1999). In the midst of all this, however, Tutuola
is being discovered by others in other realms where his name had been
hitherto practically unknown. He is now receiving honorable mention in
science fiction circles (Hardman 1999: Personal communication). This is
because the dividing line between science fiction and fantasy (SF & F) is
sometimes very blurred and thin, and Tutuolas works are rich in the fantastic.
It is therefore no surprise that SF & F is now claiming him as one of their own.
This, definitely, will further expand the support base for Tutuolas works and
increase his recognition around the world.
Furthermore, Tutuolas works and name also figure prominently on the
world-wide web, especially on Amazon-dot-com, the commercial internet site
that has become very popular in the book sales world. The public reviews of
his works on this web site have been consistently very positive, as most
reviewers have given his works five star ratingsthe highest in that rating
system. One internet reviewer and admirer had this to say about Tutuola and
his use of the English language
Amos Tutuola is one of the handful of master stylists in the English of
the 20th century ... Tutuola is, in fact, a stylist and not, as it once seemed
possible, a naive product of an unusual and scanty education in English
in Nigeria. The compelling factor in his style is his rhvthm. presumably
related to his mother tongue of Yoruba. It has something of the cyclical
nature of extended drumming. (Harry Eager, Amazon.com, Inc.: 1998,
my emphasis).
Another internet reviewer called Tutuola The voice of the Yoruba
people...when he died he was one of the most appreciated authors of the


67
cannot be one and the same. If they were synonymous, their combination must
of necessity be redundant and meaningless. The very possibility of both of
them combining in syntax to create another (complex) aspect points to the fact
that they must, by all means, be different and separate aspects, rather than
simple synonymous alternates of a single aspect.
The INCEPTIVE, y ma is derived from two irrealis aspects: the
intentional y and the anticipative ma. It describes an activity that is yet
to begin but which the speaker has decided to embark upon shortly. Thus, the
subject of sentence (70) has made a decision-and it is this power of decision
making that is involved which makes me feel that the Decisive is also an
appropriate name for this aspect-by exercising the power of the will, to leave.
There is an anticipation, informed by a decision, to embark upon the process
of leaving the place of utterance. A similar analysis goes for the other two
examples in (71-72) where the enunciators of the utterances have made
decisions, using the power of their volition to move from point A to point B. In
all instances, though, the activities in question have not yet been performed.
They are at the inceptive point.
(70) Emi y ma 1q.
IpS INCEPTIVE go
'I will be leaving/I have made up my mind about leaving any
time from now/I anticipate leaving any moment from now due to
an exercise of my will and volition.'
(71) Awa y ma $wju yin lo.
(IpP INCEPTIVE precede 2pP go)
'We will be going ahead of you/We have decided to go on ahead of
you and do intend to begin to do so right now/ any moment from
now.'
(72) Oun y ma b wa lona.
3pS INCEPTIVE meet IpP on + way
'She will be meeting us ahead/We anticipate that she will
soon embark on the process of meeting us on the way because we
are aware of her decision to do so.'


24
school education for daring to speak our mother tongue while in school. The
rule was simple: English only; or face the dire consequences. It is interesting
to note that most of us already spoke two or more languages before setting foot
in the classrooms.
Having learnt English under these circumstances, it should not be
surprising that early writers like Amos Tutuola chose to write in English.
Neither is it surprising that Tutuolas English and the English of other modern
Nigerian writers, including the Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka and
internationally acclaimed novelists like Chinua Achebe, still write in an
English that is influenced by its writers multilingual and multicultural
background and experiences.
In Nigeria today, English is still very important and even ejoys much
higher status than any of our indigenous languages, including the major
lingua francas that had been used as languages of wider communication long
before the arrival of the British on those soils. Today, English is still the
language of social mobility, although its status has been reduced to.that of an
official language, as opposed to the three national languages Yorb, Hausa
and Igbo. All four languages now coexist in a diglossic state in the nation, with
SNE being used mostly by the educated lite, NPE by the not-so-educated
Nigerians who did not have the opportunity to go to college, although
practically all the educated lite also are either conversant with or are fluent
in NPE as well. They code-switch and code-mix between SNE, NPE and the
various local languages that they know. Thus code-switching and code-mixing
are a fundamental part of the linguistic environment of Nigeria, as it is in
most African languages today.
In the Yorubaland section of Nigeria, children begin their education in
Yorub and continue to receive all their academic instructions in it for at least


119
3.4.2 Verbs that do not take in g in EE
Another interesting area of Tutuolas transfer of the YL incompletive is
that involving certain EL verbs of perception such as to hear and to see. In
BE grammar, these verbs cannot take the ing inflection in the general sense
of their meaning. In the following examples, (35a) and (36a) are
ungrammatical while (35b) and (36b) are not.
*(35a)I am hearing you.
(35b)I can hear you.
(35c)I am listening to you
*(36a)I am seeing you.
(36b) I can see you.
(36c) I am seeing her.
In (35a), the verb hear can only be rendered in the simple form even
if the act of hearing has an incompletive sense. BE has two possible ways of
rendering this: either in the form in (35b) or (35c), although in (35c) a
different verb has to be used. In (35b) the verb hear is preceded by the modal
can. The verb to listen is allowed to have an -ing inflection, however.
In (36a), BE grammar blocks the -ing form of the verb to see, except, of
course, as a gerund. Notice (36c), however. In this example, the verb to see
can take the -ing form, but then its meaning is no longer the same. Now it has
a meaning synonymous with dating. Thus, I am seeing her does not have
the sense of I am looking at her, but rather, I am currently in a dating
relationship with her.
In YL, however, the semantic field of the verb gbg includes all of ELs
to hear, to listen, to understand as well as to smell. The sense is that of to
perceive. Thus in YL you can gb, a smell, a sound or even someone. The
following examples will clarify what I am saying.
(37) Mo r gbQ rnnilkan.
IpS INCOM. perceive smell something
T can smell something.


50
because ni is preceded by the emphatic form of the first person singular
subject pronoun emi\ In (13 & 13b) below, the same rule is applicable to the
negative form of the verb ni\ As in the affirmative form, k is allowed to
select only the emphatic form of the pronoun. The same explanation for (12-
12b) goes for examples (14-15b).
(13)
*Mo
k
(ni)
Tmi.
lpS(RP)
NEGbe (be)
Tmi
(13b)
Emi
k
(ni)
Tmi.
lpS(RP)
NEGbe be
Tmi
I am not Tmi.
(14) *0 ni.
2pS(RP) be
(14b) Iwo ni.
2pS(EP) be
Its you.
(15) *0 k.
2pS(RP) NG
(15b) Iwo kq.
2pS(EP) NEG
It isnt you.
Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Compound NP Structures
The regular subject pronoun forms (16, 17 and 18) cannot occur in a
compound NP structure using a conjunction, as illustrated in the examples
below. Compound NP structures require the use of emphatic pronouns, as we
find in (16b, 17b and 18b). The regular pronoun forms make examples (16, 17
and 18) ungrammatical, as illustrated below.
(16) *Mo
kti
o
f
re
lpS(RP)
and
2pS(RP)
want
work
(16b) Emi
ti
un
f
re
lpS(EP)
and
2pS(EP)
want
work
She/He and I want to work.


33
Awoyales work is just one example of problems that have resulted from
attempts of YL linguists educated in EL to impose rules related to tense upon a
language to which they do not apply.
Another attempt worth mentioning at this juncture is that of Amoran
(1986), an M.A. thesis on Auxiliaries and Time Reference in Yoruba. Amoran,
who devotes a chapter to Time Reference and Aspect in Yoruba, makes the
following interesting observations:
The indication of specific or absolute time does not appear to have a
pronounced place in the Yoruba verbal system. What is more important
is the spread of the action or state through time and its aspect in terms
of duration, progression, repetition, and completion rather than a
tripartite division into present, past and future...The trend has been to
treat tense as the dominant feature in Yoruba...I treat aspect as the
dominant feature in the Yoruba verbal system. Further, I consider
Yoruba a tenseless language... (pp. 32-33).
The above statement is both insightful and bold, in the light of previous
scholarship on this very important subject in YL grammar. Amoran rightly
makes allusions to earlier scholarship on this issue, such as those of Bamgbose
(1967), Awobuluyi (1967) and Ogunbowale (1970). He rightly points to the
inadequacy of Bamgboses analysis, judging from the fact that he treated tense
as the dominant feature in YL. Also, his two tense systemssimple and
perfective-was, as Amoran observed, an indication on Bamgboses confused
interpretation of aspect and tense. Amoran also noted that although Awobuluyi
went a step further than Bamgbose, his attempt was quite simplistic, in that he
identified mainly two aspectual components in YL, viz priority and duration as
well as a dual tense opposition, subdivided into definite and indefinite, where
definite tense corresponds to present and past tense forms and the indefinite
corresponds to future tense. Thus, according to Awobuluyis analysis,
anything future is an aspect while anything present or past is a tense
apparently a very simplistic view of a very complex issue. Similarly,
Ogunbowales analysis, observes Amoran, is very inadequate in that it followed


195
aspect Incompletive
quote As this pigmy was pushing me along in the
town, uncountable pigmies like himself were
shouting on me -- Ah, this is another one of
the thieves of animals! They were making a
mock and deriding of me, and it was so I was
breathing quickly and audible because I was
so tired that I was unable to move mv feet...
YL n NE was pushing
B E pushed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 80
aspect Incompletive
quote As this pigmy was pushing me along in the
town, uncountable pigmies like himself were
shouting on me -- Ah, this is another one of
the thieves of animals! They were making a
mock and deriding of me, and it was so I was
breathing quickly and audible because I
was so tired that T was unable to move mv feet
YL n NE was breathing
B E breathed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 80
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As he was pushing me along I noticed that the
domestic animals of this town were
outnumbered the pigmies and this showed me
that they were not killing these animals
for their food at all.
book title BAH
page 80
YL n NE were not killing
B E did not kill
aspect Anticitpative
quote After he handed my property to the king and
another pigmy put them on the ceiling and
the king thanked him greatly and advised
him as well to be going round the jungle
every day and night and bringing all hunters
or huntresses he might see in the jungle ...
YL maa NE be going
BE go round
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 81


193
aspect Incompletive
quote As he was following me along and flogging
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting
horribly on me -- Thief! thief! thief! I catch
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but
one day is for the owner to catch the thief! It
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was
shouting on me greaflv.
YL n NE was shouting
B E shouted
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 77
aspect Incompletive
quote As he was following me along and flogging
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting
horribly on me -- Thief! thief! thief! I catch
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but
one day is for the owner to catch the thief! It
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was
shouting on me greatlv.
YL n NE was shouting
B E shouted
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 77
aspect Incompletive
quote When this punishment was too severe for me
then I became powerless to walk after a short
time. I was unable to go along any longer.
When he saw this, he started to push me along
with his fearful large navel and I was
staggering along powerlessly.
YL n NE was staggering
B E staggered
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 77
aspect Incompletive
quote When he heard all these words from me the
punishment which he was then giving me
was more severe than before. It was like that
he was pushing me along with his navel as
hastily as he could until when he pushed me
to these vast rocks and mountains and without
hesitation he nushed me like this into one of
YL n NE was pushing
B E pushed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 78


17
(3)Mo fn Ty ni ow.
I give Ty PREP, money
T gave Ty some money.
Also when a verb has a verbal complement, the complement follows the verb.
(4) Mo r p o kr.
I think that you be+short
I think that you are short.
(5) Mo mQ p Kk mw.
I know that Kk know+book
I know that Kk is brilliant.
Adverbials generally are post-verbal (6-7), although a small number precede
the verb (8-9).
(6) Bd sanra pp,
Bade fat/big plenty/a lot
Bade is very fat/big
(7) Gbm dd gan an.
Gbm is+dark very/really
Gbm is very/really dark.
(8) Bb t t d.
Father quickly arrive
Father arrived quickly.
(9) Mo ss lQ-
I just go
T have just gone.
Aspect markers are pre-verbal. These markers are the object of the next
chapter and will be discussed in further detail.
(10)A ti ji.
We RELATIONAL wake up
We have awakened/We are awake.
(11)Ol n lo s il-iw.
Ol INCOMPLETIVE go DIRECTIONAL school
Ol is/was going to school.


197
aspect Habitual
author
Tutuola
quote
There were many big and deep wells
book title BAH
everywhere in the town in which they were
storing their palm-oil. Everyone of them
with his own family were living together in
each of these small houses.
page
82
YL
maa n N E were storing
BE
stored
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
There were many big and deep wells
book title BAH
everywhere in the town in which they were
storing their palm-oil. Everyone of them with
his own family were living together in
each of these small houses.
page
82
YL
n N E were living
BE
lived
aspect Habitual
author
Tutuola
quote
Then this stern pigmy told him concisely that
book title BAH
I was one of the hunters who were stealing
away their animals from their jungle.
page
83
YL
maa n N E were stealing
BE
stole
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
As I stood in one place and I was noticing
all these things and as I was just thinking in
mind that in a few months to come, I too
would become as dirty and in nakedness as
these people or perhaps I would be killed in a
few days time. There I saw a very weak man ...
book title BAH
page 87
YL
n NE was noticing
BE
noticed


166
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote A few minutes more, these noises were
approaching us nearer and thus the noises
were approaching us more and more until the
hunters were quite sure that Odara and his
followers were coming to that direction.
book title BAH
page 25
YL n NE were approaching
B E approached
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote This tree was not far from the road so that I
might see Odara and his followers clearly
when they were passing along through
that place.
book title BAH
page 25
YL n NE were passing
B E passed
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As they were going along as hastily as they
could it was so they were looking at back
always just to see whether their leader,
Odara was approaching nearer.
book title BAH
page 26
YL n NE were going
BE went
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As they were going along as hastily as they
could it was so they were looking at back
always just to see whether their leader,
Odara was approaching nearer.
book title BAH
page 26
YL n NE were looking
B E kept looking


25
the first three years of elementary education, with English as a subject within
the curriculum. After the first three years of elementary education English
switches place with Yorb and becomes the language of instruction while
Yorb becomes a subject on the curriculum. This notwithstanding, Yorb
continues as an academic discipline and is studied up to the doctoral and post
doctoral levels in any of the several universities located within the Yorb
region of Nigeria. Today, Yorb studies is a serious and respectable discipline
with many people studying to the Ph.D. level and writing their dissertations
entirely in Yorb. Several news dailies are written in Yorb in the Yorb
states and there are radio and television programs written and presented
entirely in Yorb to the more than 20 million potential viewing audience in
the Yorb-speaking states of Nigeria as well those in neighboring Benin
Republic and Togo. Numerous books and articles, theses and dissertations on
both literary and scientific topics have been and still continue to be written
in the language.
The Yorb are great lovers of education and would leave no stone
unturned to better educate themselves and their children because, as the
Yorb saying goes, Ek n sonii deni giga (It is education that makes one a
person of importance. Thus, within the Nigerian socio-cultural and political
environment, Yorb and English continue to march on in peaceful
coexistence into the future, at least for now. Just as English has been
influenced by Yorb because of the historical circumstances that brought
both languages together, so has Yorb been influenced by English. In fact,
today there are many English loan words in the Yorb language, as both
languages and cultures continue to influence each other as they move on into
the future. English is now taught as a discipline up to the doctoral level in
Nigerian universities, and all Yorb children receiving a formal education


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Successful completion of any exercise usually reflects the efforts of
more than one individual. This dissertation would never have been written
without the help, collaboration, encouragement, prayers and goodwill of a host
of people, both here in the United States and back home in Nigeria.
Foremost, my sincere gratitude goes to the chairperson of my doctoral
committee, Professor. M.J. Hardman who taught me how to look at language
critically and through unbiased lenses, to question assumptions and
previously held opinions, in the spirit of humility. I appreciate her patience
and thoroughness, especially during the initial stages of this study. I
appreciate her kindness, gentleness and sense of humor. I thank her for
adopting me and my young family into her own family. My first son fondly
calls her grandma. Working with her one-on-one has been a real privilege.
I have benefitted immensely from her excellent linguistic insights and
intuitions.
I also express my sincere gratitude to the other members of my
committee. I have learnt much about language and linguistics from them. I
worked closely with these committee members: Professor Jean Casagrande, Dr.
Diana Boxer, Dr. Peter Schmidt, and Professor Marie Nelson. Although
Professor Marie Nelson was the last to formally join the committee, she was
already a voluntary adjunct member. She willingly stepped in when Professor
Olabiyi Yai left the University to take a permanent assignment as
representative for his country at UNESCO.
iii


187
aspect Incompletive
quote The powerful light that these eyes were
bringing out could not go far or straight but
they were bringing out the clear and
round light. The ray of this light was always
round him and it could be seen clearly from a
long distance.
YL n NE were bringing
BE brought
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 66
aspect Incompletive
quote He had a kind of a terrible shout with which
he was frightening the animals and his
humming was also terrible to hear. All the
rest animals were so hated and feared that
they never went near the place that he
travelled for one week.
YL n NE was frightening
BE frightened
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 66
aspect Incompletive
quote He first sighted all his horns towards me and
then he was running to me as fast as he
could. But when I thought within myself that
if I stood on the ground and shot him, he
would kill me instantaneously, because my
shakabullah gun would not be able to kill
him in one shot, therefore T hastilv climbed a
YL n NE was running
BE ran
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 67
aspect Incompletive
quote And it was this day that I believed that the
half killed snake is the most dangerous.
Because this animal was then shrieking and
shouting and humming more terribly with
angry voice than ever. His fearful humming
was hearing all over the jungle.
YL n NE was hearing
B E was heard
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 68


134
on at that time, several years of studying language and linguistics finally
began to give me some clues as to why Tutuola used English the way he did and
why, although most of his structures were grammatically incorrect according
to the British tradition that was imported into Nigeria, I still was able to
understand what he was saying with little or no effort.
Thanks to the linguistic tools I have acquired over the past years, I have
found, in revisiting of Tutuolas works that it has become much easier to have
a better understanding of his language. In addition, I think I have begun to
understand why he spoke and wrote the way he did, or to put it in a better way,
why he wrote the way he spoke, and, in addition, that the way he spoke
actually was an outflow of the way he thought. What Tutuola was doing in
essence was to think in Yoruba, then translate his thoughts into English
before putting them into writing. The end result of this linguistic alchemy was
an English language touched by, then molded and shaped by Yoruba
worldview and thought processes, a new type of English that Afolayan,
another Yoruba and a distinguished professor of English, would later on refer
to as Yoruba English and an internet reviewer would describe as having the
cyclical nature of extended drumming, a good reminder of the Yoruba
language itself, a tonal language that uses the talking drum as one of its
means of communication through an artful combination and manipulation of
the three tonal system of the language.
In order to anchor Tutuola and his language properly in its own
context, I have provided a brief background (in Chapter 1) to the peculiar
situation that brought two languages, from two different worlds of experience
to have a destiny that is so close but yet different. This was the main thrust of
my first chapter in which I told who the Yoruba are, where they live and
interact, and how the colonial experience came to alter forever the destinies of


71
(79) Mo ti r sis k o t d.
I REL-INCEP work before 2pS PART arrive
T had begun and was working before you arrived/ I had begun
working and am still at it while you arrive on the scene.'
(80) Wn ti i sn k a t d il.
3pP REL-INCEP sleep before IpP PART arrive home
'They had already gone to bed and were sleeping before we got
home.'
(81) O ti n foso ngbt mo d odd.
2pS REL-INCEP wash + clothes when IpS arrive stream
'You were washing already/you had been washing when I
arrived at the river.
2.3.3.7 Habitual; Ancipave + Incompletive
The last aspectual combination, the HABITUAL, ma n, is a sequence of
the anticipative ma and the incompletive n. It describes an activity that
was performed on a regular basis prior to the present or is continually
performed on a regular basis. It refers to a habitual event or activity, either in
a timeless frame or in a past frame. Thus, without the addition of any adverb of
time, the habitual could have either a timeless or a past interpretation.
Example (82), for instance, could mean either I used to work or I work
always, habitually, the latter having no specific time frame of reference. In
(83), the adverb of time ljoojm emphasizes the idea of regularity, but
could be located either within a timeless frame or a past, just like example (82)
indicates. In (84), the adverbial clause of time ngbt mo w ni we frames
the activity of working within a past time. It describes a regualr activity that
took place on a habitual basis over a period of time when the speaker was still
a youth. This is, however, no longer true of the speaker at the present moment.
(82)Mo ma n sis.
IpS HABITUAL work
T work, habitually/I used to work, habitually/ I have or had a
habit of working on a regular and consistent basis.


CHAPTER 2
ASPECT IN YORUBA
The treatment of aspectual and temporal relations in the Yoruba
language (YL) has been fraught with confusion right from the onset of formal
analysis of the language. This confusion has a long history. It began with the
father of Yoruba linguisticsBishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, whose
foundational work, A Grammar of the Yoruba Language (1852), laid the
groundwork for all future grammars of the language. Bishop Crowthers work
was modeled meticulously after the analysis of the English language (EL), the
language in which he had received all of his linguistic training. He therefore
was very careful not to deviate from the English model. Unfortunately, almost
a century and a half afterwards, his methodology and basis of analysis by and
large still command the adherence of YL linguists. In fact, so strong is the
influence of Crowther that even Ayo Bamgbose (considered the "father" of
modem Yoruba linguistics) could not escape some of his methods and
conclusions (cf. the latter's A Grammar of Yoruba (1966) and A Short Grammar
of Yoruba (1967)).
As an example, most of what Bamgbose analyzed as tense markers are
indeed aspect markers, while some of them are actually either modals or
elements belonging to other categories in the grammar. For the purposes of
this dissertation I will be focussing on elements that belong to aspect but
which have been anylyzed as tenses. Bamgbose, for instance, classified the
INTENTIONAL aspect marker y and the ANTICIPATIVE ma as Future
Tenses and the INCOMPLETIVE n as Continuous Tense. He categorized all of
29


68
2.3.3 A Manifestive; Relational + Anticipative
The MANIFESTIVE ti ma combines the relational ti and the
anticipative ma. This sequence describes an activity that would have started
prior to another one. Whereas in the previous aspect (the inceptive), the
activity, though decided upon and expected to take place is yet to begin, in the
manifestive the activity is expected to have begun and be ongoing before the
second event takes place. This aspect is similar, in many ways, to the expective,
the main difference between the two being that with the expective there is a
quality decision taken, through the power of the will, thus providing a sense
of certainty to the performance of the activity. With the manifestive, on the
other hand, everything borders more on a desire to perform the activity. In
(73)below, the speaker expects, desires, intends to have begun working and to
keep on doing so by the time the subject of the second clause arrives on the
scene. The work would have begun and be ongoing when the other person
arrives. In contrast to the backgrounder (cf. 2.3.3.1), where the first activity is
expected to have terminated before the second event, the activity here would
still be going on by the time the second event takes place.
(73) Mo ti ma td o t d.
I MANIFESTIVE work before 2pS PART arrive
T will/may have started working before you arrive.'
(74) A ti ma 1q k o t d.
IpP MANIFEST go before 2ps PART arrive.
'We will/may have left before you arrive.'
(75) Wn ti ma j$un k a t $etn.
3pP MANIFEST eat before IpP PART finish
'They will/may have eaten before we get ready.'
2,3,3,5.Antecedent Coippie.on; Relational + Anticipative + Incompletive
The ANTECEDENT COMPLETION ti ma n is a combination of three aspect
markers, viz the relational ti, the anticipative ma and the incompletive n.


82
2.4.3 Relational ti
The relational also appears only once in the text, in example (104). Here,
it refers to an activity that had taken place relative to the moment of speech:
the parents had already left for Orlando before the arrival of the guests.
(110) Wn so p wpn bi won ti 1q s Orlando...
3pPS say that PLUR parent 3pPO RELAT go to Orlando...
'They said that their parents had gone to Orlando...'
2.4.4 Anticipative ma
The anticipative likewise appears just once in the text, in example (107).
Here, the kids tell their visitors that their (the kids') parents should return the
following day. The anticipative is used here because the children have no
control over when their parents will return. They can therefore not say so
with absolute certainty, for they could decide to return earlier than planned,
or even much later.
(Ill) WQn sq p Qla ni wn ma pada d.
3pPS say that tomorrow is 3pPO ANTI return arrive
'They said that they (the parents) would return tomorrow.'
2.4.5Intentional v
The intentional also appears once, in example (108). Here the children
use the intentional-as opposed to the anticipative, as is the case in (107). They
know with some degree of certainty that their parents, upon return from
Orlando, will be heading for Tampa. Most likely, the kids know that their
parents had purchased another ticket for Tampa for the day in question,
probably a non-refundable ticket. It is the parents will that is involved here.
They must have made up their minds about going to Tampa on the said date so
as not to lose their ticket money. Probably the parents had told the kids, Were
going to Orlando and will be back at the latest on such a date so we could catch


42
temporary constituency of a particular activity or event is far more important
than the actual time of its performance. This is in no way to say that YL cannot
indicate time relations, when such information is relevant. Like any other
language, YL can and does indicate time relations, generally by the means of
adverbial expressions (syntactic) rather than by changes in the verb
(morphological). That is, such information, when appropriate, is coded by
means of additional lexical items rather than through inflection of the verb
stem. It may also be omitted if not relevant. Indeed, as Lyons has pointed out, in
YL the process of the action is primarily the focus of the aspectual markers
(cf. Lyons 1968). As we have seen, most of these markers have been analyzed,
to one degree or another, as tense markers by earlier Yoruba grammarians
(cf. Delano 1965, Bamgbose 1966, 1967, Ogunbowale 1970, Awobuluyi 1978,
Awoyale 1988, etc.). The purpose of this chapter is to attempt to bring some
degree of clarity into this often muddy area of YL grammar.
1,1 The Nature oLlke..Verb Phrase (VP) in YL
I begin my analysis with the nature of the verb phrase (VP), because I
believe that it is impossible to do any satisfactory analysis of aspectual, or even
temporal relations in the language without first of all understanding how the
VP operates in the overall syntactic set up.
The VP in Yoruba has probably received more attention from Yoruba
linguists than any other aspect of the language and has been the center of a
major controversy and debate for many years (Bamgbose 1972, Bolorunduro
1980). The nature of this controversy has been simply summarized by
Bamgbose,
The most problematic issue in the analysis of the Yoruba verb phrase
has always been how to find a defining criterion (or criteria) for verbs
which will be sufficiently powerful to embrace all verbs, and yet
exclude all non-verbs...In this matter, there are two schools of thought


99
hearts they could identify with the folktales and the folklores of their
common backgrounds. Because his works and the way he used his language
(i.e. English) conveyed the worldview of YL speakers, it was easy for the
common people to identify with and appreciate his works. Although he drew
from a common pool of knowledge, he went one step further by making that
knowledge his own first before sharing it with an international audience.
Despite the hostile attitude towards Tutuola and his works and his
apparent non popularity among a large segment of the Nigerian educated
lite, an excellent proof of the general popularity of Tutuolas works and their
influences on the Yoruba lite was Wole Soyinkas staging of the PWD in
Yorubaland, which was followed by several other stagings of both English and
Yoruba versions by various theater groups across West Africa, especially in
Nigeria and Ghana in the early sixties. In fact, according to Eko (1974:20), the
first Yoruba stage adaptation and performance of PWD by Kola Ogunmola (with
parallel English translation) in April 1963 was an immense success with the
public, especially African intellectuals, and received an excellent review from
Wole Soyinka.
It should also be observed that Tutuolas fiction has received high praise
from his fellow novelists. Soyinka (the internationally renowned playwright,
author and critic and the 1986 winner of the Nobel prize in literature as well
as the first black person to win this prestigious award) and Chinua Achebe
(the acclaimed author of the world-famous Things Fall Apart, translated into
some fifty languages around the world) are known to openly admire Tutuola
and his works. Achebe is known to have referred to Tutuola as the most
moralistic of African writers while Soyinka has popularized his works among
the masses through theatrical performances. Both authors are the two most
famous writers to come out of Nigeria, and probably Africa as a whole.


121
verb hear is thus extended to include the role normally assigned to all of the
above verbs of perception whereby to hear actually means to perceive.
Examples (46) through (51) are instances involving Tutuolas transfer
of the YL incompletive aspect onto certain verbs of perception to produce
structures that would be considered ungrammatical in British English (BE).
(46) So that since that day that I had brought Death out from his
house, he has no permanent place to dwell or stay, and we are hearing
his name about in the world (Appendix: 1).
In (46), we find Tutuola transferring the YL a si rf gbQ orko re into
EL to produce the and we are hearing his name in the above passage. The
more precise BE translation of this clause would be and we continue to hear
his name or and we still hear his name. Or it could even be rendered by the
passive, and his name is still being heard. Tutuolas and we are hearing
his name is ungrammatical in BE, as the verb to hear is not allowed to take a
progressive form, except, of course, as a gerund.
In example (47), we find the same type of scenario. Again, Tutuola adds
an i n g ending to a verb that normally does not take an i n g ending in BE. He
signals that the event took place in the past by using the past tense form of the
auxiliary verb, was. The -ing ending captures the sense of the YL
incompletive aspect. The more accurate BE rendition of Tutuolas and when
the homeless-ghost was hearing my voice inside the wood would be and
when the homeless-ghost heard my voice inside the wood.
(47) But as this snake was also fearful to me too, then I was crying
louder than before, and when the homeless-ghost was hearing my
voice inside this wood, it was a lofty music for him, then he started to
dance the ghosts dance ... (Appendix: 6).
Other instances involving a peculiar use of EL perception verbs are
given in examples (48-52). In (48) an accurate BE rendition would be we


41
linguists and attempted to analyze YL as primarily an aspectual rather than a
tense language.
Having presented some of the merits of Bolorunduros analysis, I will
now attempt to show why his efforts, though commendable, are still far from
being adequate and satisfactory. Although he correctly identifies YL as
fundamentally an aspect driven language, and successfully defines and
differentiates between tense and aspect (cf. his definitions on pp.1-2, 6-7), he
appears to have lumped other elements into the category that belong
elsewhere in the grammar. Some of these elements include modals such as l
(can, could), gbodo (must); adverbials such as tet (quickly), $? (just), jaj
(afterall) fun (again), sb (usually), jiuno (together); negators such as ko, ki
connectives such as b (with), si (and, also), etc. Apparently the only
elements in Bolorunduros analysis that qualify as aspect markers are those in
his Group I, viz y/oo/a, ma, n, i, ti, r, a, i, although we still find a negator
(i, a shortened form of ki) and n, a negative form of the verbal particle ni
appearing in this category.
Bolorunduros difficulties begins with his division of aspect markers
into two categories. At this point he classifies those in the first group as
aspectual markers without any independent meaning and those in category
II as aspectual markers that have independent meaning (pp. 19-20).
Apparently, it goes without saying that if some aspect markers have
independent meaning of their own, they can no longer be considered as aspect
markers, since aspect markers, by definition, have only grammatical
functions and are devoid of any independent semantic meaning.
From every indication, YL is largely an aspectual rather than a tensed
language, as Comrie (1976: 82) also rightly observed, although he didnt go into
detail. In other words, a close look at the language reveals that the internal


123
Contexts Requiring the Modal Verb Used to in BE
As with the other forms of transfer discussed earlier on, the data also
contains many examples of the past continuous being used in contexts where
BE would have required the used to form of the past tense. Examples (53-56)
below are just a few of such instances. In all of these examples, the YL habitual
aspect ma n adequately translates the ideas being conveyed.
The YL rendition of the phrase I was drinking palm-wine from
morning till night in (53) is provided as (53b) below while those tranlating
the ideas being conveyed by (54-56) are provided as (54b-56b) respectively.
(53) My father got eight children and I was the eldest among them, all
of the rest were hard workers, but I myself was an expert palm-wine
drinkard. I was drinking palm-wine from morning till night and
from night till morning (Appendix: 37).
(53b) Mo ma mu emu lti ro di al
IpS HABITUAL drink palm-wine from morning till night
T used to drink palm-wine from morning till night
Examples (54-56) provide further instances where Tutuola transfers the
YL habitual aspect to produce the past continuos tense in contexts that would
have required the phrasal verb used to. Each example from the data is
followed by a YL translation of the sentence or phrase containing the VP in
order to elucidate what exactly was going on in Tutuolas mind when he wrote
those statements. In (54) for instance, his was tapping perfectly translates
the YL ma n d (54b).
(54) So my father gave me a palm-tree farm which was nine miles
square and it contained 560,000 palm-trees, and this palm-wine tapster
was tapping one hundred and fifty kegs of palm-wine every morning
(Appendix: 37)
(54b) admu yi ma n d djo agb emu
palm-wine tapper this HABIT, tap 150 keg palm-wine
this palm-wine tapper used to tap one hundred and fifty kegs of
palm-wine


132
whose main purpose was to tell and retell the stories of his people to a world
audience, this function seems very appealing and he took advantage of it to
the very limits of its elasticity. He also broadened the scope of some EL verbs
by assigning to them the semantic characteristics of similar YL verbs. By so
doing, he was able to produce structures that, though unacceptable in BE, do
make a lot of sense within the context of YL and NE.


202
Barbag-Stoll, A. (1983). Social and Linguistic History of Nigerian Pidgin
English. Tubingen: Stauffenberg-Verlag.
Bhabha, Homi (Ed.) (1990). Nation and Narration. New York: Routledge.
Bickerton, D. (1973). "The Nature of a Creole Continuum," Language, 49, 640-
669.
Bokamba, E. (1982). "The Africanization of English." In Braj. B. Kachru (Ed.)
The Other Tongue, pp. 77-98. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Bokamba, E. (1988). "Code-mixing, Language Variation and Linguistic Theory:
Evidence from Bantu Languages," Lingua, 76:1, 21-62.
Bokamba, E. (1991). "West Africa" (overview article). In Jenny Cheshire (Ed.),
pp. 493-508.
Bokamba, E. and N. K. Kamwangamalu (1987). "The Significance of Code-mixing
to Language Theory: Evidence from Bantu Languages," Studies in
Linguistic Sciences, 17:2, 21-44.
Bolorunduro, H. M. (1980). The System of Tense and Aspect in Yoruba: A
Critical Analysis. M.A. Thesis. University of Ife, Ile-Ife.
Brosnahan, L. and J. Spencer (1962). Language and Society. Ibadan: Ibadan
University Press.
Campbell, George L. (1991). Compendium of the Worlds Languages. London and
New York: Routledge.
Cheshire, J. (1991). English Around the World: Sociolinguistic Perspectives.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Collins, H. (1969). Amos Tutuola. New York: Twayne.
Collins, J. (1983). "Translation Traditions and the Organization of Productive
Activity: The Case of Aymara Affinal Kinship Terms". In Andrew W.
Miracle, Jr. (Ed.) Bilingualism: Social Issues and Policy Implications.
Athens: The University of Georgia Press.
Comrie, Bernard. (1976). Aspect: An Introduction to the Study of Verbal Aspect
and Related Problems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Comrie, Bernard (Ed.) (1990). The Worlds Major Languages. New York, Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
Cook, Vivian. (1993). Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. New York:
St. Martins Press.
Corder, S. P. (1978). Language-learner Language. In J. C. Richards (Ed.).
Understanding Second and Foreign Language Learning: Issues and
Approaches. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House.


16
joblessness (the state of not having a job: i +n +is), isun vigil (the state
of not sleeping: ai + sun), etc.
Reduplication is another way in which new words are formed in
Yoruba. Although there are just two basic types of reduplicationcomplete
and partial reduplication, this process is also highly productive. Complete
reduplication is used mainly to express either intensification: pp many,
much but ppppo very many, much or it can be used to change
grammatical categories; dra be good (verb) but dradra good(adjective).
Another form of complete reduplication is the one that derives an agentive
nominal from a VP: jagunjagun warrior (fight war fight war: j + ogun),
klkl burglar (steal/gather house: k + il). Partial reduplication is used
to derive a noun from a verb. Generally, the initial consonant of a verb is
copied and then followed by a high-toned [i] as in lilo going (lo go), $/se
doing ($e do), etc. (cf. Comrie 1990).
1.2.3 Syntax
Syntactically speaking, Yoruba is a highly configurational language.
The basic word order is subject + verb + object (SVO). Noun phrases (NP), verb
phrases (VP) and prepositional phrases (PP) are head-initial (i.e. the head of a
phrase comes at the beginning. Examples (1-2) below show the basic word
order typology of Yoruba.
(1) Ol ra kk.
Ol buy bicycle
Ol bought a bicycle.
(2) Mo ni iw.
I have book
T have a book.
Both objects of a verb with more than one object follow the verb, with the
second object preceded by the semantically empty preposition ni.


113
(27b) Mo n lo sEk ln.
IpS INCOM. go to+Lagos yesterday
I was going to Lagos yesterday.
(28) Mo n lo slbdn byi.
IpS INCOM. go to+Ibadan now
'I am on my way to Ibadan right now/this moment.
(29) Mo n lo sOgbm$ lQla.
IpS INCOM. go to+Ogbomoso tomorrow
I am going to Ogbomoso tomorrow.
In example (27), the main indicator of time is the time adverbial,
ln (yesterday), although it still lends itself to a past interpretation due to
the use of the completive aspect (unmarked). In spite of this, though, the real
marker of time is the adverb ln. Actually the sentence could not have the
completive interpretation that it has were it not for the main clause, Mo
pde Kk... for it is the main clause that is written in the completive aspect.
If we were left only with the subordinate clause, Mo n lo sEk ln, as in
example (27b) then the sentence could not have a past interpretation without
the adverb, ln-the only indicator of time in that sentence. Thus (27b)
lends itself to no particular time interpretation and we need a time adverb to
assign it to any specific time frame. Otherwise the statement itself is tenseless.
Similarly, in (28), it is the adverb of time, byi (right now, this
moment) that lends the statement any sense of time. Otherwise, it could have
either a past or a present, or even a future interpretation, depending on the
context of usage. What is true of (28) is equally true of (29). The statement, Mo
n lo sOgbms alone, without the time adverbial Tola (tomorrow) is devoid
of any sense of time. What gives it a future interpretation is the inclusion of
this futuristic adverb.
What we see from these examples is that the incompletive covers the
entire gamut of all the three major tenses of English. It is therefore not


57
stative verbs (42-44) are classified as having imperfective meaning. I,
however, believe that the completive (perfective in Comries classification)
includes both the active and stative forms of the verb. My reason for this all-
inclusive classification is that in (42-44) the states of wanting, knowing and
having something is complete. In (43) my knowledge of the third person is
complete, while in (42) and (44), the states of wanting and having are also
full, or complete. It is in this sense that I believe that the completive should
include both active and stative forms of the verb.
The completive aspect constitutes the unmarked form of the aspect
system. It is therefore to be noted that in YL, even when you don't mark aspect,
it still is an aspect. The following examples will amply illustrate my point.
(39) Mo lo s il-iw.
IpS go DIREC school
'I went to school.'
(40) A j$un.
IpP eat
'We ate.'
(41) E
2pP work
You worked.
(42) Wn f$ ow.
3pP want money
They want money.
(43) Mo mo .
IpS know 3pS
T know her/him/it.
(44) Mo ni il.
IpS have house
T have a house.'
It is to be observed in the above examples that, by default, the unmarked
form of the verb (39-44) is automatically given a completive interpretation,


143
concerning ways that other native languages affect English when it is used as
an official language, within a different socio-cultural context.
The implication of this study for contact linguistics are quite simple and
obvious: it leads to an understanding that language contact and interaction is a
two-way process. When two languages come into contact, there are bound to be
mutual influences at various levels of grammar and usage. As both languages
interact with each other, a complex chemistry begins to take place within both
languages that results in changes-not corruptionwithin the two systems.
Tutuolas English, and by the same token, Nigerian English and other forms of
English used in non-native contexts, are a direct product of such linguistic
alchemy. Such knowledge will help to foster a better understanding and
toleration for varieties and diversity within the English family of languages
around the globe.
Such an understanding can also have repercussions in the area of
literary criticism. It is of utmost importance that critics of literary works have
a good grasp of the theory and implications of language variation and change.
This should help to avoid the type of intolerance and rigidity towards
variations in language use that characterize many a critical work. As I have
mentioned elsewhere in this study, the type of heavy-handedness to which
Tutuolas works have been subjected, as a result of the peculiarities of his
language, would not have shown itself had such critics had a basic
understanding of the theory of language contact, with its explanation of
changes that take place as a part of the normal process of acculturation and
nativization.
Studies of the type in which I have been engaged here also have
obvious implications for second language learning and teaching. This is
particularly true with regard to the teaching of English as a second language


KEY TO SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS
ANT(E) COMP
Explanation of Glossary
antecedent completion aspect
ANTI/ANTICIP
anticipative aspect
BACKGRD
backgrounder aspect
BAH
The Brave African Huntress
BE
British English
CLT
Communicative Language Teaching
CV
consonant vowel
DIREC
directional
EL
English language
Emp/EMP/EP
emphatic pronoun
ESL
English as a second language
ESP
English for specific purposes
HABIT
habitual aspect
HE
Hausa English
ICE
International Corpus of English
IE
Igbo English
INCOM/INCOMP
incompletive aspect
INT/INTEN
intentional aspect
INTV
interrogative verb
LBG
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
LOC
locative
LI
mother tongue
L2
second language
MANIFEST
manifestive aspect
NE
Nigerian English
NEG
negator
NP
noun phrase
NPE
Nigerian Pidgin English
O/Obj/OBJ
object
PART
particle
PLU/PLUR
plural
PP
prepositional phrase
PREP
preposition
PWD
The Palm-Wine Drinkard
RELA/RALAT
relational aspect
REL(EV)-INCEP
relevant-incpetive aspect
RP
regular pronoun
SF&F
Science Fiction and Fantasy
SNE
Standard Nigerian English
SVC(s)
serial verbal construction(s)
svo
subj ec t-verb-obj ec t
V-
vowel
VP
verb phrase
YE
Yoruba English
ix


103
praise and adulation showered upon him in numerous posthumous tributes in
the Nigerian press after his passing away. One writer refered to him as
Nigerias Nobel Literature Laureate who never won (West Africa 1997:1266).
Another described him as an honored ancestor, an inspirational father
figure to a whole generation of younger writers (ibid.). Another tribute
writer in the same article quoted above put it so well in one single but
powerful sentence: Tutuola may have died, but what he left to the world lives
on (p. 1267). In other words, Tutuola has left a lasting legacy to generations
yet unborn.
When the London firm, Faber and Faber, published his first novel, The
Palm-Wine Drinkard, on May 2, 1952, it became an instant success, mostly due
to a positive review by Dylan Thomas in The London Observer of July 6,1952.
Other rave reviews of the book followed, especially after the American edition
of PWD appeared the following year, issued by Grove Press. The seriousness
with which the American audience took his work could be seen in the many
reviews that it enjoyed in leading newspapers and magazines across the
country. According to Ebele Eko, within three years of its publication, PWD was
translated into four other European languages: French, German, Italian and
Serbo-Croatian. (1974:19)
While Tutuola enjoyed mostly favorable reviews in Europe and America,
the story was quite different at home; he was booed and jeered at by the
Nigerian educated lite, who felt he had disgraced them because of the
unconventional way in which he wrote his English. They were afraid
Europeans would label them incompetent to acquire the glorious English
language. They felt he was an anomaly and a disgrace because he had not
followed strictly the rules of the Queens English. In short, they got stuck on
his language and forgot to look at his message. Although many well-known


178
aspect Incompletive
quote As they were surrounded the tree closely it
was so the strong wind was forcing it to touch
the ground repeatedly. Each time that it
touched the ground these wild animals were
hastily jumping to where I sat on the
branch, but they were unable to touch me
before the tree would stand unrieht again.
YL n NE were hastily jumping
BE hastily jumped
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 57
aspect Incompletive
quote It was like these wild animals were
jumping to me every time that the tree was
bending down and getting up again .Luckily
they were unable to take me away from the
top of this tree until when the strong wind
was stopped at about seven oclock in the
evening.
YL n NE were jumping
BE jumped
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 58
aspect Incompletive
quote It was like these wild animals were jumping
to me every time that the tree was bending
down and getting up again .Luckily they were
unable to take me away from the top of this
tree until when the strong wind was stopped
at about seven oclock in the evening.
YL n NE was bending
B E bent
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 58
aspect Incompletive
quote It was like these wild animals were jumping
to me every time that the tree was bending
down and getting up again .Luckily they
were unable to take me away from the top of
this tree until when the strong wind was
stopped at about seven oclock in the evening.
YL n NE getting up
B E got up
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 58


3. ASPECT IN NIGERIAN ENGLISH 88
3.1 Amos Ttol: the Man 93
3.2 Amos Ttol: his Works 98
3.3 Amos Ttol: his Accomplishments 105
3.4 Aspect in Ttols Writings 107
3.4.1 The Incompletive Aspect 112
3.4.2 The Habitual Aspect 122
3.4.3 The Anticipative Aspect 125
3.4.4 The Relational Aspect 128
3.4.5 The Relevant-Inceptive 130
4. CONCLUSION 133
4.1 Summary 133
4.2 Implications 141
APPENDIX 148
REFERENCES 198
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 211
viii


60
type of completive, an irrealis completive, while ma is an irrrealis
incompletive, by virtue of the incompleteness of the knowledge involved (cf.
(54-56)). With the intentional, the knowledge is full and complete (cf. (57-60)).
I will be describing these two aspects in greater detail in the next two sections.
2.3.2.4.1 The Anticipative; ma
The anticipative is the first in the series of the irrealis aspects. With the
anticipative, we have an activity that is non-existent but likely to take place. It
is non-completive, not ongoing, and though it is likely to happen, we do not
know for sure. It can therefore be used in predicting, planning, or
speculation.
In the following examples, the activities have not yet taken place, and
though the speakers have verbally made their intentions known about these
yet to take place activities, there is nothing that guarantees that they surely
will perform those activities. In (56) for instance, although the speaker
expects and anticipates that the visitors in question will make the visit, she
cannot be completely certain if they will indeed make it. In (54), the speaker
anticipates, has plans or desires to go to the farm. This plan may or may not be
realized, depending on the circumstances or other unpredictable factors. Thus
it indicates a yearning, a desiring to do something. Similarly in (55), the
speakers have some plans to go to the stream on the day in question, a plan
that may or may not be realized. The main difference between this aspect and
the next onethe intentionalis that whereas with the intentional the
speaker exercises control over the actions to be performed, with the
anticipative she has no control, or better still, does not exercise control
(through the power of the will). One can therefore say that with the
anticipative, there is a lack or an absence of will power.


53
allusion to their ambivalent nature. Other linguists have called them
independent pronouns, due to their ability to also play the role of nouns in
certain contexts (ibid.). Bamgboses stance is that they are indeed nouns, due to
their ability to take qualifiers and their tonal behavior which is similar to that
of nouns. Recognizing their role in emphasis, Bamgbose adds that they act as
emphatic equivalents of pronouns (ibid.). But he insists that they are more
than just pronouns due to the fact that they can substitute for pronouns where
the regular pronouns cannot occur in syntax (i.e. in the instances already
mentioned above).
2.3.1.3 Completive Aspect + Regular Pronoun
In the sentences that follow, examples are provided of instances when
various aspect markers cooccur, first with the regular pronouns, then with
the emphatic pronouns. In examples (23-24), the completive aspect
(unmarked) cooccurs with the first and second person regular subject
pronouns Mo and O respectively.
(23)
MO lo si
IpS go DIREC
T went to school.'
il-iw.
school
(24)
0 lo si
2pS go DIREC
'You went to school.'
il-iw.
school
2.3.1.4 Completive Aspect + Emphatic Pronoun
In the next two examples (25-26), the two sentences above (23-24) are
repeated, but this time the emphatic pronoun is used in place of the regular
pronouns. The only difference in these examples and the previous ones is
simply that of emphasis -- the speaker is emphasized in (25-26).


44
adverbial expressions of time, if and when necessary (examples (3) and (4)).
However, it is not uncommon to find adverbs of time preceding the aspect
markers and the verb, as examples (5) and (6) clearly demonstrate. Thus,
although the aspectual markers must obligatorily precede the verb, the time
adverbs can optionally appear at the beginning of a sentence, mostly as a
focus device (when writing they are immediately followed by a comma), to
draw attention to the time element in the sentence. Nevertheless, in a non
focus construction, the regular position of the time adverbs is post-verbal, as
examples (3) and (4) below indicate. The fact that the optional time adverbs
can either precede or come after the verb shows clearly their independent,
lexical nature. The aspect markers, however, do not have an independent
lexical meaning. The fact that they do have a grammatical meaning, though,
can be seen from the fact that when placed before verbs, they provide the
sentence with much needed aspectual information, but placed post-verbally,
they become grammatically meaningless. Their meaning is therefore derived
from their position before the verb. It is in this sense that they can be
classified as proclitics in particular and clitics in general. From the foregoing,
it is obvious that the optional elements in the grammar (e.g. time adverbs) are
for the most part post-verbal while those that are obligatory, such as pronouns
and aspect markers, are pre-verbal.
In examples (1-2) below, the incompletive aspect marker n and the
relational aspect marker ti precede the verbs sis and kw respectively.
In both cases the sentences would be ungrammatical if the aspect markers
were to follow the main verbs, as in examples (lb-2b) indicate,
2.2.1 The Incompletive Aspect
(1) Mo n sis.
IpS INCOMPLETIVE work
T am working/was working.'


76
Next in the series of complex aspects involving the relational is the
Antecedent Completion (cf. 2.33.5), which combines three simple aspects in its
formation: the RELATIONAL ti, the anticipative ma and the incompletive
n. It is, in essence, an addition of a sense of incompleteness to the
manifestive aspect already discussed in 2.3.3.83. As with the other aspects
incorporating the relational, it is ti that establishes the bond between the
anticipative and the incompletive, with, of course, additional emphasis
provided by ki and t. The latter pair confirm the relationship already
signaled by ti in the main clause. Examples (93-94) provide a sense of this
complex dynamics.
(93) A ti ma n w tn k o t ji.
IpP RELAT+ANTI+INCOM bathe finish before 2pS PART wake
We used to have finished bathing before you woke up.
(94) Mo ti ma r j k o t sun.
IpS RELAT+ANTI+INCOM wake before 2pS PART sleep
T used to be awake before you went to sleep.
2.33.8.1.5 The Relevant-Inceptive: RELATIONAL + Incompletive
Last in the series of the complex aspects involving the relational aspect
is the relevant-inceptive, which combines two simple aspects: the RELATIONAL
ti and the incompletive n. It is similar, in many ways, to the antecedent
completion (cf. 2.33.5 & 233.8.4), except for the absence of the anticipative
ma. In fact, the main difference between the two is that in the antecedent
completion aspect, the event in the main clause is terminated before the one
in the subordinate clause, in the relevant-inceptive, the the activity described
in the main clause is ongoing before and during the second activity in the
subordinate intervenes.
(95)Mo ti r jeun k e t wol.
IpS RELAT+INCOM eat before 2pP PART enter
T have/had begun eating before you came in.


have received over many years from groups and individuals alike: members of
the IGS Fellowship in Ibdn, Nigeria, Living Faith Fellowship in Gainesville
and my home group at The Rock of Gainesville, as well as the following
individuals: Dr. Michael and Alanna Boutin, the late Jim Sharp, Jr., who paid
for my first personal computer and printer with which this dissertation was
written; the Flads, Tom and Sharon Stebbins, Bill and Fay Alexander, Rob and
Sheryl Norton, Key and Ruth Ann Powell, Nellie Otero, Beth Alexander, the late
C.R., and Evelyn Smith, my big sister, Marylyn Perazzini and little brother,
Derek Tirado; Ms. Agnes Leslie; Beve Gunderson, Rena Smith, Kim Hewitt, Rosie
Piedra Hall, Jeanette Flanders and Ashley Hicks; Troy and Rene Clark, Carol
Lauriault, and the entire staff of the CAS. Outside of Florida, many thanks go to
my dear friends, Drs. Austin and Udy Inyang of Oklahoma; my little sisters
Fy and Folk, both of the United Kingdom; and my longtime friends, Drs.
George and Onrolad l of France.
Finally, my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation go to my family, both
immediate and extended, especially my siblings, my late father, and my aging
mother, Rebecca Mdandl, who has seen very little of me since I began my
long journey in academia; and lastly, my dear wife and life companion,
ajmok Olfnmilyo and our two precious sons, Ay991a llrolwa and
bkn Olbs^l, who have weathered the long summers and winters with me
here in Gainesville, with a lot of understanding, patience and equanimity. To
you all I say E § o. E k drti; a k er oko dl o. Amn.
v


212
Introduction to African Literature classes at the Center for African Studies
(CAS) and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at the English Language
Institute (ELI). Tim also taught African Cultures and Literature courses as an
Adjunct Instructor at Central Florida Community College (CFCC), Ocala during
the Spring of 1998 and Fall of 1999. He has also been a regular instructor for
African Literatures and Cultures, and Humanities at the CAS annual Summer
Institute for K-12 teachers from 1997 until the present. In the Fall of 1998 and
the Spring of 1999, he was a Consultant in African Cultures and Humanities at
the Valencia Community College, Orlando, Florida.
For three consecutive summers in 1996, 1997 and 1998, Tim was an
examiner and interviewer for the CAS Title VI Intensive Advanced Yorb and
Hausa Group Project Abroad (GPA) program in Nigeria. He was a member of the
Editorial Board of FOCUS on Linguistics (the University of Florida Working
Papers in Linguistics) in the Spring of 1994 and a language Consultant in an
Anthropological Linguistics Field Methods class during the Spring of 1995 and
1997. He served as the Interim President of the African Students Union during
the 1997/98 academic year. He is currently an internal reviewer for African
Studies Quarterly (ASQ), the electronic journal of the UF Center for African
Studies and was a reviewer for Al-Arabivva. the journal of the American
Association of Teachers of Arabic in the Spring of 1995. In October 1996, Tim
won the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Doctoral Dissertation
Fellowship to do research in Nigeria in the summer of 1997. In April 2000, he
won an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award (given annually to
international students who have demonstrated excellence in the pursuit of
their degree at the University of Florida).


183
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote When he cut it off I fell down at once and I
was crying loudly for pain. As I was doing
like that and blaming myself that if I had
known I should had not come to the Jungle of
the Pigmies, he came and stood at my front.
book title BAH
page 63
YL n NE was crying
B E cried
aspect Incompletive
quote Then I held the tree under which we were
fighting with all my power. He was pulling
me with all his power but I did not loose my
hands away from this tree. As he was trying
hardly to take me away it was so I was
shouting greatly that you would not take me
awav and he too was saving that at all costs he
YL n NE was pulling
B E pulled
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 64
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote Then I held the tree under which we were
fighting with all my power. He was pulling
me with all his power but I did not loose my
hands away from this tree. As he was trying
hardly to take me away it was so I was
shouting greatly that you would not take me
awav and he too was saving that at all costs he
YL
n
NE was trying
BE
tried
book title BAH
page 64
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote But God was so good as he was dragging me
along as hastily as he could he did not know
when he hit his head on the branch of a tree
which was full of bees and wasps.
book title BAH
page 64
YL n NE was dragging
B E dragged


81
Free Translation of Text A
Yesterday, Ayo and I went to the house of our friends but did not meet
their parents at home. Only the children were at home. They were
sleeping. They told us that their parents had gone to Orlando since the
day before yesterday but they wouldnt be long in returning. They said
that they (the parents) would return the following day. Afterwards they
will (intend to) go to Tampa for several days.
A close observation reveals that all the verb forms (in italics) remain
unchanged, whether they are referring to activities or events that have
already occured, as in examples (101) to (106), are yet to occur, as in (107) and
(108), or are still in progress, as in (103/104). The aspect markers (in bolds)
preceding the verbs simply describe different stages in the performance of
the various activities.
2.4.1 Completive Aspect (Unmarked)
The completive aspect appears five times in the text, and every time it
appears it has to do with completed actions. In all instances of its appearance
the activity has both begun and has ceased to continue before the moment of
speech.
2.4.2 Incomptetiye Aspect ri
The incompletive appears only once in the text, (103/104). It refers to
an activity that began sometime before the speaker and his companion appear
on the scene and is still in progress when they arrive at the home of their
friends. The children of the friends were still sleeping when the visitors
arrived and interrupted their sleep. It is important to note here that it is only
through context that we know that the activity took place sometime in the past.
(109) Won n sun lw.
3pP INCOM sleep at hand
'They were/are busy sleeping.'


201
Bamgbose, A. (1966). A Grammar of Yoruba. Cambridge University Press.
Bamgbose, A. (1967). A Short Yoruba Grammar. Ibadan: Heinemann
Educational Books (Nigeria) Ltd.
Bamgbose, A. (Ed.) (1972). The Yoruba Verb Phrase. Ibadan: Ibadan
University Press.
Bamgbose, A. (1982). "Languages in Contact: Yoruba and English in Nigeria,"
Education and Development Vol. 2, no. 1, (pp. 329-341).
Bamgbose, A. (1982). "Standard Nigerian English: Issues of Identification." In
Braj. B. Kachru (Ed.) The Other Tongue: English Across Cultures. Urbana:
University of Illinois Press.
Bamgbose, A. (1986). Yoruba: A Language in Transition. IKeja, Lagos: Animo
Press Ltd.
Bamgbose, A. (1991). Language and the Nation. Edinburgh: Edinburgh
University Press.
Bamgbose, A. (1994). "Issues in Second Language Learning in a Multilingual
Context." In F. Boutin and Y. Kachru (Eds.) Pragmatics and Language
Learning Vol. 5, pp. 25-38. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Bamgbose, A. (1994). "Language and Cross-cultural Communication." In Martin
Putz (Ed.) Language Contact and Language Conflict, 1994, pp. 89-101.
Bamgbose, A., Banjo, A., Thomas, A. (Eds.) (1995). New Englishes: A West African
Perspective. Ibadan: Mosuro.
Bamiro, E. (1991a). "Nigerian Englishes in Nigerian English Literature," World
Englishes Vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 7-17.
Bamiro, E. (1991b). "The Social and Functional Power of Nigerian English,"
World Englishes Vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 275-286.
Banjo, Ayo (1970a). A Historical View of the English Language in Nigeria.
Ibadan 28,63-67.
Banjo, Ayo (1973). Aspects of Tutuolas Use of English. In Spectrum 3.
Atlanta: Georgia State University.
Banjo, Ayo. (1983). "Aspects of Yoruba/English Language Mixing." In Journal
of Nigerian Languages, no. 1, 1983. Ibadan: Department of Linguistics
and Nigerian Language, University of Ibadan.
Banjo, Ayo (1986). Varieties of English in a Multilingual Setting in Nigeria,
In Georgetown University Round Table: 1986. Washington, D.C.:
Georgetown University Press
Banjo, Ayo (1997). Aspects of the Syntax of Nigerian English. In Schneider,
E. W. (Ed.) Enghshes Around the World, vol. 2. Amsterdam &
Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.


122
heard faintly. In (49), BE would have required the simple past form, was
heard. The same analysis goes for the verb to see in (50-52) where Tutuola
uses the unacceptable form of the verb was seeing, to translate the YL
incompletive form h ri. In all the examples cited, Tutuola ignores some
restrictive rules guiding the use of certain verbs of perception, such as to
hear and to see. These verbs are not permitted to carry the i n g inflection
in the contexts in which we find them in Tutuolas usage.
(48) As these hunters were still telling me the story of Odara as we
were going along to the river, there we were hearing faintly, the
noises which were coming from a long distance (Appendix: 11).
(49) When Odara came nearer all the hills and trees were shaking,
his voice was hearing all over the jungle (Appendix: 12).
(50) After I travelled in this jungle for a few minutes the great
fears, wonders, and uncountable of undescriptive strange things, which
I was seeing here and there were stopped me by force (Appendix: 18).
(51) After I killed obstacle I travelled in this jungle till six oclock
in the evening. As I was travelling along it was so I was killing all the
wild animals that I was seeing on the way (Appendix: 27).
(52) As I was looking for this boa constrictor it was so I was killing all
the wild animals which I was seeing on the way. And in a few days
time I killed the whole of them (Appendix: 30).
3,4,f,2 Examples friyoiying the Habitual Aspectma n
Next in order of significance are examples involving the transfer of the
YL habitual aspect to produce structures that perfectly make sense in YL and
Yoruba English (YE) but are unacceptable in BE. These include rendering in
the past continuous, and occasionally in the past perfect continuous tense,
contexts that in BE would have required either the past simple (as in (57-59))
or the phrasal verb used to (as in.(53-56) below).


207
Odumuh, A. (1993). Sociolinguistics and Nigerian English. Ibadan: Sam
Bookman.
Ogu, J. (1992). A Historical Survey of English and the Nigerian Situation. Lagos:
Krafts Books Ltd.
Ogunbowale, P. O. (1970). The Essentials of the Yoruba Language. London
University Press.
Ogunyemi, A. (1991). "Yoruba: A Language with an Unhastened Development."
In: F. Soyoye and O. Adewole (Eds.) In Honour of Ayo Bamgbose. Ile-Ife:
Obafemi Awolowo University, pp. 93-94.
Oloruntoba, C. (1992). Sociocultural Dimensions of Nigeraian Pidgin Usage.
Ph.D. Thesis, Indiana University.
Omotoso, K. (1995). Achebe or Soyinka: A Study in Contrasts. London,
Melbourne, Munich, New Jersey: Hans Zell Publishers.
Owolabi, K. (1995). Language in Nigeria: Essays in Honour of Ayo Bamgbose.
Ibadan: Group Publishers.
Owomoyela, Oyekan. (1999). Amos Tutuola Revisited. New York: Twayne
Publishers.
Oyewm, Oyrnk. (1997). The Invention of Women: Making an African
Sense of Western Gender Discourses. University of Minnesota Press.
Parekh, P. N., Jagne, S. F. (Eds.) (1998). Postcolonial African Writers. Westport,
Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
Platt, J., Weber, H., Lian, H. (1984). The New Englishes. London: Routledge and
Kegan Paul Publishers.
Pride, J. (1982). New Englishes. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House.
Putz, M. (Ed.) (1994). Language Contact and Language Confict.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Quirk, Randolph (1987). The Question of Standards in the International Use of
English. In Georgetown University Round Table: 1987, pp. 229-241.
Rao, Raja (1943). Kanthapura. London: Oxford University Press. (First
published in 1938, Allen and Unwin.)
Renkema, J. (1993). Discourse Studies: An Introductory Textbook. Philadelphia:
John Benjamins.
Richards, J. C. (Ed.) (1974). Error Analysis. London: Longman.
Salami, A. (1968). "Defining a Standard Nigerian English." In JNESA Vol. 2, no.
2, pp. 99-106.
Schiffrin, D. (1994). Approaches to Discourse. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers.


191
aspect Incompletive
quote After I ate the fruits and I was still hearing
the noises I thought within myself that
perhaps if I kept longer than that in this spot
some of the creatures who were living
under this rock might come out and when
they met me there they might kill me.
YL n NE were living
B E lived
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 74
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was going along it was so I was stumbling
my right foot thumb on the ground after a
few minutes interval and this was a very bad
omen. Again several birds were flying past
my head and everyone of them was striking
my eyes with its wings and this was a very
bad sien indeed.
YL n NE were flying
BE flew
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 74
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote I did not know whether as these squirrels
were barking at me repeatedly their noises
were suspecting me to these small animals
and by that they were hiding themselves
before I was travelling to where they were.
book title BAH
page 74
Y L n N E were barking
B E barked
aspect Incompletive
quote I did not know whether as these squirrels
were barking at me repeatedly their noises
were suspecting me to these small animals
and by that they were hiding themselves
before I was travelling to where they
were.
YL n NE was travelling
B E travelled
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 74


51
(17)
*E
2pP(RP)
pl
with/and
won
3pP(RP)
f
want
j?un.
eat
(17b)
Eyin
2pP(EP)
p$l
with/and
wQn
2pP(EP)
f
want
je;un.
eat
You and they want to eat.
(18)
*Ta
ni,
o
tabi
?
Who
be
2ps(RP)
or
3pS(RP)
(18b)
Ta
ni,
1WO
tabi
dun?
Who
be,
2pS(EP)
or
3pS(EP)
Who is it, she/he or you?
Finally, there is a syntactic constraint that does not permit the
intentional aspect y to select the personal pronoun subject, a clear
indication that aspect also determines the choice of pronoun. Thus the
intentional aspect y selects only the emphatic pronoun, while the other
aspect markers can select either the regular or the emphatic pronoun.
However, when they do select the emphatic it is generally for purposes of
emphasis. Thus sentences (21-22) below are grammatical, while sentence (19-
20) arent.
,3.1.1 Intentional Aspect + Regular Pronoun
(19)
*Mo
y
lQ
si
il-iw.
lpS(RP)
INTEN
go
DIRECTIONAL school
(20)
*Wq>n
y
lo
si
il-iw.
3pP(RP)
INTEN
go
DIREC school
! Intentional + Emphatic Pronoun
(21)
EMI
y
lo
si
il-iw.
lpS(EP)
INTEN
go
DIREC
school
T intend to go to school.
(22) AWON y lo s il-iw.
3pP(EP) INTEN go DIREC school
They intend to go to school.


64
my consideration to the two- and three-part structures referred to above. In
example (61), the anticipative ma combines with the incompletive n to
derive the habitual ma n.
(61) Mo ma n w ljoojm.
IpS HABITUAL bathe daily
'I bathe daily/every day.'
In example (62), the relational ti, the anticipative ma and the
incompletive n combine to derive the complex that I call the antecedent
completion. These two aspects, as well as all of the others mentioned previously
will be further discussed in the succeeding sections.
(62) A ti ma n si$ tn k wn t d.
IpP ANT COMP work finish before 3pP PART arrive
'We used to have finished working before they arrived.'
2.3.3.1 Backgrounder; Intentional/Decisive + Relational
The first in the series of the complex aspects is the BACKGROUNDER y
ti. This is derived from the combination of the INTENTIONAL y and the
RELATIONAL ti. It provides a background to another action that is yet to take
place. It is important to mention, at this juncture, that every complex aspect
that begins with y must of necessity be preceded by an agent focuser, as
exemplified in the sentences below (cf. 2.3.2.5 above.) Thus the explanation for
y as well as the constraints that go with it also applies to the
BACKGROUNDER.
In the following examples, the backgrounder aspect operates within the
main clause to provide a background to the event described in the subordinate
clause that is introduced by ki (before). In (63) for instance, the speaker, also
the subject of the main clause, expects to have completed work before the
arrival of the subject of the subordinate clause. She has resolved, having made


43
the wide definition school who would accept as a verb any non-
nominal item in the verb phrase (sometimes including auxiliaries), and
the narrow definition school who would accept as verbs only those
items in the verb phrase which can occur in a minimal sentence (i.e. a
basic sentence having only one verb). (Bamgbose 1972:1,17).
This should not be a surprise to anyone who knows anything about the
central role the verb plays in a sentence. Due to the many disagreements on
the nature and order of the VP in YL, however, a foundational conference on
the Yoruba Verb Phrase (YVP) was convened under the auspices of the Egb
Onm Ed Yorb (The Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria) at the
University of Ibadan-Nigeria's foremost tertiary institutionon April 1-2,
1971 to discuss and consider possible solutions to this thorny issue in Yoruba
language studies. The 1971 seminar was itself a follow-up to an earlier one held
at another major Nigerian university, the Cbafemi AwolowO University (then
known as the University of If), Il-If from December 13-16, 1969. It was at
this conference that the issue of the YVP was raised. At the root of this
controversy are the many disagreements on what really constitutes a verb in
YL (cf. Bamgbose 1972.) The end product of the YVP Conference was a special
volume entitled The Yoruba Verb Phrase edited by Professor Ayo Bamgbose
and published in 1972. It contained a series of articles presented at the
conference by noted Yoruba linguistsAfolayan, Awobuluyi, Bamgbose,
Kujore, Oyelaran and Oke. Each paper contained the views and perspectives of
the various presenters at this important conference. There have been several
other conferences and colloquia on the Yoruba verb as well as other aspects of
the language since the first two mentioned above and several articles have
been written and yet the debate rages on.
According to my analysis, the VP in YL consists of ASPECT + VERB +
(OPTIONAL) ADVERB OF TIME Thus the verb is preceded by the obligatory
aspectual markers (see example (1) and (2) below) and followed optionally by


129
(69) After I ate the porcupine to my satisfaction, I began to think in
mind whether to kill the whole of the wild animals first... or to be
looking for where the pigmies were living in this jungle first before I
would come back to kill those wild animals (Appendix: 49).
(69b) Lhin t mo ti je dore n t ara mi lqrn
After that IpS RELAT. eat porcupine that to self me satistaction
After I had eaten the porcupine to my satisfaction
(70) After I killed obstacle I travelled in this jungle till six oclock
in the evening. As I was travelling along it was so I was killing all the
wild animals that I was seeing on the way (Appendix: 49).
(70b) Lhin t mo ti pa idwQ mo rin nn igbo yii
After that IpS ANTI, kill obstacle IpS walk inside forest this
After I had killed obstacle I travelled in this jungle
(71) After I rested for a few minutes then I started to beat him with
my poisonous cudgel until when he was completely powerless and then
he died after some munutes. It was like that I killed this super-animal
as I could call him (Appendix: 49).
(71b) Lhin t mo ti sinmi fn i?j d
After that IpS RELAT. rest for minute few
After I had rested for a few minutes
(72) As I was looking for this boa constrictor it was so I was killing all
the wild animals which I was seeing on the way. And in a few days time
I killed the whole of them (Appendix: 49).
(72b) nwonba ojQ d mo ti Pa gbogbo won tn
during day few IpS RELAT. kill all 3pPObj. finish
in a few days time I had killed all of them
It is quite interesting here that although in the YL VPs the main verb is
usually preceded by an aspect marker (the relational ti in this context),
Tutuola chooses to use the past simple tense in NE, as if he were transfering
the YL completive aspect which, generally, is unmarked in syntax.
Furthermore, the YL relational aspect generally refers to an event or activity
that is yet incomplete with reference to an ongoing one. Thus for Tutuola to
have resorted to the past simple (which is the closest to the YL completive
aspect) is difficult to understand. One would have expected that since the YL
structure is a compound one (i.e. ti + verb), Tutuola would have used a similar
EL tense (i.e. one with a compound structure, such as the present or past


101
creative written form, the only difference being that he chose to write in
Yoruba rather than in English. Just as Tutuola was influenced by his
predecessor, Fagunwa, so also has Tutuola influenced Wole Soyinka. These
three are inseparably linked to each other and are recognized as the three
most outstanding Yoruba writers, all three drawing from the same sources -
their common background in a rich and vibrant tradition of storytelling and
Yoruba folklore.
Tutuola built his literary career primarily by the creative retelling and
expansion of Yoruba folktales, stories that not only he, but all other Yoruba
children like him have heard recited again and again by adults under the
bright moon-lit African sky. They are stories that have been told and retold,
from one generation to another over the millenia. All of his eleven books draw
from these common sources. Throughout his life, Tutuolas goal was to
preserve Yoruba culture by codifying his peoples folklore; his choice of
language was English, but his was a modified English, an English that could
convey adequately the culture he was trying to preserve without doing much
damage to its originality and intensity, an English made to serve his people, an
English created in the image and likeness of his people and their language.
Here, in his own words, is the reason Tutuola decided to put down into writing
the folklore of his people and the reason he wrote the way he did,
I dont want the past to die. I dont want our culture to vanish. Its not
good. We are losing [our customs and traditions] now, but Im still trying
to bring them into memory. So far as I dont want our culture to fade
away, I dont mind about English grammar ... I should feel free to write
my story. I have not given my manuscript to any one who knows
grammar to edit. (West Africa, 11-17 August, 1997:1299)
What Tutuola was saying in essence is this: I will not be bogged down by trying
to write English like an American or a British. I am going to domesticate the
English language to serve my own ends. I am going to let it bear the burden
of my experience. I am a man with a message and a mission and I shall not be


12
phonology, morphology and syntax. In doing so, I follow established
orthographic conventions which involves adding diacritics and two tone
marks with subscript dot to the Roman alphabet system.
1.2.1 Phonology
As shown in Table 1.1, standardized Yoruba segmental phonemes are as
follows. There are seven oral vowels and five nasalized vowels. The oral vowels
are i, e, e a, o, o, and u; with e and o orthographically notated as e and o
respectively. The nasalized vowels are in, en, an, on, and un. Orthographically
they are represented as vowel + n when immediately after an oral consonant
(e.g. sun, pin) and as a simple vowel when they are immediately after a nasal
consonant (e.g. mo, na). Thus, with the exception of /e/ and /o/ all the vowels
have nasalized counterparts. Long vowels are represented by a doubling of the
vowel, as in tr slender, dd exactly, etc. It is important to note that
nasalization is phonemic in the language; thus there is a difference in
meaning between ri to sink and rin to walk; between si (DIRECTIONAL)
and sin to sneeze.
There are certain restrictions on the occurrence and co-occurrence of
vowels. Vowel initial nouns, for example, cannot begin with [u] or a nasalized
vowel. There are two basic patterns of vowel harmony in the language. First,
the mid vowels e and o cannot cooccur with the mid vowels e and following examples indicate: week, ese foot, Qko husband, t lip, epo
oil, etc. The following combinations are not allowed: *pCo, *oCe, *oCp, eC£, etc.
Similarly, front and back vowels may also not cooccur in monomorphemic
CVCV sequences: bro younger sibling, ahr hut, kik fame, etc.
Although tones are not represented in Table 1.1 they are also phonemic
in Yoruba and bear a considerable functional load. The lexical importance of


206
Labov, W. (1972). Sociolinguistic Patterns. Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press.
Lado, R. (1957). Linguistics Across Cultures. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University
of Michigan Press.
Laitin, D. (1992). Language Repertoires and State Construction in Africa.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Laprade, R, (1981). "Some Salient Dialectal Features of La Paz Spanish." M. A.
Thesis, University of Florida.
Laprade, R. (1981). "Some Cases of Aymara Influence on La Paz Spanish." In M.
J. Hardman (Ed.), 1981, pp. 207-227.
Lindfors, Bernth (1973). Oral Tradition and the Individual Literary Talent. In
Folklore in Nigerian Literature, 23-50. New York: Africana.
Lindfors, Bernth (Ed.) (1975). Critical Perspectives on Amos Tutuola.
Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press.
Lindfors, Bernth (1981). Amos Tutuolas Earliest Long Narrative: In Journal
of Commonwealth Literature, 16,1.
Lindfors, Bernth (1997). Dirge for a Legend (I). In West Africa, 4-10 August
1997, pp. 1266-68.
Lindfors, Bernth (1997). Dirge for a Legend (II). In West Africa, 11-17
August 1997, p. 1299.
Lowenberg, P. (Ed.) (1988). Language Spread and Language Policy: Issues,
Implications and Case Studies: Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University
Press.
Lyons, John (1968). Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Mafeni, B. (1971). "Nigerian Pidgin." In J. Spencer (Ed.) The English Language
in West Africa. London: Longman.
Malherbe, Michel (1983). Les Langages de lHumanit. Paris: Seghers.
Moore, Gerald (1962). Seven African Writers. New York: Oxford University
Press.
Nemser, W. (1971). Approximative Systems of Foreign Language Learners. In
International Review of Applied Linguistics, 9, pp. 115-23; reprinted in
Richards (Ed.) 1974.
Obiechinna, E. (1974). "Varieties Differentiation in English Usage." Journal of
the Nigerian English Studies Association, 6:1, 24-42.
Odumuh, A. (1987). Nigerian English (NigE). Zaria, Nigeria: Ahmadu Bello
University Press Ltd.


203
Cortes-Conde, F. (1993). "English in an Immigrational Setting: The Anglo-
Argentine Case". Ph. D. Dissertation. University of Texas at Austin.
Crowther, S. A. (1852). A Grammar of the Yoruba Language. London: Seeley.
Delano, I. O. (1965). A Modern Yoruba Grammar. London: Thomas Nelson.
Disyer, D. (1978). An Introduction to West African Pidgin English. Michigan
State University African Studies Center.
Eager, Harry. (1998). Stylish Excursion into the Wild. Amazon.com, Inc.
Eko, Ebele O. (1974). The Critical Reception of Amos Tutuola, Chinua Achebe
and Wole Soyinka, in England and America, 1952-1974. Ph. D.
Dissertation. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Ellis, A. B. (1974). The Yoruba-Speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast of West
Africa. Lagos: Pilgrim Books; Longon: Curzon Press.
Ericsson, Martin. (1998). The voice fo the Yoruba People. Amazon.com, Inc.
Fagborun, Gbenga (1994). The Yoruba Koin: Its History and Linguistic
Innovations. Mnchen Newcastle: Lincom Europa.
Faraclas, N. (1986). "Pronouns, Creolizadon and Decreolization in Nigerian
Pidgin: A Pilot Study", The Journal of West African Language. Dallas:
West African Linguistic Society, Vol. XVI, No. 2, pp. 3-8.
Fishman, J., Cooper, W., Conrad, A. (1977). The Spread ofEnghsh. Rowley,
Massachusetts: Newbury House Publishers, Inc.
Garcia, O. and R. Ortheguy (Eds.) (1989). English Across Cultures, Cultures
Across English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Garcia, O. and R. Ortheguy (Eds.) (1991). "English Across Cultures, Cultures
Across English," World Englishes Vol. 2, No. 1, pp.97-111.
Gibbs, J. (1980). Critical Perspectives on Wole Soyinka. Washington, D.C.: The
Three Continents Press, Inc.
Gibbs, J. and Lindfors, B. (Eds.). (1993). Research on Wole Soyinka. New Jersey:
Africa World Press, Inc.
Goffman, E. (1955). "On Face-work: An Analysis of Ritual Elements in Social
Interaction". In Psychiatry, 18: 213-231. In Laver and Hutcheson (1972).
Communication in Face to Face Interaction. Harmondsworth, England:
Penguin Books.
Goke-Pariola, A. (1993). "Language and Symbolic Power." In Language and
Communication Vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 219-234.
Goke-Pariola, Biodun (1987). Language Transfer and the Nigerian writer of
English. In World Englishes, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 127-136.


11
widely spoken language within the West-African sub-region, followed by
Yoruba (although the latter also is used as language of religious rites and
communication outside the African continent). Standard Yoruba itself is an
amalgamation of several dialects, essentially the dialects of Oyo, Ibadan,
Abeokuta and Lagos, major activity centers of early CMS missionary activities,
making Yoruba itself a koin (Fagborun 1994), a process involving dialect
mixing, levelling, and simplification (Trudgill 1986:127, Siegel 1987: 186-7).
Apart from the standardized koin, there are twenty other dialects of
Yoruba: Cy, Ijsh, If, Ijb, Qnd, Ow, Ow, Egbd, Chr, Igbmin, Sbe,
Gbede, Egb, Akk, Ang, Bini, Yagb, Ekiti, Ikl and Awri. These dialects
are largely mutually intelligible, albeit with some variations in vocabulary
and phonology and were largely spoken by different groups of people who,
though tracing their descent to their common progenitor (Odduwa), did not
consider themselves as one people. In fact, these groups belonged to different
kingdoms and empires that fought each other in the past for various purposes,
including territorial expansion. The term Yorb itself was used to refer solely
to the people of the old savannah empire of Oy by their northern neighbors,
the Hausa, who referred to them as the Yariba and later on as Yorubawa.
Thus, the term Yoruba, first used by a neighboring people to refer to the
Yoruba, is itself most likely not of Yoruba origin. Although there are several
dialects of Yoruba, it is important to mention that my discussions and examples
in this analysis shall be based on the so-called standard Yoruba. This is the
only variety referred to as Yoruba and the only variety taught in schools in
Yorubaland and abroad. It is the language of the media and of official
government business. It also is my native language.
I have provided a brief historical background to the Yoruba language. I
now return to its identifying features, especially as these features relate to its


92
Examples of Incompletive as a Past (/n7 + /ln/)
(22)Won tie n kQrin diada LANAA.
3pP even INCOMPLETIVE sing well yesterday
They were even singing well yesterday.
In the examples above, the notion of time is not conveyed by the aspect
marker n, but rather by the time adverbs, LOWO (now/at moment/at this
time/ at hand) and LANAA (yesterday) respectively. In the absence of these
adverbs of time, each of the sentences could be rendered either in the present
or in the past, leaving us with context only to decipher their location in time,
if we must indicate time. Thus, sentence (19), without the adverb LOWO could
be translated as either We ARE working or We W^ERE working and (21)
without the adverb LANAA could mean either They ARE even singing well
or They WERE even singing well. The concept of time, therefore, is
introduced only with the addition of the time adverbs LOWO, in (19) and (21)
and LANAA in (20) and (22) respectively.
Habitual + Adverb of Time
(23) A ma n korin ljoojm.
IpP HABITUAL sing daily
We sing everyday.
(24) A ma n korin ngbt a j we.
IpP HABITUAL sing when IpP be youth
We used to sing when we were young.
(25) Emi ma n lo sko ljoojm.
IpSEmp HABITUAL go to+farm daily
T do go to the farm everyday.
(26) Emi ma n lo sko ngbkan r.
IpSEmp HABITUAL go to+farm sometime ago
T used to go to the farm sometime ago (in the past).
The analysis for (19-22) is equally valid for (23-26). In (23) and (25), it is
the time adverb LOJOOJUMO (daily, everyday) that conveys a sense of time


120
I can perceive the smell of something.
(38) Mo r gbQ ohun t o n so.
IpS INCOM. listen thing that 2pS INCOM. say
I am listening to what you are saying.
(39) Mo n gbqyin.
IpS INCOM. listen 2pP
I am listening to you.
(40)
Mo gbq ohun t
o
so.
IpS understand thing that
T understand what you said.
2pS
say
(41)
Mi gbQ ohun t
o
SQ.
IpS NEG. hear thing that
I did not hear what you said.
2pS
say
In (37), gbQ has the sense of perceive, while in (38) and (39) the sense
is that of to listen. In (40), the sense is that of understand and in (41) it
means to hear. What the examples above show is that the semantic field of
gb in YL is quite broad, covering the meanings of all of the following EL
verbs: to hear, to listen, to understand and to perceive.
Due to the broad nature of the usage of this verb in YL, one often hear
YL speakers of English utter the following utterances, which have become
some of the characteristic features of NE:
(42) She doesnt hear word.
(43) I am hearing you.
(44) I can hear a smell.
(45) Do you hear me?
The BE interpretation of (42-45) above is listed as (42b-45b) below
(42b) She doesnt listen.
(43b) I am listening to you (Depending on the context, this could also
have the sense of I can hear you.)
(44b) I can perceive a smell.
(45b) Do you understand me?
In the above situations it is apparent that the YL speaker assigns the
same semantic value to the EL verb to hear that is attached to the YL verb
gb thus using hear in all the instances where the BE speaker of EL would
have used different verbs, such as listen, perceive and understand. The BE


156
aspect Habitual
quote Of course as a stream crossed the road on
which we were travelling to this pasture so I
was drinking the water from it when going
early in the morning and also when
returning in the evening and I was feeding
only on this water as food.
YL maan NE was drinking/was feeding
B E drank/fed
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 44
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote Then they started to flog me with heavy clubs
and also ill treat me as they were treating
wild or stubborn cows, so I was feeling much
pain and still I was unable to eat the grasses
or to be doing as other cows were doing.
book title LBG
page 44
YL maan NE were treating
B E treated
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Then they started to flog me with heavy clubs
and also illtreat me as they were treating wild
or stubborn cows, so I was feeling much
pain and still I was unable to eat the grasses
or to be doing as other cows were doing.
book title LBG
page 44
YL n NE was feeling
BE felt
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Then they started to flog me with heavy clubs
and also illtreat me as they were treating wild
or stubborn cows, so I was feeling much pain
and still I was unable to eat the grasses or to
be doing as other cows were doing.
book title LBG
page 44
YL n NE were doing
BE did


61
(54) Mo ma lo s oko.
IpS ANTI go DIREC farm
'I will go to the farm/I might go to the farm/I have plans to go to
the farm.
(55) A ma 1q si odd lni.
IpP ANTI go DIREC stream today
'We will/might go to the stream today/We have plans to go to the
stream today.'
(56) Wn ma w k wa.
3pP ANTI come greet us
'They will/might come to visit us/They have plans to come and
visit us.'
2.3.2.4.2 The Intentional; v
The intentional is very similar to the anticipative in that both refer to
activities that are non existent but likely. In fact, it is the second in the series
of the irrrealis aspects, which comprise the anticipative and the intentional
(cf. 2.3.2.4). The main difference between them is that whereas the
anticipative 'ma' has a decisiveness to it, the intentional y has a certain
intentionality to it-the object of the utterance is focalized for intention. Thus
it has to do with the will of the speaker. It is something she has made up her
mind about. It also denotes that the speaker has control over the performance
of the activity in question, and has weighed all the options before making the
decision.
It is important to note, too, that the syntax of ma is different from that
of y (cf. 2.3.2.4.1). While ma co-occurs with the regular pronouns, y
can only occur with the emphatic pronoun. Thus, y has to be agented, with
a force of will to come to pass. The will of the speaker has to be involved, and
this requires the attributes of an agent to be emphasized. Below, in example
(57), the speaker-agent is determined to go to school, a determination that
comes from the force of the will. What the speaker is saying, in practical terms
is I have made up my mind to go to school, come what may. I have made up my


38
In Bolorunduros analysis of Delanos work, too, we see some of the same
problems. Delano analyzed YL verbs as having present, past and future tenses.
He also maintained that there exists in YL a difference between the form of the
verb (my emphasis) which expresses the present or past times and went ahead
to give such spurious examples as provided below,
Ojo
lo
= Ojo goes or Ojo went (present or past tense)
(Ojo
go)
Ojo
lo
ln
Ojo went yesterday (past tense)
(Ojo
go
yesterday)
Bolorunduro rightly observes that a close look at the above examples
shows clearly that there is no change in the form of the verb lo (to go) in
both instances--and ln (yesterday) is obviously not a verb! What makes
for the difference in time in the second sentence is not a change in the form
of the verb, but rather the addition of the time adverb ln. The idea of a
past time is therefore not marked on the verb, which obviously remains the
same in the two examples given. The only reference to time here is the adverb
of time ln. This kind of faulty analysis is reminiscent of the work of
Samuel Crowther before him, who also followed a similar line of analysis.
Apart from the above types of erroneous analysis, Delanos work is also
filled with terminological confusion. For example, here is one of the analyses I
find in his work. In the examples below, he identifies the aspect markers n,
ti, and y (y, in his analysis) as tense markers,
Olo =He goes
Oh lo =He is going
Oti lo =He has gone
Y lo =He will go (Bolorunduro: 12)


158
aspect Incompletive
quote But as this snake was also fearful to me too,
then I was crying louder than before, and
when the homeless-ghost was hearing
my voice inside this wood, it was a lofty music
for him, then he started to dance the ghosts
dance ...
YL n NE was hearing
B E heard
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 50
aspect Habitual
quote He would kill many goats for his gods, he
would sacrifice a large number of cocks and
plenty of palm oil to the witches -- those old
and weary mothers who were sleeping
always in the dark rooms -- the windowless
and unventilated rooms which surrounded
the rorrmound.
YL maa n NE were sleeping
B E sleep
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 9
aspect Habitual
quote And under the ground of this jungle, there
were metals as brass, copper, etc., with which
the people were making trays, bowls, gods,
idols. They were also making the cutlasses,
knives, hoes, etc., from the iron which were
dug out from there. All these things were
attracting the neonle to force themselves to
YL maa n NE were making
BE made
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 11
aspect Habitual
quote And under the ground of this jungle, there
were metals as brass, copper, etc., with which
the people were making trays, bowls, gods,
idols. They were also making the cutlasses,
knives, hoes, etc., from the iron which were
dug out from there. All these things were
attracting the neonle to force themselves to
YL maa n NE were also making
B E also made
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 11


150
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote [...] I never drank water since I left my
brother or since I entered into the Bush of
Ghosts, but they gave me urine as it was
their water which they were storing in a
big pot, of course I refused to drink it as well
book title LBG
page 34
YL maan NE were storing
B E usually
aspect Habitual
quote It was in this town I saw that they had an
Exhibition of Smells. All the ghosts of this
town and environs were assembling yearly
and having a special Exhibition of Smells
and the highest prizes were given to one who
had the worst smells and would e recognized
as a kine since rhat dav...
YL maan NE were assembling
B E habitually
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 35
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote I thought within myself that old people were
saying that the whole people who died in this
world, did not go to heaven directly, but they
were living in one place somewhere in this
world.
book title PWD
page 9
YL n NE were living
B E continue to
aspect Anticipative
author Tutuola
quote After that he would go and tap another 75
kegs in the evening which I would be
drinking till morning.
book title PWD
page 7
YL maa NE would be drinking
B E would


162
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote When my father explained to me like that
with laugh, I told him again that I would first
kill all of the wild animals before I would
start to find where the pigmies were living
in the jungle.
book title BAH
page 16
YL n NE were living
B E lived
aspect Habitual author Tutuola
quote He said that this animal had a kind of two
fearful eyes which had a kind of powerful
light. The ray of the light was round and was
moving along with this animal as it was
going along. The light of the eyes never
quenched at any time but it (light) could not
travel far.
YL
maa n
NE was moving
BE
moved
book title BAH
page 16
aspect Incompletive
quote He said that this animal had a kind of two
fearful eyes which had a kind of powerful
light. The ray of the light was round and was
moving along with this animal as it was
going along. The light of the eyes never
quenched at any time but it (light) could not
travel far.
YL n NE was going
BE went
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 16
aspect Incompletive
quote After I did all these things I knelt down
before those hunters. As they were praying
for me that -- Though you are a lady and you
are still young to go and hunt in the Jungle of
the Pigmies, but as you are going there or
volunteer your life to go there for the benefit
of this town and others...
YL n NE were praying
B E prayed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 20


40
say that the language has tense. Yoruba for example does not have
grammaticalised time reference, though probably all languages
lexicalise time reference in the sense that they have temporal
adverbials and lexical items that locate situations in time such as ln,
lni, lla, ldn tkoj. (p. 15).
Bolorunduro goes on to note that what his predecessors had analyzed as
pre-verbal adverbs (pre-verbs in others) are in essence aspect markers
and not tense markers as they would have us believe. Thus, Bolorunduros
more thorough and accurate analysis provides a more useful perspective for
analysis of YL temporal relations.
Although Bolorunduro identified a number of inadequacies in previous
treatments of temporal relations and made a bold attempt to reanalyze YL
aspectual relations with a good measure of success, his analysis is still largely
unsatisfactory. He seems, first of all, to have either mingled other elements in
the grammar (e.g. locative and adverbial expressions) with aspect or
incorrectly analyzed some aspect markers. His analysis, with its 38 different
aspect markers, appears to unnecessarily cumbersome. His further claim that
there are between forty and fifty YL aspect markers (pp. 19-21) suggests a
need for fine tuning. It appears to me that in his zeal to propose an aspect
oriented grammatical analysis of YL, Bolorunduro also brought in other
elements that do not belong in the category of aspect. (His Group II aspect
category, for example, consists of mostly modals and other adverbials.) All this
notwithstanding, one must still give due credit to Bolorunduro for observing
correctly that tense has no systematic formal expression in Yoruba and that
Yoruba has an aspectual system rather than a tense system (p. 3). I believe this
observation of Bolorunduros is an important landmark in the analysis of YL
grammar. So far, he is the only one I know of who has made a deliberate effort
to depart from the previous line followed by earlier grammarians and


165
aspect Anticipative
quote As I was following them to the river, they
were telling me that I should be talking to
them very softly because if Odara the giant
like or cyclops-like creature as I could
describe him and who was the owner of this
semi-jungle, heard my voice or any one else,
would come out and kill us.
YL maa NE should be talking
BE talk
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 25
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As these hunters were still telling me the
story of Odara as we were going along to
the river, there we were hearing faintly, the
noises which were coming from a long
distance.
book title BAH
page 25
YL n NE were going
BE went
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As these hunters were still telling me the
story of Odara as we were going along to the
river, there we were hearing faintly, the
noises which were coming from a long
distance.
book title BAH
page 25
YL n NE were hearing
B E heard
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote The noises were just as if thousands of book title BAH
hooligans were foiling their cruel and page 25
merciless leader to some place where they
were going to cause harm to several people.
Then these hunters who had already known
the attitudes of Odara listened to the noises
as we were still eoine alone.
YL n NE were still going
B E still went


70
(78) E ti ma par is ka t br.
2pP ANTE COMP finish work before IpP PART begin
'You used to have finished working before we began.'
2.3.3.6 Relevant-Inceptive; Relational + Incompletive
The next complex aspect is the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE ti n\ This aspect is
a combination of the relational ti and the incompletive n\ It describes an
activity that has or had just started but is or was still on-going before another
one. In (79) the speaker has begun the activity anterior to the arrival of the
addressee and is still continuing to do so while the latter arrives on the scene.
The work, though begun prior to the moment of speech, still has relevance
and effect at the moment of speech. Although begun in the past, it carries on
into the present. The effect is still felt and continues to be felt at the moment
of the arrival of the subject of the second clause. Most likely, the arrival of the
addressee must have interrupted the activity. In (80), the subjects of the main
clause had been sleeping and still would have been sleeping without the
interruption of the subjects of the subordinate clause. The act of sleeping
carried on into the moment of speech and probably was interrupted with the
arrival of the persons in the second clause. Similarly, in (81), the subject of
the subordinate met that of the main clause busy washing at the stream. Thus
in the antecedent completion the event in the main clause began at some time
before the event introduced in the second clause. Although it began sometime
before the time of utterance, its effect remained and probably will continue
after the moment of interruption. The difference between this aspect and the
antecedent completion is that whereas in the latter the activity is completed
before the one described in the second clause, in the relevant-inceptive, the
activity is not completed before the inception of the second one. It is still
relevant in the present.


2
Yorb people today who use French as an official language (those in Benin
and Togo) while others use English (in Nigeria). There is also a strong Yorub
cultural presence in Sierra-Leone (home of the late Bishop Samuel Ajayi
Crowther, who laid the foundation for Yorb studies by translating the Bible
and John Bunyans Pilgrim's Progress into Yorub and by writing the first
dictionary and orthography of the language). Here the descendants of Yorb
freed slaves who were resettled after abolition of the obnoxious trade in
human beings still bear Yorb names and carry on Yorb culture. The
Yorb language made the greatest contribution to the grammar, vocabulary
and sound systems of the Krio (Creole) language of Sierra-Leone, the principal
lingua franca of this tiny West-African coastal nation (UNESCO 1985). Today,
about 25-30 million Yorb people live in Yorbland, with probably several
million more in the diaspora around the world.
Although Oyewm (1997: 29-30) argues that Odduw, ancestor of the
Yorb is represented as female in some accounts, in Yorb folklore he is
generally considered to be the son of Oldmar, the Creator and life-giver,
the all-knowing, all-powerful and self-existent God who lives in the skies from
where he rules over all of creation with the help of the ris or lesser gods
who also serve as his intermediaries. As for Oldmar, Oyewm observes that
as a god this mythic figure could not have had gender.
According to the legend, it was Odduw who created dry land from the
huge mass of water after his older brother, Obtl failed, through negligence,
in the commission given to him by Oldmar. It is also believed that Odduw
molded the first human shapes out of clay. Furthermore, Odduws sixteen
sons (cf. Oyewm 1997 for more de taed discussion on the genderization of
Yorb) were sent out to found and to govern the various cities and kingdoms
that constitute present Yorbland. So strong and central is the figure of


62
mind about it. Similarly, in (59), the speakers have determined to complete
the assigned work on the day of the utterance. They are saying in essence, We
have considered all the options and have come to the conclusion that this job
must and will be completed by us today. In (58) the speaker has the privileged
knowledge about a firm decision taken by a third person to buy a car that year,
although she may not have any ability or power to make them do it. The
speaker has power only over her own decisions and it is likely for this reason
that in the second and third persons, although the emphatic form of the
pronoun is preferred, the regular form of the pronoun is also allowed.
However, in the first person, only the emphatic form of the pronoun may be
used, as already explained in sections 2.3.1.1. and 2.3.1.2 above. The explanation
for (58) is equally applicable to (60) in which second persons are involved.
(57) EMI y 1q s il-iw.
IpS INTEN go DIREC school
I intend to go to school/ I have made up my mind to go
to school/ I have willingly chosen to go to school.
(58) OUN y ra mQt ni Qdn yii.
2pS INTEN buy car PREP year this
'She intends to buy a car this year.'
(59) AW A y par i$4 yi lni.
IpP INTEN finish work this today
'We intend to finish/complete this job today.'
(60) EYIN y w k wa lla.
2pP INTEN come greet us tomorrow
'You intend to come and greet/visit us tomorrow.'
The examples given for the five simple aspects above provide insight
into the internal workings of the YL verb. Each shows a different aspect of the
performance of the same activity. Obligatory inflections of the verb are done
by aspectual markers. It is therefore obvious that aspect is syntactically
obligatory in YL sentences.


31
which, as a category, I do not find evidence in the language. Other categories
that he proposed occupy a different position in the grammar. Crowther, for
instance, tried hard to make tense happen in YL by postposing time adverbs
such as ln (yesterday), lni (today), and lla (tomorrow) to verbs and
using them to explain tense in YL, claiming that tense is grammatical in the
language. The only problem with this kind of analysis is that in YL the form of
the verb does not change (as it does in EL, the language he chose for his
model). In EL one does not need a time adverbial to indicate tense; rather it is
the inflection or change in the verb that brings this about, or in the case of
the future tense, the use of a modal.
A number of contemporary Yoruba linguists have recognized this
problem and have attempted to handle it in different ways (cf. Awoyale 1974,
Bolorunduro 1980, Amoran 1986) but the problem still remains.
Awoyale, for instance, devoted scarcely two pages to this all-important
issue of tense and aspect in his dissertation on the syntax and semantics of YL
nominalizations. In his attempt, he identified two tense markers in YLN and
tibut went right ahead to describe them in terms of aspect. He called the
former a progressive marker and the latter a perfective marker, both of
which are terms used in describing aspectual relations. Also, Awoyales
analysis, like many others before it, is laden with deficit hypothesis (See
Hardman 1988 for a more detailed discussion on deficit hypothesis). Again
and again he repeats the phrase Yoruba does not have.... One of such
instances is his comment on the present tense:
Yoruba does not have an overt marker for the present tense. That is,
there is no wav to sav in Yoruba
42) He struggles with death


155
aspect Incompletive
quote But when the rest of the smelling-ghosts
noticed that I was useful for such purpose
then the whole of them were hiring me
from my boss to carry loads to long distances
and returning again in the evening with
heavier loads.
YL n NE were hiring
B E hired
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 40
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote But as soon as he went away I saw where he
hid the juju which he was using to change
me to any animal or creature that he likes, so
I took it and put it into my pocket so that he
might not change me to anything again.
book title LBG
page 40
YL n NE was using
B E used
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote God is so good, he did not remember to take
the juju when he came out from the house, he
thought that he had already put it inside the
pocket of his leathern trousers which he was
always belting with a big boa constrictor ...
book title LBG
page 40
YL ma'n NE was always belting
B E always belted
aspect Habitual
quote Of course as a stream crossed the road on
which we were travelling to this pasture so
I was drinking the water from it when going
early in the morning and alsowhen
returning in the evening and I was feeding
only on this water as food.
YL maa n NE were travelling
B E travelled
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 44


140
world. That The Palm-Wine Drinkard which was first published in 1952, is still
being translated into more languages around the world today is a proof of the
legacy of a man who could not be stopped or silenced. Amos Tutuola was a man
with a will and a purpose, and although he himself has gone to the the Deads
Town, his story and his message still live on as constant reminders of the
power and universality of the Story. For, the Story does for our soul what no
medicine can do--it soothes, inspires, encourages, challenges, appeals, reaches
deep down to our very essence and being.
Rather than demonized as some critics have attempted to do, I believe
Tutuola should instead be praised for taking the bold steps that he took at a
time when no one else had attempted to do so among his own people. It is this
pioneering spirit of Tutuolas that should be celebrated over and above the
clanging cymbals of noise over grammatical correctness. The words of wisdom
of Achebe, Obi Wali, Soyinka, and many others come in as excellent reminders
of the real issues at stake here and of the importance of handling them
carefully so as not to do damage to the man, his message and his legacy.
My closing challenge to Tutuolas critics and detractors out there,
especially those that abhor his language, is to replicate this type of research
in other areas of influence such as those mentioned above. Then and only
then will we become able to honestly and properly critique his works. At this
juncture, one cannot help but remember two famous and often quoted
statements of Tutuolas contemporaries, one a fellow Nigerian, the other an
Indian cousin (cf. § 3.2), regarding the English language and its use in new
contexts. What Tutuola did was to make the English language carry the
weight of his African experience and in doing so he had to transform it,
stretch it, impact it, fragment and reassemble it, in the words of Wole
Soyinka, without any apologies whatsoever. He had to remold it so as to make it


163
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was going along the whole people were
following me and the hunters were shooting
their guns repeatedly. The people who were
not hunters were telling me loudly -- Come
back, dont go to the Jungle of the Pigmies, it
is a bad jungle! but I did not listen to them, I
was iust going on as hastily as I could.
YL n NE was going
BE went
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 20
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was going along the whole people were
following me and the hunters were
shooting their guns repeatedly. The people
who were not hunters were telling me loudly
-- Come back, dont go to the Jungle of the
Pigmies, it is a bad jungle! but I did not listen
to them. T was iust going on as hastily as T
YL n NE were following
B E followed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 20
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was going along the whole people were
following me and the hunters were
shooting their guns repeatedly. The people
who were not hunters were telling me loudly
-- Come back, dont go to the Jungle of the
Pigmies, it is a bad jungle! but I did not listen
to them. T was iust going on as hastily as T
YL n NE were shooting
B E shot
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 20
aspect Incompletive
quote As I was going along the whole people were
following me and the hunters were shooting
their guns repeatedly. The people who were
not hunters were telling me loudly --
Come back, dont go to the Jungle of the
Pigmies, it is a bad jungle! but I did not listen
to them. I was iust going on as hastily as T
YL n NE were telling
BE told
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 21


136
and the intentional. The complex aspect series comprises the backgrounder,
expective, inceptive, manifestive, antecedent completion, relevant-inceptive
and the habitual. The simple aspects consist of single aspect markers while the
complex ones are various combinations of the simple aspect markers, some two
and others three. These complex combinations were shown to be
rule-governed and syntactically constrained, having the order: ((((y) +
(((((ti)) + ((ma)))) + (n)))). Thus apart from the fact that each of the aspect
markers can stand as aspects in their own rights, we have three other
combinatorial sequences involving y: y ti, y ti ma and y ma;
four complex combinations involving ti: y ti, y ti ma, ti ma, ti ma
n and ti n; five combinations involving ma: y ti ma, y ma, ti
ma, ti ma n and ma n; and three combinatorial possibilities of rf: ti
ma n, ti n and ma n. These combinations, together with the individual
single (simple) aspects, make up the repertoire of aspects in the Yoruba
language.
Although some of these aspects have been identified in earlier anlyses
(mostly in unpublished theses and articles), earlier attempts were inadequate
in a number of ways. Some writers failed to identify aspect markers and thus
assigned them to other categories of the grammar. Others referred to most of
these aspect markers as either tense markers, preverbs or modals. One other
problem with these earlier classifications is that exemplified by Bolorunduros
analysis. In that analysis he proposed some 40-50 different aspects for Yoruba
of which he came up with just 38. Some of these are actually verbs, others
modals or even morpho-phonological variants of the same aspect. The main
problem with Bolorunduros study is its lack of rigorous analysis and its
consequent need for fine-tuning.


80
relatedness points to a complex, internal harmony that undergirds the
interconnectivity of the various aspectual elements.
2.4 Aspect Markers in Context
Having already emphasized that aspect markers can, and do, co-occur, I
provide below a free text to illustrate how these markers interact within the
VP as well as in the wider context of the YL sentence.
Text A below is an example of aspect markers in context. It is a text that I
generated by myself, from my native speakers intuition. A free translation is
also provided below it. It is to be noted that in the text, aspect markers (in bold)
always precede the verb (italicized).
In this text, the following aspects occur: the unmarked aspect (101-103,
104,107); the incompletive n, example (103/104); the relational ti, example
(104); the anticipative ma, example (107) and the intentional aspect y,
example (108). Thus, in this short text we see all of the five simple aspects
operating freely in discourse.
TextA;
(101) Ln, mi ti Ayo lo s il won ore wa
Yesterday, 1 and Ayo go to house PLUR friend our
(102) sgbn a k b won bi won nl.
but we NEG meet PLUR parent their LOC+home
(103) Awon omo won ni a b nl. Wn n
PLUR child their is we meet at+home. They INCOM
(104) sn lw. Wn so p won bi won ti 1q
sleep at+hand. They say that PLUR parent their RELA go
(105) si Orlando lti ijeta sgbn won ko
DIREC Orlando since day before yesterday but they NEG
(106) ni p4 pad d
have late return arrive.
(107) Wn sq p ola ni wn ma pad d.
They say that tomorrow is they ANTI return arrive.
(108) Lhin n won y lo s Tampa fn oj die.
Afterwards they INTEN go DIREC Tampa for day few.


6
The Yoruba also are known around the world for their artwork. Their
naturalistic bronze and terra-cotta sculptures are found in museums all over
the world, among them the famous Ife heads. So remarkable were the
sculptures produced in Ile-Ife that when the German ethnographer, Leo
Frobenius, visited Ile-Ife in 1911, he could not believe what he saw with his
eyes and made up stories that they must have been the relics of the lost city of
Atlantis. Today, it is believed that these great works of art must have been
created by Yoruba sculptors. It is also no longer a hidden fact that some of
these great works of art were imitated by some of the great European artists.
The Yoruba are probably best known around the world for their
traditional religious belief system based on a pantheon of ris (lesser
divinities). Yoruba traditional religion consists of a pantheon of two hundred
one (or four hundred one, according to other accounts) ris. Names of the
well-known deities are Ogn, Sango and If or Ornmil, Other major deities
include Osun, Oya and Yemoja, Obtl or Orisnl, Snpnn, El and Es. The
Yoruba believe that Olodumare, the creator of all ris and humans, is too
powerful to be worshipped directly by mere mortals. Thus they need the
intermediary role of the ris, who are considered to be much closer to
humans, becomes apparent. The orisa are thus seen as the mediators between
Olodumare, the high God and mortals.
The worship of some of these deities was transported across the Atlantic
during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the 1800s, during which time many
Yoruba people were forcefully uprooted to the New World as slaves for
plantation owners of European descent. This resulted in a large Yoruba
diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbeans, where Yoruba culture and
religion is still very much vibrant and active, especially in places like Brazil,
Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as in more recent revivals in the


35
tense: I saw her/him/it, since the verb see is a non-stative verb. However,
that same sentence could also be translated as I can see it/I see it. It is due to
these types of confusion that I prefer to refer to the unmarked as an aspect-
completive aspectrather than a tense. Seeing it as an aspect will take care of
the confusion that calling it a tense would normally generate, especially since
aspect does not address itself to issues of time.
Another inconsistency in Amorans analysis is that although he says
that non-stative verbs have a past interpretation, he later on analyzes them as
simple aspects, giving some of them a present and others a past interpretation,
as can be seen in examples [33] and [34] respectively
[33] Ad je onje n
Ad eat food the
Ade eat (sic) the food.
[34] O lo s oj n
He go to marker the
He went to the market. (p.39)
Thus, although both verbs are non-stative, Amoran translates the first
as a present and the second as a past. Amorans classification is therefore
ambivalent. He wavers between calling the unmarked a tense or an aspect.
Also, one expects that if Amoran had a simple aspect he would also have a
complex aspect, but this is not the case. Apart from what he termed as the
simple aspect he has five other forms of aspect, viz the anticipative (ma, y,
, ), the perfective (ti), the continuative (n), the habitual (ma n) and the
inceptive ( maa variant of y ma).
A close look at this classification shows that Amoran is actually on track
in some of his denominations, such as the anticipative, the habitual and the
inceptive. The only problem is that he sometimes lumps different aspects
together into one single aspect, such as the case with his anticipative, which


210
Wolfson, N. (1989). Perspectives: Sociolinguistics and TESOL Boston: Heinle and
Heinle Publishers.
Young, P. (1971). "The Language of West African Literature in English. In J.
Spencer (Ed.). The English Language in West Africa. London: Longman.


37
important landmark in the analysis of temporality in YL. Like Amoran,
Bolorunduro found it necessary to begin with earlier analyses of temporality
in YL. In doing so, he appears to be very much on the right track. Bolorunduro
examines the works of five YL linguists, Bamgbose (1967), Delano (1965),
Awobuluyi (1978), Ayelaagbe (Undated M.A. thesis) and Ogunbowale (1970). In
his critique of the first three (i.e. Bamgbose, Delano and Awobuluyi), he
observes that they failed to make any clear distinction between tense and
aspect in YL, then goes on to make a similar comment on Bamgboses analysis,
pointing out that he jumbled tense with negation and subdivided tense into
simple and perfective tenses. Bolorunduro then asks a pertinent question:
if there is a simple tense, should there not be a complex tense also? He then,
continuing his critique, observes that instead of a complex tense, Bamgbose
posits a perfective tense, and that he identified aspect markers such as y,
n, ma n and ma as tense markers. Bolorunduro then asks another important
question, this one having to do with the positive-negative opposition,
Bamgbose further subdivides the so-called simple tense into Positive
and Negative tense. Here one is tempted to ask what difference exists
between positive and negative tenses. If the primary semantic function
of tense is to indicate the relation between the time at which the
sentence is uttered and the time of the action that is expressed in the
main verb, one could then ask if there is a positive time and a negative
time? To my mind this cannot be true. Tense, in those languages where
it exists, have [sic] no negative and positive concepts, (p. 8).
On Ayelaagbes analysis, Bolorunduro observes that the latter divides YL
verbs into two categoriesthose that can be marked for all tenses and those
that can only be marked for future tense. He rightly remarks that such a
division does not occur in YL. Again, what I see Ayelaagbe doing here is
similar to what I have remarked earlier on about a deficit hypothesis
syndrome that has plagued YL grammatical analyses. Apparently, Ayelaagbe
expects YL verbs to behave exactly the same way as EL verbs.


58
whether it be stative or non-stative verb. I therefore consider the completive
aspect the first in the series of the simple aspects.
23.2.2 The Incomoletive Aspect; n
Next in the series of simple aspects is the incompletive /realised by n/.
Here, the focus is ongoingness of the activity. As the illustrative examples
indicate, the time, past, current, or recent, is not carried by this aspect. The
activity could be in progress either in the present or before the present. For
example, (45-47) could be rendered both in the present or in the past, in the
absence of context or adverbs indicating time. If we must insist on the
knowledge of time, then we must rely on the discourse context surrounding
the statement (where a context is provided) or on time adverbials, such as are
provided in (48-50) below. In (48), the adverb byi situates the activity in a
present time frame, whereas in (49-50), the past time frame of the activities
involved is provided by the time adverbials ln and lkan respectively.
(45) Mo n lo s Qj.
IpS INCOM go DIREC. market
T am going/was going to the market.'
(46) Won n §is$.
3pP INCOM work
'They are busy/were busy working.'
(47) A r o ngbt o n lo sl.
IpP see you when you INCOM go DIREC+home
'We saw you when you were going home.'
(48)
Mo n lo s Qj
IpS INCOM go DIREC market
T am going to the market right now.'
BAYI1.
now
(49)
E n <¡sq LANAA.
2pP INCOM work yesterday
'You were working yesterday.'
(50)
A ri q ngbt o n
lo l
LEEKAN.
IpP see you when you INCOM go home a while ago
'We saw you when you were going home a short while ago.'


128
(66b) tblti ma w ibi t won arar n n gb
or to ANTI, search place which PLUR pigmy those INCOM live
or to look for/keep looking for where the pigmies lived
(67) This huge man was one of the obstacles of this jungle. He was
one of the strongest and the most cruel pigmies who were keeping
watch of the jungle always. His work was to be bringing any hunter
or anyone who came to the jungle, to the town of the pigmies, for
punishment (Appendix: 48).
(67b) Is r$ ni lti ma m odekde tb enikeni
Work 3pSObj. is to ANTI, bring any+hunter or anyone
His work was to bring any hunter or anyone
(68) After he handed my property to the king and another pigmy put
them on the ceiling and the king thanked him greatly and advised him
as well to be going round the jungle every day and night and
bringing all hunters or huntresses he might see in the jungle...
(Appendix: 48).
(68b) lti ma pyi igbo n lrr ti llaal
to ANTI, go+round forest that each+morning and at+night
to go round/keep going round the jungle day and night
What we see in these constructions is that Tutuola appears to derive two
different EL tenses from one and the same YL aspect. The first group are those
he renders with modal+copula+-ing (62-64b) and the second are those with
the form infinitive+copula+-ing (65-68b). In both instances YL uses the
anticipative aspect to achieve the same purpose.
3,4,4 Examples Involving the Relational Aspect ti
The next group of examples from the data, though quite scanty (there
are only four such examples), involves those in which Tutuola transfers the
YL relational aspect to EL to produce the past simple tense in NE. In all of the
contexts, however, BE calls for the past perfect tense. All four instances are
reproduced below, each one followed by a (b) which is a YL translation of the
relevant clauses.


59
2.3.2.3 The Relational; ti
The relational aspect describes an event or activity that is not complete,
with reference to an ongoing event. It is thus incomplete in relation to
another activity or event. In the examples below, although an activity has
taken place, its relevance or effect is still ongoing. For instance, in example
(51), although the speaker has performed the act of going to school, it is
understood that she is still in school and has not yet returned home. The same
explanation goes for (52) and (53). In (52), the speakers, or subjects of the
sentence, have arrived from school. The act of arrival is still felt at the
moment of speech. They have not returned to school yet, but are still in the
arrival mode. In (53), although the activity of eating has taken place sometime
before the moment of speech, its effect is still being felt and is still considered
incomplete with reference to other activity or event at the moment of
utterance.
(51) O ti 1q s il-iw.
3pS RELATIONAL go DIREC school
'She has gone to school/She went to school.'
(52) A ti d.
IpP RELAT arrive
'We have arrived/We are here.'
(53) E ti jun.
2pP RELAT. eat
'You have eaten/You ate.'
2.3.2.4 The Irrealis Aspects
In the same manner that there is a realis completive (cf. 2.3.2.1.) and
incompletive (cf. 2.3.2.2.), there is likewise an irrealis completive and
incompletive. The irrealis aspects comprise two simple tenses: the anticipative,
ma and the intentional, y\ Whereas ma describes an anticipated event
or activity, y gives completeness to the anticipation in ma. Thus, y is a


TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS i
KEY TO SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS ix
ABSTRACT xi
CHAPTERS
1. INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 The Yorb People 1
1.2 The Yorb Language 9
1.2.1 Phonology 12
1.2.2 Morphology 15
1.2.3 Syntax 16
1.3 The Dynamics of Yorb and English in Nigeria 21
2. ASPECT IN YORUBA 29
2.1The Nature of the Verb Phrase (VP) in Yorb 42
2.2.1 The Incompletive Aspect 44
2.2.2 The Relational Aspect 45
2.2.3 The Habitual + Post-verbal Time Marker 45
2.2.4 The Intentional + Post-verbal Time Marker 46
2.2.5 Completive Aspect + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Focus) 46
2.2.6 The Anticipative + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Focus) 46
2.2.7 The Completive Aspect 47
2.3 Aspect in Yorb 47
2.3.1 Aspect Constraints on Person Marking and Pronoun Selection... 48
2.3.1.1 Intentional + regular pronoun 51
2.3.1.2 Intentional + emphatic pronoun 51
2.3.1.3 Completive aspect + regular pronoun 53
2.3.1.4 Completive aspect + emphatic pronoun 53
2.3.1.5 Relational aspect + regular pronoun 54
vi


APPENDIX
aspect Habitual
quote My father got eight children and I was the
eldest among them, all of the rest were hard
workers, but I myself was an expert palm-
wine drinkard. I was drinking palm-wine
from morning till night and from night till
morning.
YL maan NE was drinking
B E used to
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 7
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote So my father gave me a palm-tree farm which
was nine miles square and it contained
560,000 palm-trees, and this palm-wine
tapster was tapping one hundred and fifty
kegs of palm-wine every morning...
book title PWD
page 7
YL maan NE was tapping
B E used to
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote So my friends were uncountable by that time
and they were drinking palm-wine with
me from morning till a late hour in the night
book title PWD
page 7
YL maan NE were drinking
B E habitually
aspect Habitual
quote When I saw that there was no palm-wine for
me again, and nobody could tap it for me,
then I thought within myself that old people
were saying that the whole people who had
died in this world, did not go to heaven
directly...
YL maan NE were saying
B E used to
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 9
148


22
reasons and partly because they wanted to wrest the power of educating the
people from the hands of the missionaries with whom they were not always on
good terms. The missionaries, whose mission was mainly religious and not
commercial, established schools and began to formally teach the Africans the
English language (Adknl 1985: 18-19). This is what Adekunle calls the first
phase in the evolution of NE. As has been mentioned earlier in this chapter, it
was also the missionaries who began to put the indigenous languages into
writing. Names like Raban, Gollmer and Venn come to mind hereall CMS
missionary-linguists who were seriously involved in codifying the Yoruba
language and who had a great impact on the Yoruba-born missionary-linguist,
Bishop Crowther.
The second phase of the establishment of English in Nigeria covers the
period from the amalgamation of Nigeria until the time of independence in
1960. It was during this period that the colonial administration got involved in
education and began to subsidize the efforts of the missionaries. The colonial
government had discovered that it needed some educated Nigerians to help in
the smooth running of the State, at least at the administrative level. At this
point in time, a number of Nigerians had already had the opportunity to travel
and to study in the United Kingdom under the auspices of the Mission Boards.
These returned to serve as middle level administrators. Meanwhile, the
number of native Britons had also increased in the country. It was during this
period that the standardized variety of NE began to stabilize, especially with
the establishment of more schools, as teachers began to teach a standardized
form of English in preference to the Pidgin English that had already spread
beyond the coastal areas into the far interiors of the country. This could be
called the middle period of the evolution of SNE.


-i 7 on
i i oU
20 £Li
. A vz


161
aspect Completive
quote So whenever those hunters were coming to
his house, they were coming there with many
smoked small animals which they killed in
the jungle and they would give them to him
as presents and thus they were giving him
the animals every day.
YL unmarked NE were coming
BE came
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 14
aspect Habitual
quote So whenever those hunters were coming to
his house, they were coming there with
many smoked small animals which they kiUed
in the jungle and they would give them to
him as presents and thus they were giving
him the animals every day.
YL maa n NE were coming
BE came
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 14
aspect Habitual
quote So whenever those hunters were coming to
his house, they were coming there with many
smoked small animals which they killed in
the jungle and they would give them to him
as presents and thus they were giving him
the animals every day.
YL maa n NE were giving
BE gave
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 14
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote When I overheard from this woman and
when I ran back home, I sat closely to my
father. Then I was thinking seriously in
my mind whether my father had had another
sons before I was born.
book title BAH
page 15
YL n NE was thinking
B E thought


94
Abeokuta (meaning beneath the stone/rock in Yoruba), Tutuolas
birth place and hometown, is one of the major cities of the Yoruba, located in
the rain-forest region of south-western Nigeria, a geographical location that
would later inform, shape and influence his writings. The spiritual
atmosphere of Abeokuta and its environs during Tutuolas growing years was
that of a syncretism birthed by the presence of a strong Yoruba traditional
belief and value systems and a heavy Christian missionary activity, mostly by
the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S).
Tutuola hailed from an honorable and respectable background.
According to Michael Thelwell in his informative introduction to The Palm-
Wine Drinkard, Tutuolas grandfather, the Odafin Odegbami, was a well
respected administrative ruler among his people, being one of the sub-chiefs
and spiritual leaders of Abeokuta. He had six wives and more than twenty
children. As a spiritual leader of his people, he was a practitioner of one the
African traditional religions--Ogn. In fact, his name, Odegbami itself
means the deity Ogn saves, or accepts me. Ogn is the Yoruba patron deity
of hunters, smiths and warriors; the god of iron, fire, technological knowhow
and political authority.
Amos Tutuolas father, Charles Tutuola Odegbami, had three wives and
several children. Although his parents were firm believers in Yoruba
traditions and values, they had converted to Christianity as a result of strong
missionary activitity in Abeokuta area during most of the nineteenth and the
early twentieth centuries. Thus, Tutuola was born into an extended family in
which Yoruba traditional religion was practised side by side with European-
introduced Christianity, a background that would forever influence his
outlook, life and works. Although Tutuolas grandparents practised indigenous
Yoruba religion, his parents were firm believers in the Christian religion.


204
Graddol, D., Leith, D., Swann, J. (1996). English: History, Diversity and Change.
London and New York: Routledge.
Grice, H. P. (1975). "Logic and Conversation." In P. Cole and J. Morgan (Eds.)
Syntax and Semantics. Vol. 3, Speech Acts. New York: Academic Press.
Grimes, Barbara F. (Ed.) (1992). Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Dallas,
Texas: Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc.
Hardman, M. J. (1978). "Linguistic Postulates and Applied Anthropological
Linguistics." In Linguistics and Child Language Memorial Volume in
Honor of Ruth Hirsch Weir. The Hague: Mouton.
Hardman, M. J. (Ed.) (1981). Introductory Essay. In The Aymara Language in
Its Social and Cultural Context. Gainesville: University Presses of Florida.
Hardman, M.J. (1988). Andean Ethnography: The Role of Language Structure
in Observer Bias. In Semitica, Vol. 71-3/4, pp. 339-372.
Hardman, M.J. (1994). And if We Lose Our Name, then What About Our Land?
or, What Price Development?. In Differences That Make a Difference:
Examining the Asumptions in Gender Research. Lynn H. Turner and
Helen M. Sterk. Westport & London: Bergin & Garvey, pp. 151-162.
Hardman, MJ. and S. Hamano. (1993). Language Structure Discovery Methods.
Andean Press.
Hardman-de-Baudsta, M. J. (1982). "The Mutual Influence of Spanish and the
Andean Languages," WORD, Vol. 3, No. 1-2.
Herbert, R. (1992). Language and Society in Africa. Cape Town: Witwatersrand
University Press.
Holm, J. (1989). Pidgins and Creoles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Honebrink, Andrea (1993). Yoruba Renaissance: the Religious Teachings of a
Great Civilization Attract Followers. In Utne Reader,
November/December 1993.
Hymes, D. (Eds.) (1971). Pidginization and Creolization of Languages.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hymes, D. (1974). Foundations in Sociolinguistics: An Ethnographic Approach.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Hymes, Dell (1968). "The Ethnography of Speaking." In J. Fishman, Readings in
the Sociology of Language. The Hague: Mouton.
Ikiddeh, I. (1983). "English Bilingualism and a Language Policy for Nigeria,"
Ibadan Journal of Humanistic Studies, No. 3.
Jibril, M. (1979). "Regional Variation in Nigerian Spoken English". In E.
Ubahakwe (Ed.) Varieties and Functions of English in Nigeria.


93
while in (24) and (26) it is the adverbial phrases NIGBATI A JE EWE and
NIGBAKAN RI respectively. In the absence of these subordinate clauses of
time, all four sentences could have either a present or a past interpretation.
NE speakers often use aspect markers where a British or American
speaker of English would use tense. The works of Amos Tutuola are replete with
such transfers and a knowledge of this difference is crucial to understanding
the languge and works of Tutuola and many other YL speakers of English. The
rest of this chapter will be devoted to this aspect transfer.
3.1 Amos Tutuola; the Man
Amos Tutuola was born in 1920 in Abeokuta, a city about 64 miles from
Lagos, the commercial capital (and for many decades the political capital) of
Nigeria and passed on to the Deads Town (to use his own terminology) on
Saturday, June 7, 1997, having lived a long, fruitful and often controversial
life. He was 77 when he died quietly at his home in Od-On, in the surburbs of
Ibadan, another major Yoruba city, next only to Lagos in demographic
importance. In spite of his international popularity, he died unsung at home,
in obscurity and almost destitute.
Here is what Oyekan Owomoyela had to say in his full-length book on
Amos Tutuola,
He died as he had lived, amid uncertainties, contradictions, and
controversy. The causes and circumstances of his death reflect a major
contradiction in his life and career. Diabetes and hypertension, the
conditions to which he succumbed, need not prove fatal to a patient able
to afford proper medical care; unfortunately Tutuola was not, for despite
his literary success and international fame, at the time of his death, he
was destitute. In the view of many who mourned him,... he got far less
from life and much less from his society than he deserved.... His virtual
local anonymity in his last days, despite his international fame, is also
something of a contradiction. (Owomoyela, 1999: 146, my emphasis).


105
African continent. (Martin Eriksson, Amazon.com., Inc.: 1997, emphasis
mine).
3.3 Amos Tutuola: his Accomplishments
While Amos Tutuola was still alive, he was showered with many honors,
but mostly outside Nigeria. In 1979 he was appointed a writer-in-residence at
the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Il-If, one of the
most prestigious universities in Nigeria, located in the heart of Yorubaland. It
was during this tenure at my alma mater that I met him for the first time when
he was invited by my professor to come recite folktales to my freshman
Literature in English class. Although I was fascinated by his English back
then, I didnt have much clue as to why he spoke the way he did. I could,
however, identify with his stories. Tutuolas use of languagethe English
language was quite fascinating to me, as another Yoruba user of English, for
it struck a chord within me, as I began to recognize underneath his English a
lot of structures and usages that are very recognizably Yoruba. His stories are
drawn from a commonly shared pool of Yoruba folklore, but with a personal
touch and flavor that is distinctly his. It would take more than a decade after
that initial encounter for me to revisit the man and his works. By this time I
had already acquired enough linguistic tools to be able to begin to reappraise
and appreciate his works and his then strange but harmonious and musical
English. This is the English that Cyprian Ekwensi, another veteran Nigerian
novelist, was referring to when he wrote
Tutuola wrote music with his words. Although his medium was prose, Ms
writing appeared more musical, more lyrical and more poetic than
many of those who actually set out to write poetry. (West Africa 1997:
1266, my emphases).


144
(ESL), especially within the Nigerian context. ESL teachers must have an
understanding that languages change as they journey to new destinations and
take up new life in different geo-cultural milieus. In fact, I propose that
courses in language variation and change be included in the curriculum of
those who are trained to become ESL teachers in places (such as Nigeria)
where English is not a mother tongue. The knowledge acquired from such
courses will help teachers handle the idiosyncracies they may come across in
their students usage in the ESL classroom. Instead of handling the
interlanguge grammar of their students with unbending rigidity, (cf. Lado
1957, Selinker 1972, 1992; Cook 1993) they will be able to look beyond such
interferences (cf. Weinreich 1953) and deviations and see these so-called
errors of usage as normal steps in the learning process. They will also
understand that learners and speakers of a transplanted language, as is the
case with English in Nigeria, cannot, and should not be expected to use the
language in exactly the same way as speakers for whom it is a first language,
and for most, probably the only language. Most Nigerian (and in fact, African)
users of English are multilingual and for a great majority of them English
comes along as either a second, third or even fourth language, in order of
acquisition. With understanding of changes that result from language contact,
ESL teachers will understand that it is quite preposterous to expect their
students to speak and use English exactly the same way as a British or
American monolongual speaker uses English. Achebes and Raos unequivocal
and unapologetic response to such an unrealistic expectation are worth
repeating here.
So my answer to the question, Can an African ever learn English well
enough to be able to use it effectively in creative writing? is certainly
yes. If on the other hand you ask: Can he ever learn to use it like a
native speaker? I should say, I hope not. It is neither necessary nor
desirable for him to be able to do so (Achebe: 1965: 29-30).


100
Tutuola has been unequivocally recognized as the first person to write
any full-length narrative in English in Nigeria as well as the first West
African writer of English expression to win considerable international
attention. Ebele Eko has this to say about Tutuolas pioneering effort:
Amos Tutuola was undeniably the first West African writer of English
expression to win considerable international recognition. The
publication of The Palm-Wine Drinkard in 1952 marked the beginning
of modern Nigerian literature and apparently took the literary world by
surprise. An important review by Dylan Thomas launched the book on
its way to fame and the author on his way to becoming one of the most
controversial writers of modern African literature (Eko 1974:19,
emphasis mine).
Bernth Lindfors, who has written a full-length Critical Perspectives on
Amos Tutuola (1975) and has studied Tutuola and his works over several
decades, has the following observation to make with regards to the publication
of Tutuolas pioneering work,
Amos Tutuolas The Palm-Wine Drinkard was the first substantial
literary work written in English by a Nigerian author, and its
publication in 1952 created a stir. (1973: 51)
In a posthumous eulogy recognizing Tutuolas achievements, the editor
of West Africa magazine referred to Tutuolas first novel in the following
terms
Today, this book is recognised as a significant milestone indeed, the
first milestone -- on the long road that Nigerian authors writing in
English have travelled since that time. It was the national equivalent of
The Canteburv Tales in British literature. Tutuola being anglophone
Africas aboriginal Chaucer (1997:1268, my emphasis).
Tutuola, then, has been given credit for opening up the new field of
modern African literature in English for Achebe, Soyinka and the other
Nigerian writers who followed. It should be acknowledged, however, that
although Tutuola pioneered creative writing in English, he himself was
following in the footsteps of another compatriot and kinsman, Daniel O.
Fagunwa, who was actually the first person to codify Yoruba folktales in


39
It is once again apparent that, in addition to the erroneous classification
of aspect markers as tense markers, the translation tradition that we find
illustrated above, a translation that consistently misrepresents the third
person subject pronoun as masculine leads to further difficulties. Gender is, in
fact, not an issue here, especially since the third person singular marker
is gender neutral and can be translated as she, he or even it. It is this
type of analysis that Hardman refers to as Derivational Thinking (cf. Hardman
1978, 1993a, 1993b, 1994), a type of thinking that is very characteristic of
Western thought, especially English, based on linearity and hierarchy and
which assumes this mode of thinking to be universal.
Finally, Bolorunduro turns attention to Awobuluyis analysis, which,
although he does not use the term tense or aspect, presents similar
problems. What Bamgbose calls preverbs, Awobuluyi calls pre-verbal
adverbs, and thus we are still faced with the same problems. Although
terminology is different, both are dealing with aspect markers, for, as
Awobuluyi later on goes on to say,
In positive sentences, future action is signified by the presence of any
one of y, , , a ma and r. (Bolorunduro 13).
Thus Awobuluyis analysis follows closely after that of Bamgbose, in
that he too identifies positive and negative tenses, and although the
former does not use the word tense in his analysis,he uses action
instead-he still makes reference to tense in the above statement. It is still the
same attempt to say that tense is a grammatical category in YL and thus is
significant.
Bolorunduro concludes his insightful examination of some of the
previous analyses by remarking that
There is the semantic concept of time reference (absolute or relative)
which may be grammaticalised in a language, i.e. a language may have
a grammatical category that expresses time reference in which case we


96
into school for a few years. His uncle, Mr. Dailey, arranged for him to live with
his friend, Mr. F. 0. Monu, a civil servant, to earn his tuition working for the
latter as a household servant. The young Tutuola quickly jumped at this
opportunity and left his father to live with Monu, while working his way
through school at the Salvation Army School, Abeokuta. He was, then, about
12-14 when he began his formal education, but quickly proved himself to be a
brilliant and promising student. This is what Tutuola had to say himself about
his academic abilities and potentials,
I started my first education at the Salvation Army School, Abeokuta, in
the year 1934, and Mr. Monu was paying my school fees regularly,
which were 1/6 a quarter, and also buying the school materials, etc., for
me. But as I had the quicker brain than the other boys in our class
(Class I infant), I was given the special promotion from Class I to Std. I at
the end of the year... [M]y weekly report card columns were always
marked 1st position on every week-end, which means I was the first boy
out of 50 boys in the class throughout the year. At the end of that year I
was in the 1st position out of 150 boys and this was the final examination
of the year. (Tutuola, 1953:126-127).
Tutuola later on moved to Lagos with his employer and there enrolled at
the Lagos High School where he continued with his education. However, due to
the verbal and physical abuse he suffered from his masters wife (whom he
unflatteringly referred to as a cruel and hard-hearted woman), he had to
return to his native Abeokuta without completing his education. Upon his
return home, he continued with his education at the Anglican Central School,
Ipose Ake, also in Abeokuta. Here he remained until 1939, when his final hopes
of completing his formal education were dashed as a result of his fathers
untimely death. He had had in all only six years of formal education.
After an unsuccessful attempt at farming, during a drought, he
returned to Lagos the following year, but this time, to live with one of his half-
brothers. Back in Lagos he successfully learnt blacksmithing which landed
him a job as a coppersmith with the West African Air Corps of the British
Royal Air Force in 1942. In 1945, following the end of the Second World War, he


168
aspect Incompletive
quote The stick broke into two and then fell into the
water unexpectedly, because he was heavier
than what the stick could hold. But as Odara
was so greedy and cruel was that as he was
struggling very hardly to come out from
the water it was so he was still throwing his
noisonous cudgels at us.
YL n NE was struggling
BE struggled
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 31
aspect Incompletive
quote They were following us along and they
were looking at me with great wonder when
they saw that I put the gun and hunting bag
on my left shoulder like a hunter. They were
asking from one another that -- Is this a
young lady huntress?
YL n NE were following
B E followed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 32
aspect Incompletive
quote They were following us along and they were
looking at me with great wonder when they
saw that I put the gun and hunting bag on my
left shoulder like a hunter. They were asking
from one another that -- Is this a young lady
huntress?
YL n NE were looking
B E kept looking
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 32
aspect Incompletive
quote They were following us along and they were
looking at me with great wonder when they
saw that I put the gun and hunting bag on my
left shoulder like a hunter. They were
asking from one another that -- Is this a
young lady huntress?
YL n NE were asking
B E asked
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 32


200
Akindele, F. and Adegbite, W. (1992). The Sociology and Politics of English in
Nigeria: An Introduction. Ile-Ife: Debiyi-Iwa Publishers.
Amoran, O. (1986). Auxiliaries and Time Reference in Yoruba. Unpublished
M.A. Thesis, University of Florida.
Amuda, A. (1994). "Yoruba/English Conversational Code-switching as a
Conversational Strategy." In African Languages and Cultures, Vol. 7, no.
1, pp. 121-131.
Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined Communities. New York: Verso.
Ansre, G. (1971). "The Influence of English on West African Languages." In J.
Spencer (Ed.). The English Language in West Africa. London: Longman
Group Ltd., pp. 145-164.
Appiah K.A. & Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Eds.) (1999). Africana: The Encyclopedia
of the African and African American Experience. USA: Basic Civitas
Books.
Asante, M. (1990). "African Elements in African-American English." In Joseph
E. Holloway (Ed.). Africanisms in American Culture. Bloomington:
Indiana University Press.
Ashcroft, B. et al. (1989). The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in
Post-colonial Literatures. London: Roufledge.
Atoye, R. (1991). "Word Stress in Nigerian English," World Englishes Vol. 10, no.
1, pp. 1-6.
Awobuluyi, O. (1967). Studies in the Syntax of the Standard Yoruba Verb.
Ph.D. Thesis, Colombia University.
Awobuluyi, O. (1992). "Lexical Espansion in Yoruba: Techniques and
Principles." In L. O. Adewole (Ed.) Research in Yoruba Language and
Literature, no.2, 1992, pp. 14-30.
Awonusi, V.O. (1994). The Americanization of Nigerian English. In World
Englishes, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 75-82.
Awoyale, Yiwola (1974). Studies in the Syntax and Semantics of Yoruba
Nominalizations. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana
Champaigne.
Awoyale, Yiwola (1988). Complex Predicates and Verb Serialization. Lexcon
Project Working Papers 28, Cambridge, MA: MIT Center for Cognitive
Science.
Ayelaagbe, J. A. Sentential Complementative in Yoruba: A Syntactic and
Semantic Analysis. Unpublished, Undated M.A. Thesis. University of
Ibadan.
Balogun, I. O. (1980). "Varieties of English in Nigeria: Its Implications for
Developmental Reading." In JLAC Nov., 45-53.


34
the tradition of Bamgbose and others before him, as it treated YL from a tense
perspective, subdividing it into a dichotomy of future and non-future tenses
(p. 34).
Having briefly teased out some of the major inadequacies of some of the
earlier analyses before him, Amoran proceeds to present his own analysis. He
identifies what others had called future tense as aspect markers and the non
future as tense. He then divides the latter into stative and non-stative verbs, a
position that is not too far afield from that of Awobuluyis. According to the
formers analysis, stative verbs are inherently timeless while non-stative
ones, by their nature have a past interpretation. His examples of non-stative
verbs with a past interpretation includes the following
[25] O lo
He went.
[26] O r
He bought it. (p.35)
For stative verbs, he has these examples,
[28] O f ow
He wants money.
[29] Mo gb
I agree or agreed. (p.35)
One inconsistency I find with this analysis is that although Amoran
says that stative verbs are timeless, he still goes on to translate example [29] as
present or past. Definitely I agreed is not timeless but rather a past event. I
believe it is much safer to call the unmarked aspect the completive aspect (my
interpretation) because calling it a past tense generates some other problems
For example, I wonder how Amoran would translate Mo r i (I see
her/him/it). If we follow Amorans analysis, it should be translated as a past


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief historical and linguistic
background to Yorub--the people and the language--and Nigerian English
(NE). It answers the following pertinent questions: who are the Yorb? (§1.1);
what does the Yorub language look like? (§1.2); how did the English language
get into Nigeria and Yorbland in particular? and finally, how do both
languages interact within the linguistic and socio-cultural environment in
which they co-exist? (§1.3). The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of
the major themes of subsequent chapters.
1.1 The Yorb People
The Yorb are a group of people whose identity is linked by common
origins: a common ancestry to Odduw; a common language Yorb; and a
common historical link to the ancient city of li-If as cultural and spiritual
headquarters and cradle of the race (cf. Ajani 1998: 12-13). All the groups of
people who consider themselves as Yorb also identify themselves by these
three common bonds. Apart from ancestry and language, all Yorb peoples
also share a great similarity in culture and religious background.
Today most of the Yorb occupy southwestern Nigeria. Smaller
communities exist in the neighboring republics of Benin and Togo to the west.
Yorbland thus encompasses three different nations, with different modern
histories. Benin and Togo, for example, were colonized by the French, while
Nigeria was colonized by the British during the colonial period. Thus we find
1


73
INCEPTIVE, y ma and the HABITUAL, ma n and those that do are five: the
BACKGROUNDER y ti, the EXPECTIVE y ti ma, the MANIFESTIVE ti ma,
the ANTECEDENT COMPLETION ti ma n and the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE ti n. In
the next two subsections, I will be examining these two subcategories of the
complex aspects.
2.3.3.8.1 Complex Aspects Involving the RELATIONAL Aspect
The complex aspects involving the relational aspect are as follows: the
BACKGROUNDER (Intentional + Relational), the EXPECTIVE (Intentional +
Relational + Anticipative), the MANIFESTIVE (Relational + Anticipative),
the ANTECEDENT COMPLETION (Relational + Anticipative + Incompletive) and
the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE (Relational + Incompletive). These complex
constructions are found primarily in complex sentences and generally
require the use of the preposition ki (before) and the verbal particle t (be
enough, be sufficient, be adequate, etc.), a clear indication that all the simple
aspects that make up these complex aspects must relate to one another as well
as relate the various component events or activities of the sentence/other
clauses to each other. In the next few sections I will be illustrating how the
relational aspect operates in the context of these complex sentences.
2,3.3.8.1.1 The Backgrounder: Intentional + RELATIONAL
The backgrounder (See section 2.3.3.1 for more details) combines the
RELATIONAL with the intentional aspects. Examples (87-88) show how this
combination operates in syntax.
(87) Emi y ti sun k o t d
IpS INT + RELAT sleep before 2pS PART arrive
T definitely will have slept before you return.


137
One of the main purposes of my analysis has been to provide a more
rigorous, comprehensive and exhaustive list of Yoruba aspects and their
combinatorial possibilities in the language. I have also attempted to answer
Bolorunduros lingering question about Bamgboses classification of Yoruba
tenses into simple without a corresponding complex tense. The latters
question was that if there is a simple tense, shouldnt there also be a complex
tense? My analysis of Yoruba aspect into simple and complex aspects, I believe,
answers that question, albeit in a different way from previously attempted
efforts to answer that question. While Bamgboses analysis identifies Yoruba as
a tense language, mine calls for an aspect-oriented approach to the language.
The nagging problem with Yoruba grammatical analysis is that it has been
approached from the perspective of the English language, which in turn has
given rise to the deficit hypothesis syndrome that has plagued most attempts at
a more independent analysis of the language. In this study, I have made a
concerted effort to look at Yoruba for what it is: Yoruba (and not English or
any other language for that matter). I believe that Yoruba, like any other
language, should be seen as a complete system within itself and be anaylzed as
such, rather than compared, favorably or unfavorably, to another language.
To me, this is the only path to a fair, just and honest grammatical analysis of
any language.
In Chapter 3, my analysis of Tutuolas English is intended to show how
other languages, and Yoruba specifically, have affected and continue to affect
the way English is being described and used around the globe. In order to
demonstrate how Yoruba has contributed to how English is used, judged and
perceived in the Nigerian environment, however, I needed to, by necessity,
give a brief analysis of the Yoruba language as a linguistic system on its own
merit, and this is what I did in the chapters prior to this one.


52
Examples (19-20) above are ungrammatical because the intentional
aspect y selects the regular pronoun mo and wn\ which cannot cooccur
with the intentional. A table of the two types of subject pronoun in YL is also
given below.
IMLLl
Person
Number
Pronoun Type
Pronoun Type
F.mnhatic
1st
Singular
mo
mi
2nd
0
iwo
3rd

un
1st
Plural
a
wa
2nd
e
yin
3rd
won
won
The above table shows clearly that YL pronouns are marked for both
person (1st, 2nd & 3rd) and number (singular & plural) but not for gender. The
third person of both singular and plural could refer to either female or male,
human or non-human. Thus the third person singular could mean any of
she, he or it. For every form of the regular pronoun there is a corresponding
emphatic pronoun. In fact, a closer scrutiny reveals that the regular forms
might have been derived from the emphatic or pronominal forms. This is
probably why linguists like Ogunbowale (1970) prefer to call the regular
pronouns short forms and the emphatic as full forms, suggesting that the
shorter forms must have been derived from the longer or full forms.
Bamgbose (1967) sees the emphatic pronouns as a noun which
resembles a pronoun (p. 11) and refers to them as pronominals, making


124
Similarly, Tutuolas were doing and was doing in (55) and (56)
respectively, are a transfer of the YI habitual aspect ma n (55b, 56b). All of
the examples involve activities that took place continuously over a period of
time before the present. They were habitual events. Thus Tutuola is more
concerned about the internal consistency of the activities rather than in the
time of their performance.
(55) I was seven years old before I understood the meaning of bad
and good, because it was at that time I noticed carefully that my father
married three wives as they were doing in those days, if it is not
common nowadays (Appendix: 38).
(55b) bb mi iyw mta b wn se ma se ly tij
father my marry wife three as PLU.do HABIT, do in-world old
my father had married three wives as they used to do in days
gone by/as the practice was in those days
(56) Immediately I held the cudgel and I was expecting him to come
down as he was doing before. A few minutes after that he did not hear
the sound of my shakabullah gun again, he flew down (Appendix: 43).
(56b) mo n ret p ma sokal w b se ma n
IpS INCOM. hope that 3pS ANTI, descend come as 3pS do HBIT.
se t$l$.
do before
T was expecting him to come down as he used to do before.
Contexts Requiring the Past Simple Tense in BE
Examples (57) through (59) provide instances of contexts in which BE
would have required the past simple or past historic tense. Once again, Tutuola
transfers the YL habitual aspect to derive the past continuous tense which is
perfectly within the range of coverage of the former. The logic is simple: the
activities took place in the past, thus the past tense forms witnessed in the
auxiliary verb were. The activities were habitual, thus incompletive, so we
have the -ing endings in the main verbs (assembling, coming, making). In
Tutuolas mind, the BE verbs, met, assembled (57b), came (58b), made (59b), are
too finite and punctual and do not do justice to the incompleteness and


141
bear, by necessity, the burden of his experiences. I believe that Tutuola has
achieved the purpose for which he wrote. Evidence for this is seen in the fact
that his works continue to attract followers and admirers around the world, as
he continues to be re-discovered and discovered in places where he had been
hitherto unknown. Several years after his death, many still continue to
reclaim him as their own. To borrow the age-old biblical saying, it can be
safely said of Tutuola too that he being dead yet speaketh.
My hope is that this effort will encourage similar researches into other
areas of Tutuolas English and bring the findings to the awareness of those
who might wish to study his works. Such analyses shoud help to elucidate the
mans vision and thus his mission. Such knowledge should help in reducing
the hostility towards Tutuolas works that one often finds among Nigerian
critics. If the present work has helped in some way to take one necessary step
towards a better understanding and appreciation of Tutuola, then his work will
not have been in vain.
4.2 Implications of the Study
The implications of this study are several and far-reaching. Foremost is
the implication for a theory of grammar. It has been the contention of
linguistic science for decades now that every language is a self-sufficient
system and can be used to express all of the experiences, hopes and aspirations
of its speakers as well as new experiences that may present themselves. Earlier
grammarians have tended to look at Yoruba from the perspective of English
and the direct effect of that view was grammars based on the English
language, all of which have proved inadequate for a proper and adequate
analysis of Yoruba. In chapter two I proposed a strictly aspect-based analysis
of the Yoruba language as a means of accounting more accurately for many of


139
allow the fear of not writing or speaking correct grammar to dissuade him
from leaving a legacy for the next generation. Rather than see in EL a
handicap, he saw in it a tool, a powerful tool, to communicate the passion of his
life to posterity.
In these days when some educators and language teachers are more
interested in grammatical accuracy, people like Tutuola continue to remind us
that the communication of ideas is far more important than grammatical
correctness. Of course, this is not to encourage a deliberate mutilation of
grammatical structures, but rather to put things into a perspective that places
more emphasis on communicative competence than on grammatical
competence. It is this dimension, this balance, that linguistics and, especially
the sub-field of sociolinguistics has sought to bring to language education in
recent decades by its emphasis on language in use, in society. By this, it
recognizes the chief purpose of language: to communicate, and not just to be
able to produce correct sentences. Communication is far more complex than
just the ability to put words and phrases together in a perfect sequence. In
fact, so strong is the stance of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA)--the
highest linguistic body in the United States-on this matter that it boldly issued
a statement of position during the highly publicized and polarized debate on
the Oakland Ebonics issue affirming the legitimacy of Ebonics as a coherent
linguistic system. Tutuola and his like continue to remind us that a person with
a message should not be at the mercy of those who have assumed authority
over grammatical correctness. The message must not be at the mercy of the
medium. A person with a message should not be stifled; that message should be
heard, its communication enhanced.
Tutuola was a man with a message, a universal message, and he did not
allow any form of distractions to deter him from giving his message to the


174
aspect Incompletive
quote He always held one heavy cudgel which had a
very big round head. And as he was talking to
me it was so he was looking at the big round
head of this cudgel and after a few minutes he
would glance at my own head, and this
showed me that he was thinking in mind that
he was eoinp to beat mv head with this
YL n NE was looking
BE kept looking
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 51
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote But it was a great surprise to him when he
saw that my body did not even touch the rock
before I stood upright and I was telling him
loudly Cat never touch the ground with its
back whenever it falls! When he was
hearing what I was saying repeatedly he
became more anerv and he ran to me and
YL
n
NE was hearing
BE
heard
book title BAH
page 53
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote After I travelled in this jungle for a few
minutes the great fears, wonders, and
uncountable of undescriptive strange things,
which I was seeing here and there were
stopped me by force.
YL n NE was seeing
B E kept seeing
book title BAH
page 55
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote I sat on one of its branches and as it was a
leafy tree therefore these leaves were
covered me and I peeped out very seriously as
when an offender peeped out from the small
window of his cell. Then I was looking at
these handiworks of God with great wonder.
YL
n
N E was looking
BE
looked
book title BAH
page 55


131
Contexts Requiring the Past Simple in BE
Two examples from the data fall into this category and these are given
below. In both cases Tutuola uses the past continuous tense, as with the two
examples already discussed above.
(75) His arms were very long and thick. He had a big half fall goitre
on his neck and he had a very big beHy which, whenever he was
going or running along, would be shaking here and there and
sounding heavily (Appendix: 50).
(75b) igbkgb t b ti lo
whenever that 3pS would REL.-INCEP. go
whenever he went
(76) We first wrestled for about fifteen minutes. And each time that he
was flinging me away with great anger, to his surprise, I was
standing up and gripping him before my feet were touching the ground
(Appendix: 50).
(76b) gbogbo igb t ti n j mi n
all time that 3pSObj. REL.-INCEP. throw IpSObj. lost
each time that he flung me away
It is quite understandable why Tutuola would revert to the past
continuous tense of EL to translate the YL relevant-inceptive aspect. Like the
continuous tense of EL, there is an element of incompletion involved in the
relevant-inceptive aspect as it describes an activity or event that has a
starting point in the past but still has relevance into the moment of speech. It
S'
is therefore quite logical that Tutuola would use the past continuous tense of EL
to render these expressions in NE. Although BE would require two different
tenses in these instances, as the data demonstrates, in YL the same aspect is
adequate to cover the ideas conveyed by these two tenses.
In conclusion, since the YL aspects transferred (especially the
incompletive and habitual) have narrative functiona function that is very
conducive to story tellingTutuola appears to have capitalized on these, thus
using them to translate several EL tenses. Tutuola himself being a story-teller


23
The third phase in this evolution extends from the period of self-
determination (i.e. independence) until the present. During this phase, most of
the stabilizing effort was carried out by Nigerians trained in the UK. Many
Nigerians had already been trained as teachers by this time, and it was mostly
these British-trained women and men who began to do most of the teaching in
the classrooms of Nigeria. It is interesting to note here that these indigenous
teachers were adults who already spoke several Nigerian languages before
they began to learn English. They could therefore not have had native-like
accents and could probably not be considered as perfect bililnguals. The
English they spoke and taught in the schools was definitely not the English
spoken by the monolingual British person. Most of it would have been colored
by the native languages that they were already proficient in before they set
their foot in the classrooms of England. If SNE developed from these
circumstances, it is therefore obvious that SNE cannot by any standards be the
same as the so-called Queens English (See Ajani 1995, 1996) spoken by the
English people. This is not to imply that it was or is inferior, but rather that it
is different because it has been shaped by its environment. It must have
acquired a lot of indigenous flavor. It must be a localized form of English,
tailored to the needs of the Nigerian populace as well as influenced by the
languages with which it coexisted, or better said, was in competition with. And
I dont use the word competition lightly here, because until the post
independence period when nationalistic and forward-looking Nigerian leaders
decided to systematically implement a new language policy for the nation, it
was a major crime in the schools for any Nigerian child to speak her or his
mother tongue. There was therefore a calculated attempt by the colonialists to
stamp out the indigenous languages in favor of the English tongue. I can still
remember a lot of us being severely flogged during our elementary and high


66
aspects. Whereas with the backgrounder aspect (Section 2.3.3.1) the subject of
the main clause intends to have completed the job at hand prior to the arrival
of the subject of the subordinate clause, with the expective, she expects to have
begun working prior to and would still be working when the subject of the
second clause arrives on the scene. Thus, the work would have begun
sometime before the arrival of the second person and would still be continuing
and be ongoing while she arrives. Thus, whereas the backgrounder deals with
an event that would have begun and have been completed before another
event, the expective deals with an event that would have begun and would still
be ongoing before a second event takes place. It should be observed that
because of their basic differences, the EL translations provided below, being
an attempt to capture the meaning of the YL combinations, may not
necessarily to sound grammatical.
(67) Emi y ti ma si$ k o t d
I EXPECTIVE work before 2pS PART arrive
T will have/expect to have started working before you arrive.'
(68) Iwo y ti ma kw k a t j.
2pS EXPECTIVE read before IpP PART wake up
'You will have been reading before we wake up.'
(69) Eyin y ti ma gbl k a t $etn.
2pP EXPECTIVE sweep before we PART finish
'You will have been sweeping before we finish.
2.3.3.3. Inceptive; Intentional/Decisive + Anticipative
The INCEPTIVE aspect is one of the important highlights of my analysis
of YL aspectual categories, in that the two simple aspects that make up this
complex aspect have been analyzed by almost all previous YL linguists as one
and the same, whether they were classified as tenses (as in Bamgbose 1966,
1967; Ogunbowale 1970) or as aspects (as in Amoran 1986). The fact that both
aspects can combine to form a complex aspect is a clear indication that both


189
aspect Relational
author Tutuola
quote As I was looking for this boa constrictor it
was so I was killing all the wild animals
which I was seeing on the way. And in a few
days time I killed the whole of them.
book title BAH
page 69
YL ti NE killed
B E had killed
aspect Habitual
quote So when I believed that it would help me in
future I wrapped it with the skin of animal
and I kept it in my hunting bag. As from that
day I was using it in the night as my light
and I was wearing it on on the head
whenever I was hunting. So this wonderful
head became a verv useful thine at last.
YL maa n NE was using
B E have used
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 70
aspect Habitual
quote So when I believed that it would help me in
future I wrapped it with the skin of animal
and I kept it in my hunting bag. As from that
day I was using it in the night as my light and
I was wearing it on on the head whenever I
was hunting. So this wonderful head became
a verv useful thine at last.
YL maa n NE was wearing
B E have worn
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 70
aspect Incompletive
quote So when I believed that it would help me in
future I wrapped it with the skin of animal
and I kept it in my hunting bag. As from that
day I was using it in the night as my light and
I was wearing it on on the head whenever I
was hunting. So this wonderful head
became a verv useful thine at last.
YL n NE was hunting
BE went hunting
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 70


95
Tutuola has been quoted as saying that I met my father and mother as
Christians (Tutuola 1984: 182). Thelwell believes that it is this conflicting
religious background that must have influenced Tutuolas decision to change
his name from Oltbsn (his given name, meaning wealth or honor is still
increasing) to Amos (most probably his baptismal name), a name reminiscent
of the biblical fiery prophet of righteousness in the Jewish Old Testament.
Changing his last name from Odgbm (his family name, bearing loyalty to
the deity, Ogn) to Ttol, his fathers given name (meaning fresh wealth,
and with no religious connotations) is reminiscent and indicative of the then
Christian missionary practise of asking their adherents to expunge from their
names any references or allusions to African deities. This is how Oltbsn
Odgbm became Amos Ttol, the name by which Tutuola is now known and
recognized around the world. In this name lies the history of Tutuolas
transformation as well as an important key to understanding his works, works
that mix Yoruba beliefs and cosmology with Christian beliefs and western
technology and transfer underlying Yoruba linguistic structures into English
to produce writings that appeal to both Yoruba and English speakers alike.
As one of several children in a large family, Tutuola had a rough time
growing up, especially with regard to his academic upbringing. As a
struggling cocoa farmer, his father could not afford the luxury of sending him
to school, at least not without some help from the extended family. His fathers
meagre income from cocoa farming was not sufficient to take care of his large
family and send all the children to school. Although cocoa was a major cash
crop, most of the profit that came from it went, unfortunately, to the colonial
authority and the few middle men that it had created and very little to the
hardworking farmers who owned the land and did most of the work. Thus, his
father struggled financially and was able, with some help, only to put Tutuola


127
conveyed in the given contexts but BE calls for the use of present simple form
of the verb, preceded by a modal.
(62) After that he would go and tap another 75 kegs in the evening
which I would be drinking till morning (Appendix: 47)
(62b) nrol t mo ma mu tt drQ
in+evening which IpS ANTI, drink until become+morning
in the evening which I would drink until day break
(63) By 4 oclock in the evening, the market would close for that day
and then everybody would be returning to his or her destination or
to where he or she came from (Appendix: 47).
(63b) lhin n gbogbo niyn ma pad s ibd won
after that all people ANTI, return to place 3pPObj.
afterwards everybody would return to their destinations
(64) As I was following them to the river, they were telling me that I
should be talking to them very softly because if Odara the giant
like or cyclops-like creature as I could describe him and who was the
owner of this semi-jungle, heard my voice or any one else, would come
out and kill us (Appendix: 47).
(64) wn n so fn mi p k n ma b won sor
3pP INCOM. teil give me that should I ANTI, with 3pPObj. talk
they were telling me that I should talk to them
Contexts Requiring the Present Simple Tense in BE
In the following examples, Tutuola uses the form "to be + -ing" to
translate the YL "lti (to/in order to) + ma (anticipative)" in contexts where
BE calls for the infinitival form "to + verb".
(65) And also the mosquitoes which were as big as flies did not let me
rest once till the morning, but I had no hands to be driving
them away from my body (Appendix: 47)
(65b) sugbn mi ni ow lti ma l wq>n
but IpS NEG. have hand to ANTI, with chase 3pPObj.
'but I didn't have any hands (with which) to drive them away'
(66) After I ate the porcupine to my satisfaction, I began to think in
mind whether to kill the whole of the wild animals first... or to be
looking for where the pigmies were living in this jungle first before I
would come back to kill those wild animals (Appendix: 48).


176
aspect Incompletive
quote When I sat on the branch of this tree and I
did not see any living creature to move or
walk about by that time and as the jungle was
as calm as if there were none living
creatures, then I was enjoying the peaceful
cool breeze which my cerator was sending to
me.
YL n NE was enjoying
BE enjoyed
author Tutuola
book title 6AH
page 56
aspect Incompletive
quote As this thick smoke was rushing out in
large quantity it was so the sweet smell of
food was rushing out as well and this showed
me that many of the pigmies who were the
inhabitants and owners of this jungle were
living under the ground.
YL n NE was rushing
B E rushed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 56
aspect Incompletive
quote As this thick smoke was rushing out in large
quantity it was so the sweet smell of food was
rushing out as well and this showed me that
many of the pigmies who were the
inhabitants and owners of this jungle were
living under the ground.
YL n NE was rushing
BE rushed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 56
aspect Incompletive
quote As this thick smoke was rushing out in large
quantity it was so the sweet smell of food was
rushing out as well and this showed me that
many of the pigmies who were the
inhabitants and owners of this jungle were
living under the ground.
YL n NE were living
B E lived
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 57


190
aspect Relational
quote Of course I saw several small animals on my
way coming to these rocks but I did not
attempt to kill any one of them for my food
because I had tired of eating animals every
day, for I did not see another thing to eat
since when I had entered this jungle.
YL ti NE had entered
B E entered
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 73
aspect Incompletive
quote In my dreams, all these terrible images, etc.,
were chasing me about to kill. It was so they
were troubling me until one of them which
was the skeletons of a giant caught me and as
he wanted to stab me at belly, so I woke with
great fear...
YL n NE were troubling
BE kept troubling
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 73
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote When I woke up I went to the spot where
there were plenty of wild grasses. As I
believed that these kind of grasses were
always holding the dew which was falling
down from the sky in the night.
book title BAH
page 73
YL maa n NE were always holding
B E always held
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote When I woke up I went to the spot where
there were plenty of wild grasses. As I
believed that these kind of grasses were
always holding the dew which was falling
down from the sky in the night.
book title BAH
page 73
YL maan NE was falling
BE fell


106
In 1983 Tutuola received three awards: USIA International Visitor
Program, Fellow of the Iowa Writing Workshop, and an Honorary Citizenship
of New Orleans. The following year he received the Grimzane and Cavour Prize
in Italy. In 1989 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Modern Language
Association and in 1992 he was designated Noble Patron of the Arts by the Pan-
African Writers Association, in recognition of his contribution to the African
literary world. Three years later, in 1996, he received a Special Fellowship
Award form the Oyo State Chapter of the National League of Veteran
Journalists. Delivering an eulogy following his death in 1997, Cyprian Ekwensi
recommended, among other things, that an Amos Tutuola Prize for Literature
be established by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a well-deserving
honor for the hardy literary pioneer.
Throughout his life and long career, Tutuola saw himself as a folklorist
whose life ambition was to preserve Yoruba culture. He had always been
fascinated by the folklore of his people and spent the rest of his life trying to
preserve this legacy for generations to come. He had spent a lot of time with
wise elders among his people, learning from them as they told their stories of
days gone by. This way, he himself acquired the knack for story telling. Here,
in his own words, is how he became the good storyteller that he later became:
[In school] we used to tell folktales to our schoolmates and teachers.
Each time we got our holiday, I used to go to my people in the village.
There was no radio or television, but our source of amusement was to tell
forktales after dinner. I used to listen to old people and the folktales
they told. Each time I returned to school, I told the story to other
schoolmates and I became a very good storyteller. They used to give me
presents for telling incredible folktales. (West Africa 1997:1268, my
emphasis).
A Yoruba proverb readily captures the experience Tutuola describes
above: Those who know how to wash their hands properly could eat with the
elders (i.e. if you humble yourself before the elders and conduct yourself


Explanation of Glossary
YL
Yoruba language
YSL
Yoruba as a second language
YVP
Yoruba verb phrase
IpP
first person plural
IpS
first person singular
2pP
second person plural
2pS
second person singular
3pP
third person plural
3pS
third person singular
X


118
reason for this is not far fetched, in YL the verb is not inflected for tense and
the aspect markers do not point to any specific time frame. It is therefore easy
for the YL speaker of EL to transfer this linguistic habit into EL. A YL
translation of the clause containing this verb form will further clarify my
point.
(34b) p mo n w admuu mi
that IpS INCOM. looking for palm-wine tapper IpSObj
that I am/was looking for my palm-wine tapper.
The aspect/verb combination ri w could be translated either as am
looking for or was looking for since the aspect marker ri does not have
any time indication. Although, in the data, the context calls for a past time
frame, Tutuola still uses a present time frame anyhow. This type of transfer is
very unconscious for YL speakers who also unconsciously use the feminine
and masculine forms of the third person EL subject pronouns she and he
often indiscriminately. I have caught myself doing this many a time already
and I have caught many a Yoruba speaker of EL, including the most educated
and sophisticated, doing this at various times. Some have even attempted to
deny doing so although caught red handed. The reason for this subconscious
transfer is not far fetched either; in YL, the third person singular subject
pronoun is not inflected for gender nor is it differentiated for humanness, as
is the case in EL. In fact there is only one marker for the semantic fields
covered by EL she, he and it. It is the pronoun . This pronoun is used for
both humans and non-humans, female or male. Thus ti d could mean
either of She is here, He is here or It is here.


186
aspect Incompletive
quote The teeth of his mouth were so plenty and
long that whenever he was eating a person
who was in two miles away would be hearing
the noises which they were making.
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 66
YL n NE were making
BE made
aspect Incompletive
quote Even as the teeth and the horns of his mouth
and head were so fearful many of the wild
animals who saw him when he was coming
to kill them with all these things were dying
for themselves before he would reach them
instead to kill them with his teeth and horns,
because thev were too fearful to them.
YL n NE was coming
BE came
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 66
aspect Incompletive
quote Even as the teeth and the horns of his mouth
and head were so fearful many of the wild
animals who saw him when he was coming to
kill them with all these things were dying
for themselves before he would reach them
instead to kill them with his teeth and horns,
because thev were too fearful to them.
YL n NE were dying
BE died
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 66
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote The powerful light that these eyes were
bringing out could not go far or straight but
they were bringing out the clear and round
light. The ray of this light was always round
him and it could be seen clearly from a long
distance.
book title BAH
page 66
YL n NE were bringing
BE brought


146
of the so-called non-native varieties of English must come to grips with the
reality of change in norms and models in those places where English has
acquired new life and flavor in new contexts and environments. The
implications of this will also reverberate in the areas of ESL teaching
materials, methodology as well as in language testing and evaluation. Just as
the British model cannot be the model taught in American classrooms, neither
should it be the sole model used for teaching English in Nigeria. This is
actually a very sensitive issue in ESL teaching in Nigeria today. Here English
teachers who do not themselves speak the British model of English
nevertheless still expect their students to speak like the British. Since this is
practically impossible, a lot of students receive bad grades in English, which
consequently impedes their academic progress and educational attainment
since English is still the language of academic and social mobility in the
country.
A further understanding of the relationship between the two or more
languages spoken by students in developing countries will make it apparent
that there is a need for a revision of outmoded English curricula and syllabi
throughout the nation. What I am proposing here is that, along with the
current texts used as models of English in the country, stories by Tutuola and
his likes should also be read.
It is not a secret that the English used in Nigeria today is no longer the
English that the Christian missionaries and British colonial authorities
brought into the region during the early years of the nineteenth century. The
very face of English has changed a lot since then, whether in Nigeria or in its
original homeland of Britain. It is a well established linguistic fact than
languages change with time, and Nigerian English is clearly no exception. ESL


CHAPTER 4
CONCLUSION
This final chapter consists of two parts: a brief summation of the issues
discussed in the main body of the dissertation, and a consideration of possible
implications for linguistic theory, second language pedagogy and literary
criticism as they relate to the new Englishes and Nigerian English.
4,i.s.mnmacy
This entire dissertation is the result of a brief meeting with Amos
Tutuola a little over twenty years ago. He had, I immediately noticed, a peculiar
way of using the English language that was both fascinating and interesting.
As a young freshman, sitting in a literature in English class and listening
attentively to a humble looking, softspoken, and scantily educated elderly
Yorubaman garbed in a simple Yoruba native attire of bb and skt tell
folktales to us well educated (or at least, so we believed) university students,
I found his language was absolutely intriguing. As a Yoruba person myself, I
could readily identify with some of his stories but there was something about
the way he spoke English that captured my undivided attention. I knew some
of his sentences were grammatically incorrect while some of his
expressions were outright unacceptable to our English-educated minds, which
had given us rules for speaking correct English. This notwithstanding, I was
still able to follow, understand, and even identify with his story. But this
wasnt too strange after all. Tutuolas story readily struck a chord within me.
Although linguistically I couldnt make much sense of what really was going
133


75
(89) Emi y ti ma w k e t d Qhn.
IpS INT+REI.AT+ANTI bathe before 2pP PART arrive there
T surely will have started bathing before you get there.
(90) Eyin y ti ma kaw k a t pad d.
2pP INT+REI.AT+ANTI read before IpP PART return
You definitely will have begun reading before we return.
Once again, we see in the above examples all of the common elements we
found in the backgrounder: ki and t, and both of them playing important
roles in the two clauses that make up the sentences. Again, the relationship
between the main and subordinate clauses is signaled in the main clause by
t, the relational aspect marker and established firmly by the preposition,
ki in the subordinate clause.
2.3.3.8.1.3 The Manifestive: RELATIONAL + Anticipative
Third in the series of complex aspects incorporating the relational is
the manifestive (cf. 2.3.3.4) which combines the RELATIONAL and the
anticipative aspects. Examples (91-92) reveal the internal workings of this
complex aspect. Here, as in the two aspects treated above, it is the relational ti
which establishes the foundation of the relationship between the two clauses
that make up the manifestive. The preposition ki in the subordinate clause
only serves to strengthen this bond already signaled by ti in the main clause.
(91) Wn ti ma §ise lo k t d Ek.
2pP RELAT+ANTI work go before IpP PART reach Lagos
'They will be busy at work by the time we get to Lagos.'
(92) Wn ti ma mura lowo k t dl.
2pP RELAT +ANTI get ready before IpP PART reach+home
'They will be busy getting ready before we get home.
2.3.3.8.1.4 Antecedent Completion: RELATIONAL + Anticipative + Incompletive


28
the subject. This prepares the way for a detailed analysis of Amos Tutuolas
English in Chapter 3. In Chapter 4,1 summarize some of the salient issues
involved in this study of aspect in Yoruba and Nigerian English and suggest
certain implications of this study for both English and Yorub, both as they
relate to theories of grammar and literary criticism and to teaching English
(ESL) and Yorub (YSL) as second languages.


84
and die incompletive n. In line (117) we have an example of the expective
y ti ma, a combination of the intentional y, the incompletive ti and
the anticipative ma. This is an example of three simple aspects co-occuring
to derive a complex aspect. In line (119) the suppositional ma and the
incompletive n combine to derive the habitual complex aspect, ma n.
2.4.6 Relevant-Inceptive ti ri
The relevant-inceptive aspect occurs twice in text B, Unes (114) and
(115). In both instances of its occurence, it refers to an action that has begun
and still is in progress.
(120) A ti n mra s$ byi.
IpP RELEV-INCEP prepare down now
We are getting ready/getting prepared now.
(121) A ti n ra won $bun...
IpP RELEV-INCEP buy PLURAL gift
We have been (busy) buying gifts...
2.4.7 Expective v ti ma
The expective occurs in line (117) in the text. It is practically self
defining in the context in which it appears, as it is immediately followed by
the verb ret (expect). It describes the state of mind of the people looking
forward to the arrival of the speaker and to the gifts that they will receive.
They are expectant.
(122) Gbogbo wQn y ti ma ret wa...
All 3pP EXPECTIVE expect IpP
They will all be expecting us...
2.4.8 Habitual ma ri
The habitual occurs in line (119). In that context, it describes an activity
that takes place all the time. There is therefore a timelessness to it. It describes


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fulh
scope and quality, as a dissertation for
I certify that I havexiad this^tudy ana that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Marie Nelson
Professor of Linguistics
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
sagrande
sor of Linguistics
I certify that I have read this st/dv^nd that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Diana Boxer
Associate Professor of Linguistics
I certify that 1 have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in
scope and quality, as a dissertation for tlrevdegree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Peter FL Schmidt
Professor of Anthropology
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Program
in Linguistics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate
School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
May 2001
Dean, Graduate School


167
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote When Odara came nearer all the hills and
trees were shaking, his voice was hearing
all over the jungle.
book title BAH
page 27
YL n NE was hearing
B E heard
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote And as he was still shouting greatly I saw him
clearly. He was too terrible indeed to be seen
for a human being, and I feared him so much
that I did not know when I opened my mouth
and the spit was dropping down.
book title BAH
page 27
YL n NE was dropping
B E began to droop
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As he was chasing us along it was so he was
throwing his cudgels to us repeatedly until
we came to the road that which went along to
those hunters town.
book title BAH
page 30
YL n NE was chasing
B E chased
aspect Habitual
quote But as it was only one slender stick was put
across the river with which the people of the
town were crossing it so after we crossed it
to the second side and when Odara walked
on this slender stick to the middle of the river
with greediness.
YL maan NE were crossing
B E crossed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 31


54
(25)
EMI
lQ
si
il-iw,
IpS EMPH
go
DIREC
school
I indeed did go to school.
(26)
TWO
lo
si
il-iw.
2pS
go
DIREC
school
'You indeed did go to school.'
2.3.1.5Relational Aspect + Regular Pronoun
In the following two examples, the relational aspect ti occurs with the
third and second person regular pronouns Won and E respectively.
(27) HOV ti lo s il-iw.
3pP RELAT go DIREC. school
'They have gone to school.'
(28) E ti 1q s il-iw.
2pP RELAT go DIREC school
'You have gone to school.'
2.3.1.6Relational Aspect + Emphatic Pronoun
In examples (29-30) we have the emphatic forms of the pronouns in
(27-28) above, an indication that the relational aspect can cooccur with either
forms of the pronouns, the only difference being the emphasis that the latter
add to the statements through the use of the pronominals or emphatics.
(29) AWON ti lo s il-iw.
3pP EMPH RELAT go DIREC school
'They indeed have gone to school.'
(30) EYIN ti 1q s il-iw.
2pP EMPH RELAT go DIREC school
'I indeed have gone to school.'
2.3.1.7Habitual Aspect + Regular Pronoun
In (31) the habitual aspect occurs with the second person singular
regular pronoun o while in (32) it occurs with the third person plural
regular pronoun won.


160
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote As from that time he was going to hunt in
this jungle regularly. But he was still in great
sorrow because as he was going there he did
not see any trace of his sons at all.
book title BAH
page 12
YL maa n NE was going to hunt
BE went
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As from that time he was going to hunt in this
jungle regularly. But he was still in great
sorrow because as he was going there he did
not see any trace of his sons at all.
book title BAH
page 12
YL n NE was going
BE went
aspect Incompletive
quote So since that day he bacame a farmer. He was
planting his food as yam, cassava, corn,
pepper, etc. But as he was the head of all the
hunters who were always coming to his house
for advices about the wild animals, dangerous
creatures, etc.
YL n NE was planting
B E planted
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 14
aspect Habitual
quote So since that day he bacame a farmer. He was
planting his food as yam, cassava, corn,
pepper, etc. But as he was the head of all the
hunters who were always coming to his
house for advices about the wild animals,
dangerous creatures, etc.
YL maa n NE were always coming
B E always came
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 14


209
Tutuola, Amos (1952). The Palm-Wine Drinkard and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster
in the Deads Town. London: Faber; New York: Grove Press, 1953.
Tutuola, Amos (1954). My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. New York: Grove Press;
reprinted by London: Faber (1978).
Tutuola, Amos (1955). Simbi and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle. London: Faber.
Tutuola, Amos (1958). The Brave African Huntress. New York: Grove Press.
Tutuola, Amos (1962). Feather Woman of the Jungle. London: Faber.
Tutuola, Amos (1967). Ajaiyi and His Inherited Poverty. London: Faber.
Tutuola, Amos (1981). The Witch-Herbalist of the Remote Town. London: Faber.
Tutuola, Amos (1982). The Wild Hunter in the Bush of Ghosts. Washington, D.C.:
Three Continents Press.
Tutuola, Amos (1986). Yoruba Folktales. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.
Tutuola, Amos (1987). Pauper, Brawler, and Slanderer. London: Faber.
Tutuola, Amos (1990). The Village Witch Doctor and Other Stories. London:
Faber.
Ubahakwe, E. (1979). "Varieties and Functions of English in Nigeria." Journal
of the English Studies Association, 2:2,47-55.
Ufomata, T. (1991). "Englishization of Yoruba Phonology." World Englishes, Vol.
10, No. 1; Education and Development, Vol. 2, No. 1,1982, pp. 329-341.
UNESCO (1985). African Community Languages and their Use in Literacy and
Education. Dakar: UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Africa.
Viereck, W. and Bald, W. (Eds.) (1986). English in Contact with other Languages.
Budapest: Akademiai Kiado.
Vincent, T. (1974). "Registers in Achebe." JNESA. pp. 95-106.
Walsh, N. (1967). "Distinguishing Types and Varieties of English in Nigeria."
Journal of the Nigerian English Studies Association, 2:2,47-55.
Wardough, R. (1992). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Cambridge:
Blackwell.
Weinreich, U. (1953). Languages in Contact. Linguistic Circle of New York; The
Hague: Mouton.(1968).
Wierzbika, Anna (1994). "'Cultural Scripts': A New Approach to the Study of
Cross-cultural Communication." In Martin Putz (Ed.), 1994, pp. 69-87.
Wigwe, C. (1990). Language, Culture and Society in West Africa. Ems Court:
Arthur H. Stockwell Ltd.


116
In (31b), as in (30b), the idea Tutuola is translating into EL is the YL
incompletive r sr which could be conveniently rendered by the BE runs,
is running, ran, was running. To the YL speaker, the important thing here is
that the activity of running is incompletive, and this could be in the past or in
the present, if context so dictates. Again, since the context of usage
presupposes a past time frame, Tutuola uses the past form for the auxiliary
verb (was), but since the action is inconclusive, he renders the main verb in
the continuous form running.
(32b) won k nikan ni si n gb ib
PLUR. dead only be 3pS and INCOM.+ve there
and only the dead live/lived/are living/were living there
Example (32b) is similar to (30b) in that both use the same verbs. The
explanation is therefore the same in both instances. Here, as in (30b), Tutuola
is translating the YL n gb: live, lived, are living, were living. Again, the
context dictates an activity that took place before the present time; however, it
still was continuous during that time frame, thus Tutuolas justification for
using the past continuous form in EL.
(33b) won omo-d r mji t n t$l e
PLUR. attendants 3pS two who 3pS INCOM.+follow 3pSObj
two of his attendants who follow/followed/are
following/were following/keep following/kept
following him
Again, the YL ri tel could be rendered as any of the above. It could
translate the BE are following, were following; follow, followed; keep
following and kept following, context being the deciding factor in all cases.
Since Tutuola is narrating an event that has already taken place, once more,
he reverts to the past continuous form in EL. The past continuous giving a
sense of the past, but also capturing the YL sense of incompletion.


aspect Incompletive
179
quote Of course, I was woken very early in the
morning with great fear of the numerous
birds which were surrounded me and they
were crying repeatedly because I was
curious to them.
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 59
YL n NE were crying
B E cried
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote But to my fear these birds were still
following me and they were crying with
their loudest voices. I was running away from
them so that they might not suspect me to
those super-human creatures.
YL n NE were still following
B E still followed
book title BAH
page 59
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote But to my fear these birds were still following
me and they were crying with their loudest
voices. I was running away from them so that
they might not suspect me to those super
human creatures.
book title BAH
page 60
YL n NE were crying
B E cried
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote But to my fear these birds were still following
me and they were crying with their loudest
voices. I was running away from them so
that they might not suspect me to those
super-human creatures.
book title BAH
page 60
YL n NE was running
BE ran


18
Yes-no type questions are formed by placing either S, or Nj at the beginning
of the sentence or bi at the end:
(12)
S
o
ni
OW?
INTERROGATIVE PARTICLEyou
Do you have money?
have
money
(13)
Nj
o
ni
OW?
(14)
INTERROGATIVE PARTICLEyou
Do you have money?
0 ni ow bi?
have
money
You have money INTERROGATIVE PARTICLE
Do you have money?
Since NPs are head-initial (as discussed earlier), adjectives, determiners,
demonstratives and relative clauses appear post-nominally.
(15) li pupa
House red
Red house
(16) li n
House that
That house
(17) Ey$ t mo ri
Bird that I see
The bird (that) I saw.
One cannot bring this section on the structure of Yoruba to a close
without touching briefly on the subject of serial verbal constructions (SVC) in
the language. As is the case in many languages of the Kwa group, in Yoruba it
is possible for strings of VPs to appear one after the other without an
intervening conjunction or subordinator. SVCs are so common in Yoruba that
it is practically impossible to discuss the VP at any length without having to
address the issue of SVCs. In fact, they are one of the hallmarks of the VP in
Yoruba.


56
2.3.1.0 Antecedent Completion + Emphatic Pronoun
In sentences (37-38) the emphatic forms of the first and second person
plural regular pronouns (A and E) cooccur with the antecedent completion
aspect.
(37) AW A ti ma n lo s il-iw.
IpPEMPH ANTE COMP go DIREC school
'We (indeed) used to have gone to school.'
(38) EYIN timar 1q s il-iw.
2pP EMPH ANTE COMP go DIREC school
'You (indeed) used to have gone to school.'
The examples above indicate that although the intentional must of
necessity select the emphatic, the other aspect markers can select either the
regular pronoun forms or the emphatic forms (for purposes of emphasis). This
goes for both the simple (19-30) and complex (31-38) aspects, as the sentences
above amply illustrate.
2.3.2 The Simple Aspect Series
There are five identifiable simple aspects in YL: the completive aspect
which is unmarked, the incompletive n, the relational ti\ the anticipative
ma, and the intentional y. It is these simple aspects which combine in
their various forms to produce the complex aspects.
.3,2,1 The Completive Aspect (Unmarked)
The unmarked form of the verb indicates a completed action. Some
linguists (cf. Comrie 1976: 82) have sought to exclude stative verbs from this
aspect form by using a stative/active dichotomy, under the rubric of
perfective/imperfective opposition. In such analyses, active verbs (See
examples 39-41 below) are classified as having perfective meaning, while


110
the continuum of YL and NE. Whereas Soyinka had a college education and
even lived and worked in England for a while, Tutuolas entire formal
education lasted only six years and took place solely in Nigeria and Yorubaland
specifically. This explains why although both authors draw heavily from their
common backgound, Tutuolas NE is much closer to YL while Soyinkas is
rather closer to EL.
What I will be attempting to do here is show some of the ways that the
grammar of Tutuolas first language reveals itself in the way he wrote in
English. Using three of Tutuolas earliest narratives--The Palm-Wine Drinkard
(PWD), My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (LBG) and The Brave African Huntress
(BAH)-I will also attempt to show that what Tutuola did with his language is
neither strange, unusual nor unheard of. In fact, the systemacity we find in
the whole process is proof that it is not random, but rather rule-governed. It is
a normal occurence in any language contact situation, as many researches in
contact linguistics and especially second language acquisition (SLA) amply
attest. (Weinreich 1953, Nemser 1971, Selinker 1972, 1992; Corder 1978, Cook
1993, etc.) Kirk-Greene, in his article entitled The Influence of West African
Languages on English rightly observes that
The English used in West Africa reveals in varying degrees vernacular
influence? aiihe-marphologicah .syntactic and semantic levels; as well,
of course, as at the phonological level in spoken English. ...
[Characteristic deviations from standard English usage may be
ascribed to the influence exercised by a dominant West African
language...there mav result an English surface structure with a
vernacular deep structure-The sub-stratum syntax is there, and now
and, again it comes to .the surface-(spencer 1971:141,131,133, all
emphases mine)
Thus Spencer and several others mentioned earlier in this section have
correctly pointed out certain identifying features of West African and
Nigerian English, features at different levels of the grammar: syntactic,
morphological and semantic; phonological, stylistic, etc. Tutuolas works are


74
(88) Awa y ti jeun tn k e t lo.
IpP INT + REI .AT eat finish before 2pP PART go
We definitely will have finished eating before you leave.
Examples (87) and (88) are both complex sentences comprising a main
clause and a subordinate clause. The subordinate clauses are introduced by the
preposition ki (before) and their subjects are immediately followed by the
verbal particle t. The verbal particle t could have any of the following
interpretations be adequate, be sufficient, be enough, reach limit. Each of
these words have in their meanings a sense of fullness and completeness.
The verb tn in (88) also has a sense of completeness inherent in its
meaning. In both instances, the main clause (containing the aspect markers)
provides a background to the event described in the subordinate clause. Both
clauses are related one to the other and neither can stand on its own and still
be meaningful. The RELATIONAL ti is a major player in this configuration,
due to its nature as the aspect that relates one action, event or activity to
another (cf. section 2.3.2.3 on this aspect).
2,3,3.8.1,2 The Expective; Intentional t RELATIONAL + Anticipatiye
The expective (cf. 2.3.3.2).is made up of three simple aspects: the
RELATIONAL, along with the intentional and the anticipave. As with the
backgrounder, the simple aspects combining together here are connected to
each other by the RELATIONAL, ti. It coordinates the relationship among all
three aspects, a relationship that establishes the very definition of the
expectiveif it is completive and relational, then it can be expected, though
related to other elements in the sentence. The examples below will illustrate
how this operates in the sentence,


147
teachers must be open to new ideas and new findings about language, and
ready to use what they learn as they teach.
On a final note, not only does this dissertation have implications for the
teachers of English to Yoruba speakers, but also to teachers of Yoruba to
English speakers, both in Nigeria and abroad. It should lead to a better
understanding and appreciation of the internal workings of both languages
and how to successfully teach those learning them as a second language. It is
my hope that work along these lines will eventually facilitate communication
and understanding at both regional and global levels. Such studies can, I
think, not only contribute to a better appreciation of Tutuolas works, but to a
better understanding of Nigerian English as a whole, and to the ongoing effort
to define the corpus of Nigerian English within the larger framework of the
International Corpus of English (ICE). In practical terms it should contribute
to a better understanding of the influence of the mother tongue (LI) on the
acquisition of a second language (L2) in general and English as a second
language (ESL) in particular, and finally may foster a better understanding of
the important contributions indigenous languages are making to English
worldwide and in so doing, enriching the latter while changing its face
globally.


117
The YL rendition in (30b-33b) above throw some light into what was
going on in Tutuolas mind when he wrote those sentences. He was making his
constructions in YL and translating them into EL. Since in YL, the
incompletive adequately translates all of the above temporal situations, Tutuola
therefore renders all of them in the past progressive form in NE. The issue in
YL is not that of the time of the performance of the various activities involved
but rather their ongoingness. The activities involved were not completive.
They were still in the process of happening. What Tutuola does, both here and
elsewhere, is what Young captures so well in the following quote.
Alongside experiment runs writing drawing upon the indigenous
languages unconsciously because of the amount of European education
the writer happened to receive. Amos Tutuola is the best known
representative of this group ... Tutuola ... perhaps sheds light on the
complexity of the influence of indigenous languages, in this case
Yoruba, on the language of writing in English. He writes first in his
own language and himself translates it into English. This naturally has
its effect on the language of his works. (Young 1971: 180, emphasis
added).
Contexts Requiring the Past Continuous ixlEE
Not only does Tutuola use the past continous tense for situations that call
for the use of the simple past in BE but he sometimes uses the present
contiuous tense where BE requires the past continous. An instance of this is
captured in the data provided below
(34) Then I told the old man (god) that I am looking for my palm-wine
tapster who had died in my town some time ago, he did not answer to my
question but asked me first what was my name (Appendix: 1)
In (34) Tutuola uses the present simple form, to describe an event that
took place in the past. The accurate BE version should have been the past
continuous form, was looking. However, what Tutuola does here is very
typical of YL speakers of NE, including, once in a while, the so-called educated
lite who have been well schooled in the British and American traditions. The


32
without using the progressive marker, N (1974: 37-38).(my
underlining).
What is clearly observable in the above analysis is that Awoyale is using
the English language as a model for Yoruba. He therefore expects YL to have
everything that EL has in its grammar. When he does not find such similarity,
he declares YL as deficient, compared to EL. What Awoyale might have said, if
he had chosen to take a more descriptive approach, is that YL uses aspect to
perform the same function for which EL uses tense. Thus, where EL uses the
present simple tense, YL uses the progressive aspect (incompletive aspect in
my analysis--cf. Section 2.3.2.2.). Or he could simply say that tense is not of
primary importance in YL but aspect is. Without a deficit hypothesis as his
starting point, Awoyale would not have made the strong, but wrong, unilateral
statement quoted above There is no wav to sav in Yoruba is a statement that
makes YL to appear to be stuck and in need of rescue by EL What Awoyale
failed to take into account is the natural independence of individual
languages. Every language is a system in itself and individual speakers can,
and do, find ways to say what they want to say within that system. It should not
be expected that any two systems will correspond in the simplicity of
expression for any given idea. It is also true, of course, that no translation is
ever fully accurate. The differences in obligatory categorieswhat must be
said-always require that some ideas be expressed by one language that are not
required by the other. EL requires tense, YL requires aspect, so the two never
quite meet. Furthermore, Awoyale went on to say that YL does not have
(emphasis again mine) a special marker or inflection for the past tense
(1974:38). It would seem that he expects YL to use inflections and to have
something similar or equal to the EL past tense.


175
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
The birds of the sky were perched on the
book title BAH
branches of the mighty tall trees, except
those of the minute birds as canaries,
page
56
migratory birds, etc., etc., which were
jumping from one branch to another.
Although the doves were crying in five
minutes interval as thev were telling the
YL
n NE were crying
BE
kept crying
aspect
Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
The birds of the sky were perched on the
book title BAH
branches of the mighty tall trees, except
those of the minute birds as canaries,
page
56
migratory birds, etc., etc., which were
jumping from one branch to another.
Although the doves were crying in five
minutes interval as thev were telling the
YL
n NE were telling
BE
told
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
Because their hoot was driving animals to the
book title BAH
hunters and it (hoot) was also amusing the
hunters as they (hunters) had no partners in
the jungle.
page
56
YL
n NE was also amusing
BE
amused
aspect Habitual
author
Tutuola
quote
And all these creatures were kept quiet where
they were for the sun was too hot. Because the
sun of this jungle was also very curious.
Whenever it was out it would be as hot as fire
and that was why these living creatures
were hiding themselves from it whenever
it was out.
book title BAH
page 56
YL
maa n N E were hiding
BE
hid


151
aspect Relevant-inceptive
quote But when my palm-wine tapster completed
the period of 15 years that he was tapping
the palm-wine for me, then my father died
suddenly, and when it was the 6th month
after my father had died, the tapster went to
the palm-tree farm on a Sunday evening to
tan nalm-wine for me.
YL tin NE was tapping
B E had been
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 8
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Then I told the old man (god) that I am
looking for my palm-wine tapster who had
died in my town some time ago, he did not
answer to my question but asked me first
what was my name?
book title PWD
page 10
YL n NE am looking for
BE was
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote So that since the day that I had brought Death
out from his house, he has no permanent
place to dwell or stay, and we are hearing
his name about in the world.
book title PWD
page 16
YL n NE are hearing
BE continue to/still
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote The market day was fixed for every 5 th day
and the whole people of that town and also
spirits and curious creatures from various
bushes and forests were coming to this
market every 5th day to sell or buy articles.
book title PWD
page 17
YL maa n NE were coming
B E habitually


130
perfect). Whatever be the case, though, Tutuola is very consistent in his
transfer and use of his structure of choice.
3.4.5 Examples Involving the Relevant-Inceptive Aspect ti ri
The last group of examples from the data are those involving the
transfer of the relevant-inceptive aspect from YL to derive the past
continuous in contexts where BE calls for either the past perfect or the past
simple tenses. The data contains only four of such usages, two in contexts
where BE would have required the past perfect tense and two in those where
BE would have required the past simple.
Contexts Requiring the Past Perfect in BE
In the examples below Tutuola uses the past continuous tense. The more
accurate tense in BE is the past perfect, in both instances
(73) But when my palm-wine tapster completed the period of 15 years
that he was tapping the palm-wine for me, then my father died
suddenly, and when it was the 6th month after my father had died, the
tapster went to the palm-tree farm on a Sunday evening to tap palm-
wine for me (Appendix: 50).
(73b) t ti n d emu fn mi
that 3pS REL.-INCEP. tap palm-wine give IpSObj.
that he had been tapping palm-wine for me
(74) Because I ought to do all these three works -- To see that I... kill
the whole of the pigmies who were detaining many hunters or to
drive them away from this jungle and the third work was to see that I
bring my four brothers back to my town, because I had promised my
people and the people of my town to do these three works ... (Appendix:
50).
(74b) gbogbo won arr t wn ti n d p ode dr
all PLUR. pigmy who 3pP REL.-INCEP. keep many hunter wait
all of the pigmies who had been detaining many a hunter


14
vanish), ra (to knead), r (to buy/ be rotten); igb (time, period), igba (two
hundred), igb (calabash), igb (climbing rope), igb (locust tree), etc. The
only thing differentiating meaning in the words above is the tone. Note that a
distributional restriction does not permit vowel-initial nouns to begin with a
high tone. With the sole exception of this restriction, tonal co-occurrence is
largely free in Yoruba nouns (rf. Comrie 1990 for further discussion).
As for the consonants, four basic places of articulation are
distinguished in the language: bilabial, alveolar, palatal and velar. In addition
to these, there are two doubly articulated stops in Yoruba-the labial-velar
stops-represented as p [kp] and gb [gb] respectively. The four voiceless
fricatives are: f (labial), s (alveolar) and h (glottal). The palato-alveolar
fricative [J] is written as a dotted /s/ (i.e. s). There are five sonorants: m
(bilabial nasal), 1 (alveolar lateral), r (alveolar tap), y (palatal glide), w (velar
glide), plus a syllabic nasal whose representation varies depending on the
environment. It is realized as a velar when followed immediately by a vowel, as
in n r [q r ] (I didnt buy/I wont buy). When it is followed by a
consonant, the syllabic nasal is homorganic to the following segment,
although in the written tradition this has been fossilized as a simple n, as in
Mmb (generally written as [m n bo]) (I am coming/I was coming)* Mo n
lo (I am going/I was going). There are five stops: b (voiced bilabial), d (voiced
alveolar), t (voiceless alveolar), g (voiced velar) and k (voiceless velar), plus
two doubly articulated labial-velars, as mentioned above and a palatal stop: [cfc]
simply written as /j/. The voiceless labial-velar also is represented
orthographically as a simple /p/, since there is no voiceless bilabial stop
counterpart in the language.


157
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote So when these cow-men were returning to
their town in the evening with me as no one
bought me on that market day again, they
were abusing and clubbing me repeatedly
along the homeway.
book title LBG
page 45
YL n NE were returning
B E returned
aspect Incompletive
quote So when these cow-men were returning to
their town in the evening with me as no one
bought me on that market day again, they
were abusing and clubbing me
repeatedly along the homeway.
YL n NE were abusing and clubbing
B E abused/clubbed
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 45
aspect Anticipative
author Tutuola
quote And also the mosquitoes which were as big as
flies did not let me rest once till the morning,
but I had no hands to be driving them away
from my body...
book title LBG
page 46
YL maa NE be driving
B E drive
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote But as this snake was also fearful to me too, book title LBG
then I was crying louder than before, and page 50
when the homeless-ghost was hearing my
voice inside this wood, it was a lofty music for
him, then he started to dance the ghosts
dance ...
YL n NE was crying
B E cried


126
are no guarantees it would. It is therefore used in planning, speculating or
predicting. It is used to describe activities or actions that the speaker
anticipates to perform. This aspect is traditionally referred to in the literature
as future tense but the following examples indicate that the anticipative does
not necessarily correspond to the future tense.
(60) Mo ma par i? yi k n t loQl.
IpS ANTI, finish work this before I reach go+home
T plan to complete this job before I go home/ I anticipate
completing this piece of work before going home.
(61) Mo f$4 ma 1q.
IpS want ANTI, go
T am planning to/about to leave.
In both of the examples above, it is obvious that ma is not referring to
some future event, but rather to the present state of mind of the speaker. In
(60), she anticipates finishing whatever job she has already started to do
before leaving for home. Meanwhile she keeps on doing the work and does not
plan to quit until it is completed. In (61), the speaker has probably been
visiting for a while and, remembering that he probably has some other things
to do at home, decides its time to leave.
Contexts acquiring the Conditional Present Simple in BE
In the following examples from the data, Tutuola transfers the
anticipative aspect to EL to derive such conditional past continuous phrases as
would be drinking (62), would be returning (63) and should be
talking (64).
A Yoruba rendition of the clauses containing the highlighted verb
phrases (VPs) in examples (62-64) are given in (62b-64b). In all of the YL
translations, the anticipative aspect adequately captures the ideas being


72
(83) Mo ma sis LOJOOJUMO.
I HABITUAL work everyday
T work daily/I used to work everyday/It is (was) habitual for me
to work daily.
(84) Mo ma n sis NIGBTI MO W NI EWE.
IpS HABIT work when IpS be LOCATIVE youth
T used to work (habitually) when I was young.
(85) A ma n lo s il-iw NIGB YEN.
IpP HABITUAL go DIREC school time that
We used to go to school then/at that time.
(86) Mo ma r lo s il-isin LOSOCSE.
IpS HABITUAL go DIREC house of worship weekly
T go to/ used to go to the house of worship every week.
It is evident from the above analysis that although various aspectual
markers can co-occur, the combinations themselves are aspects in their own
right. These I have decided to refer to as complex aspects, to distinguish them
from the simple aspects, and in doing so have answered Bolorunduros
question (cf. 2.0) with an affirmation: yes. If YL has simple, it also has complex
aspects. These complex combinatorial sequences also help to expand the
aspectual repertoire of YL, from what would have originally been just five to
twelve in number-more than doubling its size. A careful look at the YL
aspects described above reveal that although YL is fundamentally an aspectual
language, it still has a way of relating events and activities to time, if and
when it is necessary and important to do so. I will be focusing on how YL
handles time in a greater detail in a later section (2.5) on time reference.
2.3.3.8 Two Major Categories of the Complex Aspects
Further scrutiny of the complex aspects reveal that there are two main
categories into which they can be subdividedthose that do not involve the
RELATIONAL (simple) aspect and occur in simple sentences; and those that do
and occur in complex sentences. Those that do not are two in number: the


89
themselves betray them as aspects and not tenses, especially since these are
generally used in the literature to describe aspect markers.
(3) A nsise We are working.
(4) Nwon tie nkorin daadaa They are even singing well.
(5) A maa nkorin We usually sing.
(6) Emi maa nlo soko T usually go to the farm.
(7) Awa yo. mo We will know.
(8) Ojo ma roIts going to rain.
A more accurate classification of the above should have been as follows:
(3-4) as Incompletive ASPECT, (5-6) as Habitual ASPECT, (7) as Intentional
ASPECT and (8) as Anticipative ASPECT. A reanalysis of the above sentences is
provided in (9-14) below. It is also interesting to note that Bamgbose had
attached most of these aspect markers to the verbs, as though they were
affixes, so they could agree with EL morphologically based tense analysis. He
also split some aspect markers (e.g. the HABITUAL ma n in (5-6)), using the
first one ma as a clitic and the second n as an affix, thus creating quite
some confusion. In my analysis, both aspect markers are treated as one unit of
a complex aspect form (cf. chapter 2, section 2.3.3.7). A reanalysis of
Bamgboses examples (3-8) above appear as (9-14) below,
(9) A n $i$$.
IpP INCOMPLETIVE work
We are working/were working.
(10) Wqii tie n korin dada.
3pP even INCOMPLETIVE sing well
They are even singing/were even singing well.
(11) A ma n korin.
IpP HABITUAL sing
We usually sing/usually sang.
(12) Emi ma n lo sko.
IpSEmp HABITUAL go DIRECTIONAL+farm
T (for sure) usually go/ususally went to the farm.


170
aspect Anticipative
author Tutuola
quote He was still finding me with hands when I
asked from him that why there was no light
at all in this palace. But instead to answer my
question first he warned me very quietly that
I must be talking gently.
book title BAH
page 34
YL ma NE must be talking
B E should talk
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote He told me furthermore that this bird was a
mighty and curious one, because whenever it
was coming to the town the noises and
breeze of its wings would nearly to break
down all the houses.
book title BAH
page 36
YL n/ tin NE was coming
BE came
aspect Habitual
quote Truly speaking, as the king had told me, when
this bird was still in a distance of two miles I
nearly died for fear and I nearly to give up
my promise because the noises which its
wings were making showed that indeed it was
a bad and terrible bird which was bold
enoueh that it was eating together with
YL maa n NE was eating
BE ate
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 37
aspect Habitual
quote I am a wonderful bad creature who is half
human and half bird. I am so bad, bold, cruel
and so brave that I am eating together with
witches! I am one of the fears of the Jungle
Pigmies! I am a bad semi-bird who has long
sharp thorns on both my wings!...
YL maa n NE am eating
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 38
BE


98
3 2 .Amos TutoQlai Ms.w
Before Tutuola went to join his ancestors in June of 1997, he had eleven
books to his credit: nine novels and two collection of stories, all produced
within the span of about forty years, from 1952-1990 and published almost
exclusively by Faber and Faber, London. Although two of these works The
Palm-Wine Drinkard (1952) and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954) -- share
recognition as his most famous, he is best known for his first and now classic
novel, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, now translated into almost twenty languages
around the world, including French, German, Italian, Swedish, Romanian,
Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, Czech, and several other European and African
languages (cf. Eko 1974:19; Thelwell 1984:187). His other works include Simbi
and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle (1955), The Brave African Huntress (1958),
Feather Woman of the Jungle (1962), Ajaiyi and His Inherited Poverty (1967),
The Witch-Herbalist of the Remote Town (1981), The Wild Hunter in the Bush of
Ghosts (1982), Yoruba Folktales (1986), Pauper, Brawler, and Slanderer (1987)
and The Village Witch Doctor and Other Stories (1990).
His first two novels, and by far his most popular -- The Palm-Wine
Drinkard (henceforth PWD) and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (henceforth
LBG) were also adapted for the stage in Nigeria in 1958. PWD was first
produced as a Yoruba opera in 1968 by the popular Yoruba dramatist Kl
Ognml. In 1995, a stage adaptation of LBG was presented in the United
Kingdom as Nigerias entry play for the Africa95 international festival held in
London that year. Several other performances of these two books have been
made by various local operas since their first stage presentations, a testimony
to their popularity among the masses of the people at the home front.
Tutuolas popularity among non-lite Yoruba speakers and the
common Nigerian could be attributed to the fact that his works spoke to their


7
United States. These enslaved Yoruba took along with them their traditional
religious beliefs and married these to Catholic Saints to produce such syncretic
belief systems as Santera (in Cuba and the Caribbeans) and Candombl (in
Brazil). In Cuba, for instance, the enslaved Africans superimposed Catholic
saints on Yoruba deities to hide their true religious practices from their brutal
slave masters and missionaries. In the United States, it is estimated that more
than a million people in the Northeast alone practice some form of Yoruba
religion with more than 5,000 stores selling Santera paraphernalia
(Honebrink 1993: 46). Today New York and Washington D.C. remain a vibrant
center of Yoruba religious activity. In South Carolina, Oytnj Village (Oy
has revived) stands as a constant reminder of the ongoing Yoruba renaissance
in the United States of America.
Although Yoruba religion spread its influences beyond Yorubaland and
Africa, the Yoruba also embraced other religions, especially the two major
world religions, Christianity and Islam. The Yoruba are tolerant of other
religions, opinions, and ideas. Therefore it is not surprising that right now
most Yoruba people embrace Christianity and many have converted to Islam.
Just as new adherents embrace Yoruba religious beliefs, so have the Yoruba
themselves been open to new religious ideas from other parts of the world.
There is peaceful co-existence among people of different religious
persuasions. Often Christian and Muslim Yorubas also practice their family
religious traditions, side by side with their adopted religions. Yoruba Muslims
often go to church functions with their Christian friends and relatives and
vice versa. In fact, I know of a Yoruba couple in Gainesville. The husband is a
Catholic and the wife is a Muslim. Each of them still practice their different
religions. They have been happily married for more than twenty years now
and have four well adapted children. A Yoruba proverb says Esin-in baba ko


This work is dedicated to the loving memory of:
Jim Sharp, Jr.:
From the heavenly grandstands
I know you wear a proud grin at the
conclusion of this work;
and
My late father, Jacob jn,
who taught me how to read and write Yorb at home
while living in a foreign country;
And to
My mother, Rebecca Mdandl jn,
who has endured many years of my absence from home
while I pursued my education from one institution to another and
from one nation to another.


REFERENCES
Abimbola, Wande (1998). A Preference for City Life. In CALLIOPE: World
History for Kids Vol. 8, no. 6, February 1998. Rosalie F. Baker, Charles F.
Baker (Eds.). Peterborough: Cobblestone Publishing Company.
Achebe, Chinua (1958). Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann.
Achebe, Chinua (1960). No Longer at Ease. London: Heinemann.
Achebe, Chinua (1965). English and the African Writer. In Transition 18: 27-
30.
Achebe, Chinua (1966). The English Language and the African Writer. In
Insight, October/December 1966.
Adegbija, E. (1989). "Lexico-semantic Variation in Nigerian English", World
Englishes Vol. 8, no. 2: 165-177.
Adegbija, E. (1994). Language Attitudes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A
Sociolinguistic Overview. Bristol: Longhorn Press.
Adejare, O. (1992). Language and Style in Soyinka. Ibadan: Heinemann.
Adekunle, M. A. (1972). "Sociolinguistic Problems in English Language
Instruction in Nigeria". In D. Ed. Smith and R. Shuy, Sociolinguistics and
Cross-cultural Analysis. Washington D. C.: Georgetown University Press.
Adekunle, M. A. (1974). "The Standard Nigerian English". In Journal of the
Nigeria English Studies Association (JNESA) 6(1).
Adekunle, M. A. (1985). The EngUsh Language in Nigeria as a Modem Nigerian
Artifact. Jos, Nigeria: University of Jos Press.
Adesanoye, F. (1990). "Tertiary (Graduate) English in Nigeria: Some
Observations". In OYE: Ogun Journal of Arts vol. III. Ago-Iwoye: Ogun
State University.
Adetugbo, A. (1979). "Appropriateness in Nigerian English" & "Nigerian
English and Communicative Competence". In E. Ubahakwe (Ed.).
Varieties and Functions of English in Nigeria, pp. 137-165 & 167-183
respectively. Ibadan: African Universities Press.
Adetugbo, A. (1984). The EngUsh Language in the Nigerian Experience. Lagos:
Lagos University Press.
198


114
surprising that Tutuola easily transfers it into EL, using it to cover various
tenses of EL in his works, as demonstrated in the data below.
3.4.1.1 Examples of Incompletive Referring to a Past Event:
The past tense in EL has several manifestations, the most basic ones
being the past simple, past continuous and the past perfect. The data show a lot
of contexts that require the past simple in BE being translated into the past
continuous forms in Tutuolas EL. There are a few other contexts that call for
the past continuous but which Tutuola renders in the present continuous
tense. In all instances, the YL incompletive aspect adequately translates the
ideas carried by these EL tenses. I will take each of these past tense forms one
by one and explain them within the contexts in which they appear in the data.
Contexts Requiring the Past Simple Tense in BE
(30) I thought within myself that old people were saying that the people
who died in this world, did not go to heaven directly, but they were
living in one place somewhere in this world. (Appendix: 1)
(31) He picked one cowrie out of the pit, after that he was running
towards me, and the whole crowd wanted to tie the cowrie on my neck
too. (Appendix: 2)
(32) I was told that he was now at Deads town and they told me that he
was living with deads at the Deads town, they told me that the town
was very far away and only deads were living there. (Appendix: 2)
(33) After a while he came out with two of his attendants who were
following him to wherever he wanted to go. Then the attendants
loosened me from the stump, so he mounted me and the two attendants
were following him with whips in their hands and flogging me along
in the bush. (Appendix: 3)
In all four of the examples above, Tutuola uses the past continuous in NE
to render situations that would have required the past simple tense forms in
BE. For instance, the appropriate BE rendition for Tutuolas were living in
(30) above would be the simple past form, lived. The same is true of was


ASPECT IN YORUBA AND NIGERIAN ENGLISH
By
TIMOTHY TEMILOLA AJANI
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
2001


181
aspect Relevant-Inceptive
quote Because I ought to do all these three works -
To see that I... kill the whole of the pigmies
who were detaining many hunters or to
drive them away from this jungle and the
third work was to see that I bring my four
brothers back to my town, because I had
nromised mv neonle and the neonle of mv
YL tin NE were detaining
BE had been
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 60
aspect Incompletive
quote But immediately I concluded this thought, to
my fear there I saw that a very small round
hill which was at a little distance from me,
splitted or parted into two suddenly and at the
same moment a heavy black smoke was
rushing out in large quantity.
YL n NE was rushing
B E rushed
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 61
aspect Incompletive
quote This huge man was one of the obstacles of
this jungle. He was one of the strongest and
the most cruel pigmies who were keeping
watch of the jungle always. His work was to
be bringing any hunter or anyone who came
to the jungle, to the town of the pigmies, for
nunishment.
YL n NE were keeping
B E kept
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 61
aspect Anticipative
quote This huge man was one of the obstacles of
this jungle. He was one of the strongest and
the most cruel pigmies who were keeping
watch of the jungle always. His work was to
be bringing any hunter or anyone who
came to the jungle, to the town of the pigmies,
for nunishment.
YL maa NE be bringing
BE bring
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 61


79
leaving in (97) and working in (98), respectively. The activities have not
yet taken place but have been willed to take place shortly. There is therefore a
sense of anticipation involved.
2.3.3.8.2.2 The Habitual; Anticipative + Incomplefiyg
The habitual aspect is created by a combination of two simple aspects:
the ANTICIPATIVE ma and the incompletive n. It refers to an activity that
was habitually undertaken prior to the moment of speech (99a) or is still being
undertaken up to and beyond the moment of speech (99b). In some way, this
latter sense could have an eternal meaning, such as the sun rising in the east,
as in example (100). It goes without saying that if something is habitual, then
it can reasonably be anticipated.
(99a) Mo ma n j pp ngbt mo w ni we.
IpS ANTI + INCOM dance plenty when IpS exist PREP youth
I (used to) dance a lot when I was young.
(99b) Mo ma n jeun ljoojm.
IpS ANTI + INCOM eat daily
T eat daily.
(100) Oorim ma n ran ni il-orn.
Sun ANTI + INCOM shine PREP splitting-sun
The sun rises (regularly, habitually) in the east.
Just as the relational is common to the other five series of complex
aspects, in like manner the anticipative is common to the latter two. In the
complex aspects not directly involving the relational, it is still a sense of
relatedness that makes the anticipation possible when the two aspects
combine. It is the intentionality in 2.3.3.8.2.1 that makes anticipation possible.
Likewise in 2.3.3.8.2.2, it is the non-completion that informs the anticipation.
Relationship is therefore a fundamental element in the chemistry that creates
the complex aspects from otherwise independent simple aspects. This


171
aspect Incompletive
quote Again as he was coming down for the second
time with great anger I shot him. But when
the gun-shots hit his body this time, his body
simply flung all the gun-shots away instead
to kill him or to wound him. It was like that I
was shooting him repeatedly until when
the eun-nowder and sun-shots finished.
YL n NE was shooting
B E shot
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 39
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote Immediately I held the cudgel and I was
expecting him to come down as he was doing
before. A few minutes after that he did not
hear the sound of my shakabullah gun
again, he flew down.
book title BAH
page 39
Y L maa n N E was doing
B E used to do
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As he was looking round and round all over
the spot just to find me out and then to carry
me away, I hastily threw one of the poisonous
cudgels to him.
book title BAH
page 39
YL n NE was looking
B E looked
aspect Anticipative
quote After he (king) pulled out some of the wings
and put them round his crown, just to be
remembering for ever that a semi-bird had
once been carrying them away alive, then
each of the people took some of the feathers
to his or her house and kept them for the
future.
YL maa NE be remembering
B E remember
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 40


97
was discharged from the Royal Air Force and made an attempt to establish his
own blacksmithing practice but failed because he did not have enough capital
to properly establish the business.
A year later, he wound up as a mesenger with the Department of Labour
in Lagos. It was during his tenure here that the idea of writing his first book,
The Palm-Wine Drinkard and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Deads Town
came to him. It is said that he wrote the enitre book within the space of two
days (Africana 1999: 1905). It was his creative way of easing his boredom while
working as a messenger, a job he would later on refer to as this
unsatisfactory job. Although he wrote this first full-length narrative ever to
be written by a West-African in the English language in 1946, this pioneering
work would not be published until in 1952six years after it had been written.
He married Victoria Alake in 1947, the year after completing his audacious
book. The couple was blessed with three children during their fruitful
marriage, which lasted half a century. Tutuola also had three other wives with
whom he had eight more children, bringing the total number of his children
by all four wives to eleven (West Africa 1997:1267).
In 1957 Tutuola secured a job as a storekeeper with the Nigerian
Broadcasting Corporation in Lagos and was subsequently transferred to Ibadan
where he continued with his writing career. At Ibadan, he teamed up with
Professor Collis of the University of Ibadan to adapt his first book, PWD, for the
stage while he worked on his fourth, The Brave African Huntress (henceforth
BAH), published in 1958 by the same publishers, Faber and Faber, which had
published his first three books and later would publish most of his books yet to
be written.


46
(3)E ma sis (LOJOOJUMO.)
2pP HABITUAL work everyday
'You work everyday/used to work everyday.'
2.2.4 The Intentional + Post-verbal Time Marker
(4)Awa y lo s Oy (LOLA.)
IpP INTENTIONAL go DIREC Oy tomorrow
'We will go to Oy tomorrow.'
2.2.5 Completive Aspect + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Introducing a Focus)
In examples (5-6) the time adverbs ln and 161a have been focused,
to signal a focus construction. In these examples, the adverbs of time have
replaced the pronouns won and a in the subject position to indicate the
speakers intention to emphasize the time frame in which the activity was or
would be performed.
(5)(LANAA,) wpn lo si Ibadan.
Yesterday, 3pP go DIRECTIONAL Ibadan
'Yesterday, they went to Ibadan.'
2.2.6 The.Aaticipative t Pre-verbal Time Marker. (Focus)
(6)(LOLA,) a ma §e irinajo.
Tomorrow IpP ANTICIP do journey
'Tomorrow, we might/probably will travel.'
As amply demonstrated in the introductory part of this chapter, time (or
tense) is not of utmost importance in YL, as aspect is, which is obligatorily
marked. Aspect is important conceptually and syntactically obligatory. The
omission of an aspect marker in a YL sentence does not mean that aspect is not
present, but rather that the completive aspect is meant (cf. section 2.2.5 &
2.2.7.)


86
when they are deliberately focused for emphasis in a sentence and, though
the language does permit this syntactic fronting, generally it sounds awkward.
The examples below will elucidate my point.
(124) Nbo ni o n lo BAYII?
Where is you INCOMP go now?
Where ARE you going now/at moment?
(125) Nbo ni o n 1q LANAA?
Where is you INCOMP go yesterday?
Where WERE you going yesterday?
(126) Mo n jeun LOWX
I INCOMP eat at hand/this moment
T AM busy eating/I am eating at moment.
(127) Mo n jeun NIJETA
I INCOMP eat day before yesterday
T WAS eating day before yesterday.
In examples (124) and (125) above, the only indicators of time are the
adverbs byi (now) and ln (yesterday). The former adds the notion of
present while the latter gives it a past interpretation. Otherwise the two
expressions are devoid of any specific notion of time. The same is applicable to
(126) and (127). In (126), lw (at the moment/hand) gives it a present time
frame while nijeta (day before yesterday) gives example (127) a past frame of
time. In the absence of nijeta in (127), the sentence could also have a present
interpretation.
(128) Mo t Kk BAYII.
I see Kk now.
T (can) SEE Kike (right) now/this moment.
(129) Mo r Kk LAAARO YII.
I see Kk morning this.
T SAW Kike this morning.
Likewise in (128) and (129), it is byi (now) and lr yii (this
morning) that help us fix the two similar expressions in time. In all of the


149
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote I was seven years old before I understood the
meaning of bad and good, because it was
at that time I noticed carefully that my father
married three wives as they were doing in
those days, if it is not common nowadays
book title LBG
page 17
YL maa n NE were doing
B E used to
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote My mother was a petty trader who was
going to various markets every day to sell
articles and returning home in the evening,
or if the market is very far she would return
next day in the evening
book title LBG
page 17
YL maa n NE was going
B E used to
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote But as my mother was a petty trader who was
going here and there, so one morning she
went to a maket which was about three miles
away from our town...
book title LBG
page 18
YL maa n NE was going
B E used to
aspect Habitual
author Tutuola
quote [...] She left two slices of cooked yam for us
(my brother and myself) as she was usually
doing
book title LBG
page 18
YL maa n NE was usually doing
B E usually


20
(23)Ol y an ibn pa erin.
Ol shoot gun kill elephant
Ol killed the elephant with a gun.
In many instances, however, the object NP separating the two transitive verbs
is also the object of both VPs.
(24) Knm se i§u t.
Knm cook yam sell
Knm cooked yam to sell.
(25) Mo ra br^di jq.
I buy bread eat
I bought bread to eat.
In both of the above examples, the NPs (isu) and (brdi) are the objects of the
verbs that both precede and follow them. There are many other types of serial
verb constructions than those given above. However, since serial verbs are
not the object of this dissertation, it will be impossible to give an exhaustive
analysis of this very interesting topic in Yoruba syntax. Neither will it be
necessary, especially since a lot of indepth analyses have already been carried
out by others (cf. Bamgbs 1966,1967, 1995, Awblyi 1967, Awyal 1988).
Although it is quite obvious from the brief summary of Yoruba
grammar given above, it will be pertinent to point attention to the fact that
articles, grammatical gender (cf. Oyewumi 1997 for a more detailed discussion
of the imposition of gender on Yoruba through translation tradition based on
English), number, and inflection are not relevant to Yorb. This is not to say
that Yorb is deficient or lacks some things in its grammatical make-up.
It only means that Yorb emphasizes different things than English or any
other language for that matter. This issue will be revisited in the next chapter.


3
Odduw to the identity of the Yorb that they fondly refer to themselves as
Qno Odduw (children, or descendants of Odduw). In fact the ancestors of
modem day Yorb people did not always refer to themselves by this name,
nor even consider themselves as one people, although they had much in
common.
The origin of the name Yorb itself is still shrouded in obscurity. It
is, however, believed to have been conferred on the Yoruba people by their
Hausa neighbors to the north who used to refer to the people of the old Oyo
Empire as the Yariba. Europeans then appropriated this name and began to
use it to refer to all the speakers of the Yoruba language. The present
generalized application is a result, then, of further extension. In fact, for a
long time only the Oy people were referred to as Yorb. The other Yorb
groups bore their own distinct names (such as Ijs, Ekiti, Egb, Ijb, etc.)
until the language became standardized by missionary-linguists in the
nineteenth century, at which point it came to be applied to all of Odduws
descendants.
Apart from the name Yoruba, Oduduwas descendants were called by
several other names before the current name Yoruba arose. In the past,
Europeans called them the Ak, a word derived from Yoruba greetings, most
of which begin with E k or A k. This label was originally used to
describe the freed slaves from Yorubaland who were later resettled in Sierra-
Leone. Their Hausa neighbors to the north still call them by the name
Yorubawa. Once, the Yoruba were also refered to as the Ey, a term
obviously derived from Oy. In the diaspora, enslaved Yorubas were referred
to as Nago in Brazil and Lukumi in Cuba. Nago is a derivative of the
name of one of the twenty Yoruba groups known as the Anago. Lukumi is a
word derived from the Yoruba phrase Olk mi, meaning My friend.


Ill
replete with examples of the influence of the YL aspectual system, which shall
be the focus of the rest of this chapter .
The Corpus
My corpus, gleaned from the three narratives of Tutuola just mentioned
(The Palm-Wine Drinkard, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and The Brave
African Huntress), contains 50 pages of data, with 200 separate entries. The
statistical breakdown of the corpus, according to number of pages, number of
entries and percentage of total is provided in table 3.1 below
Table 3,1
Asneet
Pages
# of Entries
% of Total
Incompletive
36
144
72
Habitual
10
40
20
Anticipative
2
8
4
Relational
1
4
2
Relevant-Inceptive
1
4
2
TOTAL
50
200
100
An analysis of the above table shows that of a total 200 entries covering
50 pages of data, the incompletive aspect makes up 72%, with 144 entries,
covering 36 pages. The habitual comes next in order of significance, with 20%
and 40 entries, spanning 10 pages of data. Next comes the anticipative, with
only 4% of the total, having just 8 entries in 2 pages of data. Least represented
and almost insignificant are the relational and relevant-inceptive, both of
which make up a meager 4% of the total corpus, with 4 entries each spread
over 1 page of data respectively. From a statistical perspective, only the


109
speaker of EL. The term West African English is already known and is well
attested in the literature on New Englishes, but so is the term Nigerian
English (cf. Bamgbose 1982, Ajani 1996a.) Under the umbrella of the latter,
three main sub-varieties have been identified: Yoruba English (YE), Hausa
English (HE) and Igbo English (IE), sub-varieties representing the three
majority groups of Nigeria that constitute about 70% of the population. Thus,
although there is a superordinate variety known as Nigerian English (NE),
there are enough idiosyncracies in usage that makes the Hausa person use NE
quite differently from say an Igbo or a Yoruba speaker of NE (cf. Odumuh
1987). The reason for this is not far fetched: the mother tongue (LI) of each of
the speakers of the three sub-varieties mentioned above affects the way they
use English. These differences come, in part, from the differences that exist
among the various Lis. For instance, the way Tutuola and Soyinka use English
is quite different from the way Achebe uses it. It is a well known fact that
Achebe draws a lot from his Igbo background when he writes and this is most
obvious in his world classic Things Fall Apart (1958) in which he uses a lot of
his native Igbo proverbs, sayings and lexical items. The same could be said of
Soyinka and his use of Yoruba vocabulary, sayings and especially cultural and
religious items from Yoruba traditional religion. We find a lot of these in his
popular Collected Plays (1973).
Of course, we do know, too, that the quality and amount of formal
education acquired by the various speakers of the same sub-variety will also
affect the amount of transfer from the LI into the target language. Evidence
for this can be seen in the NE versions of Tutuola and Soyinka. Whereas it is
much easier to identify YL substratum in Tutuolas NE, they are much more
subtle in Soyinkas works. The reason for this is that although both Soyinka
and Tutuola speak the same dialect of YL, they stand at different points along


85
an activity that the speaker performs all the time. It has already taken place in
the past, it still goes on in the present and is expected to continue in the
future. The speaker and his wife are in the habit of buying gifts along for
people whenever they travel home.
(123) A ma n ra ebiin lw.
IpP HABITUAL buy gift in hand
We buy gifts to take along.
A good grasp on the nature and the internal workings of these YL
aspect markers is very crucial to the understanding and appreciation of
Tutuolas language and Yoruba English in general, including most of what we
encounter in the grammar of Nigerian English (NE). My next chapter shall
focus on specific data from the works of Amos Tutuola to see how these aspect
markers from YL have been transferred into this variety of NE.
2.5 Temporal Relations In Yorub
It is a known linguistic fact that every language has a means of
expressing time, if and when there is a need to do so. Although it is aspect that
is obligatorily marked in YL (and not tense), the language does have a
syntactic way of marking time, when such information is needed and is
necessary. This is done largely by the use of adverbial expressions of time
such as byi (right now), lw (at hand/at moment), ln (yesterday),
lla (tomorrow) lr yii (this morning), ll n (last night), lip
(soon), ngb kan ri (sometime ago), lay tij (long time ago/in years gone
by), etc. These adverbials are the principal means by which time may be
marked in the grammar. Some of them are more time-specific (cf. 124-129)
while others are more general in nature (130-132). These adverbs of time are
normally placed postverbally. However, they could be placed preverbally,


180
aspect Incompletive
quote It was like that I was travelling along and I
was looking here and there perhaps I would
see my four brothers in respect of whom I
came to hunt in this jungle, till the light of
the sun came down to all over the jungle
when it was about nine oclock and then I
sfonned.
YL n NE was travelling
B E travelled
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 60
aspect Relational
quote After I ate the procupine to my satisfaction, I
began to think in mind whether to kill the
whole of the wild animals first... or to be
looking for where the pigmies were living in
this jungle first before I would come back to
kill those wild animals.
YL ti NE ate
B E had eaten
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 60
aspect Anticipative
quote After I ate the procupine to my satisfaction, I
began to think in mind whether to kill the
whole of the wild animals first... or to be
looking for where the pigmies were living
in this jungle first before I would come back
to kill those wild animals.
YL maa NE be looking for
B E look for
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 60
aspect Incompletive
quote After I ate the procupine to my satisfaction, I
began to think in mind whether to kill the
whole of the wild animals first... or to be
looking for where the pigmies were living
in this jungle first before I would come back
to kill those wild animals.
YL n NE were living.
B E lived
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 60


78
2.3.3.8.2 Complex Aspects not Involving the Relational Aspect
There are two complex aspects that do not involve the relational aspect,
at least not directly. Although they are found primarily in simple sentence
structures (97-98 & 99b-100), they are also attested in the habitual complex
aspect when it involves an activity that was undertaken with regularity over a
period of time prior to the moment of speech (99a). This group of complex
aspects comprises the INCEPTIVE y ma and the HABITUAL ma n\ As with
the ones that have the relational in common (cf. 2.3.3.8.1 above), this category
of complex aspects also have one simple aspect in common: the ANTICIPATIVE
ma, which suggests that anticipation is a common element in both of these
complex aspects. Also y and ma make up the irrealis aspects. The former
is the irrealis completive and the latter the irrealis incompletive (cf. 2.3.2.4).
Thus both are related, by virtue of belonging to the same sub-category: the
irrealis.
2.3.3.8.2.1 The Inceptive: Intentional + Anticipative
The inceptive (cf. 2.3.3.3. for a more detailed discussion) is a complex of
two simple aspects: the intentional y and the ANTICIPATIVE ma. This
aspect describes an event or activity that is yet to occur but is anticipated. The
speaker has decided, by a force of the will, to embark upon it.
(97) Emi y ma lo il.
IpS INTEN + ANTI go home
T intend to leave for/start going home.
(98) Emi y ma b is lo.
IpS INTEN + ANTI with work go
T intend to/will get back to work (and keep it going).
The two examples above capture a scenario in which the speaker has
made up her mind to embark on the activities mentioned in each sentence:


125
ongoingness of the activities in question, thus his resort to the past
continuous, which captures more vividly the internal consistency of the YL
habitual aspect.
(57) It was in this town I saw that they had an Exhibition of Smells.
All the ghosts of this town and environs were assembling yearly and
having a special Exhibition of Smells and the highest prizes were
given to one who had the worst smells and would be recognized as a
king since that day (Appendix: 39).
(57b) Gbogbo won k il yi ti agbgb r£ ma
All PLU. ghost town this and surrounding 3PSObj. HABIT.
pd ldQQdn
meet yearly
All the ghosts of this town and its environs met/assembled
yearly
(58) The market day was fixed for every 5th day and the whole people
of that town and also spirits and curious creatures from various bushes
and forests were coming to this market every 5th day to sell or buy
articles (Appendix: 39).
(58b) won abmi d ma n w s oj yi
PLU. curious creature HABIT. come to market this
curious creatures...came to this market
(59) And under the ground of this jungle, there were metals as brass,
copper, etc., with which the people were making the cutlasses, knives,
hoes, etc., from the iron which were dug out from there. All these
things were attracting the people to force themselves to go there as well
(Appendix: 41).
(59b) t won niyn f ma n se d, Qb$, ok
which PLU. people use HABIT, do cutlass, knives, hoe
with which the people made the cutlasses, knives, hoes
3.4,3 Examples Involving the Anticioative Aspect ma
Although a great majority of Tutuolas transfer involves the
incompletive and the habitual aspects, there are a few examples based on the
transfer of the anticipative aspect. As I have already explained in the previous
chapter (cf. 2.3.2.4), the anticipative aspect describes an activity or event that
is non-existent but likely to take place. It is non-completive and not ongoing
and although such an activity or event has a likelihood of taking place, there


213
Tim married Fnmi in London, England in December 1994. Their
marriage has been blessed with two sons, Ayool Ilrolwa and Ibkn
Olbsl, born on February 15, 1996 and October 27, 2000 respectively.


205
Jibril, M. (1982). "Nigerian English: An Introduction." In J. B. Pride (Ed.) New
Englishes, pp. 73-84.
Jones, E. (1987). The Writing of Wole Soyinka. Portsmouth, N. H.: Heinemann.
Jowitt, D. (1991). Nigerian English Usage: An Introduction. Ikeja: Longman
Nigeria Ltd.
Kachru, B. (1982a). The Other Tongue: English Across Cultures. Urbana:
University of Illinois Press.
Kachru, B. (1986). The Alchemy of English. Urbana: University of Illinois
Press.
Kachru, B. (1987). "The Alchemy of English: The Speed, Functions and Models
of Non-native Englishes", World Englishes, Vol. 8,No. 2, pp.239-241. Revd.
by J. Fishman.
Kachru, B. (1992a). "World Englishes. In Language Teaching. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Kachru, Braj B. (1965). The Indianness of Indian English. In Word 21 (3):
391-410.
Kachru, Braj B. (1981). The Pragmatics of non-native Varieties of English. In
Smith, Larry (Ed.) English for Cross-cultural Communication. London:
Macmillan.
Kachru, Braj B. (1982b). "The Bilingual's Linguistic Repertoire". In B. Hartford
et al. (Eds.) Issues in Bilingual Education: The Role of the Vernacular,
pp. 25-52. New York: Plenum Press.
Kachru, Braj B. (1982c). Models for Non-Native Englishes. In Braj B. Kachru
(1982): 31-57.
Kachru, Braj B. (1988). The Spread of English and Sacred Linguistic Cows. In
Lowenberg, P. H. (Ed.) Language Spread and Language Policy: Issues,
Implications and Case Studies. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University
Press, pp. 207-226.
Kachru, Braj B. (1994). Englishization and Contact Linguistics. In World
Englishes, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 135-154.
Kirk-Greene, A. (1971). "The Influence of West African Languages on English."
In J. Spencer (Ed.) The English Language in West Africa. London:
Longman.
Krop Dakubu, M. E. (Ed.) (1997). English in Ghana. Accra: Black Mask
Publishers.
Kujore, O. (1985). "English Usage: Some Notable Nigerian Variations," World
Englishes, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 239-241. Revd. by C. F. Myer; English Usage:
Some Notable Nigerian Variations. Ibadan: Evans Brothers Ltd..


55
(31) O ma r lo s il-iw.
2pS HABITUAL go DIREC. school
'She/he (habitually) goes to school/went to school.'
(32) Won malo s il-iw.
3pP HABITUAL go DIREC school
'They habitually go to school/went to school.'
2.3.1.8 Habitual + Emphatic Pronoun
In the next examples, the emphatic forms of the pronouns in (31-32) are
used to show that the habitual can select either the regular or the emphatic
forms (iwo and won) of the same pronouns (33-34). Again, the difference
is mainly that of emphasis-the emphatics are used to bring an added emphasis
to the subject of the sentences.
(33) IWO ma r lo s il-iw.
2pS EMPH HABITUAL go DIREC school
'She/he indeed goes/went (habitually) to school.'
(34) AWON ma rilo s il-iw.
3pP EMPH HABITUAL go DIREC school
'They indeed go to school/went to school.'
2.3.1.9 Antecedent Completion + Regular Pronoun
In examples (35-36) below, we have instances of the occurrence of
forms of the regular pronoun occuring with the antecedent completion aspect
(ma n).
(35) A ti ma r lo s il-iw.
IpP ANTECOMP go DIREC school
'We used to have gone to school.'
(36) E ti ma r lo s il-iw.
2pP ANTE COMP go DIREC school
'You used to have gone to school.'


182
aspect Relevant-Inceptive
quote His arms were very long and thick. He had a
big half fall goitre on his neck and he had a
very big belly which, whenever he was
going or running along, would be shaking
here and there and sounding heavily.
YL ti n NE was going or running
B E went or ran
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 61
aspect Relevant-Inceptive
author Tutuola
quote We first wrestled for about fifteen minutes.
And each time that he was flinging me
away with great anger, to his surprise, I was
standing up and gripping him before my feet
were touching the ground.
book title BAH
page 62
YL tin NE was flinging
BE flung
aspect Completive
author Tutuola
quote We first wrestled for about fifteen minutes.
And each time that he was flinging me away
with great anger, to his surprise, I was
standing up and gripping him before my feet
were touching the ground.
book title BAH
page 62
YL unmarked NE were touching
B E could touch
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Again, as he was still looking on, I ran to the
tree on which I leaned the two poisonous
cudgels, I took one and with all my power I
beat obstacle with it, for I thought the
poison of this cudgel would kill him.
book title BAH
page 63
YL n NE was still looking on
B E still looked on


49
(9)
*Wn
da?
3pP(SP)
INTV?
(9b)
A won
da?
3pP(EP)
INTV?
Where are they?
Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Interrogative Verb; nk
In the following examples, the interrogative verb nk cannot cooccur
with the regular forms of the pronoun subject Aand Mo (10, 11); only the
emphatic forms of the pronoun, Awa and Emi (10b, lib), are acceptable.
(10)
*A
nk?
lpP(RP)
INTV
(10b)
Awa
nk?
lpP(EP)
INTV
What about us?/And us?
(11)
*Mo
nk?
lpS(RP)
INTV
(lib)
Emi
nk?
lpS(EP)
INTV
What about me?/And me?
Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Presentative Verbs; ni and k
Likewise, the regular pronouns are not acceptable before both the
affirmative and negative forms of the so-called presentative verb. The
examples below will illustrate my point.
(12)
*Mo
ni
Tmi.
lpS(RP)
be
Tmi
(12b)
Emi
ni
Tmi.
lpS(EP)
be
Tmi
T am Temi/My name is Tmi.
In (12) above, the sentence is ungrammatical because the presentative
verb ni is not permitted to select a regular pronoun. (12b) is grammatical


48
2.3.1 Aspect Constraints On Person Markins And Pronoun Selection
In YL, subject pronoun selection is partially determined by aspect.
There are basically two types of subject pronouns: regular and emphatic (also
referred to in the literature as pronominals due to the similarity of their
behavior to nouns). Both forms of the pronoun can occur in subject position
before the VP, with certain restrictions on the regular pronouns. The regular
pronouns, for example, cannot occur before an interrogative sentence ending
with the interrogative and locative verbs d and nk and the subsequent
responses to these questions(cf. examples 8-llb). They also do not occur before
the existence verb, ni and the non-existence verb, k, (cf. 12-15b) nor in
compound NP structures, using a conjunction (cf. 16-18b). Above all, they
cannot occur before the intentional aspect y (cf. 19-20b), albeit they are
acceptable before the alternative form , which is probably a contracted
form of y. The anticipative aspect ma is the preferred form, however, in
such instances (cf. section 2.3.2.5. & 2.2.2.4). In all of the above mentioned
instances, only the emphatics may be used.
Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Interrogative Verb: da
In examples (8-8b) below, the use of the regular pronoun before the
interrogative verb da is ungrammatical, but replacing the regular pronoun
with the emphatic makes it acceptable. The same analysis is true for examples
(9) and (9b), where the regular pronoun Won must be replaced by the
emphatic Awon to make the sentence grammatically acceptable.
(8) *0 d?
2pS(RP) INTV?
(8b) Iwo d?
2pS(EP) INTV?
Where is she/he/it?


83
the flight for Tampa on such and such a date. Thus, although the day of the
parents' return from Orlando may not be hundred percent certain, it is
however their intention to make another trip to Tampa upon their return. It is
a decision they had taken before leaving for Orlando.
(112)Lhin WQn y lo s Tampa fn Qj d$.
Afterwards 3pPS INTEN go to Tampa for day few
Afterwards they will/intend to go to Tampa for a while.
In order to capture a few more aspect markers, especially those that do
not occur in Text A, I provide yet another personally generated text below
(Text B). In this text, we observe some more complex aspects, in context.
Text g;
(113) Emi ti Fnmi y lo s Nijry nn os
I and Funmi INTEN go DIREC Nigeria inside month
(114) kef odn yi. A tin mra s byi.
sixth year this. We RELEV-INCEP prepare down now.
(115) A ti ri ra won bn t a ma fn
We RELEV-INC buy PLUR gift that we ANTI give
(116) won eb ti or ngbt a b dl.
PLUR. family and friend when we meet arrive+home.
(117) Gbogbo won y ti ma ret wa k a
All them EXPECTIVE expect us before we
(118) t dl. Gbogbo igb t a b 1q
reach arrive+home. All time that we meet go
(119) il ni a ma ra bn lw.
home is we HABITUAL buy gift in hand
Free Translation of Passage B
Funmi and I will (be) go(ing) to Nigeria this June. We are busy making
preparations right now. Weve started buying gifts that we will give to
family and friends when we arrive home. Everyone will be expecting us
by the time we get home. Every time we go home we always take gifts
along.
In line (113), we have a simple aspect yio preceding the verb lo. In
Unes (114) and (115), however, we have examples of the relevant-inceptive
aspect ti n, a complex aspect involving the combination of the relational ti


159
aspect Habitual
quote And under the ground of this jungle, there
were metals as brass, copper, etc., with which
the people were making trays, bowls, gods,
idols. They were also making the cutlasses,
knives, hoes, etc., from the iron which were
dug out from there. All these things were
attracting the neonle to force themselves to
YL maan NE were attracting
B E attracted
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 11
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote As a great number of the people were
perishing in this jungle every year, then
the people of about fifty towns made a
meeting between themselves to go there and
kill all the wild animals, etc., and all the
pigmies.
YL n NE were perishing
B E perished
book title BAH
page 12
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Of course all hunters believed that the
pigmies were living in there but they did
not know the real part of it in which they
were living.
book title BAH
page 12
YL n NE were living
B E lived
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Of course all hunters believed that the
pigmies were living in there but they did not
know the real part of it in which they were
living.
book title BAH
page 12
YL n NE were living
B E lived


107
appropriately, you will eventually learn of their wise ways). Apparently
Tutuola knew how to conduct himself well and was granted the honor of
dining at the same table as the sages among his people.
3.4 Aspect in Tutuolas Writings
What became Tutuolas bane at the home front also became his blessing
abroadhis use of English. The main reason he was villified and disdained by
his detractors back home, who would not even take a serious look at his works
was their response to the unconventional way he wrote. They felt his oral
storytelling style would make native speakers of English in Europe and
America look down on them as people who could not correctly acquire the
Queens English. They felt his works would serve to confirm the erroneously
held belief in some Western circles that Africans are too backward and are
incapable of learning the noble ways of the West. That Tutuola was attracting a
great deal of positive interest presented his critics with a serious problem. So
great was the ripple that the publication of his pioneering work created in
Nigeria that while he was still receiving highly positive reviews in the West,
his fellow countrymen were writing criticisms intended to descredit the very
authenticity and originality of his work. Instead of studying his language and
trying to find out why he wrote the way he did, they dismissed it as the half-
baked, uneducated babble of a childish mind. They went on to predict that the
euphoria surrounding his works in the West would soon wane and that Tutuola
would end up in the trash heap of history. Time, however, would prove them
wrong, very wrong.
A closer look at Tutuolas language reveals some fascinating and
intriguing structures that the casual observer cannot simply discern from
afar off. An unbiased and serious observer will, however, not go too far before


63
These clitics co-occur in a grammatically constrained order. Any
combination is possible except those containing y and n. These two are
mutually exclusive. Table 2.2 below presents a comprehensive list of all the
sequences of combination in the language, which can be summarized by the
simple formula ((((y) + (((((ti)) + ((ma)))) + (n)))).
Table 2,2
i.
y
ti
ii.
y
ti
ma
iii.
y
ma
iv.
ti
ma
V.
ti
ma
rf
vi.
ti
r
vii.
ma
n
2,3,3 The Complex Aspect Series
There are seven complex aspects in YL, each of them a combination of
the simple aspects. Below are the combinations or co-occurences that make up
the complex aspect series. Five of these complex aspects combine two simple
aspects, while two consist of three simple aspects. Included in the first
category are the backgrounder (y ti), the inceptive (y ma), the
manifestive (ti ma), the relevant-inceptive (ti n) and the habitual (ma n).
The second category of complex aspects comprises the expective (y ti ma)
and antecedent completion (ti ma n). Below are a couple of illustrative
examples of how the simple aspects combine to produce the complex aspects. In
the next section I will be defining and giving several examples to illustrate the
various aspects and how they operate in syntax. For now, however, I will limit


138
The purpose of this dissertation is to show why Tutuola wrote the way he
did, using just one of the major elements of influence from his mother tongue,
Yoruba. I chose to focus on the influence of Yoruba aspect because it happens
to be the most pervasive as well as the most subtle element in the syntactic
make-up of Tutuolas English. A close look at how aspect operates in the
Yoruba language was very useful and necessary in deciphering the
underlying structures of Tutuolas supposedly mangled English.
Of course, aspectual influences alone cannot explain all of the
idiosyncracies of his grammar. Other influences also exist, especially those we
find in his noun phrases, which involve the omission of certain elements such
as articles and other determinants and modifiers that are obligatory in the
target British English or even Standard American English. It is only this type
of careful and painstaking analysis that could help us properly appraise the
language of Tutuola and consequently his works and thus place the man and
his works in their rightful place in the literary world and give him the honor
that he so much deserves--a comfortable place among the literary giants of
our time.
What I have attempted to demonstrate here is that what Tutuola does is
not arbitrary at all, but is, instead, rather systematic and even rule-governed.
Tutuolas English cannot just be simply dismissed as errors of grammar or of
usage, in the very negative sense of those terms, but rather the painstaking
effort of a man with little formal education in English who carefully patterns
his English after the structure and rules of his mother tongue in order to
communicate to posterity a passionthat of preserving the folklore of his
people for generations yet unborn. To achieve this noble objective, Tutuola
has had to domesticate the English lnaguage, remold and refashion it into a
useful tool to communicate his message to a worldwide audience. He would not


19
The SVCs exhibit very interesting properties, as can be observed in the
examples below.
(18) M xm w!
Bring it come
Bring it (here)!
(19) Mo gb e lo.
I carry it go
T took/carried it away.
(20) Tt ta igi fn Tol.
Tt sell wood give Tol
Tt sold Tolu some wood.
In examples (18) and (19), the second verbs (w, lo) indicate the
direction in which the actions performed by the subjects took place. Both the
first and second verbs point to the action of one and the same subject. In (20)
the second verb (fn) refers or points to the object of the benefactor of the
action referred to by the first verb. However, it is also possible to have an SVC
construction of this type in (18) and (19) where the subject of the second verb
becomes the object of the first verb. In that instance, it is the object of the
verb (ti push) who suffers the consequence of the action and not the subject
(as in the last two examples). Such is the case in example (21) below.
(21)Pd ti m lul$.
Pd push me hi t+ground
Pd pushed me down.
It is also possible to have two transitive verbs combined in the same SVC
construction. In such cases the serial verb sequence will have two object NPs,
as in (22) and (23) below.
(22)Tf pqb omi kn m.
Tf draw water fill pot
Tf filled the pot with water.


196
aspect Anticipative
quote After he handed my property to the king and
another pigmy put them on the ceiling and
the king thanked him greatly and advised
him as well to be going round the jungle
every day and night and bringing all hunters
or huntresses he might see in the jungle ...
YL
maa
NE
bringing
BE
bring
aspect Completive
quote As he was pushing me along to the custody
thousands of pigmies were surrounded me
and they were looking at me with great
surprise. Not as I was a huntress but because
I was taller than everyone of them. They
raised up their heads and were saying -- how
a nerson was so tall as this.
YL unmarked NE were surrounded
B E surrounded
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote As he was pushing me along to the custody
thousands of pigmies were surrounded me
and they were looking at me with great
surprise. Not as I was a huntress but because
I was taller than everyone of them. They
raised up their heads and were saying --
how a nerson was so tall as this.
YL
n
NE were saying
BE
said
aspect Incompletive
quote Because they themselves were not more than
three or four feet tall. And I too bent my head
downward and I was looking at each of
them with great surprise that how a person
was as short as this.
YL n NE was looking at
B E looked at
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 82
book title BAH
page 82
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 82
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 81


154
aspect Incompletive
quote Having finished the corn another terrible
ghost whose eyes were watering all over his
body and his large mouth faced his back
brought urine which was mixed with
limestone to me to drink as thery were not
using ordinary water there because it is too
clean for them.
YL n NE were not using
B E did not use
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 39
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote And the worst part of these punishments was
that as I was tied in the sun all the young
ghosts of this village were mounting me
and getting down as if I am a tree as they
were very surprised to see me as a horse.
book title LBG
page 39
YL n NE were mounting
B E kept mounting
aspect Incompletive
quote As it was very dark at that time, so I was
staggering or dashing into trees along
the way when he was returning to his town,
and it was almost one oclock midnight before
we reached his town.
YL n NE staggering or dashing
B E staggered or ...
author Tutuola
book title LBG
page 39
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote But after I ate some of this food he changed
me again to the form of a camel and then his
sons were using me as transport to carry
heavy loads to long distances of about twenty
of forty miles.
book title LBG
page 40
YL n NE were using
BE used


115
running in (31), which should be rendered simply as ran in BE. In example
(32), BE requires the past simple form of the verb: lived. Similarly, in (33), BE
would have required the simple form, followed rather than Tutuolas were
following. It is quite easy to explain what Tutuola is doing in all these
instances: he was translating his thoughts from the Yoruba where the
incompletive, ri adequately renders all of the scenarios represented here. In
examples (3Ob-3 3b) below, I will be providing the YL rendition of the EL
clauses that contain these BE tense forms.
(30b) $gbn wn n gb ni ibikan
but they INCOM.+live PREP somewhere
but they live/lived/are living/were living somewhere
Devoid of the specific context in which we find clause (30b), it could
have any of the above interpretations in BE. The YL clause from which Tutuola
translates his idea could have a present simple or a past simple interpretation.
It could also be translated into the EL present or past continuous tenses, as
context dictates. In the Yoruba mind, all that matters is that the state of the
verb is tenseless. It is still in an inconclusive or incompletive stage. It could be
interpreted as, they live there; they are (still) living there; they lived there
or they were (still) living there. Since the context of usage dictates a past
event, however, Tutuola renders the auxiliary verb (were) in its past tense
form, but puts the main verb (living) in the continuous form, thus giving it
an incompletive sense.
(31b) lghin n n sr b sdQ mi
after that 3pS INCOM.+run come towards me
after that he runs/ran/is running/was running towards
me


in choosing to write in English, also chose not to leave behind many of the
features of his first language.
The implications of this study are several. At the disciplinary level, the
study affords the opportunity to capture linguistic data as they develop and to
provide fresh insights into the internal workings of the Yorb verb phrase
in general and aspectual relations in particular. These insights enhance our
understanding of the Yorb language as a linguistic system. The study has
implications for the history of the English language. The study also leads to an
understanding that language contact is a two-way process. When two
languages come into contact, mutual influences at various levels of grammar
and usage are inevitable.
At the national and international levels, our understanding of the
language of Ttols work can affect the way English is taught in nations
where English is a second language. Our understanding also can affect the way
Yorb is taught to speakers of English as a first language. The results of this
study also have general implications for the theory of second language
learning and teaching and for the science of language in general, as it could
lead to a better understanding of the role the mother tongue plays in the
acquisition of a second language in non-native contexts.
xii


9
1.2 The Yorub Language
Yoruba belongs to the Yoruboid group of the Kwa branch of the Niger-
Congo family of languages, which cuts across most of sub-Saharan Africa. It is
the largest of the five main language families of Africa. The others are
Nilo-Saharan, Afro-Asiatic, Khoisan and Austronesian (mainly in the island
nation of Madagascar). About half the population of Africa speak a language
belonging to the Niger-Congo family. Other groups in this family include the
Atlantic and the Kordofanian group of languages.
Yoruba is demographically and culturally the most important language
of the Gulf of Guinea. Spoken by more than 25 million people, it was one of the
earliest west African languages to have a written grammar and dictionary. The
first known written document in Yoruba appeared in 1819. It was a vocabulary
primer containing the numerals 1-10 and was published by the German
linguist, Bowdich. A more substantial list of vocabulary appeared some nine
years later in 1828 when Hannah Kilham published a collection of
vocabularies from thirty African languages while sojourning in Sierra-Leone
between 1827 and 1828. This was followed by the first recorded text and
dictionary in 1843. The former was a Yoruba translation of Luke 1:35, a sermon
text of the Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, a priest-linguist working under the
aegis of the Church Missionary Society (CMS). The first dictionary was also the
work of Bishop Crowther. He also produced the first grammar and vocabulary
in 1853 and the first translation of the Bible in 1856, the same year in which
the first Yoruba periodical also appeared. This was followed in 1875 by the first
standardized orthography (which remains essentially unmodified today),
issued by the CMS, under the supervision of Samuel Crowther.
The Reverend and later Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who became
instrumental in the codification of the Yoruba language and was by far the


4
Lukumi also has become a generic name in Cuba where it has some other
variants such as Licomim, Ulkumi and Ulkami.
Although oral history puts the origins of Il-If at around 8 B.C.,
linguistic and archaeological evidence suggest that the Yoruba emerged near
the Niger-Benue confluence some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. From here, it is
believed, they migrated to their present location between the eighth and
eleventh centuries. Historians tell us that a powerful Yoruba kingdom already
existed in Il-If by the eighth century: one of the earliest in Africa south of
the Sahel region.
The Yoruba are among the most urbanized people in Africa. For
centuries before the arrival of the British colonial administration most Yoruba
already lived in well structured urban centers organized around powerful
city-states (il) centered around the residence of the oba (ruler). In ancient
times, most of these cities were fortresses, with high walls and gates. Yoruba
cities always have been among the most populous in Africa. Recent
archaeological findings indicate that Oy-il, capital of the Yoruba empire of
Oyo that flourished between 1000 and 1840 A.D. had a population of over 100,000
people (the largest single population in Africa at that time in history). For a
long time, Ibadan, one of the major Yoruba cities, was the largest city in the
whole of western Africa. Today, Lagos, another major Yoruba city, with a
population of about eight to ten million, remains the second largest in Africa,
apart from being the main commercial and economic nerve center of Nigeria
and the entire West-African sub-region. It also was the political capital of
Nigeria for decades, until very recently when a new capital (Abuja) was
founded in the center of the country.
The Yoruba are traditionally an agricultural people, as their
environment in conducive to farming. The Yoruba evidently, have always


112
incompletive and the habitual appear to be of any significance, with both
gulping 184 of a 200-page data, a whopping 92% of the whole corpus, leaving
the remaining aspects to share a mere 8% of data space. Of the two most attested
aspects, the incompletive far outweighs the habitual by an almost 4 to 1
margin. Other aspects not attested in the data are the completive, the
intentional, the backgrounder, the expective, the inceptive, the manifestive
and the antecedent completion.
A breakdown of the corpus reveals that Tutuola tends to transfer mostly
the incompletive and the habitual aspects. Standing at two pages and one page
of data each, transfer of the anticipative, the relational and the relevant-
inceptive aspects are not very significant. My focus therefore will be placed
on the two aspects with the most significant amount of transfer: the
incompletive and the habitual.
3.4.1 The Incompletive Aspect ri
As has been mentioned above, Tutuola appears to transfer the
incompletive aspect far more than any of the other eleven aspects in YL. In
fact, taking 72% of the total, it stands far apart from all the other aspects
combined. As one of the simple aspects, the incompletive has only a single
marker, n and does not have a specific time referent (cf. Section 2.3.2.2). Its
basic referent is the ongoingness of an activity, event or situation. Time:
present, past or future is not relevant to this aspect, as it could deal with all of
these, depending on the context of usage. Take the following examples for
instance,
(27) Mo pde Kk ngbt mo n lo sEk ln.
IpS meet Kike when IpS INCOM. go to+Lagos yesterday
T met Kike on my way to Lagos yesterday.


91
(17) Mo ma lo.
IpS ANTI go
T will go/ I anticipate going.
(18) Emi ma 1q.
IpSEmp ANTI go
I definitely will/intend to go
Secondly, the fact that the denomination tense is inaccurate is clear
from the fact that what Bamgbose calls the Continuous Tense (3-4) and
Habitual Tense (5-6) could be interpreted as having already taken place in
the past or are taking place in the present, depending on the context, as is
clearly evident in the reanalysis in examples (9-10) and (11-12) respectively,
or by a simple addition of time adverbs, as in examples (19-26) below. Thus, it is
misleading to refer to them as tense, especially since one tense can refer only
to one possible timepast, present or futureand not two time frames
simultaneously, as Bamgboses analysis suggests.
Examples of Incompletive as a Present (/n7 + /lw/)
(19)A n LOWD.
IpP INCOMPLETIVE work now
We are busy working (right now).
Examples of Incompletive as a Past (/n7 + /ln/)
(20)A n LANAA.
IpP INCOMPLETIVE work yesterday
We were working yesterday.
Examples of Incompletive as a Present (/ri/ + /lw/)
(21)Wqn ti n korin dada LOWD.
3pP even INCOMPLETIVE sing well now
They are even singing well (this very moment).


145
Achebes statement echoes that of another creative writer in English from far
away India who wrote with similar convictions more than two decades before
him. Rajah Raos deep seated conviction is captured in two brief but strong
sentences: We cannot write like the English. We should not. (Rao 1943: vii).
Another issue this raises is that of the often heard and debated
argument about what constitutes the English literary canon. Since African
writers and others in the Outer Circle (to borrow Kachrus terminology),
have written in English and have been able to excel at this, receiving
international recognition, awards and encomiums, we are forced to have to
face the issue of the English literary canon, which has hitherto been mainly
Euro-centric. It probably is about time (as Kachru and other users of the so-
called non-native varieties of English have been advocating for years now) to
reconsider a revision of this canon to include the works of other non-native
speakers of English. This call is for a more inclusive and diversified canon,
especially since the latter serves as the basis of our judgment and criticism of
works written in English language.
This question about the English literary canon brings us to another
very important issue in ESL pedagogy, theory, methodology, and materials
development. Let us first consider the issue of models and norms. ESL teachers
must recognize that the British or even the American model of English is no
longer valid nor practical as a sole guide for speaking and writing English in
nations like Nigeria, where new models have evolved due to nativization and
acculturation (see Kachru 1982, 1987 for further discussions on models and
norms for non-native varieties of English). The implication of this on the
pragmatics of teaching English as an international language is also far-
reaching, as it has repercussions on the teaching of English for specific
purposes (ESP) and communicative language teaching!CLT). The ESL teacher


27
continuing to enrich the culture of our global village in which we all live
today.
This brief story of the dynamic relationship between English and
Yorb within the Nigerian context can serve, I think, as a reminder of the
verity of the basic principle of contact linguistics, that language contact is not
unidirectional but rather a two dimensional highway. As two languages and
peoples come into contact, both languages must of necessity exert some degree
of influence on each other, given the right circumstances. Unfortunately,
however, sometimes the result is not always the good ending of peaceful co
existence. This is the sad story of many indigenous languages that have
suffered death due to the contact they had with some languge of power at one
point in time or another. Sometimes the languages of the less powerful have
not only died, the speakers of such languages have perished along with their
languages. Language death is not just something of the past, it is still a sad
reality of our time and age. Maybe the kind of study in which I am engaged
will continue to serve as a reminder that languages can continue to co-exist,
just as people can, and that such peaceful co-existence can benefit not only
the people who speak those languges, but also enrich world civilization,
culture and language in general. People like Tutuola have not only enriched
world culture by sharing the lores of their culture with the rest of the world
through the instrumentality of the English languge. They also, as part of the
process of sharing, enrich language worldwide and the English language in
particular.
In the next chapter I focus on the Yorb language and especially the
structure of the verb phrase and more specifically the dynamics of
temporality in the language. I begin my discussion with a brief literature
review on time relations in Yorb and follow it with a personal reanalysis of


102
distracted by elitist critics. I will use the English language as an instrument to
convey my mission to the next generation. I am trying to preserve the culture
and customs of my people before it dies away. About a decade later, Chinua
Achebe would capture the spirit of what Tutuola was doing with his English in
the following often quoted response to those who feel that Africans must speak
English like the British
So my answer to the question, Can an African ever learn English well
enough to be able to use it effectively in creative writing? is certainly
yes. If on the other hand you ask: Can he ever learn to use it like a
native speaker? I should say, I hope not. It is neither necessary nor
desirable for him to be able to do so. The price a world language must be
prepared to pay is submission to many different kinds of use. The
African writer should aim to use English in a way, that brines out his
message best without altering the language to the extent that its value
as a medium of international exchange will be lost. He should aim at
fashioning out an English which is at once universal and able to carry
his peculiar experience....It will have to be a new English still in full
communion with its ancestral home, but altered to suit its new African
surroundings (1965: 29-30, all emphases mine).
But almost a decade before Tutuolas novel came on the scene, another
writer from far away India had already shared similar convictions in another
well-known and often cited quotation
wg catmot writs like the English, We should not- We cannot write only
as Indians. We have grown to look at the large world around us as part
of us. Our method of expression therefore has to be a dialect which will
some day prove to be as distinctive and colorful as the Irish and the
American. Time alone will justify it (Rao 1943: viii, my emphasis)
The existence of different varieties of EL is now a well established fact.
Much has been written on Indian, South African, Liberian, Nigerian,
Ghanaian, Cameroonian and other Englishes around the world. In fact,
American English itself is a variety or dialect of English, with its own
idiosyncracies that set it apart from the British or any other variety of EL.
What both Achebe and Rao said above is exactly what Tutuola has done,
and this he has done well. Proof of his success is to be found in the effusive


21
1.3 The Dynamics of Yorb and English in Nigeria
In this final section of my introductory chapter I will present a brief
overview of the complex dynamics of Yoruba and English within the socio
cultural and political context of Nigeria. First, I will give a brief history of how
the English language came into what has come to be known as the present day
Nigeria and how this has affected English and Yoruba and how both languages
are used in Nigeria today.
English was officially introduced into Nigeria with the arrival of British
merchants on the west coast of Africa during the 17th century. During most of
this time English was confined to the coastal areas with which the British did
legitimate trade and later on the obnoxious trade in humans. The type of
English used then was a mixture of English words with West African syntax
(mostly of the Kwa group of languages, to which Yoruba belongs). It was this
variety of English that later on developed in what is today known as Nigerian
Pidgin English (NPE). The need for communication between European
merchants and their Nigerian counterparts gave birth to this form of
communication, a compromise speech of sorts, between the English-speaking
British merchants and their Nigerian trading partners who spoke indigenous
languages. Thus NPE was already widely spoken along the coast before the
coming of the colonial administration. However, what is today known as
standard Nigerian English (NE) did not emerge until the arrival of the
Christian missionaries who began to establish schools for purposes of religious
instruction. The preceding colonial administration did not see the need to
educate their African subjects in their own language. They felt that the
compromise that created NPE was good enough for their purposes. It was only
decades later that the colonial administration itself began to take some interest
in educating their Nigerian subjects, mostly for their own self-serving


188
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote So as was running furiously towards me
with all his power and when he was about to
reach me, I hastily leapt again to my right
unexpectedly and unfortunately he simply
butted the stump of that tree.
book title BAH
page 68
YL n NE was running
BE ran
aspect Relational
quote After I rested for a few minutes then I
started to beat him with my poisonous cudgel
until when he was completely powerless and
then he died after some minutes. It was like
that I killed this super-animal as I could
call him.
YL ti NE rested
B E had rested
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 69
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As I was looking for this boa constrictor it
was so I was killing all the wild animals
which I was seeing on the way. And in a few
days time I killed the whole of them.
book title BAH
page 69
YL n NE was killing
BE kept killing
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote As I was looking for this boa constrictor it
was so I was killing all the wild animals
which I was seeing on the way. And in a
few days time I killed the whole of them.
book title BAH
page 69
YL n NE was seeing
BE saw


135
the Yoruba people and their British subjugators as well as those of their
languages, and thereby creating new varieties of Yoruba and English through
that process. Secondly, I gave a brief attention to the Yoruba language,
showing that it is a coherent system in its own right. This was to lay the
necessary foundation for demonstrating how it has contributed to the way
English is used in the Nigerian context, and most importantly, in Tutuolas
writings.
Most of the studies on language contact and influence, especially those
dealing with the contact between English and other languages, have been
undertaken from the perspective of English and have focussed mainly on the
influence of English on these languages. Comparatively little, however, has
been done on how these other languages have also influenced, affected, and
changed the face of English and the way it is used around the world. It was the
second concern that became important in chapter three.
In Chapter 2, my focus was on the internal workings of the Yoruba verb
phrase, with particular emphasis on temporal relations in the language.
However, within this system the story of the contact with English is replayed
again, by the way Yoruba grammatical description itself has been shaped and
influenced by English over the years as a result of the English-based
educational background of the linguists and grammarians doing the analysis.
Thus, I pointed out some of these problematic areas of Yoruba grammatical
description and attempted a more Yoruba-based and Yoruba-centric approach.
The main thrust of Chapter 2, then, was to propose that rather than a
tense based language, as most previous grammars have suggested, Yoruba is
primarily an aspect-driven language. A twelve aspect classification was
proposed, with two main subdivisions into simple and complex aspects. The
simple aspects include the completive, incompletive, relational, anticipative


2.3.1.6 Relational aspect + emphatic pronoun 54
2.3.1.7 Habitual Aspect + regular pronoun 54
2.3.1.8 Habitual Aspect + emphatic pronoun 55
2.3.1.9 Antecedent completion + regular pronoun 55
2.3.1.0 Antecedent completion + emphatic pronoun 56
2.3.2 The Simple Aspect Series 56
2.3.2.1 The Completive Aspect (Unmarked) 56
23.2.2 The Incompletive Aspect 58
23.2.3 The Relational Aspect 59
23.2.4 The Irrealis Aspects 59
23.2.4.1 The anticipative aspect 60
23.2.4.2 The intentional aspect 61
2.3.3 The Complex Aspect Series 63
2.33.1 Backgrounder 64
2.33.2 Expective 65
2.3.33 Inceptive 66
2.33.4 Manifestive 68
2.33.5 Antecedent Completion 68
2.33.6 Relevant-Inceptive 70
2.33.7 Habitual 71
2.33.8 Two Major Categories of the Complex Aspects 72
233.8.1 Those involving the relational aspect 73
233.8.2 Those not involving the relational 78
2.4 Aspect Markers in Context 80
2.4.1 Completive (Unmarked) Aspect 81
2.4.2 Incompletive Aspect 81
2.4.3 Relational Aspect 82
2.4:4 Anticipative Aspect 82
2.4.5 Intentional Aspect 82
2.4.6 Relevant-Inceptive Aspect 84
2.4.7 Expective Aspect 84
2.4.8 Habitual Aspect 84
2.5 Temporal Relations in Yorb 85
vii


10
most fervent contributor to early Yoruba studies, was himself a Yoruba native.
Enslaved and later liberated by the British Navy in 1821, Ajayi resettled in
Sierra-Leone, as did other West-Africans after the British empire abolished the
trade in humans. In Sierra-Leone, where many of the returning ex-enslaved
were of Yoruba origin, Samuel Crowther became a missionary for the CMS of
England. He was baptized in 1825 by John C. Raban, a German missionary
working for the CMS who also christened the young Ajayi as Samuel Crowther.
Raban exerted a profound and lasting influence on the young Crowther. His
influence allowed Crowther to play a key role in moving the center of the
study of the Yoruba language from Sierra-Leone to Yorubaland itself in a CMS-
led missionary effort to christianize the Yoruba-speaking areas of western
Africa. The effort to transform Yoruba from a mainly spoken language to a
written one was not the effort of one person alone. It was an international
effort mostly led by European missionaries whose main purpose was to
transmit the Judeo-Christian religion and culture. Apart from Samuel
Crowther and his mentor, Raban, several other European missionary-linguists
as well as other Yoruba-speaking people were involved. The significance and
implications of this European missionary-linguist-led effort and its effect on
Yoruba grammatical analysis are discussed further in the next chapter. This
was the seed of the English-based analysis that later returned to haunt the
grammatical analysis of the Yoruba language.
As one of the three largest groups of languages (classified as national
languages in the constitution) in Nigeria, Yoruba is spoken by more than
20% of the population of Nigeria (the largest single black nation on earth), a
country with a population of about 120 million people. The two other national
languages are Hausa and Igbo, both of which are also regional languages in
the north and southeastern parts of the country. In fact, Hausa is the most


69
It can also be seen as the addition of incompleteness to the manifestive aspect,
which combines the relational and the anticipative, but without the
incompletive. This complex sequence describes an action that used to have
been completed, on a regular basis, prior to another activity. Whereas the
manifestive describes an activity that would have started prior to another one,
the antecedent completion describes an activity or event that took place
regularly before another one over a period of time prior to the moment of
utterance. The next examples capture the complexity of this aspect. In (76), the
subject of the main clause used to have completed working on a regular basis
over an unspecified period of time in the past, prior to the arrival of the
subject of the subordinate clause. In (77), the activity of eating used to have
been performed prior to the departure of the subject of the second clause, and
that on a regular basis. Again, as with the examples in the backgrounder
aspect, the verb tn is usually postposed to the main verb of the main clause
to add a note of finality to the completion of the activity in the main clause
prior to the one described in the subordinate clause. In both of (76) and (77)
tn is added to the main verb of the first clause to emphasize the completion
of the first activity prior to the second one, however it will be redundant to do
the same to the verb of the main clause in (78) because by its very nature
pari (finish, complete) carries with it a note of completion and finality. It
therefore does not need the help of the verb tn, which carries a
synonymous meaning.
(76) Mo ti ma n $is tn k o t d.
IpS ANTE COMP work finish before you PART arrive
'I used to have finished working before you arrived.'
(77) Wn ti ma n jeun tn k a t lo.
3pP ANTE. COMP eat finish before IpP PART go
'They used to have finished eating before we left.'


65
a decision by her will power to finish the work before the second person
arrives on the scene. The same explanation is true for the remaining three
examples, where y ti provides a background to the succeeding event in the
sentence.
(63) Emi y ti $i$ tn k o t d.
IpS BACKGRD work finished before 2pS PARTICLE arrive
T definitely will have finished working before you arrive.'
(64) Awa y ti lo k e t pad.
lpP BACKGRD go before 2pP PART arrive
'We definitely/surely will have left before you return.'
(65) Oim y ti sun k o t j$un tn.
3pS BACKGRD sleep before 2pS PART eat finish
'He surelywill have slept before you finish eating.'
(66) Iwo y ti gbl k a t $etn.
2pS BACKGRD. sweep before lpP PART do+finish
'You surely will have swept the floor before we are ready.'
As an additional emphasis on the expected completion of the first event
or activity prior to the second one, tn (finish) is sometimes postposed to the
main verb of the first clause (if it is a punctual verb), as example (63)
illustrates. In this example, tn is not obligatory in the main clause, but is
included for added emphasis on the intended completion of the main event
prior to the second one. Thus, although tn could be suffixed to the verbs in
(63) and (66), it cannot be added to the verbs To and sim in (64) and (65)
because go and sleep are not punctual activities.
,3,3.2 Expective; fatentfonalt Relational tAnticipative
The EXPECTIVE y ti ma is a combination of three aspect markers, the
intentional y, the relational ti and the anticipative ma. It describes an
activity that will have begun and still be ongoing before another one takes
place. It is actually a complex of the backgrounder and the anticipative


208
Schmied, J. (1991). English in Africa: An Introduction. Essex: Longman.
Sebba, M. (1997). Contact Languages: Pidgins and Creoles. New York: St.
Martins Press.
Selinker, L. (1969). Language Transfer. In: General Linguistics, 9,1-12.
Selinker, L. (1972). Interlanguage. In IRAL, 10(3); reprinted in Richards
(Ed.) 1974.
Sey, K. A. (1973). Ghanaian English: An Exploratory Survey. London:
Macmillan.
Siegel, Jeff (1987). Language Contact in a Plantation Environment: A
Sociolinguistic History of Fiji. Studies in the Social and Cultural
Foundation of Language 5. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Smith, L. (Ed.) (1981). English for Cross-cultural Communication. London:
Macmillan.
Smith, L. (Ed.) (1983). Readings in English as an International Language.
London: Prentice Hall.
Soyinka, Wole (1973). Collected Plays. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Soyoye, Ayo (1986). Etude contrastive des systmes verbaux du yoruba et du
frangais: une mthodologie de travail. DEA thesis, Universit de la
Sorbonne nouvelle, Paris III.
Spencer, J. (Ed.) (1971). The English Language in West Africa. London:
Longman.
Sridhar, S. N. (1982). "Non-Native English Literatures: Context and Relevance".
In B. B. Kachru (Ed.) The Other Tongue.Urbana, Illinoi: University of
Illinois Press.
Strevens, Peter (1982). The Localized Forms of English. In Braj B. Kachru
(Ed.) The Other Tongue. Urbana, Chicago, London: University of Illinois
Press, pp. 23-30.
Taiwo, Oladele (1976). Culture and the Nigerian Novel. New York: St. Martins
Press.
Thomas, Dylan (1952). Blithe Spirits. In Review of The Palm-Wine Drinkard.
The London Observer, 6 July 1952, p. 7; reprinted in Lindfors 1975, 7-8.
Todd, L. (1982). "The English Language in West Africa". In R. W. Bailey and M.
Gorlach (Eds.), English as a World Language. Ann Arbor: University of
Michigan Press.
Trudgill, P. and Hannah, J. (1982). International English. London: Edward
Arnold.
Trudgill, Peter (1986). Dialects in Contact. Oxford: Basil Balckwell.


45
(lb) *Mo sis r.
IpS work INCOMPLETIVE
'I am working/was working.'
2.2.2 The Relational Aspect
(2) O ti kw tn.
2pS RELATIONAL read+book finish
'You have finished reading/studying.'
(2b) *0 kw tn. ti.
2pS read+book finish RELATIONAL
'You have finished reading/studying.'
The ungrammaticality of examples (lb) and (2b) stems from the fact
that there is a violation of word order. In both instances, the aspect markers
n and ti are placed after the verbs sis and kw tn. The position of
aspect markers is obligatorily pre-verbal, so they cannot be placed post-
verbally under any circumstance.
2.2.3 The Habitual + Post-verbal Time Marker
The next two sentences provide examples of adverbial time marking. In
(3) the idea of time is provided only by the adverb ljoojm (daily); in (4) it
is the adverb Tola that provides us with definite time frame for the
performance of the activity in question. In both sentences, the aspect markers
m n and y do not provide us with any sense of time. In fact, sentence (3)
could have both a present and a past interpretation, depending on the context
of usage. It could mean either You work everyday or You used to work
everyday (in the past). Thus, the issue here is not that of time but rather of
the internal structure of the activity. Likewise, example (4) has nothing to do
with tense and everything to do with intentionality. It means that the speakers
intend to do something. It is the addition of Tola to it that frames it in time and
gives it a future interpretation.


185
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote After I killed obstacle I travelled in this
jungle till six oclock in the evening. As I
was travelling along it was so I was killing
all the wild animals that I was seeing on the
way.
book title BAH
page 65
YL n NE was travelling
B E travelled
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote After I killed obstacle I travelled in this
jungle till six oclock in the evening. As I was
travelling along it was so I was killing all the
wild animals that I was seeing on the way.
book title BAH
page 65
YL n NE was seeing
BE saw
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote The teeth of his mouth were so plenty and
long that whenever he was eating a person
who was in two miles away would be hearing
the noises which they were making.
book title BAH
page 66
YL n NE was eating
BE ate
aspect Habitual author Tutuola
quote The teeth of his mouth were so plenty and book title BAH
long that whenever he was eating a person page 66
who was in two miles away would be
hearing the noises which they were
making.
YL maa n NE would be hearing
B E would hear


142
the confusions brought about by previous tense-based analyses. This approach
is especially important and may have far-reaching consequences for the field
linguist who wishes to embark on the analysis of a previously unwritten
language. A linguist who hopes to succeed in this effort must shed all previous
misconceptions about what the language should look like or what it should or
shouldnt contain within its system. It is only such an unbiased approach that
can produce a grammar that is devoid of false representations.
Studies like the one I have presented here also have implications for
second language acquisition theory. Within the context of language contact
where the transplanted language is used in an official capacity in places
where there exist active and vibrant indigenous languages that are languages
of wider communication within their own regions, used side by side with
English as languages of the media, of regional government and intra- and
inter-state commerce, this approach can be particularly important. In such an
environment, it is very natural to expect strong mutual influences, resulting
in changes in the ways both established and transplanted languages are used.
English now belongs to the world community. Normal language changes
chronicled in the linguistics literature apply to International English in ways
comparable to other language change. Some changes are occasioned by
language contact, others by normalizationalso known in linguistic
terminology as linguistic productivity. Productive changes are reflected in the
ways that generation after generation acquires structure. The unbiased field
method approach can be expected to prove valuable. This type of analysis is
valuable to nations around the world in which this kind of process is still
taking place, if only to show that what some language users might assume to
be a deteriorated form of language is, in fact, evidence of the life of the
language. Efforts along these lines may also shed light on questions


152
aspect Anticipative
quote By 4 oclock in the evening, the market would
close for that day and then everybody would
be returning to his or her destination or to
where he or she came from.
YL maa NE would be returning
B E would
author Tutuola
book tltlePWD
page 17
aspect Habitual
quote So, one day she went to the market on a
market-day as she was doing before, or to
sell her articles as usual; on that market-day,
she saw a curious creature in the market, but
she did not know where the man came from
and never knew him before.
YL maa n NE was doing
B E used to
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 18
aspect Incompletive author Tutuola
quote But as she was following the complete
gentleman along the road, he was telling
her to go back or not to follow him, but the
lady did not listen to what he was telling her
and when the complete gentleman had tired
of telling her not to follow him or to go back
ro her town, he left her to follow him.
YL n NE was telling
B E repeatedly told
book tltlePWD
page 19
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote When I travelled with him a distance of about
twelve miles away to that market, the
gentleman left the really road on which we
were travelling and branched into an endless
forest and I was following him ...
book title PWD
page 26
YL n NE was following
B E followed


47
2.2.7 The Completive Aspect
The completive aspect is generally unmarked in syntax, as the following
example indicates:
(7) Mo j$un.
IpS eat
'I ate'.*
In the above example, there is no overt marking for aspect. The first
person personal pronoun Mo (I) is immediately followed by the verb jeun
(to eat). However, the sentence has a completive interpretation. The activity of
eating has both begun and ended; it is full and complete. There is nothing to be
added to or taken away from it, as would have been the case with the
incompletive aspect, which describes an activity still in progress.
2,3 Aspect in Yoruba
Overall there are twelve identifiable aspects in YL which Can be further
categorized into two types: simple and complex aspects. The simple aspect
series consists of five aspects. Four of these are marked by single aspect
markers while one is the unmarked. The complex aspect series consists of
seven sequences of combinations of the simple aspects. Five of them are a
series of two simple aspects co-occuring in a syntactically constrained order
while two are a complex of three simple aspects, also co-occuring in a
syntactically constrained order. Like I have mentioned earlier and will discuss
in greater detail shortly, aspect is of utmost importance in YL and is
obligatory, so much so that even when it is not overtly marked in syntax, it is
still assumed to be present, in an unmarked form (cf. completive aspect in 2.2.7
and 2.3.2.1).


CHAPTER 3
ASPECT IN NIGERIAN ENGLISH
The treatment of tense and aspect in NE is one of the most interesting
aspects of EL usage. As has been mentioned in the previous chapter, YL is
largely an aspectual language while EL is primarily a tensed one. In fact, the
place of tense is so strong in EL that aspect is often treated as tense. A good
example of this is the so-called Perfect Tenses, which are apparently aspectual
in nature. Take the following EL sentences for instance,
(1) I ate. (Past Simple Tense)
(2) I have eaten. (Present Perfect Tense)
Example (1) above deals with an activity that took place in the past: the
act of eating took place at some point in the past and is completed. In example
(2), however, we are not as much concerned with the time of the performance
of the activity as with its internal state, i.e. the completion of the act of eating,
relative to the moment of speech. It is clear from example (2) that what we are
dealing with here is aspect rather than tense. However, most English grammar
books refer to it as tense. It is this kind of grammatical analysis that has been
carried over into YL by grammarians, who have mostly been trained in the
United Kingdom. The effect of this training often shows itself in
descriptions of YL made from an EL perspective. For instance, Bamgbose (1967:
26) classifies examples (3-4) below as Continuous Tense, (5-6) as Habitual
Tense and (7-8) as Future Tense, although these can more appropriately be
seen as examples of aspect. In fact, the terms continuous and habitual
88


aspect Incompletive
153
quote He picked one cowrie out of the pit, after that
he was running towards me, and the whole
crowd wanted to tie the cowrie on my neck
too.
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 27
YL n NE was running
BE ran
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote Immediately the whole Skull family heard the
whistle when blew to them, they were
rushing out to the place and before they
could reach there, I had left their hole for the
forest...
book title PWD
page 28
YL n NE were rushing
B E rushed
aspect Incompletive
quote I was told that he was now at Deads town
and they told me that he was living with
deads at the Deads town, they told me that
the town was very far away and only deads
were living there.
YL n NE was living/were living
B E lived
author Tutuola
book title PWD
page 41
aspect Incompletive
author Tutuola
quote After a while he came out with two of his
attendants who were following him to
wherever he wanted to go. Then the
attendants loosened me from the stump, so he
mounted me and the two attendants were
following him with whips in their hands
and flogging me along in the bush.
YL n NE were following
B E followed
book title LBG
page 37


30
the above aspects under Simple Tenses. Interestingly enough, he also
classified the INCOMPLETIVE aspect marker n (which he had earlier on
analyzed as Continuous Tense) as a Habitual Tense, thus having two
different classifications for the same marker. It is to be noted, however, that in
languages that mark tense (such as EL) one tense marker cannot be used to
refer to two different time frames. Thus She will come cannot be both future
and past tense at the same time. Moreover, most of what I classify under the
rubric of Complex Aspects, Bamgbose classifies as Perfective Tenses.
Examples include the BACKGROUNDER aspect y ti, which he analyzed as
Perfective Future Tense; the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE aspect ti n, as
Perfective Continuous Tense; the ANTECEDENT-COMPLETION ti ma n as
Perfective Habitual Tense; and the RELATIONAL aspect (one of the simple
aspects) as Perfective Unmarked Tense. Although this aspect is overtly
marked, Bamgbose, for some reasons, still calls it an unmarked tense
(Bamgbose 1967: 25-31).
One other interesting aspect of Bamgboses analysis is the classification
of negation as tense, which led him to classify his simple tense into two
broad categories of Positive Tenses and Negative Tenses, as if there were
such a thing as negative time. I believe negation to be a completely separate
category in the grammar and it should be treated as such, rather than woven
into the category of tenses or even aspect for that matter. Bamgboses
analysis is therefore quite unsatisfactory and inadequate in the light of
current knowledge. But he is not alone in this. Other linguists before and after
him have done similar things that are worthy of mention at this point.
Before Bamgbose, Samuel Ajayi Crowther (1852), the pioneer of Yoruba
language studies, had analyzed YL verbs into three main time frames: present,
past indefinite, and future. He also identified sex-based gender in YL for


77
(96) E ti r j k a t r yin.
2pP RFLAT+INCOM go before IpP PART see 2pPOBJ
You have/had started dancing before we saw you.
In both of examples (95) and (96), ti n frames the key clause, which
serves as a frame around which the subordinate clause occurs. Thus the
activity in the main clause begins prior to the one in the subordinate clause
and continues after the interruption. The subordinate clause is introduced in
syntax by the preposition ki, though already signaled in the main clause by
the relational ti.
Thus, we see that in all the five complex aspects involving complex
sentences, the RELATIONAL aspect is pivotal in the dynamics of these aspects.
It is the relational that signals, right from the main clause, that a relationship
is to be expected among the different clauses that will make up the entire
sentence. Other elements, such as the preposition ki (before) and the verbal
particle t (be sufficient, be enough, be adequate, attain limit, etc.) are
introduced later on, in the subordinate clause, to reinforce and emphasize this
relationship. The relational is therefore central to the formation of the
complex aspects and complex sentences.
Another observation worth making at this juncture is that although the
relational occurs in complex sentences, it can also occur alone (as one of the
simple aspects), but even when it occurs alone, it still bears relationship to
some other event at the moment of utterance, such as we see in section 2.3.2.3
examples (51-53) above, and 2.4.3 example (96) below, illustrating the
relational aspect.


184
aspect Incompletive
quote But as he was defending himself it was so
these insects were increasing and stinging
him badly. As he was still staggering here
and there I hastily ran back to the tree on
which I leaned my gun. I loaded it with
plenty of gun-powder and gun-shots, I ran
back to him and I shot him on the head.
YL n NE were increasing
author Tutuola
book title BAH
page 64
B E increased
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
But as he was defending himself it was so
book title BAH
these insects were increasing and stinging
him badly. As he was still staggering here
and there I hastily ran back to the tree on
which I leaned my gun. I loaded it with
plenty of gun-powder and gun-shots, I ran
bark to him and T shot him on the head.
page
64
YL
n NE were increasing
BE
increased
aspect Incompletive
author
Tutuola
quote
But as he was defending himself it was so
book title BAH
these insects were increasing and stinging
him badly. As he was still staggering here
and there I hastily ran back to the tree on
which I leaned my gun. I loaded it with
plenty of gun-powder and gun-shots, I ran
back to him and I shot him on rhe head.
page
64
YL
n NE stinging
BE
stung
aspect Relational
author
Tutuola
quote
After I killed obstacle I travelled in this
book title BAH
jungle till six oclock in the evening. As I was
travelling along it was so I was killing all the
wild animals that I was seeing on the way.
page
65
YL
ti N E killed
BE
had killed


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Timothy Tmilol jn grew up in Ghana where he also completed his
elementary education before his parents returned to Nigeria in the late 1960s.
Back in Nigeria, he attended the Nigerian Military School, Zaria from 1974 to
1979. On graduating from the Military School, he was sponsored by the
Nigerian Army to study French at the Univ