Reminiscing the Contribution of a Pioneer of The Development of The Twi Language

Clement Anderson Akrofi


  • Mercy Akrofi Ansah University of Ghana



Akan, Twi, missionary, education, grammar, dictionary, language., akan, twi, missionary, education, grammar, dictionary, language



The object of this paper is to evoke the life and contribution of the late C. A. Akrofi, a Ghanaian linguist, to the development of Twi, and to reflect on the relevance of his works to contemporary Akan linguistics studies. The study draws on tenets of the Rhetorical Narrative Theory (Herman et al 2012), an approach embedded in the Narrative Tradition, propounded by Epston and White (1990). Literature on the development of indigenous languages of Ghana attest that it is the preliminary work of Basel and Scottish Missionaries which formed the bedrock of the study and documentation of the languages (Bediako 1995; Debrunner 1967; Kpobi 2008). The paper is an account of the life of an individual who was undaunted by his physical incapacities, but with the foundation laid by the Basel and Scottish Missionaries, strove to leave a legacy in the study of Akan linguistics. Information for this study was partly acquired from narratives recorded from semi-structured interviews, and secondary sources from the library and archives of the Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture at Akropong Akuapem; the Akrofi family archives at Apirede-Akuapem and his personal records. The paper contributes to literature in interdisciplinary biographical research.


[1] The language C.A. Akrofi worked on is Twi. It refers to Asante and Akuapem, dialects of Akan. His studies were primarily based on the Akuapem dialect whose sound system and structure are akin to those of Asante. He sometimes uses Akan and Twi interchangeably. 

Author Biography

Mercy Akrofi Ansah, University of Ghana

Mercy Akrofi Ansah is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. Her research interests include grammar of less-studied languages; biographical studies and language use in multilingual communities.


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On-line source: 1/6/2018.
Other sources consulted:
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Vol. 1X, No. 2.
Inauguration Brochure: 19th April 1987. The Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Centre. For
Mission Research and Applied Theology.




How to Cite

Ansah, M. A. (2018). Reminiscing the Contribution of a Pioneer of The Development of The Twi Language: Clement Anderson Akrofi. Ghana Journal of Linguistics, 7(2), 244–266.