The Role of Indigenous Languages in National Development: A Case Study of Nigerian Linguistic Situation

Anthony Ayodele Olaoye


Indigenous languages are indispensable cultural legacies without which all forms of human interactions can be carried out. National development is the development of individuals in a nation. Individuals can develop educationally, socially, politically, economically, and culturally through interaction with government agencies that disseminate policies through various indigenous languages. Development indices such as internal cohesion, integration, unity, economic wellbeing and citizens’ participation in governance are promoted through indigenous languages. Based on these assertions, the author studied the current linguistic situations in Nigeria and found that native languages play fundamental role on issues  such as democracy, technology, metalanguage and linguistic globalization .There are however some challenges in the optimum  utilization of these mother tongues. The major problems being orthographic inadequacy,the multiplicity of minority languages, linguistic desertification and deforestation and  language endangerment.The author then suggests a way forward.



Indigenous/endoglossic languages, exoglossic languages, metalanguage, endangerment, documentation, decamillionaire languages, linguistic desertification/deforestation

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