A Review of Isaac Oluwole Delano’s Pioneering Works on Yoruba Grammar, Orthography, Lexicography and Cultural Education.


Tis is a reproduction and an improved version of our opening chapter on Selected Works of Chief Isaac O. Delano on Yoruba Language. In it, we reintroduce the seminal works of the legendary writer and language educator, I. O. Delano. Many of these works have become obscure to the reading public due to an apparent lack of intentional publication. Delano, known for his prolific writings, wrote a few books relating to Yoruba language and grammar. Tis segment looks at four major non-fiction works of Chief Isaac O. Delano. For the most part, the segment deals with his efforts on Yoruba language, but to some extent, too, it looks at some additional non-language related writings often embedded in his works on language. For example, in Appendix I of his 1965 book, A Modern Yoruba Grammar, the author provides an array of proverbs and sayings in the language with their English equivalents. In Appendix II, Delano infused two old texts into the book, which comprise of a sermon and an essay on schooling. Clearly, Delano seems to have a penchant for dissemination of relevant cultural education in all his works. Indeed, one could say Yoruba Cultural education has always been apparently one of Delano’s passions as well as hidden agenda in writing his books, and he does so relentlessly. In what follows, we 216 Toyin Falola and Michael Oladejo Afolayan examine the four works in no particular order, although the Modern Grammar is given a relatively more detailed review and summarization. The four books are: A Modern Yoruba Grammar; Àgbékà Ọr̀ ọ̀ Yorùbá: Appropriate Words and Expressions in Yoruba; Conversation in Yoruba and English; and Atúmọ̀Èdè Yorùbá.

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