Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

An assessment of indigenous nigerian languages and factors of language endangerment: can the indigenous languages survive?

Boluwaji Oshodi


There have been serious concerns over the endangerment of small and indigenous languages all over the world. These languages are fast losing their domain and functions, which signals their impending death. This study examines the degree of the endangerment of a group of some related speech forms tagged Arigidi Cluster spoken in small communities in South-West Nigeria. The study was conducted in line with the UNESCO expert model designed specifically for measuring the endangerment level of any language. Findings from data collected through interviews with native speakers of the speech forms revealed that they are critically endangered because their speakers now prefer Yoruba and English to the speech forms due to social factors. This study further confirmed the fears being expressed over the possible death of several worlds’ languages in the next century. The study concluded that saving languages like those under Arigidi Cluster will definitely be a herculean task.

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