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Ayo Bamgbose

EMAIL: ybamgbose2@yahoo.com
PHONE: 08033187320
ADDRESS: Department of Linguistics and African Languages, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
MEMBERSHIP STATUS: Foundation Fellow
POST HELD: Foundation President, September 1998 – August 2000
Executive Committee, 1998 to date
Ibadan Working Group, 1999 to date

INSTITUTIONAL AFFILIATION: University of Ibadan, Ibadan
SPECIALTIES: Linguistics, English Language, Yoruba Language and Literature, Language Education


  • Lecturer, University of Ibadan 1963-1966
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Ibadan 1966-1968
  • Professor, University of Ibadan 1968-1990
  • Visiting Professor, Hamburg University, Germany 1979-1980
  • Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge U.K. 1987-1988
  • George A. Miller Visiting Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA 1993-1994
  • Professor Emeritus, University of Ibadan, 1994
  • Visiting Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA 1994-1995
  • Visiting Professor, University of Leipzig, Germany 1997-1999

Grants that I participated in include:
(i) the Ford Foundation Grant of $140,000 in 1966 and $75,000 in 1972 to the West African Linguistic Society. In fact, as Secretary-Treasurer of the Society in 1965-1972, I was responsible for administering the grants.
(ii) the UNESCO Grant to the Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria 1981 for the compilation of a Yoruba Dictionary.
My International Collaboration includes activities in the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), Permanent International Committee of Linguists (CIPL), International Association of World Englishes (IAWE) and World Congress of African Languages (WOCAL).

The two most important instances of community service that I have been involved in are educational. In my hometown where only a primary school was available and children had to go long distances for secondary school education, I motivated the establishment of a secondary school, chaired the building committee and later the Board of Governors. This school, Odopotu Community Grammar School, began its operation in 1979 and it is now over 40 years old. When I extended my residential building in the town, I made available a borehole for the use of the community.
The second major project I was involved in is the establishment in 2005 of Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo. Being an old boy of St. Andrew’s College, I participated actively in persuading the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in the West to sponsor the University. As President of St. Andrew’s Old Boys Association, I served on the various University committees, including the Governing Council. I also led my Association to erect two buildings on the St. Andrew’s Campus of the University.


Renowned linguist, scholar, teacher of teachers, and relentless advocate of empowerment of African languages, Ayo Bamgbose is the first African Professor of Linguistics (1968) and acclaimed Doyen of African Linguistics. Among his many honours and distinctions are: the only African linguist to have served on the Executive Committee of CIPL (the world body of linguists) from 1977-2013 and Second Vice-President 2003-2013, first African President of the West African Linguistic Society (1976 – 1982), first and, so far, only African linguist to be accorded Honorary Membership of the Linguistic Society of America, (1984), first African President of the International Association of World Englishes, (2000 – 2002), Foundation President and Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, (1998 – 2000), Foundation President of the Assembly of Academicians, African Academy of Languages, (ACALAN)(2009 – 2017), Nigerian Hall of Fame for Letters (2010) and sole recipient of the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) in 1990. Ayo Bamgbose is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics and recipient of D. Litt (honoris causa) 2017 of the University of Ibadan.

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