Inter-religious relations in Yorubaland, Nigeria: corpus methods and anthropological survey data

Insa Nolte, Clyde Ancarno, Rebecca Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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This article uses corpus methods to support the analysis of data collected as part of a large-scale ethnographic project focused on inter-religious relations in southwest Nigeria. Our corpus is formed of answers to the open-ended questions of a survey. The paper explores how people in the Yoruba-speaking southwest region of Nigeria, predominantly Muslims and Christians, manage their religious differences. Through this analysis of inter-religious relations, the paper demonstrates how corpus linguistics can assist analyses of text-based data gathered in anthropological research. However, our study also highlights the necessity of using anthropological methods and knowledge to adequately interpret corpus outputs.

We carry out three types of analyses: keyness analysis, collocation analysis and concordance analysis. These analyses allow us to determine the ‘aboutness’ of our corpus. Four themes emerge: 1) religion; 2) co-operation, tolerance and shared communal values such as ‘Yoruba-ness’; 3) social identities and hierarchies; 4) the expression of boundaries and personal dislike of other religious practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-64
Number of pages38
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • corpus-assisted discourse analysis
  • Muslims
  • inter-religious
  • Nigeria
  • Yoruba
  • Christians
  • anthropology


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