STATUS STRUGGLE EVALUATION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND THE INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES IN NIGERIA

STATUS STRUGGLE EVALUATION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND THE INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

The presence and the use of the English language in Nigeria has been seen as a threat to the indigenous languages. The truth lies in the fact that Nigeria has adopted the language of her colonial master and has given it priority over the indigenous languages that were in existence before her existence. This act can lead to loss of identity as language is not only a means of communication but an aspect of a people’s identity. However, the awareness of this danger and the proclamation of UNESCO that the Igbo language will go into extinct in fifty (50) years, beginning from 2001 if nothing is done to revive the language have made Nigerians in the Diaspora engage in the struggle of dethroning the English language and restoring the indigenous languages to what they used to be before the coming of the British.  Therefore, this research is anchored on key issues such as language and identity struggle, the national language question, the status of English in Nigeria, the status and struggle of the indigenous languages in Nigeria and the struggle for status recognition in the language of Nigerian literature, especially fictional prose. It justifies through a rationalistic view that the English language will win in the struggle if things remain the way they are.