Towards the Intellectualization of Fulfulde as a Lingua Franca in the Far North Region: Challenges and Prospects (Published)
Fulfulde is undoubtedly one of the most developed and expansively used indigenous languages in the Northern Regions of Cameroon. The status and use of Fulfulde has grown widely with the political, religious, social and economic growth of people who use it for various purposes. Currently, it is one of the most dominant languages in Cameroon with several forms of prestige attached to it. Since it is usually a very daunting task to choose one language in a multilingual setting and empower it to be used for ‘official purposes’ because of peoples’ strong attachment to their language, this study sets out to find out which of the languages could be intellectualized in the Far North. Data was collected through informal participant observation and a thirteen-item questionnaire administered to a random selection of 176 respondents from different age groups. The findings revealed that 120 (69.4%) preferred Fulfulde to be intellectualized and the preference of more than half of the respondents 111(68.9%) was also due to the fact that the language is widely spoken in the region. Given that the results were quite different from what is normally expected in most multicultural settings, this paper therefore argues for Fulfulde to be given due prominence through intellectualization.