Language Use and Language Maintenance in Ọ́lọ̀wà, Dèkínà Local Government Area, Kògí State, Nigeria

Abstract

This study investigated language use and language maintenance in Ọ́lòwà, Dèkínà Local Government Area, Kògí State, Nigeria with a view to identifying the factors responsible for the use or non-use of the languages in contact, namely Ígálà, Bàssà-Ngé, and Bàssà-Kómǒ, and how the factors manifest across different socio-cultural groups in the community. Fishman’s theory on the relationship between micro- and macro-sociolinguistics, which centres around who speaks what language to whom and when, was used. One hundred respondents from each of the three language groups totaling three hundred respondents representing the different age groups, sexes, and socio-cultural classes were selected through random sampling. The data were analyzed using simple percentage to determine the extent of language use and language maintenance. The findings show that each respondent is proficient in his or her native language and in the dominant language, Ígálà. Factors responsible for this include ethnic identity consciousness, inter-ethnic relations such as marriage, economic, communal and other socio-cultural activities. Another factor is religion. This work adds to our existing knowledge of how the three languages used in the community have co-existed without any of them being endangered

Keywords: Language, Language use, Multilingualism, Proficiency, language maintenance


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 13-27 (Download PDF)

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