An etymological study of the word ‘aborɔfo’ (Europeans) and its impact on Akan Language
International Journal of Applied Linguistics and Translation
Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2015, Pages: 1-7
Received: Apr. 15, 2015;
Accepted: Apr. 27, 2015;
Published: May 5, 2015
Views 4441 Downloads 160
Lawrence Bosiwah, University of Cape Coast , College of Humanities & Legal Studies, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ghanaian Languages and Linguistics, Cape Coast, Ghana
Kofi Busia Abrefa, University of Cape Coast , College of Humanities & Legal Studies, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ghanaian Languages and Linguistics, Cape Coast, Ghana
Charles Okofo Asenso, University of Cape Coast , College of Humanities & Legal Studies, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ghanaian Languages and Linguistics, Cape Coast, Ghana
The Akan word ‘aborɔfo’ (Europeans) came into existence in Akan through a derivational process. However, two schools of thought exist concerning the actual meaning of the word ‘aborɔfo’. Those who perceive the colonial masters to be wicked (due to their activities in the country) interpret the word as aborɔ-fo(ɔ) ‘wicked people’. The other school of thought has it that the Europeans got the name aborɔfo because they came to the Gold Coast by sea, hence, a-borɔ-fo(ɔ) (i.e. from behind the horizon). This paper seeks to use both historical and linguistic evidence in support of the latter. For the historical evidence, the paper considers the behavior of the Europeans or what they did when they first set foot on the soils of our mother land that could possibly earn them the name ‘wicked people’. It also looks at when they got that name; and also before they were seen to be wicked what was their name. Linguistically, the word aborɔ-fo(ɔ) is compared with ɔbo-fo/abo-fo ‘wicked people’ to indicate that our ancestors would have preferred abo-fo to aborɔ-fo if they wanted to refer to the Europeans as wicked people.
Kofi Busia Abrefa,
Charles Okofo Asenso,
An etymological study of the word ‘aborɔfo’ (Europeans) and its impact on Akan Language, International Journal of Applied Linguistics and Translation.
Vol. 1, No. 1,
2015, pp. 1-7.
Akpanglo-Nartey, Rebecca A. (2012) “Gender Effect On Vowel Quality: A Case Study Of Ghanaian English”. Canadian Journal on Scientific and Industrial Research Vol. 3 No. 3, March 2012, pp 142-150
Akrofi, C. A. & Botchey, G. L. (1968), An English-Twi-Ga Dictionary. Waterville Publishing House, Accra
Akrofi, C. A. & Ludwig, R.E. (1951 revised ed.), Twi Nsɛm Nkorɛnkorɛ Kyerɛwbea (Twi Spelling Book), Government Printing office Accra, Ghana Berry, J. (1960), English, Twi, Asante, Fante Dictionary. The Presbyterian Book Depot, Accra & Kumasi
Berry, J. (1960), English, Twi, Asante, Fante Dictionary. The Presbyterian Book Depot, Accra & Kumasi
Boadi, L. A. (1997): Forms and Meaning in Akan, Department of Linguistics, University of Ghana, Legon. Manuscript.
Botchway, De-Valera N.Y.M (2008), “When the people decide: colonialism, social and emergence of modern nationalism in the Gold Coast”. In DRUMSPEAK, International Journal of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, University of Cape Coast, Ghana. New series Vol. 1 No 2: 168-217
Christaller, J.G. (1933) Dictionary of the Asante and Fante Languages called Tshi (Twi) Basel, 1881, 2nd edition.
Dolphyne, F. A. (1988): The Akan (Twi- Fante) Language, Its Sound Systems and Tonal Structure. Accra: Ghana University Press.
Dolphyne, F. A., & Dakubu, M. E. K. (1988). The Volta-Comoe languages. In M. E. K. Dakubu (Ed.), The languages of Ghana (pp. 50-90). London: Kegan Paul International.
Ghana Statistical Service (2012). 2010 Population and Housing Census, Summary Reports of final Results
Groves, C. P. (1954). The planting of Christianity in Africa Volumes 1 & 2 London.
Holmes, Janet (1994). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Longman.
Kuupole, D.D. & Botchway, De-Valera N.Y.M (2010)(ed), “Polishing the pearls of Ancient wisdom: exploring the relevance of endogenous African knowledge system for sustainable development in postcolonial Africa”. University Printing Press, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast.
Landau, Jennifer & Moore, David Chioni (n.d.), “Towards reconciliation in the motherland: race, class, nationality, gender, and the complexities of American Students Presence at the University of Ghana, Legon”. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad. Retrieved on 30/06/2010
Methodist Book Depot (1967) 12th Ed. Mfantse Nkasafua Nkyerewee Nye Ho Mbra (Fante Word List with Principles and Rules of Spelling. Cape Coast, Ghana.
Obibini (2007, Jan. 1, 2) Discussion: View topic: What is the real meaning of the word ‘obroni’? www.ghanaweb.com
Odamtten, S K (1978), The Missionary Factor in Ghana’s Development (1820-1880). Accra Waterville
Reindorf, C. C (1966), History of the Gold Coast and Ashanti. Accra, Ghana universities Press.
Schachter, P., & Fromkin, V. (1968). Phonology of Akan. In: Working Papers in Phonetics (pp. 1–268). No. 9. Department of Linguistics, UCLA.
Ward, W.E.F. (1967): The History of Ghana (4th Edition). Novello and Company Ltd.