Charles O Marfo

Charles O Marfo
Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology | KNUST · Department of Language and Communication Sciences

BA (UG) MPhil (UiT) PhD (HKU)
Currently looking at English as a medium of instruction in West African higher education with Profs. Esimaje and Ochieng

About

57
Publications
91,273
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
Prof. Charles Marfo enjoys teaching and does research on various aspects of language, linguistics and communication. He also enjoys commenting on socio-political and other national issues in the media, particularly on radio.
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - July 2020
Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2017 - November 2019
Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
April 2014 - March 2015
Universität Potsdam
Position
  • Visiting Professor
Education
September 2001 - June 2005
The University of Hong Kong
Field of study
  • Linguistics
September 1998 - June 2001
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Field of study
  • Linguistics
September 1993 - June 1997
University of Ghana
Field of study
  • Linguistics and Philosophy

Publications

Publications (57)
Article
Full-text available
This paper does a critical reading of Beyond the Horizon and The Housemaid and observes that the author, Amma Darko, seeks primarily to challenge prevailing and traditional views of motherhood held by African societies; i.e. motherhood and its associated activities such as caring, training and disciplining. Amma Darko sharply condemns this view and...
Article
Full-text available
From the perspective of ethnography of communication, this study attempts to identify and look into the significance of language and its use in politics. The focus is on politics in Ghana and how language was used in campaigns and rhetoric of two major political parties (the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC)) in t...
Article
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What strategies does a female writer develop to overcome her anxiety of correcting the moral decadence in her society? Inappropriate as the use of pornography and profanity must have always seemed, Amma Darko has managed to put some positive and meritorious spins on them and seriously use them. In this paper, we examine how in two books, Beyond the...
Article
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This paper sets out to look into the 'CCV' syllable structure of Akan, specifically 'CrV', as to whether or not the seeming consonant cluster is phonological in the language. Following Dolphyne (1988), we attempt to discuss the issue with the claim that the 'CrV' structure of Akan is only a phonetic/surface realization through economy of expression...
Article
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This paper discusses the interaction between constituent formation and alteration of sounds (i.e.,morphophonology) in Akan reduplicated verb-forms. Specifically, we strive to look into two issues; themorphology of reduplicated verb stems and how the morphological manifestation(s) affect certain target sounds.With its morphology, we observe that red...
Article
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This paper examines graphemic and lexical borrowings in Twi for Academic Purposes (TAP). Textbooks written in Asante Twi by some renowned scholars in the language constituted the dataset for this study. The textbooks were read and all instances of anglicisms or English features borrowed into Twi were collected. The borrowed-features were identified...
Chapter
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic swept through the world with severe impacts on all spheres of human life. In the higher education sector, the pandemic distorted academic calendars and upended many activities such as examinations and graduation ceremonies. This chapter examines various institutional risk management strategies for teaching and learning that we...
Chapter
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic swept through the world with severe impacts on all spheres of human life. In the higher education sector, the pandemic distorted academic calendars and upended many activities such as examinations and graduation ceremonies. This chapter examines various institutional risk management strategies for teaching and learning that we...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human interactions deeply affected the sense of humour of individuals. Using a social media research approach, this article analyses social media data in order to understand how social media users related with COVID-19. We sought to address the various events that generated humour among Ghanaians during the pa...
Article
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In the context of speech act, one may ordinarily want to communicate with the other in a natural and coherent manner in order to generate and to give information. Such information delivery in speech is obviously expected to have a desirable adjacency relation within the confines of the communication channel, so that the interlocutors could achieve...
Book
Full-text available
Nkutahodie ne adesua yԑ adeԑ a ԑhia pa ara wↄ ayarehwԑ mu na ԑhia sԑ ayarefoↄ bԑsi apↄmuden gyinaeԑ a edi mu a ԑfa aduyԑ ne apↄmuden ho afutuo a wↄbԑtie ho. Saa nwoma yi botaeԑ ne sԑ adↄkotafoↄ, ani yareԑ ho anԑԑsefoↄ, ani yareԑ ho adↄkotafoↄ, adehunu adwumayԑfoↄ, afutufoↄ ne apɔmuden adwumayԑfoↄ de bԑdi dwuma na aboa wↄne ayarefoↄ, awofoↄ, abusuaf...
Book
Full-text available
Kenneth Youngstein na ɔtwerɛɛ nwoma yi. Earlswurld Ventures na ɔdwii mu mfonin.
Article
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The 2016 General Elections of Ghana arguably passes as one which was fiercely contested and witnessed the most intemperate language. The stakes were very high as the two leading parties in Ghana; National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patritotic Party (NPP) were each poised for victory. This situation created a futile ground for all forms o...
Research Proposal
English-medium instruction in West African higher education: a critical overview - Conceptual/historical/sociological background to EMI - Overview/ state of the art/EMI West Africa - Country profiles: History, practice, policy, challenges, outcomes: Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone versus Senegal, Benin, Togo (my country suggestions) - Conclusion: comm...
Article
Full-text available
Ghana is seriously reeling under the weight of the scourge of the COVID-19; while the scientists are doing their best to provide information concerning the dos and don’ts of the disease, its communication to the people has been a huge problem. This paper uses the qualitative research approach and the Performance and Communication theories to invest...
Article
Full-text available
Decent use of language has been a common trademark in communication. It is such an aspect of human development that has been an important part in our societies since time immemorial. In recent times, this practice has contemptuously gone amiss due to our demanding need for democratic development. Recent development in politics in Ghana has witnesse...
Article
Full-text available
Decent use of language has been a common trademark in communication. It is such an aspect of human development that has been an important part in our societies since time immemorial. In recent times, this practice has contemptuously gone amiss due to our demanding need for democratic development. Recent development in politics in Ghana has witnesse...
Article
Full-text available
Ghana’s education system has gone through several reforms in the post-independence period in the bid to increase access, ensure equity and quality at all levels (basic to tertiary). However, these goals seem to be a mirage especially on issues concerning quality at the secondary and tertiary levels. Against this backdrop, it has become imperative t...
Article
Full-text available
This work discusses the processes of celebrating funerals among the Akan people, some Akan belief systems and modern trends that have evolved in funeral ceremonies. It also demonstrates the complexities involved in organizing the funeral from the day of death culminating into the celebration of the final funeral rite. The actual purpose of funeral...
Article
Full-text available
Ghana’s education system has gone through several reforms in the post-independence period in the bid to increase access, ensure equity and quality at all levels (basic to tertiary). However, these goals seem to be a mirage especially on issues concerning quality at the secondary and tertiary levels. Against this backdrop, it has become imperative t...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Among the Paasaala people in the Upper West Region of Ghana who speak paasaali, dirge performance and the execution of the tale go hand in hand; the two genres complement each other. This paper investigates the close relationship between tales and dirges and establishes some of the reasons that bind them together in the Paasaala funeral co...
Article
Full-text available
Among the Paasaala people in the Upper West Region of Ghana who speak paasaali, dirge performance and the execution of the tale go hand in hand; the two genres complement each other. This paper investigates the close relationship between tales and dirges and establishes some of the reasons that bind them together in the Paasaala funeral context. By...
Research
Full-text available
Ghana Journal of Linguistics 7.2 (2018) Special Issue Dedicated to Professor Florence Abena Dolphyne The Ghana Journal of Linguistics is a double-blind peer-reviewed scholarly journal appearing twice a year, published by the Linguistics Association of Ghana.
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses two issues in nominal and verbal reduplications in Akan, a language which is widely spoken in Ghana. These are the respective morphotactic structures of the two reduplications and the claim that an asymmetry obtains between nominal and verbal reduplications in the language. The issues are discussed in connection with a distinct...
Article
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The Bible has been with Christians for several years now. It is the source of authority for Christians on matters of morality. However, less attention has been paid to its benefits for Christians and the entire human race on matters of disease and medications. This point of view article points out the useful medical recommendations in the Bible and...
Article
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The study addresses the question of lack of in-depth study of the efficacy of words in the indigenous Ghanaian healing practices which makes the healing process a success. It examines the significance of words, not just in our daily lives but specifically in the healing process. It highlights how indigenous medical practices have continued to be in...
Article
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Many scholars – e.g. Glover (2005), Sekyi-Baidoo (2006) and Falkum (2010) – have expressed some concerns about Word Sense Multiplicity (WSM), which explains multiple meanings as part of a word. In other words, WSM is an integral part of any natural language including Akan on which this paper concentrates. As Agyekum (2002; 2005) and Levin (1993) ob...
Presentation
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This paper is an invited presentation made to the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) Annual Conference 2017 at Manso Nkwanta (April 6, 2017) and Nkawie (April 11, 2017).
Article
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This paper presents a literary study into certain circumstantial names in the Sisaala culture. These circumstantial names are purely political in nature since they relate to how traditional authority is obtained and used in the Sisaala traditional setting. By using the theory of onomastics, the researchers are able to filter the history, values, ae...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the focus and topic constructions of Akan in connection with the phonology-syntax interface. It observes the categorial structure of the two constructions and particularly looks into an antecedent-anaphor (anaphoric) relationship that arises in the constructions. From the perspective of the understanding that phonology, through...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we observe that Amma Darko's The Housemaid (1998) and Faceless (2003) and Ama Ata Aidoo's The Girl who Can (1998) are defined by their overt call for change in the current perception accorded old women. In these works, there is seen a clear interrogation of patriarchy, woman-on-woman violence, passivity in women and conservative adhe...
Article
Full-text available
Many scholars – e.g. Glover (2005), Sekyi-Baidoo (2006) and Falkum (2010) – have expressed some concerns about Word Sense Multiplicity (WSM), which explains multiple meanings as part of a word. In other words, WSM is an integral part of any natural language including Akan on which this paper concentrates. As Agyekum (2002; 2005) and Levin (1993) ob...
Research
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This articles reviews the book 'The Akan Noun Phrase: Its Structure and Meaning' by Prof. Lawrence Boadi, which gives an insightful look at the noun phrase in Akan.
Article
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This paper discusses compound constructions in Akan, which are mostly nouns. Compounding is generally explained as a morphosyntactic word-formation process and the resulting compound word is commonly described as a ‘new’ linguistic unit (Haspelmath 2002; Marfo 2009, etc.). The paper focuses on Noun-Noun (N-N) and Noun-Adjective (N-Adj) compounds in...
Article
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This paper studies the literary and linguistic features of some proverbs and riddles in Akan. We assembled data from oral and documented sources, with which we attempt to identify various categories of sounds through linguistic and literary means. Furthermore, we distinguish the intrinsic qualities of sounds in Akan proverbs and riddles. We also id...
Book
Full-text available
Language barrier negatively affects patient-clinician communication. One of the sources of confidentiality breaches in medical practice is through the use of untrained interpreters during medical consultations. Where confidentiality cannot be assured, patients will often keep valuable information from their health care providers. This is true when...
Article
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The use of particular constructions in Akan may be regarded as semantically incorrect through Feature Theory (e.g. Kaplan & Bresnan (1982)) and (semantic) feature analysis (e.g. Dalrymple et al. (1995), (Aitchison 2002)); i.e. they fail to conform to some semantic restrictions. We observe that, normally, this incorrectness is due to clash of featur...
Article
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This paper presents a study of how humor impact the workplace and individual creativity following the position that humor is an important part of corporate environment and quality of human personality (e.g. Bleedorn (1987), Plester (2009)). Workers of an advertising agency are observed with regards to the use of humor and its affects their relation...
Presentation
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Workshop
Conference Paper
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This paper examines the efficacy of words or language as a healing therapy in healing circles with a particular focus on Akan-speaking content. Attention is also paid to specific Akan phrases or words, their etymology and essence in healing traditions. Some words or chants used by the indigenous healer (noted as words/language of magic) have been c...
Presentation
Full-text available
Raising our children with all good intentions and purposes
Article
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There is no gainsaying the fact that besides the physical requirements of food and shelter, man has another fundamental need, the need to communicate with his fellow human beings. The urge for communication is natural, primal and, in our modern interdependent world, a necessity. Indeed, our social life revolves around communication since it is the...
Article
Full-text available
The Akan people of Ghana have a number of coined symbols that express various forms of information based on socio-cultural knowledge. These symbols of expression are collectively called àdìǹkrá. There are related symbols of oral orientation that seem to play the same role as àdìǹkrá. In this paper, we explore the àdìǹkrá symbols and the related one...
Article
Full-text available
This essay establishes the relationship between the title of the novel The Housemaid given by its author, Amma Darko, and the informational content of the text. It is observed in discussions that, among competing themes/titles and considering the significance of titling, the author's choice is apt. As the essay indicates, the aptness is explained b...
Article
Full-text available
Conflict is a normal and natural part of our workplaces and lives. As people with diverse background come together in a working environment, differences in opinion, attitudes and beliefs are bound to occur as they interact. How such differences are managed determines the impact they can have on productivity and therefore organizational goals. Recog...
Book
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Introduction This book, Let’s Speak Twi: A Proficiency Course in Akan Language and Culture, is the outcome of many years of teaching and research on the Akan language and culture by the authors. In September 2002, we started teaching at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), as part of a comprehensive research programme in African languages at the Depa...
Article
Full-text available
The issue that is looked into in this paper is whet her or not the CCV syllable structure in Akan involves a true consonant cluster . Following Dolphyne (1988), an attempt is made to discuss the issue with the claim that Akan does not have a basic CCV structure, but only a surface realization of it . It is explained that the surface CCV is motivate...
Article
Full-text available
Earlier research indicates that the majority of African languages exhibit noun class systems (e.g. Heine et al. 1981; Bodomo 1994; Creissels 2000). A language may be said to have a noun class system if its nouns can be categorized according to a system of affixal markings on the nouns. A major issue is how to evolve a coherent set of criteria for e...
Article
Full-text available
Writing technology is a central issue for Human Language Technology (HLT) both in terms of theory and actual implementation. Two issues that neatly divide theory and practical implementation are what and how to represent. What to represent takes us into the realm of linguistic analysis. Once the question of what to represent is answered reasonably...
Article
Full-text available
Wh-question fronting and focus constructions III Akan have three structural characteristics in common: constituent fronting, introduction of a clitic morpheme after the fronted constituent, and pronoun resumption in a canonical clause position. In comparing these constructions to each other and to related canonical constructions, one is confronted...
Article
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Title proper from title frame. Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hong Kong, 2005. Text (Electronic book) Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Article
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Based on where and how phonological rules apply, studies in Lexical Phonology (Mohanan 1986; Kiparsky 1985; Pulleyblank 1986; etc.) distinguish between two levels in the phonology; namely, lexical and post-lexical. At the post-lexical level, the various phonological rules normally require particular domains, without which they fail to apply. The qu...

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Projects (10)
Project
In Akan, posession is generally marked by a H tone that overtly reflects on the stem initial syllable of the possessed; e.g. Kofi (‘a name’; possessum) and pàpà (‘fan’; possesed) becomes Kofi pápà. Where the possessed noun is one from the kinship class of nouns, however, the H tone fails to reflect on the said syllable or any other. Arguing from the position that some aspects of culture play a role in aspects of linguistics, this paper explains that the non-realization of the possessive marker in the case of possessed kinship nouns is due to the fact that kinship class nouns in Akan are inherently possessed per the cultural or world view of the language and its speakers. The paper therefore describes the kinship nouns in the language as possessive-inherent and contends that, because of their nature, a reflection of the overt possessive marker on them only indicates a duplication of content, which renders such a realization of structure ill-formed. The examination, explanation and analysis of data will be done through autosegmental analysis.