Publisher: Covenant University

The Yoruba Language and Literature In The 21St Century and Beyond

Azeez Akinwumi Sesan
KEYWORDS: Oral literature; Yoruba language and literature; language endangerment; phonocentric tradition; logocentric tradition.


The pervasive poor reading culture, the phenomenon of indigenous language endangerment and the dominance of new media of modern telecommunication have had condemnable impact on the survival and continuity of Yoruba language and literature. Despite the significance of language and literature in cultural expression, the value attached to Yoruba Literature is waning in our contemporary society. This paper therefore poses the question: is there hope for Yoruba Literature in the 21st century and beyond? There is no homogeneous answer to the question owing to some variables such as language attitude to Yoruba; linguistic alienation of some children for not using Yoruba Language by some homes and the negative attitude of Yoruba natives to the use of the language in eco-linguistic spheres. The paper observes that there is “literary endangerment” of Yoruba Language and literary texts written in the language because of the incompetence of the contemporary Yoruba children and youth to speak and write in mutually intelligible Yoruba linguistic codes. This paper therefore posits that Yoruba language and literature should be a compulsory prerequisite for any further study and other opportunities, particularly for candidate from Yoruba extraction.    

View Online
Publication Year
Place Of Publication