Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Language endangerment in Nigeria: focus on small ethnolinguistic communities in Niger State

Rafiu K. Adewale, Boluwaji Oshodi


This paper examines the level of endangerment of Ura, Lupa, Kaami, Bangi, Gelanci, and Asu languages spoken in Niger State, Nigeria. The scope covered includes frequency of their use in some vital domains like home, marketplaces, relaxation centres, among others. We have used the term ‘very small’ in this work to designate languages that are spoken by less than ten thousand (10,000) speakers. Edwards’ (1992) model of analysis as modified by Grenoble and Whaley (1999) was used as our theoretical model. Our research instruments were questionnaire, interviews and observations. The study concludes that the major challenges of the ‘very small’ languages in Niger State are the size of their speakers and their restricted domains of use. The paper suggests that adequate provision for indigenous language use in pre-primary and primary school would go a long way in strengthening and
revitalizing the languages.

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