Citation
A grammar and vocabulary of the Yoruba language

Material Information

Title:
A grammar and vocabulary of the Yoruba language compiled by Rev. Samuel Crowther, native missionary of the Church Missionary Society ; together with introductory remarks by O.E. Vidal ... Bishop of Sierra Leone.
Creator:
Crowther, Samuel, 1806?-1891
Vidal, O. E. 1819-1854
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Seeleys
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Yoruba
Physical Description:
v, 52, 291 p.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Yoruba language -- Grammar ( LCSH )
Yoruba language -- Dictionaries -- English ( LCSH )
Yorubadè Yorùbá -- Awọn iwe itumọ-- Gẹẹsi
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Nigeria
Coordinates:
8 x 10

Notes

General Note:
VIAF (Name Authority) : Crowther, Samuel, 1806?-1891 URI : http://viaf.org/viaf/39456173
General Note:
VIAF (Name Authority): Vidal, O. E. 1819-1854 URI: http://viaf.org/viaf/310508867

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Source Institution:
SOAS University of London
Holding Location:
SOAS, University of London
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
361234 ( ALEPH )
EB85.252 /20857 ( soas clasmark )
CWML H378 ( soas calssmark )
EB85.386 /312800 ( soas classmark )

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Full Text
GRAMMAR

AND

VOCABULARY

OF THE

YORUBA LANGUAGE,

COMPILED BY THE

REV. SAMUEL CROWTHER,

NATIVE MISSIONARY OF THE CUUKCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.

TOGETHER WITH

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS,

BY

O. E. VIDAL, D.D.

BISHOP OF SIERRA LEONE.

SEELEYS, FLEET STREET,
AND HANOVER STREET, HANOVER SQUARE, LONDON.

1852.



ADVERTISEMENT.

Tut Yoruba Country, lying between the 2° and 6° W.
long. and 6° and 10°N. lat., and due north of the Bight
of Benin, has been, for more than a quarter of a century,
the chief seat of the African slave-trade. Many Negroes,
and, amongst them, Mr. Crowther, now a Clergyman of
the Church of England,-the compiler of the following
work, were re-captured from Brazilian slavers by the
cruisers of the British squadron, and landed at Sierra
Leone, where they received a Christian education in the
schools of the Church Missionary Society. No less than
3000 of these involuntary emigrants have since returned
to the land of their birth; and it has also pleased God
to bless the labours of the Society’s Missionaries in the
chief town, Abbeokuta, to the establishment ofa flourish-
ing Mission amongst the Aborigines, commenced August
3, 1846, and now numbering several hundred converts.
A Christian literature became at once a desideratum
for this rising Christian community. This want Mr.
Crowther is at present supplying. A Yoruba Primer,
the Gospel according to St. Luke, the Acts of the Apo-
stles, St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, the Epistles of St.
James and St. Peter, and selections of the Book of Com-



( iv)

mon Prayer, embracing all the more important parts of
it, except the Psalms, Epistles, and Gospels, are already
published, and may, most of them, be obtained at the
Society’s House. A new and improved edition of Mr.
Crowther’s Yoruba Grammar is now in the press, having
just received his revision and corrections. And it is
hoped that the present work, containing near 3000
vocables, may do much toward settling a rich and eupho-
nous language, spoken, probably, by 3,000,000 of the Afri-.
can race, but till within the last ten years never re-.
duced to writing. The materials were collected by Mr..
Crowther since his return to his native land, and the pro-.
verbial and idiomatic sayings interspersed throughout the
book'were taken down by him from the lips of his coun-
trymen in the course of common conversation. They are
here introduced to illustrate the genius of the language ;
but they are no less valuable ethnologically, as elucida-
ting many of the characteristics of the national mind of
this very interesting people.

We refer the reader to the valuable details on both
these points contained in the very able article with which
this work is enriched, from the pen of one of the best liv-
ing scholarsin African languages—the Bishop Designate
of Sierra Leone, whose first act upon entering on his new
see will be thus associated with a measure for the dif-
fusion amongst the Yorubans, in their own tongue, of that
Sacred Word which will be at once the standard and the
subject of all his ministrations among them.

The system of phonography employed in the Vocabu-



(Cv)

lary—which also contains the analysis or derivation of
each several word—is that adopted by this Society in its
“Rules for reducing unwritten languages to alphabetical
writing in Roman characters, with reference especially to

the languages spoken in Africa,” appended to the Church
Missionary Report for 1848-49, in which “ it has not been

attempted to form a perfect phonetic system, but one
which practical experience suggests as the most expe-
dient under all the circumstances of the case.” A sum-
mary of it, as far as it bears on the present subject, will
be found at p. (40). |

The work is now sent forth with the prayerful hope
that it may do much, in God’s hand, towards facilitating

the progress of the Gospel in a land which has peculiar
claims on the efforts and sympathies of England.

Cuurcn Missionary Hovusz,

April 12, 1852.






INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

ON THE

YORUBA LANGUAGE,

BY THE

REV. 0. E. VIDAL, M.A.

&e. &e.






INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

Ir is with much diffidence that I venture to lay before
the public the following scanty remarks on the distin-
guishing peculiarities of the Yoruba language. My
design has been, to illustrate a few of its leading fea-
tures, in the hope of awakening an interest in the
subject, and of giving a stimulus to further investigation.
The full appreciation of the character and genius of a
language demands a longer and more familiar acquaint-
ance with it than has yet fallen to the lot of Europeans
in the case of the Yoruba. And where the analogies with
kindred or cognate dialects are as yet undiscovered, this
difficulty is incomparably greater than it is where those
analogies are traceable. In taking up, for example,
such a language as the Sicuana, supposing the learner to
have formed a previous acquaintance with the Kafir, the
analogous system of prefixes strikes him at the very first
entrance on his studies, and suggests inquiries as to fur-
ther analogies, which approve themselves to his mind as
probable; so that he does not pursue his researches at
random. But the very reverse of this is the case where
such analogies are wanting: there he is, as it were, feel-
ing his way in the dark, without the advantage of know-
ing even what to seek for. Such is the difficulty which
we have to encounter in the study of the Yoruba. How-
ever beautiful or perfect its vocabulary or construction
may be, we are left to feel after its perfections, and to
light upon them one by one, as if by chance, from the
want of those known affinities with other tongues which
should be the clue to guide us through the labyrinth.



( 2 )

Failing, however, those analogies which would enable us
to connect the Yoruba with its kindred dialects, and so,
by direct inference, to lay down its position amongst the
languages of Africa, we may still, from the very want
of those analogies, come at a negative conclusion, and
exclude it from one and another of those ethnological
families whose characteristic features are prominent and
defined, and so perhaps eventually, after a series of ex-
clusions, arrive at a satisfactory result, from which there
will be no escaping. But at present our knowledge of
African philology is so scanty, that it were utterly im-
possible to continue our negative process so far. The
utmost that I can attempt in the remarks I now have to
offer is to lay the foundation of this series of exclusions,
thus marking out one or two of the grand families of the
Hamitic stock, to which the Yoruba cannot be referred,
and in this manner limiting to some extent the area over
which we must search for its affinities.

The first peculiarity of the Yoruba language to which
I shall refer, is, the complete and regular system of pre-
fixes by which substantives are formed. This is a pro-
minent feature in the language, and renders it susceptible
of increase to an indefinite extent. The original idea
contained in the simple verb may be modified in a
variety of ways, and carried through numerous relations,
without periphrasis, by the mere addition of prefixes, in
such a regular system that it is scarcely possible to mis-
take the meaning of the compound.

1. We have first the radical word, expressing the sim-
ple idea of acting or suffering ; as sz, “do;” Fs, “love ;”
mo, “ know;” Lo, “go.”

2. The idea contained in this radical word assumes a
substantive form, in which it expresses abstractedly the
action denoted by the verb, by taking the prefix ;



( 3 )

thus, 1sz, “the action or act of doing;” tre, “the act of
loving, love;” 1mo, “the act of knowing, knowledge ;”
1L0, “ the act of going.”

3. The action denoted by the verb cannot be always
regarded in the abstract: it comes before us also in the
concrete, when it becomes more definite, as possessing
particular relations, so that the general idea is very much
limited. To express this limitation, the prefix a is
used ; as AYE, “a state of living;” ars, “a state of lov-
ing,” aLo, “a going.” These words apply to particular
agents at particular times, generally implying that the
acts they describe may come to an end; and they cannot
be used convertibly with rye, ire, 1Lo, which denote life,
love, going, in the abstract. Perhaps the distinction
might be stated thus, that 2 denotes the act, a the fact,
expressed in the verb. |

4. The prefix ari describes the same action as in-
tended or commencing, and may be called the inchoative
prefix. Thus, atixo, “the act of going,’ atirE, “ the
act of loving,’ considered as not yet in exercise.

5. The abstract idea of the action expressed in the verb
may be negatived, or converted into its opposite, by the
prefixing of a to the abstract prefix 7. Thus, armo, “ un-
knowing, ignorance,” alcBon, “ want of wisdom,” arcso,
“ unbelief.”

To describe the agent of the action contained in the
verb the following modes of formation are observed.

6. The prefix a; as aprssa, “a fisherman,” from
PEJJA, “a fish,” AKONRIN, “a singer,” from KoNRIN, “ to
sing.”

7. The reduplication of the verb, as prssaPEJsa, “a
fisherman,” KONRINKONRIN, “a singer.”

8. From the noun again is formed a verb of posses-
sion, by prefixing the verb nr, “to have,” which, before

’



( 4 )

nouns beginning with a, e, 0, is changed into li, and
drops its vowel; thus we find, from paso, “judgment,
or the act of judging,” nrpaso, “ to possess, or be in, the
act of judging;” from ammo, “ignorance,” Laimo, “ to
possess ignorance ;” from EszE, “sin,” LESE, “to possess
sin ;” from owo, “ money,” Lowo, “ to possess money.”

9. And hence nouns of possession are formed by pre-
fixing a vowel to this verb, which varies according to a
determinate rule. Where the form ni is retained, the
prefixed vowel is 0: in the other cases it is the same as
the initial vowel of the noun which denotes the thing
possessed ; thus, onipaso, “one who judges;” aLaimo,
“one who is ignorant ;” ELESE, “ one who has sin ;” oLowo,
“one who possesses money ;” OLORUN, “one who pos-
sesses, or is in, heaven.”

The following list of derivatives from ss will throw
more light upon the above-described formation of nouns.

se, “sin,” the original idea of the verb.
ESE, “sin,” the noun, an irregular formation.
LESE, “ to have sin,” verb of possession.
ELESE, ‘‘ one who has sin,” noun of possession.
ILESE, “ the act of having sin.”

AILESE, “ the not having sin.”

LAILESE, “to possess freedom from having sin.”
ALAILESE, “ one who possesses freedom from having sin.”

So complete and perfect is this system that it admits

of being exhibited in a tabular form, as follows :

Rad. Abst. Concr. Incho. Neg. Verb of Noun of
Idea. Pre. Pre. Pre. Pre. Poss. Poss.

MO IMO AMO ATIMQ AIMO LAIMQ ALAIMO
LO ILO ALO ATILO

FE IFE AFE ATIFE AIFE

GBO —_IGBO AIGBO LAIGBO ALAIGBO
There is a degree of similarity traceable in the verbal

nouns, as they have been called, of the Mpongwe lan-



( 5)

guage. For instance, there are abstract nouns, derived
from the verb, as in Yoruba, by prefixing 7; as, from
tonpa, “to love,” rronpa, “love;” nouns of agency,
formed by prefixing 0; as, from Noxka, “to lie,” oNok1,
“a liar;” and frequentative nouns, formed by the change
of the final a into r1n1; as, from Noxka, “to lie,” NoOKINI,
‘ much or habitual lying.” *

The very same thing is observable in the Kafir and
Sicuana languages. Of the former, Boyce says in his
Grammar, “ The second person sing. of the imp. mood of
the verb may be considered as the root from which the
other words, especially the nouns, are derived. By pre-
fixes to this part of the verb, and sometimes by a slight
change in termination, the Kafirs form nouns verbal,
abstract, concrete, &c., which, though never heard as
nouns before in that form, would be readily understood
by every Kafir who understood the meaning of the word
from whence they are derived.”t Archbell’s account of
Sicuana formations is given in almost the same words.t

The Kisuaheli language, also, has modes of formation
by which substantives, as well concrete as abstract, are
derived from verbs, or from simple nouns, as Dr. Krapf
has fully explained in his grammar of that language,
pp. 40—44.§

In the Mandingo, too, nouns of instrument, of quality,
and of agency, are formed either from verbs or nouns, in
a similar manner; but always by suffixes instead of pre-
fixes. Indeed, the use of suffixes, where other African
languages would employ prefixes, may be said to be a

* Vide “A Grammar of the Mpongwe Language,”’ by the Missionaries of
the A. B.C. F. M. Gaboon Mission, Western Africa, § 17. p. 14.

+ Vide “A Grammar of the Kafir Language,” by W. Boyce, § II. 4. p. 6.

{ Vide ‘‘A Grammar of the Sechuana Language,”’ by Archbell, p. 8.

§ Vide ‘‘ Outline of the Elements of the Kisuaheli Language,” by the Rev.
Dr. J. L. Krapf. Part I. Ch. If. § 4. ,



( 6 )

universal rule in the Mandingo.* Dr. Latham, however,
in his elaborate paper on African philology, has an ob-
servation, that the value of a distinction of this kind,
between the methods of inflexional formation in different
languages, is of no great importance.}

Something of the same character pervades that most
remarkable of African dialects, the Woloff, indeed to
such an extent, that new words, never heard before,
might be formed from known roots, according to a recog-
nised process, as in the Yoruba, which would not fail of
being understood. M. Dard, in his “ Dictionnaire Wo-
loff,” states this fact most unequivocally; ‘“‘ Nos livres
frangais,” he says, “peuvent donc étre traduits assez
exactement dans le langage des négres woloffs; et nous
pouvons affirmer que ces mémes négres saisiront le sens
des mots formés d’aprés cette méthode, tant ils sont
habitués & décomposer et 4 composer les mots.” t

In this respect the Woloff comes nearer to the Yoruba
than any of the other languages to which I have referred,
without excepting even the Kafir and Sicuana. A prin-
ciple of this kind, it is true, is of necessity to be found in
operation in all polysyllabic tongues; but the distin-
guishing feature in the Yoruba is the beautiful com-
pleteness and perfect regularity which characterize its
formative process.

So far, however, as our researches have proceeded at
present, this leading feature of the Yoruba language will
not help us in assigning its position amongst the families
of the Hamitic stock. But there is, in relation to this
part of our subject, a fact to be noticed, which will enable

* Vide ‘“A Grammar of the Mandingo Language,” by the Rev. R. M.
Macbrair, § 19—21.

+ Vide ‘‘ The 17th Report of the British Association,” p. 218.

{ Vide ** Dictionnaire Woloff- Frangais et Francais- Woloff,” par M. Dard.



( 7)

us to take a first step in our process of exclusion. I
mean, that with all this perfect regularity of formation
there is a total absence of that elaborate system of clas-
sification by means of formative prefixes, which distin-
guishes the South-African family; which was first de-
veloped by Boyce in his Grammar of the Kafir language,*
and has been recently explained in a more philosophical
manner by Dr. Krapf in his Kisuaheli works. He re-
solves this grand peculiarity into an action of the South-
African mind in its contemplation of nature. “The
mind of the South African,” he says, “ divides, as it were,
the whole creation into two halves, of which the one is
governed by the principle of spontaneity of movement,
and of creative activity, whilst the other follows the
principle of passiveness and necessity. The South-Afri-
can mind distinguishes the animate creation from the
inanimate ; and, again, distinguishes in the animate
creation rational and irrational beings, men and brutes.
Furthermore, in the inanimate creation it distinguishes
between life and death, as it were. In general, it would
seem that the South-African mind, in the formation and
cultivation of its language, was guided by the impression
of life which pervades the whole creation in various gra-
dations or modifications.” + This mental distinction, thus
described by Dr. Krapf, developed itself in a general
classification of nouns substantive, by means of a system

of formative prefixes. And the entire absence of any
such classification in the Yoruba is fully sufficient to ex-

clude it from that extensive family of languages which
occupies the whole of Africa south of the line, and of
which I have recently discovered the Temneh (with its
two cognates, the Sherbro and the Bullom) to bea branch. °

* Vide § II. 5. et passim.
t “ Outl. of El. of Kisuaheli Language.” Part II. Ch. II. p. 30.



( 8 )

The second striking feature of the Yoruba language
which claims our notice, is, the curious euphonic system
which regulates the concord of the verb and pronoun.

Each personal pronoun in the singular number has
three distinct forms, which cannot be used indiscrimi-
nately, but the appropriateness of which depends ex-
clusively upon the vowel sound of the verb with which
they are in construction. That vowel sound affects the
vowel of the pronoun, altering it so as to make it of the
same kind or quantity. The first, indeed, of the three
forms just alluded to is a sort of general form, being
the original and full form of the pronoun ; but the use of
the two latter is wholly regulated by the vowel sound of
the verb.

For this purpose the vowels of the Yoruba language
are apparently made to form two separate classes, accord-
ing to the closeness or openness of their sound; thus—

Close vowels... 0 e€ i 1 ui wu
Open vowels ...0 e@ a a

Then, according to the close or open sound of the
vowel which occurs in the governing verb, the pronoun
assumes the close or open 0. The full forms of the three
personal pronouns are, EMI, Iwo, oN. The forms which
they assume before the first class of vowels are, mo, 0, 6;
and before the second, mo, 0, 0. The third personal pro-
noun, 6, 6, is marked with the acute accent, to show that
the distinction between the second and third consists in the
latter being enunciated with an elevation of the voice.
The Yoruba language abounds in these intonations. Itis
observable, also, that the negative particle is subject to
the same changes, its original form being x1, before close
vowels ko, and before open, ko. This system of muta-
tions, which I would call the Vocalic Euphony System,
may be exhibited in the following table :-—



( 9 )

Verbs. Pronouns. Neg. Part.
1 2 3
NI, MBE, SE, &C. EMI IWO ON KI
KO, SE, SI, SI, KU,LU MO 0 6 KO
KO, FE, LA, KA MO oO. O KO

There is a still further developement of this system in
the case of the 3d pers. pronoun, when used objectively.
It consists in that case of a single vowel-sound, which
varies not only according to the class of the vowel in the
verb, but according to its individual sound; so that it
possesses no less than seven forms, whose use is not op-
tional, but regulated by the verb: thus—

Verb. 3d Pers. Obj.
SA A
7
SE &
ao
BE é
TI 1
“RO 6
FO g
RU U

This system, though appearing only in the single in-
stance of the concord between the verb and the pronoun
(unless indeed we include the formation of nouns of pos-
session, already described, which is strictly parallel,) is
still observable as proving the existence of that princi-
ple, which seems everywhere to pervade the African
mind, of making the sound an artificial vehicle of the
sense, so that the words which, in a sentence, have a cer-
tain relation to each other, may be known to have that
relation by their similarity of sound. This principle
gives to the languages of Africa an external superficial
character ; scarcely less so, though of a totally different
kind, than that which is manifested by the monosyllabic

languages, where position is the only guide to the mutual
c



( 10 )

relation which obtains between the component parts of a
sentence.

I have observed that the appearance of this principle
of euphonic concord’seems to connect the Yoruba with
the languages of Africa generally. I must add, however,
that it affords us no clue to the position which this
language holds amongst them, except it be negatively,
by pointing out to what classes it does not belong. The
simple fact, that in the Yoruba the euphonic changes
affect the vowel-sound alone, whilst in those systems which
prevail so generally throughout Africa the concord is
effected by consonantal changes, furnishes us with a very
marked distinction, sufficient to exclude this language
from the other classes in which the euphonic principle
is found; although the existence of the principle in
any shape may still be regarded as a connecting link, in
tracing out the larger families of human speech.

I know of but one instance in which there is any thing
that very closely resembles the vocalic euphony of the
Yoruba, and that is in the concord of the verb and pro-
noun in one tense only in the Haussa language. There
the vowel which serves as an auxiliary to the verb varies
according to the vowel-sound of the pronoun; so that we
have NI JSAH, KA ASOH, KI ISOH, TA 4SOH, MU USOH, for the
several persons of that tense.* Here, however, we may
observe a distinction ; for whereas, in the Haussa, the pro-
noun influences the verb, in the Yoruba, on the contrary,
the verb acts upon the pronoun.

And this is the only instance of any thing very nearly
resembling the Yoruba euphonic concord; for there is
no resemblance, except in the bare existence. of a prin-
ciple, between this vocalic change, and the regular har-

* Vide “ Vocabulary of the Haussa Language,”’ by the Rev. J. F. Schén,
p. 25.



( ll )

monious system which pervades and directs the whole
construction of that vast family in the south, to which
the appropriate name of the Alliteral Class has been
applied. The known dialects of that great class have
been divided into four separate families, the Congo, the
Damara, the Sicuana, and the Kafir, to which may now
be added ‘at least two others, the Kisuaheli and the
Temneh. Their general resemblance to each other in
point of construction clearly proves them all to belong
to one stock; whilst the dissimilarity existing between
them and the Yoruba, in the particular we are now con-
sidering, will confirm us in the conclusion to which we
have been already led by the total want in the latter of
that system of classification by prefixes which pervades
and distinguishes the former. ,
There is, however, one other very remarkable language,
long known to Europeans on the West Coast, which ex-
hibits the peculiarity of the euphonic concord; I mean,
the Woloff. But here it only presents itself in the single
instance of that most unique and effective particle to
which Roger gives the title of “le signe de position,”*
and which, according to Dard, has seven different forms
depending on the initial of the noun which it defines.{
This phase of the euphonic concord, though totally un-
connected with that of the South-African languages,
does yet bear a nearer resemblance to that than it bears
to the phase which we trace in the Yoruba. And hence
I would argue, that the vocalic euphony system of the
latter does not only exclude it from the vast alliteral
class of the south, but also from that western family,
whatever it may prove to be, to which the Woloff, at
present standing alone and unconnected, distinguished as

* Vide “‘ Recherches sur la langue Ouolof,” par M. le Baron Roger.
t ‘* Dictionnaire Woloff- Francais et Frangais- Wolof,” par M. Dard.



( R)

it is by many extraordinary peculiarities, shall eventu-
ally be traced.

The third feature which I shall notice in the Yoruba
is one of a still more negative character than either of
those which have preceded. It is the total absence of
conjugation in the verb. There are, it is true, a few par-
ticles used as auxiliary verbs, to mark distinctions of
mood and tense; but these, with the single exception,
perhaps, of the future auxiliary yio, are significant in
themselves, and consequently separable from the verb
they are employed to modify. Thus we have Le and ma,
denoting a potential and a subjunctive mood respectively ;
as also for the tenses, T1, past, and yio, future. But
there is nothing that presents the appearance of inflex-
ion: the verb always appears in its root form, which
never varies.

The grand peculiarity of African languages generally,
as it respects the verb, is the extreme perfection to
which they have carried that kind of conjugation which
Chev. Bunsen has denominated the Semitic. By this
name is denoted “ the modification of the predicate con-
tained in each adjective verb,” to give his own definition,
in contradistinction to what he calls the Sanscritic con-
jugation, “ which is intended to mark the modifications of
which the copula is capable, according to time and mode
of existence.”* In the Semitic languages, these modifi-
cations are effected by an alteration of the form of the
original verb, either by the mere change of vowels in the
same radical consonants, or by an addition of servile let-
ters with a suitable change of vowels.t The seven con-

* Vide ‘‘Seventeenth Report of the British Association,”’ p. 282, ina paper
on the results of the recent Egyptian researches in reference to Asiatic and
African Ethnology, and the classification of Languages, by C. C. J. Bunsen.

+ Vide “ Grammar of the Amharic Language,” by the Rev. C. W. Isen-
berg, Ch. 1V. § II. 3.



( 13.)

jugations of the Hebrew, and the thirteen of the Arabic
verb will at once occur to our minds, all formed in the
manner above described. The Ethiopic language, strictly
Semitic, has ten of these different forms; whilst in the
Amharic, which connects Semitism with Africa, Isenberg
has exhibited no less than twenty-four variations of form
belonging to the regular and perfect verb. Chev. Bunsen
states that the old Egyptian shows a germ of this Semitic
conjugation ; but the developement of that germ in the
Coptic is not organic, being effected by an auxiliary.*
The same system prevails to some extent in the Berber ;
so much so, that Newman says in his grammar, “ From
primitive verbs are derived others with a modified mean-
ing, exactly on the same principle as in the Ethiopian
and Syro-Arabian.”+ He subsequently mentions three
forms of these derivative verbs: 1. The Causative, with
respect to which he says, “ This is so entirely a living
process, that a causative verb, it would seem, may always
safely be invented from any given verb, without risk of
being misunderstood.”{ 2. The Passive or Neuter; and,
3. The Reciprocal; adding that “more derived forms
than these exist, but cannot yet be methodized.Ӥ As
we proceed southward, however, to the large alliteral
family already so often mentioned, we find this system of
conjugation developing itself, if not more fully, at least
with more of definiteness and regularity. To mention
some few of the many dialects which compose that
family, the Kafir exhibits at least eight modifications of
the verb, the Sicuana six, the Kisuaheli seven, the
Mpongwe eleven, and the T'emneh an equal number. The

* “ Seventeenth Report of the British Association,”’ p. 282.

t “ Vide “ A Grammar of the Berber Language,” p. 313.
{ Ibid. p. 3814.
§ Ibid. p. 315.



( 4)

conjugation called by some the Objective,* by others the
Relative,t is a peculiarity which marks all these lan-
guages, and is not to be met with, as far as my know-
ledge extends, in any that does not belong to this family.
It denotes that the action described is performed rela-
tively, for or in behalf of another. This conjugation
does not appear in the Woloff, which, however, is re-
markably prolific in its modifications of the verb, count-
ing no less than eleven, and many of these peculiar to
itself, having no place in other languages; as, for in-
stance, the Preparatory, the Iterative, the Diminutive,
and the Intensive Negative conjugations; thus serving to
keep up that character for singularity which distinguishes
this unique specimen of human speech. Even in the
Mandingo there seems a slight touch of Semitism in this
respect, as a causative conjugation may be formed from
the radical by an organic change; but to the best of my
belief, these modifications of the predicate are not car-
ried any further in that dialect.

And now, after taking this summary view of the prin-
cipal families of Africa, in respect of this grand charac-
teristic, when I add, that in the Yoruba there is not the
slightest trace of any thing approaching to it, I think we
shall feel constrained to admit that the total absence of
such a distinguishing peculiarity must of necessity ex-
clude the Yoruba from any direct relationship to the
families possessing it. Thus we are led again, by a third
argument, independent of the two former, to the conclu-
sion that this language has no connexion with the alli-
teral family of the south; we are also strengthened in
our former view of its complete separation from the
Woloff; and, in addition to this, we now find that it is

%* Boyce, “ Kafir Grammar’ § VI. 3. p. 49.
+ American Missionaries’ ‘‘ Mpongwe Grammar,”’ § 57



( 15)

equally far from the more strictly Semitic families of the
northern and north-eastern portions of the African con-
tinent.

If we now turn to the map of Africa, we shall perceive
that the area over which we must search for the affini-
ties of the Yoruba language is very considerably di-
minished ; that, in fact, nothing now remains to be ex-
plored for this purpose but the tract on either side of the
banks of the Niger, with the Guinea coast, which is en-
closed by the course of that mysterious river, and the
line of Mahommedan kingdoms which stretches eastward
on either side of the inland sea of Tchad, from the Niger
to the Nile; the whole space being included between
the fifth and fifteenth degrees of N. latitude, and between
ten degrees W. and thirty degrees E. of longitude.

There is another very striking feature in the Yoruba
language, which I feel unwilling to pass over in this
memoir, although, at the present stage of our knowledge
on the subject of African philology, it will not afford any
help in assigning to this language its proper position on
the ethnological chart. The adverb is a part of speech
in which we do not commonly recognise any characte-
ristic sufficiently prominent to become a distinctive mark
of any language, either generic or specific. But in the
case of the Yoruba there is a most observable peculiarity
in the use of this part of speech, which must, I think,
eventually prove to be such a distinctive mark. Speaking
in general terms, we may say, that each individual adverb
of qualification possesses an idiosyncrasy of its own
which altogether incapacitates it from supplying the
place of another. It contains within itself the idea of the
word which it is employed to qualify, although, as to
form and derivation, totally unconnected with that word.
In this way “almost every adjective and verb has its own



( 16 )

peculiar adverb to express its quality,”* or rather its de-
gree. This peculiarity must certainly greatly increase
the expressiveness of the language. ‘Thus, for example,
in sentences where we should employ the word “ very,”
let the subject of which we were speaking be what it
might, the Yoruban would express the same meaning
with far more of definiteness and precision by a separate
adverb in each case, no two of which could be used con-
vertibly. We should say, for instance, “The tree is
very high;” “the bird flies very high;” “this cloth is
very yellow ;” “the scarlet is very red ;” “the glass is
very dazzling.” But the Yoruban would vary his adverb
in every example; thus “iggi ga fiofio;” “eiye fo tian-
tian;” “aso yi pon rokiroki;’ “ ododo pipa_ roro;”
“ awojijin ndan maranmaran.” It is true, we have adverbs
which can only be applied to certain classes of subjects,
as the word “beautifully” can only be used concerning
objects of sense; but even here the tendency to general-
ize is observable: “ beautifully” belongs of course, in its
original acceptation, only to objects of sight, as, “the
cloth is beautifully yellow ;” but we employ it constantly
in reference to objects of hearing, speaking of harmony
as beautifully soft, and so on. In the Yoruba, on the
contrary, we observe the working of a principle the very
opposite of this generalization. Thus the word “ fiofio,”
used above, can only apply to the idea of height, and
that, too, only when the subject of which height is predi-
cated is connected with the ground, and stands upon it ;
for when the idea of height implies distance from the
ground and separation from it, another distinct adverb,
‘“tiantian,” must be employed. So, too, the adverb “ ro-
kiroki” can only be used of a yellow colour, although the
word itself does not mean yellow; and “roro” only of a

* Vide “ Vocabulary of the Yoruba Language,” by S. Crowther, p. 29.



( 7 )

red, or, at least, dark colour, though the word has no such
meaning; the fact being, that they imply ideas connected
with those colours respectively, and not with the category
of colour generally. And this principle seems to per-
vade the language ; so that, in order to speak it correctly,
it is necessary to know not only the verb or adjective
which expresses what we wish to say, but also the pe-
culiar and appropriate adverb which denotes the degree
or quality attaching to it. This singular feature of the
Yoruba language is unique, and therefore I shall not
waste time in comparing it with the adverbial systems,
whatever they may be, of other African languages.

The above remarks have throughout had reference to
grammatical peculiarities. These, however, are not the
only points deserving of notice in connexion with our
present subject. Language is designed to give expres-
sion to thought. Hence, by examining the particular
class of composition to which any given language has
been especially devoted, we may trace the direction in
which the current of thought is wont to flow amongst the
tribe or nation in which it is vernacular, and so investi-
gate the principal psychical peculiarities, if such there
be, of that tribe or nation. In this view, then, we may
say that a leading characteristic of the Yoruba language,
deserving of a prominent place in these remarks, is to be
found in the rich and abundant profusion of its prover-
bial sayings.

A glance at the Dictionary before us will suffice to
convince us that in this respect the Yoruba is no ordi-
nary language. It should seem that there is scarcely an
object presented to the eye, scarcely an idea excited in
the mind, but it is accompanied by some sententious
aphorism, founded on a close observance of men and

manners, and, in many cases, of a decidedly moral ten-
d



( 18 )

dency. Itistrue that this concise and pointed method
‘of speech is, in a degree, common to all nations amongst
whom civilization has made but little progress; for, as
has been justly remarked, “ proverbial expressions are
peculiarly adapted to a rude state of society, and more
likely to produce effect than any other; for they profess
not to dispute, but to command ; not to persuade, but to
compel: they conduct men, not by circuitous argument,
but immediately, to the approbation and practice of in-
tegrity and virtue.”* In the Yoruba, however, there is
an extraordinary exuberance of these sententious sayings,
not confined to any particular caste undertaking to be
the guide of the rest; but everywhere in the mouths of
all, imparting a character to common conversation, and
marking out a people of more than ordinary shrewdness,
intelligence, and discernment. If brevity and elegance
be regarded as the two main excellencies of a proverb,
the Yoruban aphorisms may claim an equal rank with
those of any other nation in ancient or modern times; for
besides the condensation of the discriminating sentiment
into a small compass, which is always observable in
them, there is, for the most part, also an almost poetical
contrivance or construction of the parts, which marks a
refinement of taste greater than we should naturally have
expected.

I believe that the number and the character of these
proverbial sayings will almost bear us out in calling them
the national poetry of the Yorubas. I am not aware of
the existence among them of any heroic pieces, or war
and hunting songs, such as those which prevail amongst
the southern tribes, and of which Casalis has given us

* Vide Horne’s “ Introduction to the Scriptures,” Vol. IT. Part II. Book
TI. Ch. I. § vi.



( 19 )

several remarkable specimens.* The poetry of the
Yorubas, if I may call it such, seems rather to be of the
didactic kind, probably evincing a different character of
mind in the people; and which cannot fail, I think, to
remind us, both in sentiment and in style, of some of the
poetical books of scripture.

I would proceed to point out one or two features of
the Yoruban proverb which are worthy of notice.

In the first place, they are in the main metaphorical.
Some object of sense is selected, to which the character
intended is attributed, and some quality, or other acci-
dent, is predicated of that object of sense, which is de-
signed to figure the intended predicate. As an illustra-
tion of my meaning, I may quote the proverb,

AGBE NI JE EGBIN OMI,

“A calabash receives the sediment of water,”
which is explained to mean, “An elder must exercise
forbearance ;” or,

ENNITI 0 DA LI ERU ITO,
“‘ Ashes always fly back in the face of him that throws
them,”
i.e. the calumnies, or injuries, which one man aims at
another will recoil on his own head. This metaphori-
cal style is not essential to a proverb; but I think we
may say it is essential, or at least most highly conducive,
to the poetical character of a proverb. Casalis has ob-
served the same in the Sisuto proverbs in the south.
“Les Bassoutos,” he says, “me paraissent avoir été tout
particuliérement heureux dans ce genre de composition.
Leur langue, par sa précision énergique se préte admi-
rablement au style sententieux, et l’élémentmétaphorique
est entrée si abondamment dans sa formation, qu ’on ne

* Vide “* ’Etudes gur la langue Séchuana,” par Eug. Casalis, Partie III.
p. 82.



( 20)

saurait la parler sans s’habituer insensiblement 4 revétir
ses pensées de quelque image qui les fixe dans la me-
moire.”* As an instance of this metaphorical style, we
find amongst his catalogue of Sisuto proverbs, “ La pointe
de Vaiguille doit passer la premiére,” meaning, “ Be
direct in your discourse, avoid disguising the truth by
evasive words.” Another example of the same kind
amongst the Yorubuas is,
ATE YUN ATE WA LIA ITE EKURO OJU ONNA,
“ To be trodden upon here, to be trodden upon there, is
the fate of the palm-nut lying in the road.”

Multitudes more of a similar character might be men-
tioned.

The characteristic, however, which gives to the
Yoruban proverbs their peculiar claim to be regarded as
a national didactic poetry, is a feature which was first
pointed out to my notice by my esteemed and valued
friend, the Rev. Henry Venn. It is that same feature
which Bishop Lowth considered one of the grand cha-
racteristics, and which Bishop Jebb has proved to be the
sole distinctive characteristic, of Hebrew poetry. We
call it the system of parallelism, and by this word we
denote “a certain equality, resemblance, or relationship,
between the members of each period; so that in two
lines, or members of the same period, things shall answer
to things, and words to words, as if fitted to each other
by a kind of rule or measure.”{ This parallelism in
Hebrew poetry has been stated to consist of four species,
which have been respectively termed the gradational, the
antithetic, the synthetic, and the introverted. The gra-

+ * “’ Etudes sur lalang. Séch.” Part III. p. 84.
+ Vide Horne’s “ Introduction to the Scriptures,’ Vol. II. Part II. Book
II. Ch. IT. p.496. To the examination of Scripture poetry contained in that

invaluable work I am indebted for the arrangement of this part of my
subject. .



( 21)

dational is that species in which the second clause rises
above the first, either in significance or in expression ;
the antithetic is that in which the two clauses are con-
nected by contrast instead of similarity; the synthetic
is that in which the parallelism lies in the construction
of the sentences, noun answering to noun, and verb to
verb, being strictly artificial ; and the introverted is that
in which, whatever be the number of clauses, the first is
parallel to the last, the second to the last but one, and
sO on.

Of the gradational parallelism we meet with a few
instances amongst the Yoruban proverbs; thus, in the
ascending scale, we have, |

Oso ONIBUJE KO PE ISAN,
Oso ONINABL KO JU ODUN LO.
“ Marks made with buje do not last more than nine days,

Marks made with inabi do not last more than a year.”

AHERE NI YIO KEHIN OKO,
‘ATTA NI YIO KEHIN ILLE.
“ The farm-house will be after the farm,
The ridge of the roof will be after the house.”
And in the descending scale we may notice the two fol-
lowing—
BI 1wo KO LI OWO, 0 LI ENA;
Bi Iwo KO LI ENA, O LI OHUN RERE LI ENNU.
“ Tf you have no money (to give), you may pay visits ;
If you cannot visit, you may send kind messages.”
This partakes of the character of the logical sorites.
ABEBBE NI IBE IKU,
ABEBBE NI IBE ORAN 3
Br orv BA MU
ABEBBE NI IBE E.

‘A pleader (with the gods) wards off death,

A pleader (with the judge) wards off punishment ;



( 2)

If the heat is oppressive
A fan wards off that.”

Of the antithetic parallelism we also meet with some
examples; indeed, this species is peculiarly adapted to
adages and aphorisms. The following are specimens—

AsE ALAPA LI 0SO, KO GBO;
ASE OHUN GBOGBO FU IGGI, 0 YE IGGI.
“ However a ruined mud wall may be garnished, the
trouble will be useless ;
But all trouble bestowed upon things made of wood is
advantageous.”
JI AGBA OTTI, JI AGBA ETTU;
ENNITI ARAN WA KI IJI AGBA.,
“ The owner may broach his cask of liquid, or barrel of
powder ;
But he who is sent with it dares not broach the cask.”
ARI TI ENNI MO IWI3
Fi aPADI BO TI RE MOLLE.

“ He who sees another’s faults knows well how to talk
about them ;

But he covers his own with a potsherd.”
ENIA LASSAN PO O JU IGBE;
ENNI RERE WON 0 JU OJU LO.
“ Ordinary people are as common as grass ;
But good people are dearer than an eye.”

This last reminds us forcibly of the Scripture proverbs
in its style of composition; each word in the second
clause being antithetic to some word in the first. Exam-
ples of this character are to be found in almost every
chapter of the Book of Proverbs; as, for instance, xi. 1.
xiii. 3. xiv. 34. xv. 6,20. xxi. 12. &c. &c,

The Yoruba abounds more in the synthetic parallelism

than in any other. A few examples will serve to show
the peculiarities of the species.



Kr ADABA SUSU KI O WI FU JEDIEDIE,
KI EIYE KI O WI FU EIYE.
“‘ Let the white pigeon tell the woodpecker,
Let bird tell bird.”
AGBA KO SI, ILLU BAJE}
BaLLE KU, ILLE DI AHORO.
‘ When there are no elders, the town is ruined ;
When the master dies, the house is desolate.”
BEBBE KI O RI OKOSE;
SAGBE KI O RI AWON.
“ Beg for help, and you will meet with refusals ;
Ask for alms, and you will meet with misers.”
Under this class we often find proverbs in which the
second clause, constructed with a studied similarity to
the first, contains the explanation of the figurative lan-
guage which the first employed. Thus,
AJI BO WA IBA LI ABA ILA LI ATELLEWO,
Awa KO MO ENNI TI O KO 6;
AJI BO WA IBA LI OWO ADASAN,
AWA KO MO ENNI TI O JE E.
“‘ We wake, and find marks on the palm of our hand,
We do not know who made them ;
We wake, and find an old debt,
We do not know who contracted it.”
ABERE BO LOWQ ADETTE, O DI ETE;
. _ ORAN BA ILLE, O DI ERO.
“fa needle fall from a leper’s hand, it requires con-
sideration (to pick it up);
If a great matter is before the council, it requires deep
thought.”
Axi IGBA AKAKA LOWO AKIT);
AK} IGBA ILLE BABBA ENNI LOWO ENNI.
“No-one can cure a monkey of squatting ;
So no-one can deprive a man of his birthright.”



( 24)

AsIsonri KO NI IKUN BI AGB ;
OrTos1 KO LOWO BI OLORO.
“ A pistol has not a bore like a cannon;
A poor man has not money at his command as the
rich.”

“IMADO IBA SE BI ELEDDE, ABILLUJE ;
Erv IBA JOBBA, ENIA KO KUN.
“A wild boar, in the place of a pig, would ravage the
town ;
And a slave made king would spare nobody.”

ELUvuB6 SE OGBODO RI,
ERU SE OMMO NI ILLE BABBA RB.
“¢ As the ELUBO was once asoft unripe yam,
So the slave was once a child in his father’s house.”
The twenty-sixth chapter of Proverbs is full of
aphorisms of this class, in which the second clause ex-
plains the first.
Of the introverted parallelism the following is a spe-
cimen—
IpasE APO NI
IpasE APA;
Bi APA BA JA,
‘APO ABALLE.
“The injury of a bag
Is (caused by) the injury of the pack-rope ;
If the pack-rope breaks,
The bag will go down.”

For the most part, however, the Yoruba proverbs are
not long enough to display this species of parallelism ;
but we may notice something similar to it in the inverted
order of the corresponding words in the two parallel
clauses which we often meet with; thus

ELEKE LI EKE IYE;
OHUN TI ABA SE NI IYE ’NI.



( 25 )

“To a liar a lie is natural ;
Any thing which a man is in the habit of doing is

natural to him.”

Here ELEKE is made the subject in the first clause,
though it corresponds with ’nr in the second ; and onuN
TI ABA SE is the subject in the second, though it corre-
sponds with Eke in the first.

Such is the striking feature of parallelism which so
evidently characterizes the Yoruba proverbs. It is this

which gives them their claim to the title of poetry; for
there does not appear to be any thing which can be
strictly called rhythm or metre in any of them; although
the feature which I am about to notice may be regarded
as a slight approximation to it. I mean that there is
in the main a conformity of length between the lines
which are designed to be parallel or antithetic ; and that
where there is a third line, either preceding or following,
which stands alone, it is of a different length from the
others, and, in most cases, considerably longer. These
stanzas, if we may cal] them so, of three lines, are of very
frequent occurrence amongst the Yoruba proverbs, and
the peculiarity just noticed will, I think, be found to pre-
vail almost universally in them. The following are
examples—
OsE NI ISAJU EKUN,
ABAMO NI IGBEHIN ORAN,
GxoGBO OTTOKULU PE, NWON KO RI EBO ABAMO SE.
“ Sorrow,is before weeping,
Mortification is after trouble,
All the community assemble, They find no sacrifice against
mortification.”
AIYE LI OKUN,
Entra Li Qssa,
AKI IMO IWE, KI AKO AIYE JA.



( 26 )

“The world is an Ocean,
Mankind is the (lagoon) Ossa,
One cannot swim, So as to cross the world.”

Iwo 1Ba Ri,
Iwo 6 GBODDO WI ;
NI 1Pa AKONI.
“ ‘You may see,
You must not speak ;

It is that which is the death of the strong man.”
i.e. a strong man may perish for want of being apprised
of his danger.

IcBo BIRIBIRI,
OKUNKUN BIRIBIRI ;
OKUNKUN NI YIO SETTE IGBO.
“The forest is very dark,
The night is very dark ;
The darkness of the night is deeper than the darkness of
the forest.”

ERIN NTU EKURU,
EFON NTU EKURU;
TiTu EKURU AJANNAKU BO TI EFON MOLLE.
“The elephant makes a dust,
The buffalo makes a dust ;
The dust of the elephant Hides that of the buffalo.”

ENNU IMO 'NNU,

ETE IMO ETE,
NI IKO ORAN BA EREKE.
“Mouth keeping to mouth,

Lip keeping to lip,

Bring trouble to the jaws.”
EWURE JE, O RE ILLE,
‘AGUTAN JE, O RE ILLE;

AJe iwa ILLE Ba ELEDDE JE.



( 27 )

“ When the goat has fed, it returns home,
When the sheep has fed, it returns home ;
Not returning home after feeding Ruins the character of
the pig.”

It is observable that in these stanzas, for the most part,
the concluding line is about double the length of the
others, and admits of being divided into two. We may
compare with these the triplets in which Scripture lan-
guage frequently runs; as, Matt. vili.20,

“The foxes have holes,
And the birds of the air have nests,
But the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.”*

We have, however, examples of a different disposition
of the triple stanza in the Yoruba, where all the lines
are parallel, although, even in such cases, the last is in
contrast, whilst the two others are in apposition’; thus,

ADA EBO FUN GUNUGUN, O LI ON KO RU,
ADA EBO FUN AKALLA, O LI ON KO RU, .
ADA EBO FUN EIYELLE, O GBE EBO ORURO.
“Sacrifices were prescribed to the turkey-buzzard, But it
refused to offer them, |
Sacrifices were prescribed to the Akalla vulture, But it
refused to offer them,

Sacrifices were prescribed to the pigeon, And it offered
them.”

In this, and in several other examples already given,
the lines are evidently bi-membral, as is constantly the
case in Scripture poetry.

The Yoruba stanzas, however, are not confined to two
or to three lines: there are instances of quatrains, in which

three lines are parallel, followed or preceded by an odd
line; for example,

* Vide Horne’s “ Introduction,”’ Vol. IT. p. 508.



( 28 )

Esu Yio JE,
Esvu yIo mo,
Esu yYIo Lo ;
NIBO LI ALATAMPOKO YIO WO,
“ The locust will eat,
The locust will drink,
The locust will go away;
But where will the grasshopper hide itself?”
AGBA METTA KI ISI EKULU IPE ;
Br OKAN PE EKULU,
EKEJI ANI EKULU,
EKETTA ANI EXULU.
“Three elders cannot all fail to pronounce the word ékulu;
) If one says ekulu,
The second may say ekulu,
But the third will say ékulu.”
Occasionally we find them passing the number of four,
as in the following very simple but really poetic stanza
of seven lines, which, we may observe, commences with
an odd line, and then divides itself into three couplets,
of strictly parallel lines, gradually increasing in length :
Br oJuMo Mo,
OLowW6 GBE Owo,
JRANWU AGBE KEKKE,
AJAGUN AGBE APATA,
IWONSO ABERE GBE ASSA,
“‘AGBE AJi TI ON TI ARUKO,
OMMO OQDDE AJi TI APO TI ORON.
“* When the day dawns,
The trader takes his money,
The spinner takes her spindle,
The warrior takes his shield,
The weaver takes his batten,
The farmer wakes, himself and his hoe,
The hunter wakes with his quiver and his bow.”



( 29)

The above remarks would seem sufficient to substan-
tiate the claim of the Yoruba proverbs to a place
amongst the poetry of nations. But without dwelling
longer on this point, I will proceed to notice one or two
other distinctive features.

One is—what indeed we might expect in a nation yet
in its infancy, and scarcely rising out of barbarism—that
the point of the proverb very often lies in the fact of
two words having a very similar sound, with a wholly
different sense, making the proverb in such cases, a play
upon the word. We have numerous instances of this
amongst the Yoruba adages: to quote a few—

“Oso PA BATTA BATA BATTA BATA LI ORI APATTA!: LI ODE
AJALUBATA, BATA NI IGGI, BATTA LI AWO.

The rain on the batta (shoes) goes patter, patter, pat-
ter, as on the apatta (rock): in the street of the ajalubata
(head drummer), the bata (drum)-is wood, the batta
(shoes) are skin.”

This sentence is designed as a play on the word apaTta,
containing a frequent repetition of b and ¢ sounds.

But there are others whose meaning is more obvious; as,

ABERE BO LOWO ADETTE, O DI ETE—“ If a needle falls
from the hand of a leper, he requires consideration” to
pick it up, because his hand is mutilated by the disease.
The play in this sentence is in the words, apETTE, and
opr ETE. One who pr errs, is leprous, must DI ETE, be-
come thoughtful.

IcUN TI OGUN MI KO Jo TI EGUN—“ Piercing me with a
lance is not like piercing me with a thorn.” Here the
resemblance between the three words 1cGN, oGUN, EGUN,
gives a peculiar liveliness to the expression.

Br OMMO DA ORI KAN APA, APA A—“If a child treats
the apa tree insolently, it wounds him.” The word apa
“ wounds” is the same as the name of the tree.



( 30 )

Ore Acpé se tt Orra o pr EGBE—“ The good which
Agbé did in Offa is wasted ;” lit.,is become loss. The
word denoting loss is EcBE, similar in sound to AcbE.
He is said to have been a noted philanthropist among
the Yorubas.

IBaAJE APO NI IBAJE APA.—“The injury of the bag is
(caused by) the injury of the pack-rope.” ‘Apo and apd
are similar. y

BABa BO BABA MOLLE—“ A great matter puts a small

matter out of sight.” BAsa and asa are only distin-
guished by the accent.

BI ALAPATA BA PA ERAN, AWON ALAGBATA ABU U LI AJAN—
“ ‘When the butcher kills the animal, the retailers cut it

into pieces.” The resemblance between aLapata and
ALAGBATA is sufficiently obvious.

Multitudes more of a similar character might be col-
lected, but the examples above given are enough to show
the tendency of the Yorubas_ to the figure of rhetoric
commonly called paronomasia; in which characteristic
again, as in the parallelism already described, there is a
striking similarity to the poetry of the Hebrews and
other oriental nations.*

I must not omit to mention, in this brief account of the
Yoruba proverbs, that there is a degree of moral light
observable in them which renders them peculiarly in-
teresting, and gives them, I may add, a real value in
connexion with the inquiry into the moral government
of the universe ; inasmuch as it presents us with a lively
comment on the words of St. Paul concerning the Gen-
tiles, “ which show the work of the law written in their
hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their
thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one
another.” (Rom.ii.15.) These proverbs, in many in-

* Vide Horne’s “ Introduction,” Vol. II. p. 292.



( 31)

stances display ideas concerning the providence of God,
the moral rectitude of actions, or the practice of social
virtues, which (to say the least) we should hardly have
expected to find in a people so wholly separated from
the influences, direct or indirect, of that revelation which
God was pleased to make of Himself to man. The words
of Casalis, with reference to the Sisuto proverbs, are in
my opinion even more applicable to those of the Yoru-
bas. “Sous le rapport moral, il est in téressant d’observer
les vestiges de cette conscience universelle, a laquelle
Dieu a confié la direction de toute créature intelligente.
Nousacquérons par lala certitude qu'il n’est pas d’homme
sur la terre qui ne sache discerner entre ce qui est mo-
ralement bon et moralement mauvais, et qui par consé-
quent ne soit’ susceptible d’encourir la condamnation
attachée 4 la transgression des lois divines.”"* Amongst
‘ his list of Sisuto proverbs we meet with some that ex-
press a moral sentiment; as, for example, “ La trappe
prend le grand oiseau aussi bien que le petit ; st “Le
sang humain est pesant, il | empéche celui qui l’a répandu
de fuir;” “Le meurtrief dit, Je n’ai tué quune béte,
mais l’animal sans poil (homme) ne périt pas sans étre
vengé ;” “ L’homme trompeur est une aiguille 4 deux
pointes.”{ But there is something mure striking in the
high standard of morality observable in the sayings of
the Yorubas, displaying as it does a conscious recogni-
tion of the intrinsic excellence of those peculiar virtues
which we commonly regard as being appreciated only in
civilized society. Were we to measure this people by
the standard of their proverbial morality, we should come
to the conclusion that they had attained no inconside-

* « "Etudes sur la lang. Séch.” Part III. p. 84.
+ Ibid. p. 87.
t Ibid. p. 89.



( 32 )

rable height in the developement of social relations, hav-
ing passed out of that savage barbarism, in which every
individual lives for himself alone, into a higher state of
being, in which the mutual dependence of one member
on another is recognised, giving room for the exercise
of social virtues as a sort of moral compact for the safe-
guard of society. A few instances will suffice to explain
my meaning.

Thus the mutual relation between man and man, and
the consequent duty which man owes to man, are dis-
tinctly acknowledged in the brief sentence,

ENNITI 0 SE IBAJE ENIA, O SE IBAJE ARA RE.
“ He who injures another, injures himself.”

The excellence of truthfulness as one of those virtues
which are essential to the existence of society, is evi-
dently implied in such proverbs as the following, con-
demnatory of the antithetic sin of lying.

PIPE NI YIO PE EKE KO MU RA,
“The time may be very long, but a lie will be detected
at last.”

Dr. Krapf, in his laborious researches on the east coast,
was unable to find any word expressing the idea of gra-
titude in the language of all the Suaheli tribes, a fact
significant enough as to the total absence of the moral
feeling denoted by that name. Amongst the Yorubas, on
the contrary, not only is the word pure, “to give thanks,”
a word of constant and daily occurrence, but they have
proverbs relating to ingratitude sufficient to show that,
in theory at least, its turpitude is acknowledged to the
full. Thus they say,

ENNITI ASE LI ORE, TI KO DUPE;
ABA SE E NI IBI, KO DON 0.
“He to whom kindness is shown, and he does not re-
turn thanks,



( 33 )

You may do him ill, and he will not feel that either :”
intimating that an ungrateful person must be destitute of
all feeling. So again—

ENIA KI ISE ’NI NI RERE
KI AFI IBI SU U.
“He who has done you a kindness should never be ill-
used,”

ARI BA 'NI JE AGBON ISALLE BI O KU LI OWURO AYA LI ALLE.

“An ungrateful guest is like the lower jaw, which, when
the body dies in the morning, falls away from the
upper by night-time.”

The light in which the Yoruban moralists regard jus-
tice and equity may be gathered from the following
pithy piece of advice—

Eri, GBO EKEJI KI 0 T6 DAJO.
“Kar, hear the other side (of the question) before you
decide.”

The duties of contentment and patience are energeti-
cally and forcibly recommended in the two subjoined
aphorisms, duties which can scarcely be recognised as
such while man is in a state of barbarism ;

Ma GBIYELE OGUN;}
TI OWO ENNI NI ITO 'NI.
“ Depend not on (the fortune of) battle ;
What a man possesses is enough for a man.”

Iptnd KO SE NKAN FU 'NI,
SURU BABBA iwa :
IBINO NI IYO OFFA LI APO,
OHUN RERE NI IYO oBi LI APO.
“ Anger does nobody good,
Patience is the best (lit., father) of dispositions :
Anger draws arrows from the quiver,
Good words draw kola-nuts from the bag.”

f



( 34 )

Another remarkable proverb may be mentioned, in
which we notice the same implied reproof of a partial
respect of persons which we so often find in Scrip-
ture. This proverb supposes the case of a poor man
looking on at the erection of a house: a rafter is dis-
covered to be not long enough for its intended purpose ;
the poor man ventures to recommend the plan of splicing
two rafters together, to increase its length : his advice is at
first despised, because he is poor, but eventually adopted
on the failure of all other plans. This history the pro-
verb gives, in the usual brief sententious manner of that
class of composition,

BI EKKE OTOSI KO TO OKE LI ORO, ATO LI ALLE.
“Tf the poor man’s rafter does not reach the top in the
morning, it will reach it in the evening.”

We are forcibly reminded of the striking parable in
the ninth chapter of Ecclesiastes, whose moral is given
in the words, “Then said J, Wisdom is better than
strength ; nevertheless, the poor man’s wisdom is de-
spised, and his words are not heard.”

The following is an evident proof that the Yorubas
are capable of appreciating the higher and more gene-
rous sentiments of refined society, such as are the farthest
removed from that mere love of animal gratification
which marks the savage:

D1pon LI 0 DON LI A NBA ORE JE EFO TI ILLE ENNI TO NI JE.

“We partake of our friend’s entertainment, because
(friendship) is pleasant, not because we have not
enough (to eat) in our own house.”

We are accustomed to view the untutored barbarian as
one who utterly disregards the life of his fellow-man.
Yet even amongst the wild Basuto there are proverbial
expressions which show that they are conscious of its



( 35)

value: two such have been already noticed; another is
to this effect, “Si un homme a été tué secrétement, les
pailles des champs le diront.”* In like manner the Yo-
rubas have this remarkable saying— -

OHUN GBOGBO LI ADIYELE,
SuGBON KO SI ENNITI 0 MO IYE ARA EJJE ARA ENNI.
“Every thing has its price,
But no-one can set a price upon blood ;”

a remarkable saying in every point of view, especi-
ally when we look upon it as a self-supplied text from

which to preach the Gospel of redemption by the pre-
cious blood of Christ.

The same observation may apply to those proverbs
which show how correct an estimate the Yorubas have
formed in some respects of the character and attributes
of the Divine Being, thereby proving the unqualified de-
claration of Holy Writ, that “ the invisible things of Him
from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being
understood by the things that are made, even His eter-
nal power and Godhead; so that they are without ex-
cuse.{”

That they have a true idea of God’s watchful provi-
dence, and care for.all His creatures, is evident from the
following very beautiful proverb, whose import is the
same as that of the English adage, “Man’s extremity is
God’s opportunity.”

Br o KUN ONi, KUN OLLA, KI OGBE KIO PA AGILITI, 0JO ARO.

“If the Agiliti will die to-day or to-morrow (for want of
water), rain will surely come.”

* Vide ‘‘’ Etudes sur la Jang. Séch.’’ p. 89.
t+ Rom. i. 20.



( 36 )

The Agiliti is an animal of the guana tribe, which is
said to live for a very long time without water.

There is another, said to be a very favourite saying of
one of the present chiefs of Abbeokuta, which conveys
such a lesson of dependence on the guiding providence
of God, that it ought not to be omitted here—

O FI iJA FUN QLORUN JA, FOWOLE ERAN.
“Leave the battle to God, and rest your head upon your
hand.”

But not only do they thus prove their acquaintance
with the fact that God’s providence superintends all
things upon earth, and that man is dependent on that
overruling power; they further speak of man’s relation
to God as His servant, evidently regarding that relation
as applying to all times and circumstances; and that,
too, so as almost to force upon us the conclusion that
they viewed that service in the light of a privilege. At
least, it is difficult to give any other explanation of such
a proverb as the following—

ARO NI IDENA ORISA.
“ The aro (é. e. a man with a withered limb) is the por-
ter’ (at the gate) of the gods.”

I understand it as denoting that if a man through in-
firmity cannot be engaged in the active service of God,
he is still God’s servant, and may fulfil his obligations
passively.

Surely these are indications of no ordinary perception
of moral truths, and sufficient to warrant the inference,
that in closeness of observation, in depth of thought, and
in shrewd intelligence, the Yoruban is od ruyav évyp—no
ordinary man. The existence of proverbs stich as these



( 37»)

amongst a people situated as the Yorubans are, is a fact
pregnant with many thoughts on which the theologian
and the moralist may dwell with advantage ; and may
awaken in all an interestin a nation towards whom the
sympathies of the public have been already directed by
the exciting events of their recent political history. We
can now see a little way into the thoughts and feelings
of that people, which has come prominently before our
notice as the butt of the last efforts of the expiring
slave-trade, and the repeller of those efforts: we can
now dive a little into that sea-of mind, to which the Da-
homian tyrant would fain have cried, Hitherto shalt thou
come, and no farther ; which he would fain have bound
in the chains of slavery, like the Persian monarch of old ;
but which refused to be fettered, rising up wholly like a
flood, and forcing his proud army to flee before it. Surely
great interest must attach to an insight into the mind of
such a people, now for the first time furnished to the
civilized world, in the work before us, by one of the most
intelligent amongst them, whose long acquaintance with
foreign civilization renders him capable of appreciating
_the importance of the work which he has undertaken,
and of estimating the difficulty which attends upon the
task of rendering intelligible, in a new language, the
ideas of another, wholly diverse and alien.

To the philologist this work presents a new field of
inquiry of a most deeply interesting character. The
nature of those inquiries which it suggests I have en-
deavoured to set forth in these few introductory obser-
vations ; in which I profess to have done no more than
merely point out the principal distinctive features of the
language ; thus preparing the way, I trust, in some little



( 38 )

measure, for future more extended surveys of the Yoru-
ban in connexion with other African dialects, when our
acquaintance with Hamitic philology shall have become
more enlarged.

Mean time the remarks already given will be sufficient
to recommend the accompanying work to the perusal of
those who feel an interest in Africa, and who long for the
coming of that day, when not “five cities” only, but
all cities and towns and villages, not “in the land of
Egypt” only, but in all the tribes of that dark continent,
“shall speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the
Lord of Hosts.”*

* Isa. xix. 18.



A

GRAMMAR

OF THE

YORUBA LANGUAGE,

&e. &C



Tue following Grammar is formed on the basis of that pre-
fixed to the Yoruba Vocabulary, published in 1843. It has-
now been thoroughly revised, and for the most part re-written,
by Mr.CrowTHER; and is, indeed, substantially a new work.
The phonographic system employed is prefixed to the

Vocabulary.

W. K.



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

Tut Kingdom of Yoruba formerly extended from
Katanga to Ijebbu, a district on the bank of the Lagos,
a few miles distant from the sea. One language is still
spoken by the inhabitants of this large country, though
it is distinguished by several dialects. The Kakanda
Language, on the bank of the Niger, may safely be
called a daughter of the Yoruba. The name Katanga is
generally put down in charts; though the Yorubans
themselves call it Oyo. European Travellers obtained
the name Katanga from Haussa People. Yarriba, or
Yaruba, is likewise the Haussa pronunciation: Yoruba
would be more correct.

EARLY TRADITIONS OF THE YORUBANS.

It is said by the Yorubans, that fifteen persons were
sent from a certain region; and that a sixteenth, whose
name was Okambi (an only child), and who was after-
wards made King of Yoruba, volunteered to accompany
them. The personage who sent them out presented
Okambi with a small piece of black cloth, with some-
thing tied up in it; besides a fowl, a servant, and a
trumpeter. Okinkin was the name of the trumpeter. On
opening the gate of this unknown region, they observed
a large expanse of water before them, through which
they were obliged to wade. As they went on, Okinkin,
the trumpeter, reminded Okambi of the small piece of
cloth, by sounding the trumpet according to the instruc-
tions he had previously received from the personage
above mentioned. The cloth being opened, a palm-nut,
which was deposited in it with some earth, fell into the

A



il INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

water. The nut grew immediately into a tree, which
had sixteen branches. As the travellers were all
fatigued from their long march in the water, they were
very glad of this unexpected means of relief; and soon
climbed up, and rested themselves on the branches.
When they had recruited their strength, they prepared
again for the journey; yet not without great perplexity,
not knowing in what direction they should proceed.
In this situation, a certain personage, Okikisi, saw
them from the region whence they set out, and reminded
Okinkin, the trumpeter, of his duty ; on which he sounded
again, and thus reminded Qkambi of the small piece
of black cloth, as before. On opening it, some earth
dropped into the water, and became a small bank ; when
the fowl, which was given to Okambt, flew upon it,
and scattered it; and wherever the earth touched
the water, it immediately dried up. Okambi then
descended from the palm-tree, allowing only his servant
Teta, and his trumpeter, to come down with him. The
other persons begged that they might be allowed to come
down; but he did not comply with their request until
they had promised to pay him, at certain times, a tax of
200 cowries each person.

Thus originated the kingdom of Yoruba, which was
afterwards called Ifé ; from whence three brothers set
out for a further discovery of better countries. At their
departure, they left a slave, named Adimut (which sig-
nifies “ Holdfast”), to govern the country of Ifé in their
absence.

I have related this tradition with a view to show the
confused idea of the Yorubans respecting both the
Creation and the Flood. The Yorubans, like other na-
-tions, have always considered themselves the first people
in the world; especially as the kingdom of Yoruba, in
former time, extended to Benin as well as to Dahomey.

This tradition of the three brothers seems to be con-



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. ill

nected with the relationship still held with each other by
the three principal chieftains in the kingdom of Yoruba;
namely, the chief of the Ketu tribe, called Alaketu, said
to be the eldest; the chief of the Egba tribe, called
Alake, said to be the next ; and the king of Yoruba, the
youngest, but to whom the others used to pay tribute in
former days.

Ifé is still regarded as the origin of the Yoruba nation,
as well asthe spot from which all other nations derived their
existence. The priests who are very superstitious, and
much celebrated for their superior arts of divination, im-
pose upon the nations many fabulous stories connected
with Ifé, the land of their ancestor. Ifé is the pantheon
of Yoruba: all kinds of idols are to be had there, and
celebrated gods are frequently purchased there by the
people of other tribes. So much has superstition taken
hold on the minds of the people, especially the old, that,
during our residence at Abbeokuta, several such gods
have been purchased and brought in from Ifé, one of
which (Odudua) is now situated in the front of the
Council-house at Ake, and sacrifices of beasts and fowls
are made to it every five days, in order to obtain children,
wealth, and peace.

They affirm, that not only all the nations of the world
took their beginning in Ifé, but that the sun, moon, and
stars also commenced there: the source from which the
salt water sprung out, as well as the Lagoon, the largest
river known to them, which runs parallel with the sea,
from Whydah through Porto Novo, Badagry and Lagos, in
the Bight of Benin, is also pretended to be shown, but only
to brother priests from other tribes, or to ignorant and
superstitious people, and not to any one who has come
from the white man’s country.

{ After the repulse of the Dahomian army in their at-
tack upon Abbeokuta last year (1851), some of the
prisoners were made presents to Oni, the chief of Ifé, to



1V INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

Alaketu, the chief of Ketu, and to the king of Yoruba,
to show what they had been enabled to do through their
connexion with England, through the return of the
liberated Africans to Abbeokuta, and the residence of
Missionaries among them. In reply to which, the king of
Ifé sent messengers with presents of kola-nuts, as a sym-
bol of peace and friendship, to congratulate them upon
their success and victory over their enemies. A special
symbolical letter was also sent, with a parcel of kola-nuts,
to the Missionaries in Abbeokuta. The symbolical letter
was the fibre of a species of hemp twisted into a small
cord terminating in two divisions: the cord was bound
together in three knots. The two parts represent the
Egba and English nations, formerly separated and un-
known to each other, but now become united by tight
knots, one of which was the English, the other the
Egba, and the third knot on the cord represented the
chief of If6 who wishes to be the third in this union and
friendship. This cannot be otherwise regarded than as
the voice of that people calling to Missionaries to come
over into their country, and help them, and to England
particularly, to whom God has given the power and the
means to evangelize and civilize Africa.

THE KINGS OF YORUBA.

The kings of Yoruba may be safely traced back to the
time of Ajagbé, who reigned in Oy6 (Katanga), and died
at a very great age. The time of his reign cannot now
be ascertained. He was succeeded by Abiodun, who
also enjoyed a long and peaceful reign, and died an
old man. The Elders of Yoruba always refer, in their
conversation, to this last peaceful reign as a time of
peculiar felicity, and one like which cannot again be en-
joyed for a long time to come. About this time the
Felatas (called also Filani or Fulani) were only known
in the country as shepherds and herdsmen. They were



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS, Vv

permitted to feed their sheep and cattle wherever they
liked, and generally lodged outside the towns, in tents.

After the death of Abiodun, Arogangan, his brother,
succeeded him. Arogangan’s nephew, Afunja, born in
Ilorin, whose father was a brave warrior, was made Are-
obba (king’s chief warrior), and was placed in Ilorin,
the king thinking that Afunja, who otherwise would
have been insubordinate, would be satisfied with this
high post of honour; but, instead of this, Afunja used
every artifice that he could think of to dethrone Aro-
gangan, that he might possess the kingdom. The king,
being aware of his designs, under pretence of offence
given to him by the people of Iwé-re, the town of Abio-
dun’s mother, sent Afunja to war against it, making sure
that by this means he should remove Afunja out of the
way: but the matter turned out the reverse. When
Afunja got to Iwé-re, he told them that he was sent by
Arogangan to fight against them. They were surprised
at this unexpected declaration. Afunja was sent back;
and an army sent to demand Arogangan, and to fight
against Oy6 (Katanga),in case of refusal to deliver him up.
Oyo was besieged; and Arogangan, dreading the conse-
quence of falling into the hands of his besiegers, poisoned
himself in the city: upon which the army departed from
Oyo. The beginning of his reign may be supposed to
be about the year 1800. He reigned seven years.

Adebo succeeded his brother Arogangan. He was
chosen by the Elders of Oyo, in preference to Afunja;
who might now have been placed on the throne of
Yoruba on account of his greatness of mind, but was
refused because of his treachery. Adebo reigned only
120 days. It is supposed that he was poisoned.

Maki, one of the royal family, a favourite of Afunja,
succeeded Adebd: but it appears that the majority of
the inhabitants of Oyo were not well pleased with him.
There was war at Igboho: and Maku, accompanied by



v1 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

‘Opelle, one of the king’s counsellors, took the command ;
but being unsuccessful in the undertaking, through pride,
shame, and vexation, he chose rather to die than return
home; so he killed himself. He reigned only three
months.

After Makt’s death, it appears there was an interreg-
num of five years, during which period the political affairs
were conducted by one Ojo, who was Obbasorun (a privy-
counsellor). Majotti succeeded Maku, and reigned for
some time well; but his son, being a very wicked young
man, did a great deal of mischief in the kingdom, chiefly
by kidnapping. The people complained very bitterly
against him; and at last required him to be delivered
up, that he might be dealt with according to law. Ma-
jotu felt very uneasy on account of his son’s behaviour,
and life became such a misery to him, that he preferred
death to life, and poisoned himself. It is not certain
how long he reigned.

It is not uncommon among the Yorubans, under some
injury, vexation, or disappointment, to commit suicide,
either by taking some poisonous draught, sticking them-
selves with a poisoned arrow, or cutting their throats or
bellies with a sword or razor. Such are generally looked
upon as acts of bravery.

Amod6 succeeded Majott; about which time the
country of Yoruba was in great confusion.

Afunja, who was made chief warrior in the kingdom,
took the opportunity of the unsettled state of affairs in
the capital to ingratiate himself with the people of Torin.
He allowed them to make whatever use they liked of
their plunder in battle; taking nothing from them,
either for himself or for the king; and thus encouraged
them to war. By this means, such slaves as were not
satisfied with their situation deserted their masters, and
joined Afunja at Ilorin; on doing which, they were de-
clared free and independent. The Felatas, who had



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. Vil

hitherto contented themselves with a pastoral life, began
now to distinguish themselves as great warriors; and as
they gained a firm footing in the country, they intro-
duced their religion—that is, Mahommedanism. As
Afunja could not get to the throne in any other way,
he tried to make himself friendly with the people of the
capital, and to get them into quarrel with some principal
Headmen in Ilorin, who, as it appears, began to be too
strong for him. But they of Ilorin, being aware of his
treacherous plans, caught him, and burnt him publicly
in Ilorin, and exposed his ashes for many days. After
this, the people of [lorin, being mostly Mahommedan, did
not think it proper to be subject to a Pagan king, but
became independent: on this account the civil war
broke out, which has almost desolated the kingdom of
Yoruba. Since this time, Ilorin has become the ren-
dézvous of the Mahommedan army.

The surviving princes, who have a right to the throne
of Yoruba in succession, are Atiba, Tella, Afunja
(younger), and Ajibekun. Atiba is the present king of
Yoruba. He removed the seat of government from
Oy to Aggo Oja, where he is now using every means
in his power to subdue Ilorin.






ON THE

GRAMMATICAL CONSTRUCTION

OF THE

YORUBA LANGUAGE.

PRONUNCIATION.

Amone the purest Yoruba speakers, there are no less
than three modes of pronouncing some words; namely,
the Capital—or Oyé—pronunciation, and two Provincial
dialects—the Ibapa4 and the Ibollo. People from all
parts of Yoruba are now together in the Colony of Sierra
Leone, and each party contends for the superiority of its
mode of utterance. I shall give an example of the
principal difference.

Oyé. Iara. Isox.d.
“To open,” sé tsi st
“To work,” sisé tsitsé sisé
“'To do,” Se tse se

I have taken the pronunciation of the Capital as the

standard, as it appears to me to be the medium between
the other two.

I have assigned to each word its own sound, as near
as possible. Some words will appear strange to a
native in whose hearing they may be first pronounced ;
and, if separately mentioned, he may be inclined to
doubt the correctness of the word. This arises from his

not being accustomed to use it separately, but only in
B



2 LETTERS—-CONSONANTS.

sentences. If, for instance, you should ask him, “ What
means good?” he would give you Q dara, “It is good,”
instead of the simple word, dara, “good.” Or, if you
should ask, “ What means walk ?” he would say, Ng
nrin, “I am walking,” instead. of rim, “ walk.” It will,
therefore, be well to ascertain the meaning of each word
from a native by using the same in several sentences.

LETTERS.

The system of orthography employed is that recom-
mended by the Church Missionary Society. The letters
are, a, b, d, ¢, ef; 9, gb, h, tj, k, 1, m, 1, 0, 0, P, 7, 8 $y t, Uy W, Y-

The vowets have the sounds usually termed Italian,
as heard in the words—

ENGLISH. YORUBA.

a.. father ... . fadakd, “silver.”

e.. prey..... ewé, “ leaf.”

e aye?* |... fé, “to like,” “to love.”

i... ravine... . kt, “to salute.” _

o..dome .... wo, “to fall as a tree.” ¥

0. . law, lost. . . lo, “to go.”

u..bull..... katukutu, “ early in the morning.”
The pIPHTHONGS are—

ai..mile..... aiyé, “ world.”

Cin. ee eee eiye, “ bird.”

01. . Voice. .... Oibo, “an European in birth or habits.”

Ob... we ee gowgoi, “ sluggishly.”

The consonants }, d, f, h, 7, k,l, m,n, 7, S, t, w, y, re-
present the same sound as in English.
G has a hard sound, as in “ get, got, gild.”



* The modified e represents a sound between the sounds of bat and
batt, hardly distinguishable by an English ear from the latter sound :

closely approximating to the English interrogative aye, or the German
a, Vater.



ACCENTS. 3

Gb, a double consonant, employed to represent a pecu-
liar sound between those two letters, which can
only be learnt by hearing.

NN, Ng, at the end of a word or syllable, should be
sounded as slightly as possible, it being only a
slight nasal sound; as, in rin, “to walk ;” yan, “to
fry ;” yangan, “Indian corn; ng, “ I.”

P is never sounded purely by itself, but always in
combination with k. It has therefore been em-
ployed alone to represent that peculiar sound be-
tween them, as there is no danger of pronouncing
it otherwise in the Yoruba language: so what would
have been written kpa, “ to kill,” Apé, “to be right,”
kpo, “to be abundant,” is written pa, pé, po. It is,
in fact, the hard sound corresponding to the soft gd.

S has the sound of sh in English.

C or Ts, when required, may be used for ch in English,

as in “ chariot, chalk, chide.”

¢ ACCENTS.

The accents are the acute, the grave, and the circumflex.
The Yoruba language is very musical: certain marks
to distinguish the tones thus become indispensable.
Two accents have therefore been used to point out this
distinction, ze. not to imply that a particular stress is
to be laid on the accentuated syllable, but to mark a
variety of intonation. The accents thus employed are,
the
ACUTE, indicating elevation of tone, as, wd, “to be
crooked ;”
GRAVE, indicating depression of tone, as, wo, “to
roost.”
The following table will better exhibit the influence
which the acute and grave accents have upon words spelt
alike, which, being differently intoned, take different

meanings—



4 ACCENTS.

ba, “to overtake ;” ba, “to lieinambush;” ba, “to bespeak.’”’

lé, “to appear ;” le, “to be strong ;” 1d, “ to be able.”

yé, “to make much of;” ye, “ to be fit ;” ye, “ to be out of place.”

ki, “ to salute ;” ki, to be thick ;” hi, “to press.”

ko, “ to gather ;” ho, an adverb, “ very,” ko, “ to meet.”
(qualifying Ze, “ hard ;”)

m6, “to be clean;” mea, “ to build;” mo, “to know.”

ku, “to die ;” hu, “to come short ;” hz, “to blow into dust.”’

There is another peculiarity connected with the ac-
cents, but with the grave especially. All the personal
pronouns take the middle sound, as, emi, iwo, on, &c. The
contraction of the nominative—or subject of the verb—
forms the objective—governed by a verb. When a
personal pronoun, as an object, is governed by a verb
taking the acute accent, it retains its usual middle tone.
For example, William ba ’mi, “ William overtook me ;”
Peter mit ’o, “ Peter seized you;” Aja gbé ’o, “ The dog
barked at him.” Pronouns governed by the verbs ba, mi,
and gbé, retain their usual middle tone. On the other
hand, when any of these pronouns are governed by a verb
taking either a grave—or depressed—tone, or a middle
tone, the pronouns they govern must be pronounced
with elevated tone, as if marked with an acute accent.
For example, William li mi, “ William beat me ;” Peter
ko °6, “ Peter met you ;” Babba po 6, “ Father smelled it.”
It will be here observed that the pronouns mf, ’6, and ’6,
have taken the elevated tone, being so influenced by the
grave accent. And so,too, when the verb takes the middle
tone, as, Ode ta won, “ A wasp stung them ;” Ewe nse ’6,
“You are childish ;”? Ewu wu wa, “ We had a narrow
escape.” All the personal pronouns being of the middle
tone are subject to these changes of intonation ; hence
arises one peculiar difficulty in the way of foreigners’
learning to speak the language with perspicuity.

Words of more than one syllable taking an elevated
tone throughout have an acute accent on the first syllable ;
as, gudugudu, “a drum;” pansa, “a dry calabash ;” kélekete,



SYLLABLES. 5

“an ass.” So, also, words taking a depressed tone through-
out have a grave accent on the first syllable ; as, kutukutu,
“early in the morning ;” gbongbo,“ root;” ipese, “provision.”

When grave and acute accents happen together in a
compound word, they are both employed; as, gudugudu,
a poisonous wild yam.”

The accent is always indicated when it is on the last
syllable; as, ponsé, “a fruit;” gombd, “a small iron
spoon ;” tubo, “ persevere ;” pipo, “ plenty, many.”

Words taking the middle tone generally carry the
accent, as in English, on the first syllable, and are not,
therefore, marked in the dictionary, as the simple rule will
be a sufficient guidance in this case. Thus, the words
sagbe, “to beg alms;” obbo, monkey;” obbe, “knife ;”
omi, “ water ;” are of this class.

The crrcumriex is also employed, and generally to mark
a long vowel, caused by contraction of a letter or syl-
lable; as, keté for ké etirt, “to be callous ;” kéré for ké
ertri, “to take out filth;” or, in a long primitive word,
as, in drain, “the sun.”

SYLLABLES.

Syllables usually consist of two letters—a consonant
and a vowel, as, ba, de, mo, &c. There is only one word
of two letters beginning with a vowel, which is not a
prefix—on, “he, and.” Words of three letters are chiefly
with the nasal n, as, won, san, kon, jin.

CONTRACTION.

Contraction of vowels is very common, especially when
one terminates a word, and another commences the suc-
ceeding word. The vowels are sometimes altogether
changed into another vowel.

The vowel of the noun is most frequently cut off, and

?

that of the verb is lengthened ; as, nd aj, “beat a dog,”



6 ARTICLE—SUBSTANTIVES.

2

is contracted into naa ; tan ind, “light fire,” into tanna;
as shown in the following Table—
1. When the verb is in a, as, ka iwe, “to read book,”

into kawe.

OQ. . wee . é, as, ke ode, “to make procla-
mation,” into kede.

3B... . 2. . . . 6 as, ke okin, “to set snare,”
into kekun.

tee ow, . . #, as, b¢ ommo, “to bear a
child,” into bimmo.

5. . . . . . 0, as, ko ille, “to rob a house,”
into kolle.

6. 2. 6. 1 1 ey a8, mo ille,“to build a house,”

into molle.

u, as, ku elubd, “to sift flour,”
into kulubé.

Sometimes, however, the vowel of the verb is cut off,
and that of the noun is lengthened; as, fonnahan for fi
onnahan, “to show the road;” korun for ki ortin, “to
fulfil five days;” kanu for ko anu, “to be sorry for ;”
kegan for ko égan, “to reproach.”

When two vowels of the same kind follow each other,
one only is retained; as, naja for na aja, “to beat a
dog;” kige for kt ie, “to fulfil seven days ;” ménna for
mo Onna, “to know the road.”

Sometimes a change of the vowels takes place, and
another vowel is substituted ; as, da ird, “to make astand,”
into duro ; sa iré, “to run,” into sure; so ire, “ to bless”
or “wish happiness,” into sure; wi ire, “to pronounce a
blessing from the gods,” into wure.

J

ARTICLE.

No article has yet been discovered, and probably
there is none. That which appears to resemble this
part of speech is a demonstrative pronoun, za, “ that;”
kinnt na, “ that thing ;” okonri na, “that man;” ille na,



SUBSTANTIVES. 7

‘that house ;’—namely, the thing, man, or house, alluded
to. When a thing is spoken of indefinitely, the word
okan, contracted into "kan, “ one,” is always added to the
noun; as, okourt *kan, “one man,” @.e. “a man;” tlle
kan, “a house ;” kinni ’kan, “a thing,” “ one thing.”

SUBSTANTIVES.

Substantives are primitive and derivative. Primitives
are those whose derivative cannot be ascertained; as,
omi, “ water ;” ina, “ fire ;” iggi, “wood ;” enia, “ people.’
Derivatives are such as are derived from verbs and ver-
bal adjectives; as, from dé, “ to cover,” adé, “a covering,
a crown;” bun, “to give,” ébun, “a gift;” bz, “to bear,”
abit, “birth ; pejapeja, “a fisher ;” gbenagbena, “a car-
penter ;” wonsowonso, “a weaver.”

DERIVATION OF SUBSTANTIVES.

Substantives are formed—

I. FROM VERBS: BY VARIOUS PREFIXES, AND BY REDUPLI-
CATION :—

First, By Various prefives, as under :—

1. By prefixing a; as, peja, “to fish,” apeja, “a fisher-
man ;” bd, “ to cover, shelter,” dbo, ‘shelter, covering,
refuge ;” lagbedde, “to have a smith’s shop,” alagbedde, “a
smith.” ~

2. By prefixing ati ; as, bd, “to come back ;” atibo, _
“return ;” lo, “to go,” atilo, “a going;” se, “to do,”
atise, “a doing.”

3. By prefixing e or e; as, “‘legbé, “to have support,”
elégbe, “a supporter ;” lesé, ‘“‘to have sin,” elese, “a.
sinner.”

4. By prefixingz; as, fo, “to wash,” tfo, “the act of
washing ;” sé, “to cook,” ase, “the act of cooking; ‘iri,
“to wander,” ikiri, “ wandering ;” ghéna, “to be warm,”
agbona, “ warmth, heat ;” lora, “to be slow, tardy,” dora,
“slowness, tardiness.”



8 SUBSTANTIVES.

5. By prefixing o or o to words beginning with J, fol-
lowed by 0 or 0; as, lowo, “to have money,” ol6wo, “a
rich person ;” lorun, “ to have or possess heaven ;” Olorun,
“the owner of heaven, God.”

6. By prefixing o to words beginning with n followed
by 7; as, nibodé, “to possess or occupy a custom-house,”
onibode, “a collector of customs ;” nigbayamo, “ to possess
shaving apparatus,” ontgbajamo, “a barber ;” nidqjo, “ to
have judgment,” onidajo, “a judge.”

Secondly, By Reduplication.
This is effected either—

1. By doubling the verb ; as, peja, “to fish,” pejapeja,
“a fisherman ;” sise, “ to labour 5 sisesise, “ a labourer. ,

2. By an additional syllable, ze. prefixing the conso-
nant of the verb to the derivative Susiantive 5 3 as, ga, “to
be high,” zga, “ height,” giga, “height;” le, “ to be hard,”
lile, “ hardness ;” gbdna, “ to be hot, gighna, or gbigbona.
“heat ;” md, “ to be clean,” mimo, or mimo, “ cleanliness ;”
fin, “to be white ;” Fifun, “ whiteness.”

Words of this class are used both as substantives and
adjectives: the sense only can determine them.

I]. FROM SUBSTANTIVES :—

By prefixing a privative to derivative substantives
beginning with 7; as, igbo, “hearing, belief,” aigbé,
“ unbelief ;” igboran, “ obedience,” aigboran, “ disobe-
dience ;” ifé, “willingness, consent,” aifé, “unwilling-
ness ;” it6, “correctness,” aitd, “incorrectness ;” #6,
“ sufficiency,” aito, “ insufficiency.”

The derivation of nouns from a verb, by prefixes, will
be seen to advantage by this scale—



GENDERS. 9

From the Verb Sé, “ to sin.

Sé, To sin.
ése, Sin.
lesé, To have sin.

elesé, A sinner.
ilesé, A state of having sin.

ailesé, Sinless.
lailesé, In a sinless state.

alailesé, One who has no
sin.
ase, A state of sin.
aise, In a state of no sin.
laise, To be in an inno-

cent state.
alatse, Aninnocent person.

”

From the Verb Tz, “to pro-
pitiate,”
Tu, To propitiate.
étutu, Propitiation.
letitu, To have propitia-
tion. .
eletutu, Hewho propitiates.
iletutu, A state of having
propitiation.
ailetutu, A state of having
no propitiation..
lailetutu, Destitute of pro-
| piation.
alailetutu,One in a state desti-
tute of propitiation.
itu, Kase, pacification.
aitu, Unpacified, uneasy.
laitu, To bein an uneasy
state.
alaitd, One unpacified.



GENDERS. |
There are only two Genders, the Masculine and the
Feminine. They are distinguished,

I. By different words, as—

Masculine.
Male ..... ako
Man...... okonri
Cock ..... akuko
Bachelor apon
King... ... obba

Married man . okolobiri.
Father... .. babba.



Feminine.
Female ..... bo.
Woman ..... obiri.
Hen ...... . agbebo.
Maid ....... wundia.
Queen ...... ayabba.
Wife....... aya, obiri.

Married woman. .adelebd,ahillekso

'Mother ..... yd.



10

GENDERS.

Masculine. Feminine.
Widower . . . apon. Widow...... opo.
Captive ... . igbekun. Female Captive . igbesin.
Male lizard . fakalamgoa, Female lizard . - qbori.

adaripon.
Head of a - op Head of a ;
company . olori-egbe. company | ° . - oloriko.
Son ....-. walle. Daughter .. . . isokun.

II. By an Adjective or a Noun prefixed to the Sub-
stantive, as—

Masculine. Feminine.
Drake . . . . ako-pepeiye. | Duck ... . abo-pepeiye.
Horse ... . ako-esin. Mare ... . abo-esin.
Bull. .... ako-malu. Cow..... abo-malu.
Boy ..... ommo-konri. | Girl . . . . ommo-binri.
NUMBERS.

Substantives have no plural, with one exception; viz.
“ child,” ommode, “children,” majest. The plural of
nouns is formed by adding the demonstrative pronouns
wonyt, “ these,” and wonn?, “those,” to the nouns; as
okonri wonyt, “these men ;” kinnit wonni, “those things.”
When the number is to be expressed, the numeral is
put after the noun; as, obiri mei, “two women ;” offa
metta, “‘ three arrows.”

CASES.

There are three Cases—the Nominative, the Possessive,
and the Objective.

‘The NominaTIVE is always placed before the verb;
as, babba dé, “ (My) father returns ;” awa lo, “ We go;”

enyin lagbara, “You are strong,” (or “ you have strength.)”

The possEssIVE case is expressed by the preposition fi,
“of,” placed between two nouns or pronouns; as, iya@
ti emi, “My mother;” ille ti babba, “ (My) father’s
house:’—or by two nouns, or a noun and pronoun,



ADJECTIVES. 11

with an apostrophe between them, signifying that ti is
understood ; thus okko ’obba, “‘ The king’s ship;” aso “tya
“ (My) mother’s clothes ;” 6nna ‘illu, “' The town’s road.”
The oBJECTIVE case is governed by active verbs; as,
Mo fé John,“ I love John;” William na aja, “ William beat
the dog ;” Mary ta sinkafa, “ Mary sold rice ;” Gbogbo

ills nye Snna, “The whole town is clearing the road.”

ADJECTIVES.

There are two kinds of Adjectives, which may not
improperly be called Participial, or Verbal, and Compound.

PaRTICIPIAL, or VERBAL, are such as partake of the
nature of an adjective, and of the verb “to be;” thus,
tobi, “to be large;” kére, “to be small ;” gin, “to be
long ;” kuru, “to be short.” These admit of comparison.

There are three degrees of comparison, Positive ;
Comparative; and Superlative. The comparRATIVE is
formed by 7%, as, tobi, “ to be big ;” tobija, “ to be bigger ;”
the suPERLATIVE, by judo, as, tobijuld, “ to be biggest.” The
SUPERLATIVE is frequently used when only two things are
compared; as, dara, “ good;” darajulo, “better” or “ best.”

The syllable do, the sign of the superlative, should
always be placed after the noun; the comparative
always before the noun; as, [le yi ga, “This house is
high ;” Eyint gajz, “That one is higher ;” Eyi tibai gut
meet lo, “That yonder is the highest,” or “higher than,”
or “surpasses the other two.”

Compounps are formed by doubling the first sylla-
bles of the verbal or participial adjectives ; as, kere,
“to be small;’ kekere, “small ;” gun, “to be long;”
gugun, “long,” “tall ;” kuru, “to be short ;” kukuru,
“short,” &c. They are generally used to express the
quality of an object, and are always placed after the
noun; as, ommo kekere, “a little child ;” okonri gugin,
“a tall man ;” obiri kikuru, “a short woman.” These
admit of no comparison.



12 PRONOUNS.

Some of these adjectives take intensive or diminu-

tive forms : —
Intensive, by doubling the word; as, nla, “large ;”

nlanla, “very large;” gbdm, “extensive, (applied to
water) :"od6d gbamgbam, “very extensive water.”

Diminutive, by adding the first syllable of the Com-
pound to the last syllable ; as, kekere, “small,” kekereké,
“very small ;” kikini, “little,” kikiniki, “very little.”
There are some diminutives of quantity; as, gingin, “a
very small portion,” tontoro, “a very small drop.”

PRONOUNS.

There are Personal, Relative, and Adjective Pronouns.
There is no distinction of gender in any of them.
The following are the personal pronouns :—



NOMINATIVE.
Sing. Plural.
1. Emi,mo,mo,ng . I. . . | Awa . . . We.
2.iwo, 0, ’o . . Thou. . enyin . . . You.
3. on, 6, 6. . He,she, | awonnwon. . They.
or it.
- POSSESSIVE.
Sing. Plural.
l. tt emi,tema . . Mine. tiawa,tiwa . Ours.
2. ti wo, tiwo, tire,. Thine. tienyin, Cinyin, Yours.
3. ti on, ton, tire, tié,. His, hers, | tiwon . . . Theirs.
or its,
OBJECTIVE.

Sing. Plural.
loom... . . . Me. wa. ., , Us.
2.76. . . . . Thee. nyin . . You.

3. a, ee, 1,0, 0,u. Him, her, won. . . Them:



or it.

NOMINATIVE CASE,
The use of these pronouns is regulated, as follows, by

a principle of euphony (frequently occurring in African



PRONOUNS. 13

languages), which has been termed the Evpyonic Con-
CORD :—

1. Emi is generally used with verbs taking any of the
vowel sounds; as, Emi wa, “I come;” emi se, “I
did ;” emi de, “I set (a trap) ;” emi rt, “I saw;” emi ké,
“J gathered ;” emi ko, “I refused ;” emi wi, “I pleased.”
Ng, “1,” two, “thou,” and on, “he, she, it,” fall under this
class. Ng is commonly used with future verbs; as,
Ng ose, “ I will do ;” Ng ota, “1 will sell ;” Ng omit, “I
will catch ;” Ng osise, “I will work :” also with the par-
ticiple expressing an action not yet completed ; as, Ng
nse, “I am doing,” Ng ntd, “Iam selling ;” Ng nmi, “1
am catching ;” Ng nid, “I am escaping.”

2, Mo, “1,” O, “thou,” and O, “he, she or it,” are
used with the close vowels, e, 7, 0, and u, only ; as—

Mo dé, I come. Mo ri, I saw.

O dé, Thou comest. O "% Thou sawest.

O dé, He comes. Ori, He saw.

Mo ko, I gathered. Mo ti, I lost.

O ko, Thou gatheredst. | O wt, Thou didst lose.
O ko, He gathered. O tu, He lost.

When used to express the present participle, Mo, o,
6, may be used with verbs taking any vowel sound,
the discord or harshness being modified by the pre-
fix x to the verb, which lengthens the vowel; as, Mo
wita, “I am selling ;” O nté, “ you are trampling ;” 6 nfa,
“he is drawing.” ,

8. Mo, “I,” O, “thou,” O, “he, she, or it,” can be
used with open vowels only ; viz. a, e,0; as—

Mo la, I escaped. Mo fé, I am willing.
O la, Thouescapedst. | O fé, Thou art willing.
O la, He escaped. O fé, He is willing.

Mo lo, I went.
O lo, Thou wentest.
O lo, He went.



14 PRONOUNS.

Mo and Mo, “ 1,” cannot be used with future verbs, but

the rest of the pronouns may with their proper euphonic

verbs.
POSSESSIVE CASE.

The Possessive Case is formed by prefixing Ti, “of,” to
the nominative; as, 7% emi, “mine;” T?wa, “ ours,”
as exhibited in the above table.

OBJECTIVE CASE.

The Objective Case is governed by active verbs, and
is very much subject tothe influence of the accent, as
was observed under the head ofaccents. The following
tables will throw light upon the subject :—

PRONOUNS PRECEDED BY AN ACUTE ACCENT.

Emi sta... I wounded it.
Osée . . . Thou shuttest it.
On bée. . . He cut it.

Awa tii . . We thumped it.
Enyin r60 . . You provoked it.
Awon foo . . They broke it.

Ghogbo waru u, We all stirred it.
PRONOUNS PRECEDED BY A GRAVE ACCENT.

Emisda.. . Ipicked it up.
Iwo séé. . . Thou cookedst it.
Onbéé . . . He begged him.
Awa tit . . We locked it.
Enyinv6 6. . You stirred it up.
Awonf66 . . They washed it.

Gbogbo wa 1% 4, We all carried it.
PRONOUNS PRECEDED BY A MIDDLE TONE.

Arakana@ ; . His body feels sore.
Awalioseé. . We did it.

Modeé . . . Jentrapped it.

Fi ekanna tit... Pinch it with (your) finger nail.
Alaroro6 . . The dyer strained it.
Agbeko6. . . The farmer collected it.

Ewu wii . . He was in danger.



PRONOUNS. 15

All personal pronouns of the objective case are sub-
ject to these changes, through the influence of the
accents or tone which the verbs bear.

EMPHATICAL PRONOUNS.
Sing. Plural.
Emind, I myself. Awand, We ourselves.

Iwond, Thou thyself. | Enyinnd, You yourselves.
Onnd, He himself. Awonntt, They themselves.



REFLECTIVE PRONOUNS (WITH VERBS).
Singular.
]. Emitikarami fe’rami, love myself.
9 pera’ fe rare, Thou lovest thyself.

Iwotikarare la ’rare, Thou beatest thyself.
3. Ontikararé di’ravé, He binds himself.

Plural.

1. Awatikarawa we ’ra wa, We wash ourselves.
2. Enyintikaranyin ré ’va nyin, Ye comfort yourselves.
3. Awontikara won ran’ra won, They help themselves.

RELATIVE PRONOUNS.

Ti, the only relative pronoun, is equivalent to
“who,” “that,” “which,” and “ what.” It is used with
the personal pronoun after it, in the nominative case ;
as, Okonri té 6 ké iggi, “the man he who cut wood.”
Babba tt 6 bi mi, “ the father he that begat me.” Obiri
ti 6 seun, “the woman she who is kind.” Kinni ti 6 bd,
“the thing it which dropped.” But in the objective
case, the personal pronoun is omitted, the relative
being then governed by the verb; as, Kinni té mo fé,

“the thing which I like.” Jlle té mo wo, “the house
which I pulled down.”

INTERROGATIVE AND INDEFINITE PRONOUNS.
Nom. Tani? Who? \ Ewo?’wo? Who? Which?
Poss. Titani? Whose? | Ti ewo? Whose? or,Of which?



16 PRONOUNS.

Nom. Ennikenni, Whosoever.

Poss. Tennikenni, Whosesoever.
Nom. Enniti, The one which.
Poss. Tenniti, Of the one which, -

Kt? Kinla? are emphatical interrogatives ; as, Ki li o
wi? “What do you say?” Kinla? “What?” When a
question is asked, the stress is always laid upon the last
word, and the voice is modulated according to the tone
that word takes, whether elevated, middle, or depressed ;
for example— |

* Babba ti wi? What does (your) father say?

Ewo ni kiase ? What shall we do?
Ewo lio nré? What are you ‘thinking of ?

ADJECTIVE PRONOUNS.

Adjective Pronouns are Distributive, Demonstrative, and
Indefinite.

1. The pistrisutives are olukuliku, “each ;” ennikan,
“either ;” gbogbo, “every ;” as, Ki olukuluku ki 6 toju ara
ré, “ Let each one take care of himself.” Fimi kd 17 ennt-
kan won, “J have not seen either of them.” Gbogbo wa
lt ase Olorun, “ Every one of us has offended God.”

2. The DEMONSTRATIVES are, eyiyi, eyi, yi, “ this ;” eyin,
eni, ni, nd, “ that ;” wonyt, “these;” wonni, “those ;” as,
‘Okonri yi, “ this man ;” Ommo ni, “that child ;” Takarda
woyi, “ these books ;” Obbe wonni, “ those knives.”—Nd
is used as follows: Mu géle nd wa, “ Fetch that (or the)
, handkerchief (before spoken of).” Pé ommodé nd pada,
« Call the (or that) child back.” Okonri nd ku, “ That,
(or the) man is dead.” Ki is also frequently used | in the
same manner; as, Oro nd, “That (or the) word (under-
stood).”

3. The INDEFINITE PRONOUNS are, die, “ some ; i " omiran,
or omi, “ other ;? ennikennt, “ any ” enia, “one ;’ gbogbo,

7

“every, all ;” irt, “such ;” araré, “ oneself.”



VERBS. 17

VERBS

Verbs are of three kinds— Active, Passive, and Neuter.
They without inflexion.

Verrs Active govern the objective case; as, Mo ko
takarda, “I wrote a book ;” Ort mi, “ He saw me;” Iya
pe mi, “ (My) mother called me.”

Verns Passive are formed simply by prefixing a, or
nwon to the active verbs ; as, Ako takardaé, “ A book is
written : Art mi, “J am seen;” Apé wa, “We are

called ;’ Nwon lé won, “ They are driven.”

In Verss Neuter the sense is complete, without any
substantive following; as, [lle w6, “(The) house fell ;’
Mo subi, “1 fell down ;” Iya sin, “ (My) mother slept.”

There is another kind of verb, formed by the help of a
preposition, which may not improperly be called Com-
POUND AcTIVE TRaNnsITIVE. The nouns or pronouns which
they govern are always placed between them ; as,

Ba, followed by wi, “to rebuke,” “scold,” “blame ;”
from ba, “with” and wi, “to speak ;” Babba ba
mi wi, “ (My) father blamed me.”

Ba, followed by sdro, “to hold conversation ;” Balle ba
mi soro, “ The governor conversed with me.”

Fi, “to put,” followed by sz, “to;” Fu obbe st akko ré,
“Put the knife into its sheath.”

Da, “ to be clear,” “evident,” followed by logy “to the
eye; ’ Oda wa loju, “It is certain to us.’

Ti, “to push heavily,” followed by lau, “at, or to the
eye;” Oran na ti babba loju, “The matter made
(our) father ashamed.”

When expressing the instrument by which one acts
upon another, the nouh denoting that instrument is placed
in the first part of the sentence, and governed by the
preposition, which is now placed immediately before the
verb, while the verb itself governs the object acted upon ;
as, Iggi li 6 fi li u, “ He beat him with a stick ;” Ida li 6 fi
saa, “He cut it with a sword ;” Iné li awa fi j6 0, “We
burnt it with fire.”

D



18 VERBS.

AUXILIARY AND DEFECTIVE VERBS.

Ba, “should, would.” Le, “ can, may.”
Gboddo, “ dare not, shall | Ma, mase, “do not.”
not, must not.” Ma, “be doing.”

Iba, “should, would, had.” | Ti, “have, have been.”

Je, jeki, “ let, let that.” Tille, “ though—should.”

Ki, “ may.” Yio, O, “shall, will, must.”
For examples—

Nigbati iwo yio b& lo wi fun mi, “Tell me when you

should go.”

On ko gboddo wa, “He dare (or shall) not come.”

Awon iba ma lo, “ They should be going.”

Jé ki nwon ki o mu, “ Let them take.”

t 6 ma wa, “ He may come (or be coming).”

O lé isure, “He can (or may) run,” or, “ He is able to run.”

Ma beru, “ Fear not.”

Ma sé lo, “Be running away (Run away at once).”

Awa ti mu, “ We have caught.”

Bi 6 tille i mi, “ Though he should strike me.”

On ni yio sure fun ’o, “It is he who shall bless you.”

These verbs, like the others, have no variation: it is
by them the principal verbs are conjugated. These ex-
amples, as well as the conjugation of the verbs “To be,”
“To have,” and “To love,” will plainly show how they
are variously constructed to express the ideas conveyed
by the different moods.

The infinitive mood expresses any thing in a general
and unlimited manner.

It has often very much the sense of “ that he may;”
as, Wi fun u ki o se @, “Tell him that he may do it,”
i.e. “to do it;” Ran a ki o pé é, “Send him that he may
call him,” z.e. “to call him.” Ai 0, “that he may,” is
contracted into kd; ki a, “that we may,” into ka. This
mode of expressing the infinitive is used only when the
second or third person is desired to act in the name of
another.

When the first person expresses his own action, kz, kio,



VERBS. ‘19

or ko, ki, kia, or ka, are never used. Nouns derived from
verbs by the prefix 7 are then employed for the infinitive,
when two verbs follow each other; as, Mo wa iwd nyin,
““T come to see (or, a seeing) you;” Awon wa ilé’o,
“They come to beg (or, a begging) you;” Lo ipée ommo
mi, “Go to call (or, a calling) my child.” The prefix 3,
by attraction, is placed before the auxiliaries to the verb ;
as, Emi nt ima tk6’o ni ise, “It is I who used to teach
you to work,” or “a working ;” Iwo ni iti ima imu mi lo
si ille-iwé, “ You have been used to take me to school.”
When the language is spoken very rapidly, contraction
takes place, and the sound of the prefix becomes quite
imperceptible, but the last vowels of the verbs become
very long, as if written thus, Iwo né tt md mi*

Ati, lati, “ to,” “in order that,” “to the effect that,” is
also very much used to express the infinitive, when an
intention or’ object is had in view; as, Emi nmura lati lo,
“T am preparing to go (or, to the intent of going) ;”
Ojo npete ati rd, “ The rain is about to fall;” Okkd setan

”

lati si, “ The ship is ready to start.”

PARTICIPLE.

The only form to express a participle is n, generally
prefixed to the verb in the present time, and to the auxi-
liary and the verb in the past time; as, Present, Ng nlo,
“Tam going;” O nbo, “He is coming ;” Awa nti nse,
“We have been doing ;” Enyin nti nsa, “ You have been
running away ;” Babba nti npée, “(Your) father has been
calling.” 7

Ma, one of the defective verbs, is also used instead of

* Hence this form of contraction without the accent, or prefix, will
be met with in some places in the early translations; thus, Lo pése for
Lo ipese, “Go to prepare;” On ko 1é lo for On ké 12 élo, “ He is not
able to go;” Emi té ma duro for Emi ti imd iduro, “1 who used to
stand,” &e.

dD2



20 VERBS.

nin the second future time: Iwo yio ti ma lo ki 0 to dé,
“Thou wilt have been going before he arrives;” On yio
ti ma bo, “ He will have been coming.”

OF TENSE.

I have used the word time instead of TENSE, because
tense is a nicer distinction of times; which distinction I
do not think can always easily be made in the Yoruba
language. However, a little explanation about the use
of the tenses may be serviceable.

The present and past indefinite tenses are both alike ; as,

Mo lo, I go; I went.

Awa dé, We return; We returned.
O stn, He sleeps; He slept.

O joko, Thou sittest; Thou sattest.

From these examples it will be seen that some atten-
tion is required to know which tense is used.

The present tense, strictly speaking, is more fre-

quently expressed by the sign of the participle n, and it
is then understood that the action is not yet past; as,
Awa nko takarda, “ We are writing (a) book ;” O nta aso,
“Thou art selling clothes ;” Enyin nsise, “You are
working.” Therefore, if in any of those former sen-
tences the meaning would be equally well expressed
by prefixing the sign of the participle, it is in the pre-
sent tense.

The past tense has generally the time mentioned with
it; as, Nigbati nwon dé, “When they returned;” O sin
lossan, “ He slept in the day-time ;” Mo ko takarda nyetta,
“I wrote a book the day before yesterday ; O ta aso
loni, “ He sold clothes to-day ;” O sise lannda, “He worked
yesterday.” But the tense is often clear without any men-
tion of time, because the actions were past by the time
they are spoken of; as, O ta 430, He sold clothes ;”
Mo ko takardé, “1 wrote a book ;” O sise, “He worked.”

The word tan, “done,” is very often added to the past



VERBS. 21

tense; as, O sisé tan, “He worked done,” or “He done
worked,” ¢.e. “finished working.”

The perfect and pluperfect are alike, and convey an
allusion to the present time, when n, the sign of the par-
ticiple, is prefixed to the verb; as,

Mo tivt’o I have seen thee.

Otitaé He has sold it.

Enyin ti sa, You have run away.

Mo ti nrt 0, I have been seeing thee.

O ti ntd a, He has been selling it.

Enyin ti nsé, You have been running away,
(up to this time).

There is another form, by prefixing the sign of the
participle to the auxiliary and the verb; thus,

Ng xti nrt’o, I have, or, had been seeing thee.

O nti nid @, He has, or, had been selling it.

Enyin nti nsa, You have, or, had been running away.

The first future describes time indefinitely, and is
expressed by the sign yio, often contracted into o pre-
fixed to the verb; as, On yio lo, “He will go;” Orin yio
ran, “The sun will shine.”

Contraction of yio to o is very frequemt, in which case
0 is only prefixed to the verb; and as the rule of eupho-
nic-vowel-concord must be always observed, the con-
tracted prefix 0 is sometimes written 0; as, Awa olo for
Awa olo, or Yio lo, “We shall go;” Enyin osa for Enyin
os, or Yio sé, “Ye will run away.” But as the short
vowel will always influence the auxiliary yio, or 0, whe-
ther distinguished or not, I have thought it proper to
adhere to one form, yio or o only, in the paradigms, to
avoid ambiguity.

The second future, which describes an action to be
finished before another future action or event, is ex-
pressed by the auxiliary # added to the sign of the
future yio, and sometimes tan, “done,” is also added to
the verb; as, Emi yio ti lo ki 6 t6 dé, “I shall have gone



22, VERBS.

before he comes;” Ille wa yio ti pari ki nwon ki 6 to wa
istn owd won, “ The house shall have been completed be-
fore they come to ask their payment ;” Emi yio ti jeun
tan kt ato pé mi, “I shall have eaten before I am called.”

The following are the Yoruba verbs expressing
existence— |
Mbée, Wa, “to be,” “to exist,” “existing ;” as, Babba
mbé, or Babba wa, “(My) father is (alive).”

2 ?

Ri, “is,” showing the state or condition of a thing; as,
Behe li 6 ri, “So it is.”

Ni, “it is;” as, Emina ni, “It is I myself;” Tiwo ni, “It
is thine.”

Ni, followed by je or se, with the prefix 7,—“is,” empha-
tical; as, Témi ni ise, or Témi ni ge, (It is
mine.”

Jépé, Sepé, “been,” always preceded by iba, “had ;”
as, [ba jépe emi ni, or [ba sepé emi ni, “ Had it
been I.” |

Gbé, “to be,” “to be in a place,” “to remain.” This
verb is used in the imperative mood, instead of
mbé ; as, Jé ki emi gbé, “ Let me be, or remain.”

Se, “to be;” as, K7? ise emi, “It is not I.”

Mbeé, “To Be.”
INDICATIVE MOOD.

PRESENT TIME.

SINGULAR. PLURAL.
Emi mbé, I am. Awa mbé, We are.
Iwo mbé, Thou art. Enyin mbé, Ye or you are.

On mbé, He, she, or it is. | Awon mbé, They are.

PAST TIME.
Emi nti mbé, | have been. | Awa nti mbé, Wehave been.
Iwo nti mbé, Thou hast Enyin nti mbé, Ye or you
been. have been.

On nti mbe, He, she, or it | Awon nti mbé, They have
has been. been.



VERBS.

23

FUTURE TIME.

SINGULAR.

PLURAL.

Emi ombe, I shall be Awa ombé, We shall be.
or ng ombé " Enyin ombé, Ye or you
Iwo ombé, Thou wilt be. will be.
Yio ombé, He, she, or it | Awon ombé, They will
or on smb will be. be.
IMPERATIVE MOOD.
Jeki emi gbé, Let me be. Jeki awa gbé, Let us be.
Iwo gbé, Be thou. Enyin gbé, Be ye.
Jeki o gbé, Let him be. | Jeki won gbé, Let them be.

CONTRACTED FOR

Jeki m gee, | Let me be.
or je ’m’ gbé

Iwo gbé, Be thou.

Je 6 gbé, Let him be.

M (mostly used.)

Jek’ a gbé, Let us be.

EY gbé, Be ye.

Je’ won o gbé, Let them
be.



POTENTIAL MOOD.

PRESENT TIME.

Eimi lé mbé, I may or can
be.

Iwo lé mbé, Thou mayst or
canst be.

On lé mbé, He, she, or it
may or can be.

PAST
Emi lé ti mbé, I might have
been.
Iwo lé ti mbé, Thou might-
est have been.
On lé ti mbé, He, she, or it
might have been.

Awa lé mbé,
can be.

Einyin le mbé, Ye or you
may or can be.

Awon lé mbé, They may or
can be.

TIME.

Awa lé ti mbé, We might
have been.

Einyin lé timbée, Ye or you
might have been.

Awon lé ti mbé, They might
have been.

We may or



SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD.

PRESENT TIME.

Bi emi mbé, If I be.

Bi iwo mbé, If thou be.

Bi on mbé, If he, she, or it
be.

Bi awa mbée, If we be.

Bi enyin mbé, If ye or you
be.

Bi awon mbé, If they be.



24 VERBS.
PAST TIME.
SINGULAR. PLURAL.
Bi emi ti mbé, If I have | Bi awa ti mbée, Ifwe have
been. been.
Bi wo ti mbé, If thou hast | Bi enyin ti mb?, If ye or
been. you have been.
Bi on ti mbé, Ifhe,she,or | Be awon ti mbée, If they
it has been. have been.
PRESENT TIME, CONTRACTED.
Bi ‘m' mbe, 5} If I be. Bia mbé, If we be.
or bi mo mbé
Bi o mbe, If thou be. | Bie’ mbée, If ye or you be.
Bi 6 mbé, If he, she, | Bi’won mbé, If they be.
or it be.





Ni, “To Have.”
INDICATIVE MOOD.

PRESENT TIME.

Emi nit, I have.
Iwo ni, Thou hast.

On ni, He, she, or it has.
PAST

Emi tint, I had, or have
had.

lwo ti nt, Thou hadst.
On ti ni, He, she, or it had.

| Awa ni, We have.
Enyin ni, Ye or you have.
Awon ni, They have.

TIME.

Awa ti ni, We had, or have
had.

Enyin ti ni, Ye or you had.
Awon ti nt, They had.

FIRST FUTURE TIME.

Awa oni, Weshall or will

have.
Enyin ont, Yeor
or will have.

Awon oni, They shall or
will have.

you shall

SECOND FUTURE TIME.

Emi oni, i shall or will
orngont$ have.

Iwo ont, Thoushaltor wilt
have.
Yi oni, He, she, or it shall

oronont) or will have.
Emi (or, “pu shall have
oti ni had.
Iwo oti ni, Thouwilt have
had.
On oti nt, He, she, or it

will have had.

Awa oti nt, We shall have
had.

Einyin oti nt, Ye or you will
have had.

Awon nti ni, They will have
had.





VERBS.

25

IMPERATIVE MOOD.

SINGULAR.
Jeki emi ni, Let me have.

Ni, or iwo nt, Have thou.
Jeki 6 ni, Let him, her,
or it have.

PLURAL.
Jeki awa ni, Let us have.

Emnyin ni, Have ye.
Jeki won ni, Let them
have.

For the contracted form, see above, page 23.

For the sake of euphony, the imperative generally takes

o between the noun and the

Jeki emi ont, Let me have.

Ki iwo ont, Have thou.

Jeki on ont, Let him, her,
or it have.

verb; as,
Jeki awa ont, Let us have.
Ki enyin ont, Wave ye.

Jeki awon oni, Let them
have.

In the contracted form, except in the 3d person

plural, the o is rejected.

POTENTIAL MOOD.

PRESENT TIME.

Emi lé nt, I may or can
have.

Iwo lé ni, Thou mayst or

_canst have.

On lé nt, He, she, or it

may ov can have.
PAST

Emi lé ti ni, I may or can
have had.

Iwo lé ti ni, Thou mayst
or canst have had.

On lé ti nt, He, she, or it
may or can have had.

Awa lé ni, We may or can
have.

Enyin lé nt, Ye or you may
or can have.

Awon lé ni, They may or
can have.

TIME.

Awa lé ti ni,
can have had.

Einyin lé ti nt, Ye or you
may or can have had.

Awon lé ti ni, They may
or can have had.

We may or



SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD.

PRESENT TIME.

Bi emi ni, If I have.

Bi iwo ni, If thou have.

Bi on ni, If he, she, or it
have.

Bi awa ni, If we have.

Bi enyin ni, If ye or you
have.

Bi awon ni, If they have.

E



26 VERBS.
PAST TIME.
SINGULAR, PLURAL.
e e 2” . 7 2
Bi emi ba nt, ——«iIf I had. Biawa bani, Ifwehad.

Bi iwo ba ni, If thou
hadst.
Bi on bé ni,
-or it had.

If he, she,

Bi enyin ba ni, If ye or
you had.

Bi awon b@ ni, If they
had.

PERFECT TIME.

Bi emi bé ti ni, If I have
had.

Bi wo ba ti ni, If thou
hast had.

Bi on ba ti nf,
or it has had.

If he, she,

Bi awa ba tint, Ifwe have
had.

Bi enyin ba ti né, If ye or
you have had.

Bi awon ba ti né, If they
have had.

FUTURE TIME.

Bi emi (or, If Ishould have.
ng) ont

Biiwo oni, If thou shouldst
have.

Bi on ery he, she, or it
yr) ont should have.



Bi awa ont, Tf we should
have.

Bi enyin ont, If ye or you
should have.

Bi awon oni, If they should

have.

PARTICIPIAL FORMS.

Emi (or ;
( tT am having.

ng) nni §
Iwo nni,
On nni,

having.

Thou art having.

Bi emi (or, "|
7 2 .

n-ba nni, having.

Bi iwo n-bé& nni, If thou

wert having.

Bi on n-ba nai,

or it were having.

He, she, ov it is

Ifhe,she, | Bi awon n-ba nni,

Awa nni, Weare having.

Emyin nni, Ye are having.

Awon nni, They are
having.

II.

IfI were | Bi awa n-ba nai, If we

were having..
Bi enyin n-ba nni, If ye or
you were having.

If they

were having.



VERBS. 27

III.

SINGULAR. . PLURAL,
Bi emi (or, ng) If I have | Bi awa n-ba nti nni, If we
n-ba nti nnt }been having. have been having.
Biiwo n-bé ntinné, Tf thou | Bienyin n-bé nti nni, If ye
hast been having. or you have been having.
Bi on n-bé nti nni, Ifhe,she, | Bi awon n-bé nti nni, If they
or it has been having. have been having.

These last two examples will shew the peculiarity of
the Yoruba language, in the mode of expression by par-
ticiples.

The conjugation of the verb ni is a sufficient example
for any active verb.

In order to give a clear example of the pronouns, one
form has been used throughout, with the exception of a
few instances. If the rules and examples for the use of
the pronouns, in pages 12—14, be properly attended
to, the learner, when he has mastered the pronunciation,
will in a very short time be able to speak the language,
almost like a Native.

PASSIVE FORMS.
The idea expressed in other languages by the passive

verb is expressed in Yoruba by the active, preceded by
a (a contraction of awon), or by nwon, which in this case
represents an indefinite pronoun.”

Afe, “To be loved.”
INDICATIVE MOOD.

PRESENT TIME.
SINGULAR. PLURAL.

Afé mi, I am loved. Afé wa, We are loved.
Afé 0, Thou art loved. Afé nyin, Ye or you are
Afé e, He, she, or it is loved.

loved. -Afé won, They are loved.



* Similar to the F rench on.—td.
E2



28

VERBS.

PAST TIME.

SINGULAR.
Ati fé mi, 1 have been
loved.
Ati fé 0, Thou hast been
loved.
Ati fé e, He, she, or it has
been loved.

PLURAL.

Ati fé wa, We have been
loved. |

Ati fé nyin, Ye or you have
been loved.

Ati fé won, They have been
loved.

FIRST FUTURE TIME.

A ofé mi, I shall be
loved.

A ofé o, Thou wilt be
loved.

A ofée, He,she,or it will
be loved.

A ofé wa, We shall be
loved,

A ofé nyin, Ye or you will
be loved.

A ofé won, They will be
loved.

SECOND FUTURE TIME.

A oti fé mi, J shall have
been loved.

A oti fé’o, Thou wilt have
been loved.

A oti fé e, He, she, or it
will have been loved.

A oti fé wa, We shall have
been loved.

A oti fé nyin, Ye or you will
have been loved.

A oti fé won, They will have
been loved.

IMPERATIVE MOOD.

Jeki afé mi, Let me be
loved.

Ki afé ’o0, Be or mayst
thou be loved.

Jeki afé e, Let him, her,
or it be loved.



Jeki afé wa, Let us be
loved.
Ki afé nyin, Be, or may

you be loved.
Jeki afé won, Let them
be loved.

POTENTIAL MOOD.

PRESENT TIME.

Ale fé mi, I may or can be
loved.

Ale fé 0, Thou mayst or
canst be loved.

Ale fé e,
or can be loved.

Ale fé wa, We may or can
be loved.

Ale fé nyin, Ye or you may
or can be loved.

He,she,or it may | Ale fé won, They may or

can be loved.



VERBS.

PAST
SINGULAR.

Ale ti fé mi, 1 might or} Ale ti fé wa,

could have been loved.
Alé ti féo0, Thou might-
est have been loved.
Ale ti fé e, | He, she, or it
might have been loved.

29

TIME.
PLURAL.

We might
have been loved.

Alé ti fé nyin, Ye or you
might have been loved.
Alé ti fé won, They might

have been loved.

SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD.



PRESENT TIME.
Bi afé mi, If 1 be loved. | Bi afé wa, If we be loved.
Biaféo, If thou be Bi afé nyin, If ye or you be
loved. loved.
Biafée, If he, she, or it | Bi afé won, If they be
be loved. loved.
ANOTHER FORM.
Biabile fe mi, Vf I can| Biabale fe wa, If we
be loved. can be loved.
Biabile féo, If thou | Bi abale fe nyin, If ye or
canst be loved. you can be loved.
Bi abé le fé e, Ifhe,she,| Biaba le fé won, If they
or it can be loved. can be loved.
PAST TIME,

Bi ale ti fé mi, If I can
have been loved.

Bi ale ti fé o, Ifthoucanst
have been loved.

Bi ale ti fée, If he, she,
or it can have been loved.

Bi alé ti fé wa, Vf we can
have been loved.

Bi ale ti fé nyin, If ye or you
can have been loved.

Bi ale ti fé won, If they can
have been loved.

ANOTHER FORM.

Bi aba ti fé m, If I have

been loved.

Bi aba ti féo, If thou
hast been loved.

Bi aba ti fée, Ifhe, she,
or it has been loved.

Bi abé ti fé wa, If we
have been loved.

Bi aba ti fé nyin, Ifyeor
you have been loved.

Bi aba ti fé won, If they



have been loved.



30 VERBS.

PARTICIPIAL FORMS.

I.



SINGULAR. PLURAL.

Anfém, 1 am being | Anféwa, We are being
loved. loved.

Anfé o, Thou art being | Anfé nyin, Ye or you are
loved. being loved.

Anfée, He, she, or itis | Anfé won, They are being
being loved. loved.

II.

Bi an-ba nfé mi, If I were | Bian-ba nfé wa, If we
being loved. were being loved.

Bi an-ba nfé o, If thou wert | Bi an-ba nfé nyin, If ye or
being loved. you were being loved.
Bi an-ba nfé e, Ifhe, she,or | Bi an-ba nfé won, If they

it were being loved. were being loved.

III.
Bi an-ba ntinfé mi, lflwere | Bi an-ba nti nfé wa, If we



having been loved. were having been loved.
Bi an-bé nti nfé o, If thou | Bian-ba nti nfé nyin, If ye
wert having been loved. | or you were having been
Bi an-ba nti nfé e, If he, loved.
she, or it were having | Bi an-bé nti nfé won, Ifthey
been loved. were having been loved.
ADVERBS.

The Adverb is one of the most expressive parts of
speech in the Yoruba language, and yet the most diffi-
cult to define. Almost every adjective and verb has its
peculiar adverb to express its quality.

An adverb may be known as such by its being placed
after an objective case or verb; as, O ka iwé rere, “He
reads well (lit. He reads book well);” Ose é dara dara,
“He does it well;” Awa duro sensen, “We stand up-
right.”

An adverb, expressing the quality of a verbal adjec-
tive, is generally placed after it; as, Iggi ga fiofio, “ The



ADVERBS. 3l

tree is exceedingly tall;” Aso yi pon rékiroki, “This cloth
is beautifully yellow;” Ododé pupa roro, “ The scarlet is
deeply red ;” Awojijin ndan maranmaran, “The glass is
dazzling (from the smoothness of its surface).” The
exact idea of fiofio, rokiroki, roro, and maranmaran, cannot
easily be expressed in English.

OF PLACE.

Nihiyi, “here,” “herein,” “hither;” mnibé, “ there,”
“thither ;” nzbo, “ where,’ “whither ;” nibomiran, “ else-
where; nibikibi, “anywhere,” “whithersoever ;” nibi-
kan, “somewhere ;” loke, “upward ;” nisalle, “down-
ward ;” niwaju, “ forward ;” lehin, “ backward.”

”

OF TIME.

Loni, “ to-day;” niisiyi, nisisiyi, “now,” “immediately ;”
na, “already ;” nisaju, “before ;” nilolo, “lately ;” lannd,
“ vesterday ;” nilailai, “ heretofore ;” disisiyi, “hitherto ;”
tipe, “long since ;” mnigbani, “long ago;” lolla, “ to-mor-
row; koito, kotitto, “not yet,” or “not yet enough ;” Jati-
hiyilo, “ hereafter,” “henceforth,” “henceforward ;” nike-
hin, “afterwards ;” mnigbagbogbo, “ oft,” “often,” “ oft-
times,” “oftentimes ;” nigbamiran, “sometimes ;” nizsiyi,
nisisiyi, “soon ;” nigbose, “by-and-bye ;” koto, “ before,”
“sooner than;” Jlojojo, “daily;” Jlossose, or losselosse,
“weekly ;” lososu, “monthly ;” lododun, “yearly ;” nigba-
kugba, “always ;” nigbagbogbo, “every time;” nigbati,
“when;” nye, “then;” dai, “ever,” “never ;” lailat, “ever,”
“for ever;” éwe, “again.”

OF QUANTITY.

Pupo,“much;” die, “little;” to, “sufficiently,” “enough;”
typo-to, “how much;” titobito, “how great;” pipdpipo,
“abundantly.”

OF MANNER, OR QUALITY.
Loto, “justly,” “truly,” “in truth,” “verily ;” kankan,
“quickly,” “hastily ;” loiloi, goigoi, “slowly.” Adverbs
of this kind are generally expressed inphrases; as, O se



32 ADVERBS.

é bi asiwere, “He did it foolishly (lit. as a foolish per-
son) ;” Mo fi ogbin se e, “I did it wisely, (lit. with
wisdom).”

Negation of quality is mostly expressed by ko and se;
as, Ko se rere, “He acts unkindly (Ht. does not do
good) ;” Ko fi ogbén se é, “ He did it unwisely (Zi. not
with wisdom).”

Excess of degree is often expressed by gidigidi, yao,
tete, &c., or by the adverb peculiar to the verb or adjec-
tive, whose quality it indicates. The adverb is generally
doubled; as Afefe na fé gidigidi, “ The wind blew ex-
ceedingly ;” Okko yi rin yajo, “This ship sails very
swiftly (it. walks very much);” Ommode yi su-re tete, “This
child runs very swiftly ;” Emi nrin jejeje, “I am walking
very slowly.” ©

OF DOUBT.
Béya, “perhaps,” “ peradventure,” “perchance ;”
bolese, bolesepe, “ if possible.”

OF AFFIRMATION.

Loto, “ verily,” “truly,” “undoubtedly,” “doubtless,”
“ certainly,” “ yea,” “ yes,” “surely,” “ indeed,” “ really ;”
en, “yes,” “indeed,”—this is an interrupting affirmation
during the course of conversation.

OF NEGATION.
Nk6, “not ;” n-n, “no;” kinnijebe, “nay,” “not at all,”
“by no means,” “ in no wise.”
OF INTERROGATION.
Bawo ? “how ?” ese ? “why?” ti? “how ?” ntortkinni ?
latorikinni ? nitorikinni ? “ wherefore 2”

OF COMPARISON.

Ju, “more;” ju lo, “most, (ué. more past, or: more
than past) ;” san or sandie, “better ;” sanju lo, “ best ;”
buruju, “ worse; buryjut lo, “worst; kereju, “less ;”
kereju lo, “least ;” kikinni, “ the least ;” feré, “ almost;”
die, “little ;” ogbogba, “ alike ;” gegge, “ alike.” '



( 33)

PREPOSITIONS.

As in English, Prepositions serve to connect words,
and to shew the relation between them. They are placed
before (and in a few instances after) nouns and ‘pronouns ;
as the following sentences will shew—

Ba, “with,” denoting assistance or companionship;
as, John ba William se é, “John helped William to do
it.” Ommo ’re ba mi lo, “ Your child went with me.”

De, “ for,” “ready against ;” as, Duro dé mi, “Wait
forme.” O se é dé mi, “He made it ready against my
coming.”

Fi, “with,” denoting the instrument; as, Fi iggi ti 2;
“ Pushit witha stick.” Fi obbe sa a, “Cut it with a knife.”

Fu, fun, “for;” as, Siseh yi fumi,“ Do this work for me.”

Koja, Rekgjd, “ above,” (in quality); as, Mo kaa (or,
Mo rekoja) irt nkan wonni, “I am above such things.”

Lakoké, “ about,” applied to time or place ; as, Lakoko
igba na ni, “It was about that time.” _

Lara, “from among,” applied to. things; as, Mia meji
wa lara won, “Fetch two from among them.”

Larin, Lagbedemeji, “ through,” “between ;” as, Ma kaya
larin wa, “ Do not pass between us.”

Leti, “ near,” “ by,” “ at the edge of ;” as, Leti tlle babba-
lawo,“ Near the priest’s house.” Leti bode, “By the
custom-house.”

Lehin, “behind,” “ after ;” as, 76 mi lehin, “ Follow
after me.” |

Lode, “ without,” “ outside ;” as, Duro lode ille, “ Stand
outside the house.” Awon ti mbé lode li Olorun ob wijo,
“Them who are without, God shall judge.”

Loké, Lori, “ over,” “ above,” “ beyond,” “on,” “ upon;”
as, Olorun mbe loke orun, “God is above the sky,
(or, beyond the clouds).” Lori orulé, “On the roof.”
Loke dja, “Upon the attic.”

Loddo, “ from,” “ with,” “at,” applied only to persons ;

r



34 PREPOSITIONS.

as, Lo igba takarda wa loddo olori-ille-iwé, “Go fetch the
book from the schoolmaster.” On mbé loddo ré, “It is
with him.”

Ni, “at,” “in ;” as, Babba mbé ni ille, “ (My) father is
in the house, (or at home).” For the contraction, see
Vocabulary.

Niha, “by,” “at,” “near,” “about ;” as, On mbé niha
kanga, “ He is by the well.”

Nino, “in,” “ within,” “into,” “among ;” as, Alagbara
mbé nino wa, “ A strong person isamongus.” Iyéfun mbé
nino agba, “ There is flour in the cask.”

Misalle, “under,” “beneath,” “below ;” as, Omi mbé
nisalle ille, “There is water beneath the earth.” Wa a
nisalle, “ Dig it below.”

Niwaju, “beyond,” applied to distance ; as, Niwayu
ille’ Ayabba, “ Beyond the house of the Queen.” Néiwaju
wa, “ Beyond us.”

Si, “ to,” “at,” “ against ;” as, Ma safojudi si agbalagba,
“ Do not be saucy to elderly persons.”

Sino, “in,” “among;” as, Bo sino won, “ Drop in among
them.”

Ti, “ of,” “from ;” as, Awa ti Sierra Leone lo si Niger,
“We went from Sierra Leone to the Niger.”

CONJUNCTIONS.

COPULATIVE.

Ati, “ and,” “ both ;” as, Ati emi ati iwo a’ olo, “ Both I
and thou (we) will go.”*

Bi, “if;” as, Bi awa ba dé, enyin olo, “ If we return,
you will go.”

Latori, nitori, ntori, “that,” “because,” “wherefore,”
“therefore ;”’ as, Nitori milo se, “It is on my account,”
or “ because of me.”

Nye, “ then ;” as, Nje bi behe ni, o t6, “ Then if it be so, it

—

* Or, Emi rea’ olo, “ You, (and) I (we) will go.”



. CONJUNCTIONS. 35

is right. Nye ki @ ma lo, “ Then we may go.”

On, “and ;” as, Jesus mu Peter on James ati John re ille
Jawrus, “Jesus took Peter and James and John to the
house of Jairus.”

Ti, “since ;” as, Nigbatio ti wi fu mi, mo fi i si ille,
‘“‘T have left it off, since he told me.”

DISJUNCTIVE.

Adi, “ notwithstanding,” “ although;” as, Adi gbogbo eyi
tia nwi, eyi ti yi ose mbé nino ’ré, “ Notwithstanding all
that has been said (or saying), what he will do is in his
heart.”

Amopé, “ though,” “although,” “ notwithstanding.”

Bi, “as;” as, Se bi enia nti nse, “Do as men do, ?.e. not
beasts.”

Bikosebi, “ unless ;” as, Bikosebi dj0 6 irugbin ko le ha,
“Unless rain comes, seeds cannot grow.”

Ki, Beheni, “neither,” “nor ;” as, Ki ise emi, beheni ki
wo, “ Neither was it I nor thou.”

Sigbon, “but,” “ yet;” as, Sigbon Jesus pe won si oddo ré,
0 wi fu won, “ But Jesus calling them to him (Hé. near to
him), said to them.”

Tabbi, “ or ;” as, Emi ni tabbi iwo, “Is it I or thou ?”

INTERJECTIONS.

An Interjection is expressive of some passion or emo-
tion of the mind ; as of Grief; Yé! A! O!—Surprise ; A!
-——Admiration ; Pa! Nn !—Contempt; Sio! Hun! Sawo !

Under this part of speech may be included Dake !
Simi! “Silence!” and the word Atéto! employed to draw
attention to proclamations. See Vocabulary.



( 36 )
NUMERAL ADJECTIVES..

CARDINAL NUMBERS.

Ent. . . . . one.

Hyji . . 1 . two,

Hitta. . . . . . three.

Erin . . . . . four.
Arun. . . . . . five.

Hiffa. . 6 6). Six.
Hye... . . seven.

Eijo . . . . eight.
Essan . o. . . nine.
Fwa.. . . .. ten.
Okanla . . . eleven.
Hyila. . . . . . twelve.
Hitala . . . . . thirteen.
Erinla . . . . . fourteen.
Eidogun. . . . . fifteen.
Hrindilogun . . sixteen.
Hittadilogun . . . seventeen.
fidilogun . . . eighteen.
Okandilogun . . nineteen.
Ogun. . . . twenty.
Okanlelogun . twenty-one.
Ejilelogun . . twenty-two.
Etialelogun . . twenty-three.
Eirinlelogun . . twenty-four.
Edogbon . . twenty-five.
Ogbon . . . thirty.
Arundilogoji . thirty-five.
Oi... . forty.
Adotta ; . fifty.*



* Cowries are the usual circulating medium on the West Coast of
Africa. They are reckoned by the bag— Qkhehan ; the larger bundle—
Egba or Egbawa; the smaller bundle—Jgbiwo or Igbio; and the



CARDINAL NUMBERS. 37

Ogotta . . . sixty.

Adorn . . . . . seventy.

Ogorm . . . . . eighty.

Adorun . . . . . minety.

Ogorun . . . .one hundred.

Adofa . . . . .one hundred and ten.

Ogoffa mo, . one hundred and twenty.

Adoje . . . . . one hundred and thirty.

Ogye . . . . .one hundred and forty.

Adgo . - . . one hnndred and fifty.

Oggo - . .one hundred and sixty.

Adossan. . . . . one hunured and seventy.

Ogossan. . . . .one hundred and eighty.

Ewadinigba. . . .one hundred and ninety—two hun-
‘dred less ten.

Igba . .. . . «two hundred.——The round num-

ber, by which reckonings are gene-
rally made, as by one hundred in
Finglish.
Igbiwo, Igbio, con-, two hundred cowries, making the
tracted for Igba wot smaller bundle of strung cowries.

Odun . . . . . three hundred.
Trinwo . . . . . four hundred.
Edegbetta . . . . five hundred.
Ligbetia . . . . . six hundred.
Eidegberin . . . seven hundred.
Higberin. . . . . eight hundred.
Eidegberun . . . . nine hundred.
Egberun. . . . .one thousand.
Edegbefia . . . . eleven hundred.
figbeffa . . . . . twelve hundred.



string, either of fifty—Adotta, or of forty— Ojo. This might be thus
expressed in a table—
5 strings of 40 cowries = 1 smaller bundle of 200.
4 .. .50 . . =1 ditto.
10 smaller bundles . = 1 larger bundle of 2000.
lO larger . . . . =1 bag of 20,000.



38

Edegbeje .
Ligbgye .
Lidegbgjo
Egbejo

Eidegbessan .

Exgbessan

Edegbd, or I
Eigbd, or Egbawa .

Exgbédogun .

Ligbyi .
Edegbatta
Lgbatta .
E:degbar in
Eigbarin .

Eidegbarun .

Ligbarun .
Edegbaffa
Hgbaffa .
Edeghye
Ligbaje
Lidegbajo
Lgbgyo

Edegbassan .

Ligbassan
Edegbawa

Eigbawa .
Okkekan

Okkemeyt
Okkemetta

Okkemerin .
Okkemarun .

CARDINAL NUMBERS.

. thirteen hundred.

. fourteen hundred.
. fifteen hundred.
. sixteen hundred.

. seventeen hundred.

eighteen hundred.

idegbawa, nineteen hundred.

. two thousand.——The larger bun-
dle of cowries.

. three thousand.

. four thousand.

. five thousand.

. six thousand.

. seven thousand.

. eight thousand.

. nine thousand.

. ten thousand.

. eleven thousand.

. twelve thousand:

. thirteen thousand.

. fourteen thousand.

. fifteen thousand.

. sixteen thousand.

. seventeen thousand.

. eighteen thousand.

. nineteen thousand.

. twenty thousand, or

.one bag—of cowries, containing
ten larger bundles of two thou-
sand cowries each. By the
number of bags higher numbers
are reckoned ; as,

. two bags—forty thousand.

. three bags—sixty thousand.

. four bags—eighty thousand.

. five bags—one hundred thousand,
&c. &e.



CARDINAL NUMBERS. 39

As the Natives have much to do with reckoning they
very early begin to teach their children to count. This
is effected simply by frequent exercise in counting cowries
or stones: and it is astonishing how very soon little
boys and girls can reckon a large number of cowries.
They first begin by counting one by one: when they can
do that with readiness, they begin by twos, and then by
fives. A person cannot be more insulted for his stupidity
in arithmetic, than by telling him, “ O daju danu o 0’ mo
essan messan,” “ With all your eleverness and sagacity,
you do not know nine times nine.”

ORDINAL NUMBERS.

Ekinnt . the first.

Ekgi. . the second.
E-ketta . . the third.
Ekerin . . the fourth.
Ekarun . . the fifth.

Eheffa . the sixth.

Ekeje . . the seventh.
Ekejo. . . the eighth.
Ekessan . . the ninth.
EKkewa . . the tenth.
Ekokanla . the eleventh.
Ttheila . . the twelfth.
Lkettala . . the thirteeth.
Ekerinla . . the fourteenth.
Ekedogun . . the fifteenth.
Ekerindilogun . . the sixteenth.
Likettadilogun . the seventeenth.
Ekgidilogun . . the eighteenth.
Ekokandilogun . . the nineteenth.
Ogun. . .. . the twentieth.
Ekokanlelogun . . the twenty-first.
Ekegjilelogun . . the twenty-second.
Lketalelogun . the twenty-third.
Ekerinlelogun . the twenty-fourth.



40 ORDINAL NUMBERS.

Ekedogbon . . . . the twenty-fifth.
Ogbon . . . . the thirtieth.
Ekarindiloggi . . the thirty-fifth.
Ow... . the fortieth.

CARDINAL NUMBERS,
ANSWERING TO THE QUESTION, “ HOW MANY 2”

Okan . - . » . one.
Mei... . . . two.

Metta . . . . . three.
Merin . . . . four.
Marun .. . . five.

Mefa . . . «SIX.

Meje . oe . seven.
Mejo. ... . . eight.
Messan . . . Mine. -
Mewa .. . ten.
Mokanla. . . . . eleven.
Mgila . . . . twelve.
Mettala . . . ._ . thirteen.
Merinla. . . ._ . fourteen.
Medogun . . . fifteen.
Merindilogin . . . sixteen:
Metiadilogun . . .seventeen.
Mejidilogin. . . . eighteen.
Mokandilogun . . . nineteen.
Ogun. . . . . . twenty.
Mokanlelogun . . twenty-one.
Mejilelogun . . twenty-two.
Mettalelogun . . . twenty-three.
Merinlelogun . . . twenty-four.
Medogbon . . . twenty-five.
Ogbon . . . . . thirty.

Arundiloggi, or Eu-) yp.
dilogyi . . |} thirty-five
OQji. . . . forty.



( 41)

NUMERAL ADVERBS.

OF PRICE.

* Okan, or owokan . one cowry, or money.
Eyi, or owo mei . . two cowries, or moneys.
Etta, or owo metia. . three cowries, or moneys.
Erin. . . . four —_— — —
Arm. . five —_ — —
kfa . to . SIX —_—— —
dije . os. . « . Seven — — —
Byjo . oe ee ) . elght — — —
Essan. . nine —_— — —
Ewa oe . ten —-—-—_,
Okanla . .eleven .— -—- —
Kyla. . . . . . twelve — — —
Ettala . . . . . thirteen — — —
Erinla .'. . . . fourteen — — —
Edogun . . . . . fifteen — — —
Erindilogun . . . . sixteen — — —
Ettadilogun . seventeen —- — —
Ejidilogun . . . . eighteen — — —
Okandilogun . . .Mineteen — — —
Oké. . . .). twenty) = =-— — —
Okanlelogun . . . . twenty-one — — —
Ejilelogun . . . . twenty-two— — —
Litialelogun . . . twenty-three —— —
Erinlelogun . . . . twenty-four — —
Edogbo . . . twenty-five-— — —
Ogbohwo, or Ogbowo . thirty —_— — —
Eiidilogogi . . . . thirty-five -- — —
Ogji. . . . . . forty —— —



* The vowels which are circumflexed in this column must be pro-
nounced very long; as the words are contracted from owo and okan,
instead of owo okan, contracted 6’kan, “ one money.”

\

G



42

Okokan
Etetta .
Ererin .
Ararrun .
Lifeffa. .
gge.
Esessan
Ewewa .
Okokanla -
Eyejila
Kiettala
Lererinla .
Eyredogun. .
Ererindilogun
Ltettadilogun
Ejejidilogun .
Okokandilogun
Okoké. . .
Okokanlelogun
Hjejilelogun
Etettalelogun .
Ererinlelogun
Eredogbon
Ogbogbonwo .
Eveidilogoji .
Ogggi

Okokan
Mejimen
Mettametta
Merinmerin
Marunmarun .

NUMERAL ADVERBS.

OF PRICE.

. one, one cowry, or money each.
. two, two cowries ormoneys—
. three, thre — — —
. four, four —- — —
. five, five —- — —
. SIX, SIX —_- —- —
. seven, seven — -— —
. eight,eight — — —
. nine, nine —- —- —
. ten, ten —_—_ — —
. eleven, eleven— — _ --.
. twelve, twelve —_—- —
. thirteen, thirteen — —
. fourteen, fourteen — —
. fifteen, fifteen —- —
. sixteen, sixteen — —
. seventeen, seventeen— —
. eighteen, eighteen — —
. Nineteen, nineteen — —
. twenty, twenty —_- —
. twenty-one, twenty-one —
. twenty-two, twenty-two —
. twenty-three, twenty-three —
. twenty-four, twenty-four —
. twenty-five, twenty-five —
. thirty, thirty — — —
. thirty-five, thirty-five —
. forty, forty —- — —~—

OF QUANTITY, 07 NUMBER.

. one by one.

. two by two.

. three by three.
. four by four.

. five by five.



NUMERAL ADVERBS. 43

Meffamefa . . . .« six by six.

Mejemeje . . . « .~ seven by seven.
Mejomejo . . . . +. eight by eight.
Messanmessan . . . nine by nine.
Mewamewa . . . . ten by ten.
Mokanlamokanla. . . eleven by eleven.
Mejilamgila . . . . twelve by twelve.
Mettalamettala . . . thirteen by thirteen.
Merinlamerinla . . . fourteen by fourteen.
Medogunmedogun . . fifteen by fifteen.
Merindilogunmerindi-.) .

loqun sixteen by sixteen.

I

M: ettadilogunmettadilo-
gun.

Mejidilogunmejidilogun, eighteen by eighteen.
Mokandilogunmokandi-

seventeen by seventeen.

nineteen by nineteen.

logun. . . ,
Ogogun . . . . . twenty by twenty.
Mokanlel kanle-

“agua agunmokante twenty-one by twenty-one.

Meji g ijelogunmejijelogun twenty-two by twenty-two.
Mettalelogunmettalelogun, twenty-three by twenty-three.

Merinlel inlelo-
erinlelogunmerinlelo i twenty-four by twenty-four.

gun.
Medogbonmedogbon . . twenty-five by twenty-five.
Ogbogbon . . . . . thirty by thirty.
Lreidilogyi . . . . thirty-five by thirty-five.
Oggjgji. . . . forty by forty.
OF TIME.

Ehan. . . . once.

imei. wl, . twice.

Eimetta . . . . . thrice.

Eimerin . .. . . . four times.

Eimarun. . . .~ . five times.

Eimeffa . . . . . six times.

G2



44

NUMERAL ADVERBS.

Emeje

Eimeo

Eimessan
Emewa .
Emokanla
Emejila .
Emettala .
Emerinla

Eimedogun

Emerindilogun .
Emettadilogun .

Emejidilogun

Emokandilogun

Igbogun .

Emokanlelogun :

Emejilelogun

Emettalelogun .

Emerinlelogun
Eimedogbon .
Igbogbon .
Emeidilogun
Igboggi .

Lekan .
Lemei .
Lemetta
Lemerin
Lemarin

Lekinna
Lekei .
Leketta
Lekerin
Lekerun

. seven times.

. eight times.

. nine times.

. ten times.

. eleven times.

. twelve times.

. thirteen times.

. fourteen times.

. fifteen times.

. sixteen times.

. seventeen times.
. eighteen times.

. Nineteen times.

. twenty times.

. twenty-one times.
. twenty-two times.
. twenty-three times.
. twenty-four times.
. twenty-five times.
. thirty times.

. thirty-five times.
. forty times.

OF NUMBER.

- once.

. twice.
. thrice.

. four times.
. five times.

OF ORDER.

. first.

. secondly.
. thirdly.
. fourthly.
. fifthly.



APPENDIX.

NOTE ON THE FORMATION OF WORDS IN YORUBA.

Tue examination of the Yoruba Vocabulary has led me
to the following conclusions, which I think will be found
to be substantially correct.

I. All Yoruba roots are monosyllabic, each consisting
of a consonant, enunciated by the help of a vowel, with
its appropriate intonation, sometimes closing with a
nasal sound ; as, ba, be, bé, di, don, Ji, fe, gba, gbe, mo, ni,
to, 10, ye, Ye, yin.

II. All Yoruba roots are verbs, as are the disyllabic
roots of the Semitic languages; thus, ba, “to meet ;” be,
“to leap;” bé, “to beg;” di, “to tie;” don, “to be
painful ;” fi, * “to give ;” fe, “to love;” gba, “ to fake 3
gbe, “ to be ;” mo, “to know ;” ni, “to have;’ “ to
touch ;” ¢6, “to follow ;” ye, “ to understand ;” ye, “ © fit ;”
yin, “to praise.”

III. From these verbal roots, nouns-substantive are
formed by prefixing a vowel sound. I believe this rule
will be found to be almost, if not quite, universal. _ It is
true that the root appears to be very frequently obso-
lete, and in other cases (also very numerous) the meaning
of the root cannot be traced to have any clear connection
with that of the noun. Still, the exact identity of form in
all nouns-substantive (with very few exceptions)—the
variation of the initial vowel which is sometimes met
with in the same word—and the very general tendency
which the initial vowel exhibits to assume the same, or
a cognate sound, with the following vowel—all go to
prove that this initial vowel is merely servile, a forma-
tive addition to the monosyllabic root.

1. It is impossible to examine the Vocabulary, even
cursorily, without being struck by the fact, that every