Wrong Forms of some Yorùbá Personal Names: Some Phonological and Sociolinguistic Implications

Reuben Olúwáfẹ́mi Ìkọ̀tún


In this study, we examine the wrong forms of some Yorùbá sentences that have become personal names through compounding. The data were extracted from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) lists of candidates that were considered for admission into three Nigerian Universities between the 2005 and 2010 academic sessions. The names extracted from that source were compared with names written in the staff lists of the three Universities in Nigeria. The wrongly written names were recorded on tapes and some native speakers were asked to listen to them to determine their correctness. We argue that wrong forms of some Yorùbá sentential/personal names are common occurrences and establish that they are traceable to the freedom granted by Yorùbá orthography developers. We also argue that, the confusion that results from the different spelling forms of some Yorùbá personal names is seriously observable in social interactions, labour market, schools or Colleges of Education/Universities, Embassies and Nigerian civil service both Federal and State and that court affidavits become imperative to authenticate or reconcile both the wrong and the correct forms for the purposes of admissions, appointments and overseas travelling documents. Similarly, we show that the position of the Yorùbá orthography developers has resulted in a loss of the actual pronunciation of some Yorùbá personal names which has severe implications for the semantic contents of the names as well as implications for the rich religious, cultural and philosophical heritage of the Yorùbá people.



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13092/lo.68.1633