NIGERIAN LANGUAGES AND IT'S ENDANGERMENT: A WAY FORWARD

Zebulon C. Iwuala (PhD)

Abstract


This paper examines the phenomenon of language endangerment and the way it impacts upon the non-major (minority) languages in Nigeria. It proposes ways to avert such endangerment. It tries to find out how many of these languages in Nigeria are endangered or deprived or dying. Effort is made to establish what causes language endangerment: like strife, language disloyalty, migration, natural disaster, diseases/epidemics, lack of orthography, lack of written literature, economic and political reasons, and obnoxious language policies which permit exclusion. The paper tries to provide answers to pertinent questions relating to endangerment: for example should any language for whatever reason be allowed to go extinct in a multilingual/ multicultural State like Nigeria? What are the consequences of such death to the country? The paper finally suggests what should be done to avert the endangerment of minority languages.


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