Towards a Language-Based Typology of Church Names in Ghana

Osei Yaw Akoto ORCID iD  &  Juliet Oppong- Asare Ansah ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.3  No.4 November 2021 Article 3 pp. 77-87
DOI :   |   Published online 25th November, 2021.
© 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


Over the years, scholars have sought to provide language-based typologies of names, but while attempts have been made for some sub-branches of onomastics such as anthroponymy and toponymy, there is arguably none for ecclesionymy (the study of church names). Consequently, this paper sought to provide a language based typology of the hitherto underexplored area of church names. Data of names of churches in Ghana was built for the present study. Adopting content analysis as the analytical approach, the study realized that church names in Ghana are generally homogenous and heterogeneous linguistically. It was also realized that homogenous/unilingual church names involved English only, Akan only and Ewe only. On the other hand, the heterogeneous church names comprised two types: bilingual and trilingual church names, which contained varied language permutations from the three spheres in Osei Yaw Akoto’s classification of languages in Ghana. The paper concludes by making some recommendations for language-in-religion policy in Ghana.

Keywords: Church names, Ecclesionymy, Glocal language, Unilingual

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Osei Yaw Akoto (PhD) is a lecturer in the Department of English, Faculty of Social Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He holds B.A (Hons) in English Language and Philosophy; M.Phil. and PhD in English Language, all from the University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana. He teaches courses like English for Academic Purposes, Sociolinguistics, Discourse Studies and Error Analysis. His research interest include Linguistic Landscape, Onomastics, Corpus Linguistics and Academic Discourse. His recent publication appeared in Word.

Juliet Oppong-Asare Ansah is a lecturer in the Department of Language and Communication Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. She holds Bachelor of Education in Psychology and Master of Philosophy in Ghanaian Language (both from the University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast Ghana). Currently, she is a PhD candidate in Linguistics at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra-Ghana. She has been teaching courses like Semantics, Aesthetics of Oral Literature, Translation, Creative Writing, Pragmatics and Akan Written Expression. Her research interest include Ethnographic Linguistics, Diachronic Studies, Semantics and its interfaces, Language Contact and Translation Studies.

Akoto O.Y. & Ansah J.O.A, “Towards a Language-Based Typology of Church Names in Ghana,” Journal of Mother-Tongue Biblical Hermeneutics and Theology 3, no.4(2021): 77-87.

© 2021 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (