IGBO LANGUAGE AS A CRUCIAL INSTRUMENT FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

AUTHOR: ARINZE AGBANUSI

FROM IN THE PERSPECTIVES OF LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE: ESSAYS IN HONOUR OF R.U. UZOEZIE

EDITED BY: NGOZI EZENWA-OHAETO and IFEYINWA J. OGBAZI

One basic distinction of man from other animals is a high level of rationality, involving clear verbal language or speech Man thinks and expresses himself in language. Language therefore, is one aspect of rationality that is peculiar to man- it is a human activity. The English language is generally believed to be the most widely spoken language in the World today Incidentally, it is also the lingua franca in Nigeria. Besides English, Nigeria is estimated to have over two hundred ethnic languages.  The major three among them are Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. But the problem is that while the Hausa and Yoruba languages can be said to be progressing, as their range of acceptability (even by their non-native ,speakers) increases with time; the story is different with the Igbo language which dwindles day by-day; irrespective of the fact that it promises to be a crucial tool for national development, especially considering its commercial background, This paper, therefore, addresses the problem, with a view to resuscitating and repositioning the Igbo language to assume this all important role.

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