A Vigesimal Numeral Derivational Morphology of Five Yorùbá Dialects


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Linguistics & African Languages


The goal of this study is to epitomize Yorùbá noun phrase productivity in the construction and morphological representation of the infinite set of Yorùbá numerals. The study focuses on five Yorùbá dialects spoken in three different countries: Nigeria (Àwórì, Ìlàje, Ìyàgbà), the Republic of Benin (Ìdáàtsa), and the Republic of Togo (Ifè). The study provides the various rule schemata like discontinuities and polysemy for the vagaries of the Yorùbá numeral system. It also describes the different compositional processes that can be employed for numerals. There are many ways of forming the number words since Yorùbá employs addition to and subtraction from vigesimal and other units as well as multiplication in numeral derivation. The study investigates the question: do dialectological differences in Yorùbá numeral derivational techniques lead to changes in meaning? It also describes how the Yorùbá numerals, which have unique morphosyntactic properties, interact with the rest of the Yorùbá grammar.