A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF LANGUAGE CHOICE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS IN SELECTED MULTILINGUAL SPEECH COMMUNITIES IN NIGERIA

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A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF LANGUAGE CHOICE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS IN SELECTED MULTILINGUAL SPEECH COMMUNITIES IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

Multilingual speech communities may appear similar on the surface yet they are different in several respects. These differences are not visibly manifest until they are investigated. In this regard therefore, the study has selected three (3) multilingual speech communities across three geo-political zones of Nigeria for comparison which are Billiri in North-East, Sabongida-Ora in South-South and Zuru in North-West. The aim is to ascertain whether the selected speech communities share common characteristics or are divergent in their use of language and also to determine whether or not multilingualism produces similar implications in all the settings. In this regard, Howard Giles‟ Communication Accommodation Theory has been adopted as the framework for this study. The survey method was used to obtain data from the respondents while questionnaire and interview were employed as instruments of data collection in addition to non-participant observation. The findings reveal that the selected speech communities share certain characteristics while they equally differ in varying degrees in respect of factors constraining language choice and motivation for acquisition of additional languages. The study has established that minority speech communities in North-West and North-East are more vulnerable and more likely to lose their languages faster than their counterparts in South South parts of Nigeria. The study therefore recommends that more attention should be devoted by linguists to studying such communities with a view to adopting measures to prevent extinction of minority languages in the affected geo-political zones.

 

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF LANGUAGE CHOICE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS IN SELECTED MULTILINGUAL SPEECH COMMUNITIES IN NIGERIA

 

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