An Account of Leteh Language Context

  • Mercy Akrofi Ansah UNIVERSITY OF GHANA
Keywords: Lɛtɛ, Larteh, context, history, culture, education, religion, vitality status


In this paper we present the context or the environment in which Lɛtɛ is spoken, rather than the structure of the language. In presenting the context of the language, the paper sheds light on the extent to which Lɛtɛ language context contributes to the status and use of the language. Lɛtɛ (Kwa: South Guan) is a less-studied language spoken in only one town, Larteh, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Its linguistic neighbours are mostly Akan-speaking towns. The vitality status of Lɛtɛ is pegged at 6a, and described as vigorous. However, literature on African linguistics indicates that work on Lɛtɛ is lacking. Available literature on Lɛtɛ has focused on aspects of the grammar and social life, and has not considered the interrelationship of the two. Other interesting aspects of the language context the paper discusses are the migration history of Larteh; the linguistic neighbourhood of Larteh; the interaction of education, culture and religion at Larteh; and social organization. We adopt an approach in anthropological linguistics: ‘language and thought’ in our discussion’. The paper, among other things, reports societal changes that have occurred over the years in Larteh and how the changes could affect the status of Lɛtɛ over time. The paper makes use of both primary and secondary data. We conclude that the context of a language and the dynamics of the former could have significant impact on its status and use.