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Vanishing Languages in Context

Ideological, Attitudinal and Social Identity Perspectives


Edited By Martin Pütz and Neele Mundt

This volume grew out of the 36 th International LAUD Symposium, which was held in March 2014 at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Landau, Germany. There is general consensus among language experts that slightly more than half of today’s 7,000 languages are under severe threat of extinction even within fifty to one hundred years. The 13 papers contained in this volume explore the dramatic loss of linguistic diversity, why this matters, and what can be done and achieved to document and support endangered languages especially in the context of an ever increasing globalized world. The issue of vanishing languages is discussed from a variety of methodologies and perspectives: sociolinguistics, language ecology, language contact, language policy/planning, attitudes and linguistic inequalities.
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Gideon Sunday Omachonu - Language endangerment in Northern Nigeria: The case of Igala


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Gideon Sunday Omachonu

Nasarawa State University, Keffi-Nigeria

Language endangerment in Northern Nigeria: The case of Igala

Abstract Language endangerment in Nigeria is no longer a mere strong possibility but a stark reality. Considering the criteria-language development and linguistic description- most languages in Nigeria are endangered. This is so because even the so-called fairly highly documented and/or analysed Nigerian languages cannot compete favourably with well-researched European and Asian languages. Even as it may be observed that language endangerment is generally a common phenomenon in Nigeria, the threat is more in northern Nigeria than any part of the country. Therefore using a descriptive survey and a review of relevant literature, the present study examines language endangerment in Northern Nigeria generally: the degree, the dimensions and the reasons for such endangerment especially the worst-case scenarios. It also investigates language endangerment in Igala as a specific case study also in terms of the degree, the dimensions and the reasons for the endangerment. It assesses language endangerment in northern Nigeria in the light of certain frightening predictions and/or assertions; discusses how realistically the predictions/assertions may apply to the languages in northern Nigeria including Igala and concludes that some of the assertions or predictions might have been bloated unnecessarily. Even at that, the study suggests relevant actions on the part of the owners of the affected languages, the practising linguists particularly those in the region, and the respective governments in order to minimize worst cases of language...

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