TONIC SOLFA IS THE FOUNDATION OF TONAL LINGUISTICS: University of Cape Coast 40th Congregation Occasional Lecture Series, Ghana 12 October 2009

My Mother Tongue, Krobo/Dangme-Gã of south-east Ghana was first written by the Swiss-German Basel Missionaries who not only translated the Bible for us, but also wrote hymns for us with the help of local experts born in the Gold Coast. They did a remarkable job, but as the Ghanaian vowel imparts no less than 6 meanings to any consonant my parents and grandparents had to look at the context in which a written word appeared before pronouncing the word correctly. For example, the word written ‘ta’ can mean chew, war, giant ant, to fish out of a bowl, palm tree, or narrate in Krobo/Dangme. My parents were adept at quickly scanning a sentence mentally before deciding what the ‘ta’ they had just read stood for.
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