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Current Research Interests

  • Nominalization of Serial Verbs;
  • Functional-Typological Linguistics focusing on Serial Verb Constructions (SVCs) in African languages;
  • The influence of temporal sequencing (Iconicity) on surface syntactic structures;
  • Word formation processes in African Languages;
  • Historical Linguistics focusing on reconstructions of Proto-Benue-Kwa;
  • African proverbs in social discourse;
  • Second Language Migration;
  • African Language Pedagogy;
  • African Language Curriculum and Resource Development;
  • Issues of Translation in African Languages;
  • African Language Poetry and Oral Literature;
  • African Languages in the African World;
  • Indigenous African Combat and Militaristic Traditions;
  • Connections between  Kmt and other African Societies

Current Major Research Projects

Individual

  • Akan Serial Verb Constructions as Idioms
  • Bantu Noun Classes, Categorization and Determinatives
  • Chanting YorùbÁkan: Theoretical Implications of A Stylistic Analysis of Jími Ṣólańkẹ́’s Ọ̀nà Là in The Path. (submitted for publication)
  • Ìwà-pẹ̀lẹ́ and Ìwà rere: Yorùbá Conceptions of Good Character
  • Linguistic AIDS
  • Linguistic Rules and Those who Break Them: A theory of language change
  • Null Prefix Noun Class
  • Recurrent Sound Correspondences of Akan and Yoruba: Towards Proto-Benue-Kwa C1 Reconstruction (in progress)
  • Relativization of Serial Verb Nominals in Akan
  • Serial Verb Nominalization in Yorùbá (in progress)
  • Translation of Ẹsẹ Ifá into Twi (in progress)
  • Translation of Akɔm ho nkɔmmɔbɔ into English (project pending approval)
  • Twi Neologisms
  • Why Akan PL-ISVCs tend not to be nominalized (in progress)

Joint Research

  • Research proposal with Dr. Mercy Akrofi Ansah (PI) and Dr. Appeaning Addo (CoI). Project title: Multilingual Mother Tongue Education for Raising Learning Outcomes in Urban Slum Schools in Ghana.
  • African Origins of Pan-Africanism (in progress) (with Dr. De-Valera N.Y.M. Botchway)
  • Ghana Corpus Linguistics Project (in progress) (with Prof E. Kweku Osam, Prof Nana Aba Amfo, Dr. Reginald Duah and Dr. Clement Appah)
  • Non-African Linguists be like “This is a new way to quote!” (submitted for publication) (with Dr. Reginald Duah)
  • On the Structure of Analytic Causatives in Akan (submitted for publication) (with Dr. Reginald Duah)
  • Serial Verb Nominalization in Akan: The Question of Intervening Elements (in progress) (with Dr. Reginald Duah and Dr. Clement Appah)
  • Tone Surrogates: On the Origin of Language (in progress) (with Zablong Zakariah Abdullah)
  • TwiSwahili or KiswaTwili: A Study of Parallel Proverbs in Akan (Twi) and Kiswahili (in progress) (with Dr. Josephine Dzahene-Quarshie)
  • Singing Truth to Power and the Disempowered: The Case of Lucky Mensah and his Song, “Nkratoɔ” (in progress) (with Dr. Godwin Adjei)
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Capoeira, Asafo and Knockin-and-kickin’ (in progress) (with Dr. Kwame Amoah Labi)
  • What do “Typos” Tell us about what Native Writers Know (or Don’t Know) about their Language?: An Akan (Twi) Case Study on Lexicalization and Grammaticalization. (in progress) (with Dr. Reginald Duah and Dr. Clement Appah)

Professional Research Presentations


African Militaristic Forms Hidden in Plain Sight: Capoeira, Asafo and Knockin-and-kickin’. Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon, 14 April, 2016. 

ABSTRACT: Capoeira (Asako in Twi), Asafo Flag dancing and Knockin’-and-kickin’ share several similarities. One of which is that they appear to be more militaristic forms that were modified or hidden in an oppressive environment. This modification seems to have affected the expression of movement as well as the material culture in each instance. We argue, therefore, that in the case of Capoeira, during the period of its ban, it underwent modification emphasizing the more ludic and ritual aspects while deemphasizing the more violent and dangerous aspects which led to its ban. In the case of Asafo Flag dancing, we, similarly, argue that the flag itself may be a surrogate standing in the place of the long spear. Primary and secondary sources show that a similar imperative to hide overtly militaristic expressions was also the case for Knockin’-and-kickin’. As such, we argue that these combative arts and sciences constitute militaristic forms that, for the sake of their survival, were hidden in plain sight in the context of oppressive environments. However, when the drum changes the dance changes. This begs the question of why, once the nature of the oppression changed or was removed in various ways, there was not a return to the more militaristic expressions? Here, we argue for a tradition vs. propriety dichotomy which seems to be the dominant narrative for the practitioners of Asafo, Asako (Capoeira) and Knockin’-and-kickin’. 


Writing in Akan: Misspellings, Typos, Deviations or Innovations?. Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon, Dr. Reginald Akuoko Duah and Dr. Clement Appah. 13 April, 2016. 

ABSTRACT: Typos and irregular/non-standard spellings are usually regarded as aberrations to be eschewed. However, in languages such as Akan (Twi) where there is a standard and an orthography which many speakers have not studied formally and with which many are not familiar, their writing may serve as a window into how speakers/writers think of their language. In other words, in such contexts, writing may serve as an externalized representation of internal cognitive processes an individual speaker may make use of to analyze and make sense of his or her language. Key in this analysis are considerations of words that are written together (as evidence of lexicalization, grammaticalization and idiomaticity), words that are written separately (which may have import for phonetics/phonology) and those that are written haphazardly by the same speaker. Conceptually, these “errata” can be understood in the prism of three complementary pairs theorized as driving language change: ignorance and knowledge; unintentionality and intentionality; acquiescence and resistance. In this study, we will look at data from personal exchanges and public fora wherein writing diverges from the written standard analyzing what significance these “typos” may have with regard to what native speakers know (or don’t know) and think (or don’t think) about their language. 


"ReAfrikanization and Dewhitenization for Total Afrikan Liberation: Towards a Methodology for Self-Transformation." Ministry of the Future Program. Institute of African Studies. University of Ghana. 30 November, 2015.  

ABSTRACT: ReAfrikanization and dewhitenization are complementary aspects of an Afrikan whole that, when applied appropriately, may serve as integral steps in the process towards total Afrikan Liberation from under the global static/dynamic interlocking system of white world terror domination. ReAfrikanization and dewhitenization pertain to thought, word and action. As such,ReAfrikanization and dewhitenization challenge the practice of waiting for abstract saviours in the form of the government, the “people” or imaginary eurasian religious figures to free us while doing comparatively little to free ourselves. Indeed, we cannot expect for any of the above to do anything for us that we are not willing to do ourselves on a personal level. Thoughts, words and deeds pertaining to ReAfrikanization and dewhitenization that originate from Afrikan people and are also beneficial to Afrikan people can be implemented by each of us in every area of human activity on a daily basis. ReAfrikanization and dewhitenization can also serve as a means of lessening contradictions and getting our different “selves” together and in order (economic self, psychological self, physical self, political self, educational self, etc.). As such, in this presentation, we will present organizing principles and evaluative criteria that can be implemented efficiently, effectively and immediately in the life of each individual for reAfrikanizing and dewhitenizing. This methodology will “put the ball in our court” with regard to freeing ourselves to increasingly greater degrees in each area of thought, word and deed. Further, this methodology contributes to moving the discussion of Total Afrikan Liberation from the realm of a theoretical future destination to that of a constant daily journey of improving the Afrikan self, the Afrikan family, the Afrikan nation and the Afrikan race.


"Why  Kemet (Ancient Egypt) Matters." Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon. Afrikan Renaissance Foundation. Department of Archaeology. University of Ghana. 13 November, 2015.

ABSTRACT: Did you know that Afrikan/Black people invented writing? Were you aware that the oldest book in the history of humanity was written by an Afrikan in Kmt ‘Land of Black People’ contemporarily known as Ancient Egypt? In this presentation we will provide examples that clearly show that Math, Science, Medicine, Architecture, History, Philosophy, Politics, Spirituality, Warfare and Combat Sciences, Agricultural Science, Astronomy, Culture, Cosmology, Literature, and other Arts were first developed in Kmt ‘Land of Black People’ (so-called Ancient Egypt) just to name a few. Did you know that the people of so-called “Ancient Egypt” did not refer to themselves as “Egyptians” but referred to themselves as Kmt(yw) ‘Black People?’ Were you aware that a series of DNA tests done by geneticists in 2012 and 2013 shows that the closest genetic relatives to the ancient Rulers (Pharoahs) of Kemet are now located in Southern Afrika, the Great Lakes Region of Afrika and Tropical West Afrika followed by the Sahel and the Horn of Afrika? This means that the Kmt(yw) ‘Black People’ of ancient times were your ancestors and you are their descendants. Were you aware that the white arab-types currently found in modern-day Egypt are comparatively recent invaders whose genetic relation to the Afrikan/Black people of Ancient Kmt ‘Land of Black People’ is further away than the distance from Cairo to Cape Town? In this talk we will highlight information known by Afrikans and non-Afrikans throughout the world but which has been systematically and intentionally kept from us through purposive miseducation, dis-education and outright lies. Why were we not told of this information? In this talk, we will build on the work of great scholars such as Cheikh Anta Diop to begin to scratch the surface of the legacies of Kmt ‘Land of Black People’ and discuss the implications of the ongoing systematic and intentional disinformation campaign in the context of the theme Why Kemet Matters.


"Lexicalization and Issues of Semantic Analysis in Serial Verb Construction Nominalization." Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon. Inaugural School of Languages Conference 2015. 28 October, 2015.

ABSTRACT: Serial verb constructions (SVCs) are attested in four well-defined geographical areas: Benue-Congo languages of West Africa, Atlantic Creoles, New Guinea and South-East Asian languages. SVCs can be understood as “a sequence of verbs [together with any accompanying non-verbal elements including complements/internal arguments] which act together as a single predicate, without any overt marker of coordination, subordination, or syntactic dependency of any other sort” (Aikhenvald 2006: 1, Kambon, Osam, and Amfo 2015). In languages with serial verb construction nominalization (SVCN), such as Akan and Yorùbá, it has been observed that components of the nominal may become lexicalized to the point that decomposing the nominal back to its constituent parts becomes problematic with specific regard to tracing root meanings (Bamgbose 1964, 1982, Kambon 2012, Kambon, Osam, and Amfo 2015). Therefore, it would be expected that other West African serializing languages with SVCNs may face similar issues in terms of impediments to semantic analysis and decomposition due to progressively higher degrees of semantic integration, lexicalization and idiomaticity that exist along a scale to be demonstrated in this presentation. (Kambon 2012). 


"Twi Abɛɛfosɛm: Kasa, Kankorɔ ne Nkɔsoɔ (Twi Neologisms: Language, Progress and Development)" Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon. Kasasuabea Nhyiamupɔn a Ɛdi Kan (School Of Languages Conference (SOLCON 1)). Ahinime Da a Ɛtɔ So Aduonu Nson, 2015 (27 October, 2015).

ABSTRACT: All natural languages have a variety of linguistic registers used by specialists in specific areas of activity (i.e., that of artisans, technicians, scholars, traders, rulers, etc.). In these linguistic registers, coinages or neologisms feature prominently as speakers address the exigencies of specialization and innovation within specific domains of discourse. In the creation and adoption of such coinages in these registers and (potentially) within the broader society, some of the primary considerations are 1) economy 2) accuracy and 3) utility. As such, this exploratory and theoretical research on coinages and neologisms intends to build upon the work of previous scholars (Kofi Agyekum, 2003; K.  Agyekum, Apenteng-Sackey, & Affol, Forthcoming; Kofi Agyekum, Osam, & Sackey, 2011; Anane, 2000; Boadi, 2005; Warren & Andrews, 1990) in challenging the neo-colonial notion that African languages are “vernaculars.” This notion carries with it the latent, yet pervasive, implication that only one (underdeveloped/primitive) register existed in the past and, therefore, must exist now and into the future. In this study, both older and more modern coinages will be explored within the prism of the above considerations in an attempt to move the discourse beyond internal and external impediments to Akan (Twi) language development. In doing so, we will also challenge what we term the “backward, forward” paradigm in favor of a more eclectic approach with regard to marshalling Africa’s ancient and modern multilingual resources for development in both the linguistic and general senses of the term.


The Ancient African Origins of Pan-Africanism." Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon and Dr. De-Valera N.Y.M. Botchway. African Studies Association of Africa. University of Ìbàdàn. 15 October, 2015.

ABSTRACT: Pan-Africanism is often regarded as a modern phenomenon and a direct response or reaction to colonialism and enslavement. However, because Pan-Africanism can be understood as the unification of Africa and African people across various dimensions including politics, socio-economics, military etc., we argue that the concept, theory and practice of the unification of African people along these lines is a demonstrably ancient African imperative. Through this lens we further argue that instances of Pan-Africanism in practice can be observed in all ancient and modern African empires, which unified various smaller African kingdoms and peoples into larger empires. Most notably, this imperative can be seen in Ancient Kmt ‘Land of Black people’ which, through  smз tзwy ‘unification of the two lands,’ geo-politically, militarily, economically, spiritually and socially unified šmˁw ‘Upper Kmt’ and Tз-mḥw ‘Lower Kmt’ and the  Kmt ‘Black People/Citizens of Kmt’ located therein. From this point of departure, the historical record shows that, with the founding of the state, the primary original foreign policy directive of the early rulers of the Old Kingdom of  Kmt ‘Land of Black people’ was to integrate more Black people and incorporate more land from their ultimate place of origin in the South into the empire. In doing so the peculiar ethnic identities of these “Kemetized” people were effectively subsumed under a larger identity predicated on physical appearance (phenotype of Blackness), shared common ancestry (genotype as manifested in phenotype) and allegiance (as manifested in shared worldview and common cultural/spiritual practice). This Pan-African policy of African/Black integration and expansion remained in place–at least to some degree–even through the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom through the period of a shift in foreign policy to also incorporate Eurasians (whose allegiance proved to be rather to their own genetic survival and not that of Africans/Blacks). This shift in foreign policy was a turning point signaling the eventual downfall of the empire. The analysis presented in this paper is significant in that it removes the discussion of Pan-Africanism from its current status where it remains “suspended in air” as a yet-to-be-attained ideal to its proper ancient historical place from which lessons may be drawn. In doing so, numerous rich and instructive examples can be followed wherein Pan-Africanism was successfully (or unsuccessfully) implemented through diplomatic and/or military means that can serve as a guide in contemporary times for modern Pan-Africanism.


"How you can make it on African Soil: An Abibitumi Kasa Case Study." Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon. Africana Conference 2015. University of Cape Coast. 10 October, 2015.

ABSTRACT: Over the course of nine years, Abibitumi Kasa has gone from an African language blogspot to a full blown website with over 6,000 members, a mailing list of over 9,000 people and an online store with over 1000 customers. Most importantly, Abibitumi Kasa is a “by Africans, for Africans” center of African language learning. Over the years, we have offered African languages including Akan (Twi), Yorùbá, Wolof, Kiswahili, Ga, Ewe and Mdw Ntr (hieroglyphics) and other courses focused on African history, sociology, healing systems and more. These classes have been taught in various formats from in-person, online, offline recorded to “simulclass” (with students in person interacting with those online) with students from around the world from Australia to Europe to the Caribbean and the Americas as well as in Africa. In transitioning from being based in Chicago, IL to Accra, Ghana, various challenges and opportunities have presented themselves; all of which have been an integral part of the growth process. This presentation will focus on the concrete experiences gained from nine years of African eLearning and will present Abibitumi Kasa and as a case study of how you can use the internet to make it on African soil!


"The Miseducation and Diseducation of the African." Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon. Wake up Africa. XLiveAfrica, Osu, Accra, Ghana. 3 October, 2015. 

ABSTRACT: Various means are used to miseducate and diseducate Africans of the continent and the diaspora as a means of subverting the rise of the Global African world. This subversion involves commensurate misinformation and disinformation to make sure that Africans are not aware of information in the first place and secondly that any actual information that may filter through will not be interpreted correctly. In this talk, I discuss miseducation and diseducation as impediments to Total African Liberation from under eurasian hegemony.


"The Forces Arrayed Against Africa: Social and Cultural Warfare." Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon. Founder's Day Program. 21 September, 2015. Commonwealth Hall. University of Ghana.

ABSTRACT: In one of his speeches delivered at the conference for African freedom fighters held in Accra on June 4th 1962, Ɔsagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah reminded the freedom fighters and the supporters of the growing movement for Africa’s liberation and unity, of the forces operating against Africa and indigenous African people. He remarked …. “The forces arrayed against us are, and I use the word most carefully, formidable. They are entrenched and powerful, they are, as I`ve taken some pains to explain, the forces of imperialism, acting through their instruments new colonialism and colonialism, ably assisted by the agents of the Cold War. They operate in worldwide combinations at all levels, political, economic, military, cultural, educational, social and trade. And (that’s) not all, and through intelligence, cultural and information services (media). They operate from European and African centers using agents who I`m ashamed to say are open unpatriotic sons of Africa buying personal satisfactions with the betrayal of their country`s safety and integrity. They seduce leaders of the African political, trade union and peoples organizations; thus creating rifts and quarrels within the national front. On the border fronts, they are amassing their forces in a determined effort to stay the advance of African liberation and the march of unity”
After 58 years of independence in Ghana and 50 years after the formation of the OAU/AU, unfortunately, these forces arrayed against Africa and their effects as identified by Ɔsagyefo still persist today. They have caused the underdevelopment of Africa in spite of her independence from colonial rule, and her vast human and mineral resources. Ɔsagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah observed that … “Now that African independence has been achieved over a large part of the continent and the national consciousness of Africans from north to south, from east to west, is adding momentum to the struggle for independence; every kind of means is being used by the colonialists to arrest its progress and defeat its objective. They are attempting many methods some sinister, some beguiling to wreck our efforts. They strike antipathetic postures: on one side they perform acts calculated to strike fear, on the other they try to hood-wink us with fictitious gifts which superficially pander to our hopes and aspirations. They are the present attempts to deflect our purpose, to weaken our determination.”
It is said to know your problem is to know half the solution hence the African Youth Improvement Foundation in collaboration with Commonwealth hall, as part of our objectives to promote African History, Arts and Culture and in line with our vision to make Africa the beacon
of hope, wealth and redemption of all Africans, deem it very important to expose the youths of Africa who are mainly the future leaders to the problems facing the continent. This interactive pan African educational seminar will also highlight the responsibilities of the youth in defeating these forces, by emulating and propagating the exemplary life, ideals and philosophies of Ghana’s founder.


“Non-African Linguists Be Like “This is a new way to quote!” Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon and Dr. Reginald Akuɔko Duah. Linguistics Association of Ghana 2015. KNUST College of Science. 29 July, 2015.

ABSTRACT: While conventional wisdom tells us that Asante Twi complementizer sɛ is derived from se ‘say’ (Lord 1993, Osam 1996, Osam 1994, Amfo 2010), it is at least worth considering that understanding it as connected to homophone and homonym sɛ ‘be like, resemble’ as posited by Lord (1993: 151) would, indeed, be like the so-called Black English way of quoting. The complementizer sɛ is typically glossed as ‘that.’ However, a corpus-based analysis of Asante Twi’s perhaps not-so-distant cousin, Black English, may point us to a more accurate alternative gloss, ‘(be) like’. It has been found that “‘be like’ is now so widely used it accounted for 20 percent of similar uses of the verb ‘be’ among a group of young AAE speakers in North Carolina” (Peterson 2015). Asante Twi may help us understand the variable context in which aspectual/habitual be is found and also the varied context in which like is found, both of which linguists have found to be “notoriously difficult” to understand against the backdrop of European-descended varieties of English (Hofwegen and Farrington 2015). Further, we argue that Asante Twi sɛ is glossed as ‘that’, not from language-internal evidence, but because of recourse to glossing into “Standard English” rather than Anti-American African English (aka Black English) which, in actuality, may be a better way of elucidating connections between African languages of the diaspora and the continent. Indeed, the connection between Anti-American African like and Asante Twi sɛ may be a case of a common African (diasporan and continental) solution to a common linguistic problem.


“A Study of Parallel Proverbs in Akan (Twi) and Kiswahili.” Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon and Dr. Josephine Dzahene-Quarshie. Linguistics Association of Ghana 2015. KNUST College of Science. 28 July, 2015.

ABSTRACT: In Akan and Kiswahili, there are several proverbs that express the same underlying idea, oftentimes in the exact same or similar ways. There are several possible reasons why these parallel proverbs exist. In one line of thinking, the similarities may be due to contact phenomena facilitating shared cultural and/or historical experiences. Another perspective may be due to the demonstrably genetic relationship between Akan and Kiswahili languages as languages of the Niger-Congo phylum. In this study, however, we will examine these proverbs in parallel or near-parallel and demonstrate that regardless of the facts of the two aforementioned lines of inquiry, they attest to a shared African worldview and can be analyzed in terms of measured proximity and similarity.


“Experiences at The World’s Largest Online African Language Learning Institute.” e-Learning Africa Conference 2015. African Union, Addis Ababa. 22 May, 2015. 

ABSTRACT: Over the course of nine years, Abibitumi Kasa has gone from an African language blogspot to a full blown website with over 6,000 members, a mailing list of over 9,000 people and an online store with over 1000 customers. Most importantly, Abibitumi Kasa is a “by Africans, for Africans” center of African language learning. Over the years, we have offered African languages including Akan (Twi), Yorùbá, Wolof, Kiswahili, Ga, Ewe and Mdw Ntr (hieroglyphics) and other courses focused on African history, sociology, healing systems and more. These classes have been taught in various formats from in-person, online, offline recorded to “simulclass” (with students in person interacting with those online) with students from around the world from Australia to Europe to the Caribbean and the Americas as well as in Africa. In transitioning from being based in Chicago, IL to Accra, Ghana, various challenges and opportunities have presented themselves; all of which have been an integral part of the growth process. This presentation will focus on the concrete experiences gained from nine years of African eLearning.​


“The Humanities and the Sciences as Complementary Aspects of an African Whole” NYU/IAS Conference on the Humanities. 24 April, 2015. 

ABSTRACT: Conventional views of the humanities tend to include ancient and modern languages, literature, musicology, philosophy and religion, while a broader conception may include areas such as anthropology, archaeology, area studies, classical studies, communication studies, history, law, linguistics and semiotics, etc. In ancient Africa, however, science, technology, engineering and mathematics were not seen as separate from or at odds with the humanities. From the geometric principles used to build the pyramids to algebra to astronomy, African spiritual systems and systems of deep thought formed the basis upon which scientific inquiry was developed. Further, they provided the imperatives which drove STEM forward in diverse directions giving rise to various manifestations throughout the African world. In this presentation, I argue that our acceptance of a compartmentalized false dichotomy between the humanities and the sciences constitutes Eurasian-induced conceptual incarceration which impedes a holistic African view of them as complementary aspects of a necessary whole.


 

“Harnessing Our Culture for National Development: The Role of the Ghanaian Student.” Legon Archaeology Students' Association African Arts Festival (AAFEST). University of Ghana Archaeology Department. 20 March, 2015.

ABSTRACT: A necessary prerequisite of harnessing our culture for national development is an understanding of whose culture is included when we speak of "our." It is also neccessary to understand what culture is. In this talk I argue that understanding and helping others to understand the totality of who the “our” in “our culture” refers to
may help us move beyond the Berlin-conference-inherited-boundaries to embrace the Global African World for Global Afrikan Liberation – Abibiwiase Abibifahodie!


 

“Parallels between Akan Ananse Stories and Yorùbá Ìjàpá Tales: Structure, Function, Content and Worldview.” IAS Weekly Thursday Seminar. University of Ghana Institute of African Studies. December 4, 2014.

ABSTRACT: Is it possible to use endogenous African philosophical and theoretical frameworks to analyze indigenous African phenomena? Why should one even try? In this talk, it is argued that such analyses are not only possible, but imperative. It is further argued that just such frameworks can add insight to our understanding of the structure of Akan Ananse and Yorùbá Ìjàpá stories and the shared African worldview from which they arise. According to Fu-Kiau, “nothing exists that does not follow the steps of the cyclical Kongo cosmogram” (Fu-Kiau "Ntangu-Tandu-Kolo: The Bantu-Kongo Concept of Time"). This bold hypothesis is tested in this study by applying Dikènga, the cosmogram of the Bakôngo, to an oral literary analysis of the structure of Akan and Yorùbá stories. This application is what we term the “Dikènga theory of literary analysis.” We find that this approach can help shift from concepts of “storylines” and “timelines” to reveal the patterned and cyclical nature of material and immaterial phenomena and to deepen our understanding of these stories as manifestations of a shared African worldview.


“Transformations through Study Abroad: My Experience.” CIEE 20th Anniversary Keynote. University of Ghana - International House. 28 November 2014. 


“Serial Verb Nominalization in Akan: A question of intervening elements.” Linguistics Department Seminar. University of Ghana Linguistics Department. 15 October 2014. 


“Chanting YorùbÁkan: A Stylistic Analysis of Jími Ṣólańkẹ́'s ‘Ọ̀nà Là’” Linguistics Association of Ghana 2014. University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA). 28th July, 2014. 


“Legacies of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade on the Diaspora.” 20th Anniversary of UNESCO Slave Route Project Talk. University of Ghana Institute of African Studies. 28th July, 2014. 


“Neo-Colonialism as an Impediment” Opening Keynote Speech Model African Union Conference. SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College. 24 May 2014. 


“Culture in a Challenged Economy.” Joy FM Panel Discussion on Cultural Economy. 28 March 2014. 


 

Institute of African Studies Lecture on Africanisms in Contemporary English with specific reference to Ebonics in the US. IAS Weekly Thursday Seminar. University of Ghana Institute of African Studies. 7 March 2014. [Ebonics and English] 


“Recurrent Sound Correspondences of Akan and Yoruba: Towards Proto-Benue-Kwa C1 Reconstruction.” A talk on how sound correspondences between Akan and Yoruba can shed light on the phonological inventory and sound changes of Proto-Benue-Kwa, from which they are descended. University of Ghana Department of Linguistics Seminar: Linguistics. 23 October 2013. 


 

Abibifahodie Asako: History of Capoeira as an Instrument of Afrikan Liberation. Tv3’s New Day Morning Show. 3 September 2013. [Twi and English] 


“Serial Verb Nominalization in Akan.” A talk on how serial verb nominalization varies based on levels of semantic integration of the SVC in question in Akan. University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana. Linguistics Association of Ghana (LAG), 30 July 2013.


 

“Twi Abɛɛfosɛm (Twi Neologisms).” Tv3's Sunrise Morning Show. 29 June 2013. [Twi and English] 


“Serial Verb Nominalization in Akan and Yorùbá: Towards a cross-linguistic typology.” Linguistics Department Seminar. University of Ghana Department of Linguistics. 4 November 2011. 


“Analytic Causatives in Akan.” A talk on the structural and behavioral differences between the ɔ-construction and the no-construction in Akan. Reginald Duah and Obadele Kambon. Kumasi, Ghana. Linguistics Association of Ghana (LAG), 9 August 2011. 


“Afrikan Worldview and Afrikan Spirituality.” A talk on unity of African worldview in African spirituality for Morehouse Pan-African Global Experience (MPAGE) students. Adaa, Ghana. June 2011.


“Serial Verbs in African Language Syntax and the Morphosyntactic Interface: A Formally Functional Approach.” A talk about merging generative and functional approaches to move towards a greater understanding of serial verbs in Akan and Yoruba. 30 September 2009.


“The Role of Afrikan Languages in Afrikan Liberation.” A talk on how African languages can assist in freeing one’s mind from conceptual encarceration of enslavers’ languages. AbibitumiKasa.com (Online). 15 March 2009.


“What Black Studies Can Do for You” A talk on how Africana Studies can create opportunities in one’s life. Chicago State University. 27 September 2006.


“Linguistic Connections between Akan, Yoruba and Mdw Ntr.” Teaching About Africa Professional Development Seminar Series. Kemetic Institute. Northeastern Illinois University. 18 March 2006.


“Faculty of Language: what is it, who has it and how did it evolve?” Seminar on Syntax. UW-Madison. 10 October 2005.


“Yoruba Greetings and the Yoruba (African) Worldview”: A talk of the significance of greetings in Yoruba culture. World Languages Day. UW-Madison. 20 April 2005.


Ìwà-pẹ̀lẹ́ and Ìwà rere: Yoruba Conceptions of Good Character (in honor of Baba Jedi Shemsu Djehewty aka Dr. Jacob Carruthers). 21st Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC) Conference, Malcolm X College, Chicago, IL. May 2004. 


“Cultural Unity of Worldview and Ethos in the Akan and Yoruba Oral Narrative Traditions.” Seminar on African Mythology. UW-Madison. 17 November 2003.


“The Importance of Reclaiming African Language/Worldview and the Responsibility of the African Language Teacher.” Special Keynote: National African Language Resource Center Summer Teacher Training and Curriculum Development Institute. UW-Madison. 27 June 2003.


“Ona La”: A Stylistic Analysis of Jimi Solanke’s Poetry. African Languages and Literature Graduate Student Colloquium, 29 April 2003.


What do “Typos” Tell us about what Native Speakers Know (or Don’t Know) about their Language?: An Akan (Twi) Case Study on Lexicalization and Grammaticalization. 
 
ABSTRACT: Typos and irregular/non-standard spellings are usually regarded as aberrations to be eschewed. However, in languages such as Akan (Twi) where there is a standard and an orthography which many speakers have not studied formally and with which many are not familiar, their writing may serve as a window into how speakers/writers think of their language. In other words, in such contexts, writing may serve as an externalized representation of internal cognitive processes an individual speaker may make use of to analyze and make sense of his or her language. Key in this analysis are considerations of words that are written together (as evidence of lexicalization, grammaticalization and idiomaticity), words that are written separately (which may have import for phonetics/phonology) and those that are written haphazardly by the same speaker. Conceptually, these “errata” can be understood in the prism of three complementary pairs theorized as driving language change: ignorance and knowledge; unintentionality and intentionality; acquiescence and resistance. In this study, we will look at data from personal exchanges and public fora wherein writing diverges from the written standard analyzing what significance these “typos” may have with regard to what native speakers know (or don’t know) and think (or don’t think) about their language. 

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bádélé Kambon, PhD is an unapologetic Afrikan. He is also a Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana.

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bádélé Kambon, PhD
PO Box LG 1149
Institute of African Studies
University of Ghana, Legon, Accra
Greater Accra Region, Ghana, West Africa

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[email protected]
[email protected]

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+233 249195150
+233 24872928
+1(919) 926-7097

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Skype ID: obadele.kambon

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