Don urges revitalisation of indigenous languages 

A professor of Onomastics and Sociolinguistics at Redeemer’s University, Ede, in Osun state, Idowu Odebode, has called for the revitalisation of indigenous languages to protect them from extinction.

Odebode made the call while delivering the 13th inaugural lecture of the university on Friday in Ede.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture has as its theme “From Revitalisation To Bastardisation Towards Attrition’ Reflections On Linguistic Onomastics”.

The don who noted that indigenous languages had been “bastardised”, said that it was not too late to revitalise them.

According to him, factors responsible for indigenous language bastardisation include borrowing and adapting word elements from a foreign languages to create dialects.

“Though linguistic traits like barbarism and bastardisation may be seen as a natural process of language evolution and adaptation, they can also be viewed as a threat to linguistic purity and cultural identity.

“With over 450 ethnic languages spoken in the country, linguistic diversity makes language bastardisation widespread in Nigeria.

“Just as a country that refuses to grow its economy through local production of goods and services collapsed because it depends on borrowing and foreign aid, so does a language that depends on foreign system,” he said.

The don however, recommended that parents should begin to speak indigenous languages to their children as part of efforts to revitalise them.

He also said primary and tertiary institutions should include indigenous language in their curricula.

The don also recommended that the government should hire more indigenous language teachers and make the study of the indigenous language free in higher institutions. (NAN)