Twi Kasa Mmara: A Twi Grammar


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A classic. First published in 1938

CHRISTALLER’S Twi Grammar has long been out of print. Teachers and students of the language have always felt the need of a Grammar written in Twi, and this book is an attempt to supply that need. Much of the material in this book has been based on the works of H. N. Riis and J. G. Christaller.

The introduction deals with the structure of the language and phonetics. The book is then divided into four parts; the first is a general introduction to the parts of speech, the second and third are more detailed study, and the fourth contains syntax. There are a number of appendices dealing with the classification of nouns, paradigms, punctuation, and specimen analyses. Some exercises have been included at the end of some topics to reinforce what has been discussed.

The book is published with the approval of the Education Department and it is meant to be used as a teacher’s handbook in Twi-speaking Primary schools, Junior Schools and as a pupil’s book in Senior High Schools, Training Colleges and Secondary Schools.

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Weight 0.4 kg


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Author Picture

C. A. Akrofi

Clement Anderson Akrofi (July 1, 1901-July 1, 1967) was an educator, theologian, and linguist. He became the foremost authority on the Twi language in his lifetime, and advocated the adoption of Twi as a lingua franca for Ghana.

Born on July 1, 1901 at Apirede, in Akuapem, a state 30 miles (48 km) north of Accra, he was educated at the Basel Mission schools at Apirede, and at Akuropon, capital of Akuapem, between 1909 and 1918. Between 1921 and 1922, he was trained as a teacher at the Akuropon Training College, after which he was appointed tutor in English and Twi at the college in early 1923.

Unfortunately, he suffered from a partial paralysis, which grew worse, so that from 1923 onwards he was a cripple for life. Fortunately, however, his intellect and speech were unimpaired, and he was able to write and teach. He developed a keen interest in the Twi language, and in a “comprehensive and scientific investigation” of it. This interest, supported by his research, led to his authorship of four books. But the one book that immediately earned him recognition as a linguist, and established his reputation as the foremost authority on the Twi language, was his Twi Kasa Mmara (Twi Grammar Book), published in 1938.

In 1930 the Gold Coast Director of Education appointed Akrofi as an adviser on all problems connected with the Twi language. He later became an examiner in Twi for local teachers’ examinations, as well as an examiner for the London and Cambridge overseas examinations. He also served as chairman, adviser, or member on six committees dealing with Twi language and literature.

After retiring from teaching in 1956, Akrofi devoted his time to the service of the Presbyterian Church. In 1965 he completed a revision of the 1871 translation of the Bible by the Rev. J. G. Christaller, thus producing a modern Twi Bible. His literary, linguistic, and theological works were fittingly recognized by outside institutions. In 1944 he became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), and in 1960 he was made Doctor of Theology by the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, West Germany, for his contribution towards the development of the Twi Language and the advancement of Christian literature.

In acknowledgement of his services, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has dedicated to him, and his predecessor Rev. J.G. Christaller, the Akrofi-Christaller Institute in Akropong Akuapem.

His publications include Twi Spelling Book, Twi Mmebusem, Mmodenbo Bu Mmusu Abasa So, and the English-Twi-Ga Dictionary which he produced jointly with G.L. Botchey.

Akrofi’s physical disability prevented him from taking an active part in the politics of his country. Yet he remained a keen observer of political developments, and followed with passionate interest the country’s struggle for independence. He was often consulted by leading politicians, including Kwame Nkrumah and J. B. Danquah, and frequently corresponded with Danquah on literary, linguistic, customary, and political subjects. In his advice to politicians, Akrofi often stressed “linguistic nationalism” - the adoption of a national language as the only weapon against tribalism and the fragmentation of the national effort. He met with no success in this crusade under Nkrumah’s administration, but after 1966 the role of Ghanaian languages began to be taken more seriously, though the question of Twi as a lingua franca was still being debated in the mid-I970s. He died on July 1, 1967.

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