From Linguistic Repression to Revitalization: The Igbo Language Case

Chinweude Nwakaego Ugochukwu

Abstract


Language endangerment is presently one of the humanity’s greatest cultural challenges, posing enormous scientific and humanist problems. Many indigenous languages have become endangered due to linguistic repression caused by colonization, in which the original language is replaced by that of the colonist. It is sad to note that after a long time of gaining independence from the colonial masters, most indigenous languages are still being repressed by the owners of the language themselves. An increasing number of communities are giving up their language by their own choice. Many believe that their children will not acquire a professional qualification if they teach them tribal languages. This paper examines the level of post-colonial repression bedeviling indigenous languages using Igbo language as case study. The work suggests practical steps to the revitalization of the Igbo language. The paper also calls for more spirited efforts in saving the Igbo language not only as a special gift from God, but most importantly as part of our country’s natural resources which could be consumed locally or exported to other countries.


Keywords


Colonization, Indigenous Language Repression, Igbo Language Case, Revitalization

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References


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