Anthropolinguistics of Lexical Innovation in Igbo Indigenous Music


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of Modern European Languages


This work proposes an anthropolinguistic investigation of lexical innovations in Igbo indigenous music, with the aim of explicating how cultural and linguistic resources are harnessed by the Igbo indigenous musicians in creating new expressions to convey new ideas, events or culturally sensitive meanings in the Igbo society, and how these expressions diffuse into the mainstream lexicon of the language. The study will espouse relevant linguistic and cultural anthropological apparatus to address the questions of (i) what linguistic mechanisms the artistes employ for lexical innovation and (ii) what linguo-cultural factors responsible for the rapid diffusion the terms/expressions into the lexicon of wider communicative domain of the language. The work will provide insights into the lexical innovation mechanisms in Igbo music and also highlight the strong nexus between the linguistic resources, societal events and the language users, in terms of successful vocabulary enrichment and language development.