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How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Nobody: 3:08am On Dec 25, 2010
How Yoruba and Igbo became different languages

Updated: Tuesday 14-07-2009

A review of Bolaji Aremo’s book, How Yoruba and Igbo Became Different Languages, by Adewale Oshodi.

No one who has read Bolaji Aremo’s new book, How Yoruba and Igbo Became Different Languages, would be left in any doubt that Igbo and Yoruba were at some time in the past the same language and that the Yoruba and the Igbo were members of one and the same ethnic group.

The revelations are simply staggering!

The main text of the book, some 200 pages, and published by SCRIBO Publications Ltd, Ibadan, is divided into six chapters. As would be expected, Chapter One is a general introduction that provides brief notes on Yoruba and Igbo and their native speakers. The chapter also discusses the main objective of the book: to report the findings from a study aimed at searching (through books and among fluent speakers) for examples of words that are similar in sound and meaning in both Yoruba and Igbo and could, therefore, give further support for the claim by linguists that the two languages descended from the same ancestral language.

The next three chapters list, often with very interesting and informative “clarificatory” notes, the hundreds of examples the author has found of Igbo/Yoruba cognates, i.e Igbo and Yoruba words that are similar in sound and meaning by reason of having been inherited by the two languages from a common Igbo/Yoruba parent language.

The list is divided into rough and ready subsections: Body Parts, etc; Common Medical Conditions, Medications, etc; Relations and Usual Members of the Community; and so on.

It is intended that by considering the examples, the reader will be able to form a good impression of how the languages have diverged over time. And the items listed include: agba (or akpÍ, akpå)/agbÍn (= ‘chin’), awÍ /ewu (= ‘grey hair’), aga (or Ëga)/agan (= ‘barrenness, infertility, a barren woman’), Ígwå/oogun (= ‘medicine, poison, charm’), dimkpa/ igiripa (or giripa) (= person in prime of manhood, strong man, man of strength and courage’), Ëra (or Íra, Íha, Ísa)/ara (or ira (CY)) (= ‘the citizenry, the people, the masses, the public’), onye/ eniyan (or Íniyan(CY)(= ‘person, anyone, someone’), agå/ ¹kun (= ‘tiger, leopard’), enyin/ erin (= ‘elephant’), anwå /oorun (= ‘sun, sunlight’), ifufe (or ifufu)/af¹f¹ (or efuufu) (= ‘wind, breeze, air’), ogbodo/ogberi (or ogbere (CY)) (= ‘person not yet initiated into a masquerade or similar secret cult , a novice’), and akårËkÍ /iharihÍ (or ihaahÍ) (= ‘charred part of food which adheres to the pot or sauce pan’).

Very many examples, and not a few from even the deeper recesses of traditional life!

Chapter Five discusses some observations that are more or less of general interest concerning the examples. Perhaps the most important of the observations (at least from the historical point of view) is the one relating to the finding that the Central Yoruba (CY) variants of the cognates (used in such Yoruba towns as Ile-Ife, Ilesa, Ado-Ekiti and Akure) are generally much closer in form (and sometimes in meaning as well) to the Igbo cognates than their standard Yoruba counterparts are. Could it then have been the case, the author wonders, that the aboriginal population of the Central Yoruba area had in prehistoric times migrated from Igboland? Or could it have been the case that it was the first settlers in Igboland (in the Northern Igbo area) that had migrated from the Central Yoruba area? The questions are left, and rightly too, to historians to try and ponder.

At the end of Chaper Five, attention is drawn to the similarities between the age-old cultures of the Yoruba and the Igbo that may be inferred from many of the examples.

Thus, for instance: “In their homes (ulÍ/ile (or ule (CY)), the back-garden or yard (mgbala/agbala), the mud bed or mud seat (ÍkpåkpÍ/ pepele ( or upepe (CY)) and the drainage hole (Ínå ntu/ojuto (CY)) are among the regular features. The common tools and implements include: agbada/agbada (= ‘flat frying pot’), agbe/agbe (= ‘gourd’), akpara/ap¹r¹ (= ‘basket’), anyËke/aake (= ‘axe’), mkpÍ/ipÍn (or åpÍn (CY)) (= ‘calabash or wooden ladle’), mpata/Ítita (CY) (= ‘stool’), ågba/igba (or ågba CY)) (= ‘calabash’), udu mmiri/odu omi (= ‘large water pot’). (p 196)

The final chapter, a very short one, summarises the work, and states the quite obvious conclusion that there is overwhelming evidence from the examples supporting the linguists’ claim that Igbo and Yoruba are sister languages, i.e languages that have descended from the same common ancestor.

The chapter is rounded off with a suggestion that similar studies be carried out on the various other Nigerian languages which, according to the linguists, are members of the same family. And why that suggestion at this point in the history of Nigeria as a nation? In the author’s view: “…it should be good – reassuring – to be reminded in quite concrete terms that in spite of what many would regard as “the mistake of 1914”, speakers of our different, mutually unintelligible languages today were originally speaking one and the same language, and that for us, there has always been a sure basis for national unity which could be nurtured by justice and fairness everywhere in the land”. (p 203)

In short, Bolaji Aremo has written an important book, in his usually simple, readable style. Already an author of considerable repute, he has once again produced a work of outstanding scholarship, one that should prove of abiding interest to linguists, historians and, indeed, the general public.
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by strangerf: 3:19am On Dec 25, 2010
No one who has read Bolaji Aremo’s new book, How Yoruba and Igbo Became Different Languages, would be left in any doubt that Igbo and Yoruba were at some time in the past the same language and that the Yoruba and the Igbo were members of one and the same ethnic group.

That is some BIG lie
Even if it was true, I am glad we no longer speak the same language

Can you imagine fstranger and omongbati speaking the same language, let alone belonging to the same ethnic group
I reject it

Bolaji Aremo is one of those modern day revisionists
Nothing good and factual ever come out from them!
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Obiagu1(m): 3:19am On Dec 25, 2010
All bulls.h.i.t! Igbo and Yoruba have no link whatsoever.  sad

1 Like

Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Nobody: 3:20am On Dec 25, 2010
How Yoruba and Igbo Became Different Languages

Author:

Bolaji Aremo


Publications: 2009

Reviewer:

Edozie Udeze


Over the years there have been various permutations by some Igbo and Yoruba leaders that there are likely to be some cultural, linguistic, and sociological link between the two ethnic groups. Historians, sociologists, archeologists, anthropologists, linguists and some other scholars in the humanities have presented one reason or the other to show that the Igbos and the Yorubas have a common linguistic and historical ancestry.

This claim is no longer controvertible given the abundance of proofs and evidences available today to show that, in actual fact, these two groups of people are the same, with plenty of cultural and linguistic affiliation and similarities. Today, some of these proofs are no more far to seek.

In his latest book entitled, How Yoruba and Igbo Became Different Languages, Dr. Bolaji Aremo of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Osun State gives thousand and one examples that connect the two ethnic groups linguistically. The beauty of this experiment is that it relies tremendously on modern chronology to prove his claim and truly set the record straight.

Over the years, some critics have found this claim somewhat inconsistent with the . . . differences and gaps between these two set of people. That notwithstanding, historically evidences of affiliation and similarities can not be over emphasised or disputed. This is what motivates the author, himself a linguist to go into research for this work.

In the beginning he says: "I was first given the idea that Yoruba and Igbo must be genetically related when a childhood friend, Ogbonna told me that words for some well known body parts are virtually the same in both languages. For instance, Yoruba Imu/ Igbo, imi which means nose. There is also Yoruba eti/Igbo nti which means ear. Also Yoruba enu/Igbo onu which stands for mouth. Other examples abound like Yoruba orun/Igbo onu meaning neck. And so on and so forth.

Much later in life, at the university, I was to learn in Language class that Igbo and Yoruba and many other African languages are members of the same language family. Those are members of group languages which all developed out of a common ancestor or a parent. And in the very distant past, these languages were no more than mere dialects of the original language", the author states.

And so in order to make these observations clearer and more believable to the people, the author takes his time to delve into many areas of similarities. He gives examples that do not only stand the test of time but too good to be wished away even by the most die hard citics. His resort to other work of history and linguistic that anchor on this area have helped to give not just credence but to also show that these facts are there for all to see. This is why examples are very many. "And there does not appear to be any other historical reasons why the two languages can contain such an abundance of basic vocabulary items that resemble each other in sound and meaning".

More examples can also subsist here. In Igbo, you have fuo oku which is fe ina in Yoruba. This stands for raise a fire by blowing at the burning wood. Also in Igbo, lua iwu, you have Yoruba lu ofin which means break the law. Still we have tuo ujo in Igbo which in Yoruba symbolizes se ojo that is be timid or be a 'local' person.

In all these, it is noticed that both languages are tone languages where low or high level of tone application matter a lot. Yet in terms of meaning and spelling, very many words appear to have deep similarities either in meaning or in connotation. This indeed is the beauty of this exercise which if followed more comprehensively can equally lead to more discoveries that can help both ethnic groups to truly forge ahead as people of common descent.

Beyond what a linguist can do, historians can also find it imperative to do more to unearth more facts in this regard. It is in line with this presentation that the author equally challenges other academics in the Humanities to dig deeper than he has done in order to get more facts to make this historical and linguistic discovery more elaborate and more celebrated.

In chapter two, he makes references to body parts where further similarities abound. In Yoruba and Igbo, the jaw and the cheek are found in the same category. Igbo has it as agba onu Yoruba egbe enu.

Armpit in Yoruba is abiya, while in Igbo it is abu. Intestines, stomach, stand for ifun in Yoruba while in Igbo it is afo or avo. So also is aka which is hand in Igbo but apa in Yoruba. In some cases in Yoruba dialect however, aka also stands for arm or hand. The Igbo aka as in finger also signifies Yoruba ika which also stands for finger and toe.

Other examples abound in chapter two. They are very instructive examples which open many vistas into many areas of examples. But in chapter three, the book is a bit more profound and comprehensive. This is more in the areas of common actions, processes etc like weeping or tears which means akwa in Igbo and ekun in Yoruba.

Akwa ariri in Igbo while ekun aro in Yoruba means cry of sorrow. Taken further ariri or alili shows extreme grief in Igbo as aro or eriri means the same in Yoruba. There is also aririo which is plea, prayer or request in Igbo but in Yoruba it is arowa and so on and so forth.

In other chapters the author takes proper care of other areas of communality in these two languages. But most interestingly he finds it easier to focus attention on the different areas of similarities. This indeed makes for easy comprehension and assimilation of some of the cognate areas mostly. And so in six chapters, there are enough examples in terms of variations, non basic vocabulary which also includes implements, religion/beliefs, foods/drinks, clothes/ornaments and so on, in which people will certainly see enough proofs to acknowledge the common ancestry of Igbo and Yoruba languages.

Apart from few errors and misrepresentations in the book, in some instances, this is purely an academic book. It is a basic prerequisite to understanding the language classification in kwa language group where both Yoruba and Igbo languages belong. As it is now, this book has succeeded in proving an age long historical fact that both Igbo and Yoruba have the same ancestral linguistic link.
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Nobody: 3:24am On Dec 25, 2010
Mu he he cheesy

Yoruba words were copied by the Igbos.

OASN, some languages have similar words. But are not related.
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Nobody: 3:24am On Dec 25, 2010
strangerf said:

That is some BIG lie
Even if it was true, I am glad we no longer speak the same language

Actually, in light of the evidence shown above, you still do. You're just too thick to see it.
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by omongbatib: 3:27am On Dec 25, 2010
Yoruba ke! Who cares about them except themselves? Even GEJ rejected them.

strangerf:

That is some BIG lie
Even if it was true, I am glad we no longer speak the same language

Can you imagine fstranger and omongbati speaking the same language, let alone belonging to the same ethnic group
I reject it

Bolaji Aremo is one of those modern day revisionists
Nothing good and factual ever come out from them!
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Obiagu1(m): 3:28am On Dec 25, 2010
Ileke-IdI:

Mu he he cheesy

Yoruba words were copied by the Igbos.
OASN, some languages have similar words. But are not related.

Copied

When you people moved down south, away from your cousins, the Kanuri?
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Nobody: 3:31am On Dec 25, 2010
Obiagu1:

Copied

When you people moved down south, away from your cousins, the Kanuri?

mu he he.

Copied, yes o.
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by omongbatib: 3:31am On Dec 25, 2010
Obiagu1:

Copied

When you people moved down south, away from your cousins, the Kanuri?

Did not their father Oduduwa fell from the sky to meet already existing Igbos on earth?
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by aljharem11(m): 3:32am On Dec 25, 2010
Obiagu1:

Copied

When you people moved down south, away from your cousins, the Kanuri?

yes ooooooooooooooo wink
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by strangerf: 3:32am On Dec 25, 2010
omongbatib:

Yoruba ke! Who cares about them except themselves? Even GEJ rejected them.


Well, Yorubas are still ruling the country; after all OBJ is still in charge, according to Wikileaks

1 Like

Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by aljharem11(m): 3:33am On Dec 25, 2010
omongbatib:

Did not their father Oduduwa fell from the sky to meet already existing Igbos on earth?

dumb again undecided

1 Like

Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by omongbatib: 3:34am On Dec 25, 2010
strangerf:

Well, Yorubas are still ruling the country; after all OBJ is still in charge, according to Wikileaks



Keep dreaming!!! Obj is an Igbo man. So we have ruled, still ruling (GEJ is also Igbo) and will still rule again b4 you per PDP zoning.
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by SEFAGO(m): 3:36am On Dec 25, 2010
My beautiful language being compared to omo nna

nna bros no make me vex for u sha undecided

1 Like

Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Dede1(m): 3:37am On Dec 25, 2010
@Post

The post is an absolute bunkum. It is a first grade irrelevant conjecture. If the author was trying to reinforce the linkage between Hausa, Fulani, Nupe and Yoruba, it could have been understandable. The whole attempt to link Igbo and Yoruba through this practical joke was a futile effort from the start.

1 Like

Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by strangerf: 3:38am On Dec 25, 2010
omongbatib:

Keep dreaming!!! Obj is an Igbo man. So we have ruled, still ruling (GEJ is also Igbo) and will still rule again b4 you per PDP zoning.

Ok ooo
Omo Egba from Ibogun

Whatever floats your boat

Isnt OBJ from the same Egba as yourself?
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by omongbatib: 3:38am On Dec 25, 2010
strangerf:

Ok ooo
Omo Egba from Ibogun

Whatever floats your boat

Isnt OBJ from the same Egba as yourself?
Akin Egba is buried. I do not consult the dead.
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Nobody: 3:39am On Dec 25, 2010
Dede1:

@Post

The post is an absolute bunkum. It is a first grade irrelevant conjecture. If the author was trying to reinforce the linkage between Hausa, Fulani, Nupe and Yoruba, it could have been understandable. The whole attempt to link Igbo and Yoruba through this practical joke was a futile effort from the start.  

mu he he.  grin

Ibon!
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Becomrich12: 3:39am On Dec 25, 2010
It is like arabic and english.,

Yoruba is not related to igbo.

1 Like

Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Obiagu1(m): 3:44am On Dec 25, 2010
omongbatib:

Keep dreaming!!! Obj is an Igbo man. So we have ruled, still ruling (GEJ is also Igbo) and will still rule again b4 you per PDP zoning.

Hahahaha, next it will be another covert Igboman, Alh, Ibrahim (Tochi to be revealed only after winning the election) Musa
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Nobody: 3:44am On Dec 25, 2010
Becomrich?:

It is like arabic and english.,

Yoruba is not related to igbo.

My boo has spoken.

Let all the Igwes and Musas bow down to this Oba. For he has spoken!
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by MrChyz: 3:46am On Dec 25, 2010
It's a well known fact that some guy fell out of the sky and hit his head which lead to the creation of the yoruba language.

[flash=350,350]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew-h0YLKmrc&feature=player_embedded[/flash]
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Nobody: 3:46am On Dec 25, 2010
Becomrich? said:

Yoruba is not related to igbo.

Sure it isn't. This thread must come as a rude shock to you bigoted ethnic chauvinists.
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Dede1(m): 3:47am On Dec 25, 2010
Ileke-IdI:

mu he he.  grin

Ibon!

Are you still carrying the flame of tribal icon?  grin grin
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Nobody: 3:48am On Dec 25, 2010
Dede1:

Are you still carrying the flame of tribal icon?  grin grin

I miss you too, boo. kiss

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

ROSSIKE:

Becomrich? said:

Sure it isn't. This thread must come as a rude shock to you bigoted ethnic chauvinists.

Are you mad? How dare you talk to the Untalketh, the omniMAPpeth of all on NL. Sabi your level.
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by OchiAgha2(m): 3:51am On Dec 25, 2010
Actually these languages as well other Nigerian languages do have a common ancestor except for the Hausa and the Fulani language. Their language tree is very different. This is nothing new. Our languages owes it is roots to the Proto-Kwa people.
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by strangerf: 3:51am On Dec 25, 2010
Dede1:

Are you still carrying the flame of tribal icon?  grin grin

Mu he he

Another Ibon

Na by force to speak English

Are you from the SS, like Mrs. Jonathan?
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Dede1(m): 3:52am On Dec 25, 2010
Ileke-IdI:

I miss you too, boo. kiss

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.



The same wishes to you too.
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by SEFAGO(m): 3:56am On Dec 25, 2010
Dede you are still speaking grammarticology grin
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by Dede1(m): 4:08am On Dec 25, 2010
SEFAGO:

Dede you are still speaking grammarticology grin



Pal, I still navigate to this forum. It has been rumored that US Immigration services had few words with you.  grin   grin
Re: How Yoruba And Igbo Became Different Languages by strangerf: 4:12am On Dec 25, 2010
Dede1:



P al, I still navigate to this forum. It has been rumored that US Immigration services had few words with you. grin grin


OMG!

Please ja mi si?

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