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Akan language

Akan language Akan is a language group spoken by related peoples in mainly Ghana and eastern Côte d'Ivoire. All varieties of Akan are mutually in...

Akan language

Akan is a language group spoken by related peoples in mainly Ghana and eastern Côte d’Ivoire. All varieties of Akan are mutually intelligible. The main languages comprise:

Twi – The largest group, spoken chiefly in Ghana. Includes the Akuapem, Asante (Ashanti) Bono, and Akyem dialects
Fante (Fanti, Mfantse) – Spoken in east coastal Ghana.
Brong – Spoken in west central Ghana and along the border in Côte d’Ivoire
Baule – Mainly spoken in central Côte d’Ivoire, related to Nzema.
Nzema language – Spoken mainly in west central Ghana and eastern Côte d’Ivoire
Anyi – Spoken in eastern Côte d’Ivoire
The Bureau of Ghana Languages has compiled a unified orthography of 20,000 words.

The adinkra symbols are old ideograms.

The language came to the Caribbean and South America, notably in Suriname spoken by the Ndyuka and in Jamaica by the Jamaican Maroons known as Kromanti, with the slaves. The descendants of escaped slaves in the interior of Suriname and the Maroons in Jamaica still use a form of this language, including Akan naming convention, in which children are named after the day of the week on which they are born, e.g. Akwasi (for a boy) or Akosua (girl) born on a Sunday. In Jamaica and Suriname the Anansi spider stories are well known.

According to work done by P K Agbedor of CASAS, Mfantse and Twi (together known as Akan) belong to Cluster 1 of the speech forms of Ghana. Clusters are defined by the level of mutual intelligibility. The Abron(Bono) and Wasa dialects are considered part of this cluster.

Cluster 1 comprises:

Akan (Niger-Congo – Atlantic Congo – Volta Congo – Kwa – Nyo – Potou-Tano – Tano – Central)
Abron (Niger-Congo – Atlantic Congo – Volta Congo – Kwa – Nyo – Potou-Tano – Tano – Central – Akan)
Wasa (Niger-Congo – Atlantic Congo – Volta Congo – Kwa – Nyo – Potou-Tano – Tano – Central – Akan).
Cluster 1 may better be named r-Akan (mainly Akuapem, Akyem, Fante, Wasa, Bono, Asen, Akwamu, Twi, Kwahu spoken mainly in Ghana, parts of Togo) which do not explicitly have the letter “l” in their original proper use. On the other hand l-Akan, refers to the Akan cluster comprising Nzema, Baule, and other dialects spoken mainly in the Ivory Coast, whose use of the letter “r” in proper usage is very rare.

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