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2007 | 43 | 1 | 169-180
Article title

A Democratic IGBO Orthography

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Selected contents from this journal
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EN
Abstracts
EN
From the earliest attempt at Igbo codification by the protestant missionaries and the Igbo exslaves resettled in Sierra Leone to the present day, Igbo orthography is associated with criticisms, suspicion and conflicts (Ogbo 1984; Achebe 1984; Capo 1990; Uwalaka 2001; Ugorji 2003, 2005, etc.). While the introduction of the official Onwu orthography of 1961 seemed to have resolved the seven-decade fiendish orthography controversy which bedevilled the development of the language, it actually only resolved those controversies that came along religious lines involving the Roman and Protestant Missions. This study identifies two other problems, namely the linguistic and the sociological, that are yet outstanding: hence the recent and sustained complaints about literary constraints, dialect exclusion (detailed in Ugorji 2003, among others) and the diversionary linguistic engineering involving the dialects of Izii, Ezaa, Ikwo, Ikwere, Ika, etc. Following the imperatives of the new world democratic order (Emenanjo 2002), this paper suggests a democratic and integrated orthography, built on the principles that preserve citizens' personal and collective linguistic rights as well as linguistic and cultural diversity. In Ugorji (2003), the principles for language and dialect vitality are outlined; the concern of the present work is to show how the tenets are implemented in Igbo graphisation as a case in point. More importantly, it is an effort to demonstrate how language or dialect vitality option proves to be a solution to conflicts associated with language or dialect, and a means to implement the democratic demands for sociolinguistic equity, enunciated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights (1996), the Declaration of Rights of Persons Belonging to National, Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (1992), among others, which seek to assert the rights of individuals and communities.
Publisher
Year
Volume
43
Issue
1
Pages
169-180
Physical description
Dates
published
2007-08-01
online
2007-08-07
Contributors
author
  • Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
References
  • Achebe, C. 1984. "Editorial and linguistic problems in Aka Weta: A comment". Uwa Ndi Igbo 1. 94-95.
  • Capo, B.C.H. 1990. "Comparative linguistics and language engineering in Africa". In Emenanjo, E.N. (ed.). 1-9.
  • Comrie, B. 2005. "Writing systems". In Haspelmath, M., M.S. Dryer, D. Gil and B. Comrie (eds.), The world atlas of language structures. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 568-571.
  • Crowley, D.P. 1968. "The Keaukaha model for mainstream dialect instruction". Language and Learning 18. 125-138.
  • Elugbe, O.B. 1990. "National language and national development". In Emenanjo, E.N. (ed.). 10-19.
  • Emenanjo, E.N. (ed.). 1990. Multilingualism, minority languages and language policy in Nigeria. Agbor: Central Books.
  • Emenanjo, E.N. 2002. Language policies and cultural identities. Paper presented at the World Congress on Language Policies, Barcelona, 16-20 March 2002.
  • Lutz, N.M. 1995. Colonization, decolonization and ‘integration’: Language policies in East Timor, Indonesia. Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, 20 November 1991. (Revised 1995.)
  • Mmadike, I.B. 2000 "The bidialectal approach in primary school education". Journal of Nigerian languages and Culture 2. 95-100.
  • Nwachukwu, P. A. 1983. Towards an Igbo literary standard. London: Kegan Paul.
  • Ogbo, O. 1984 "Saving the Igbo language". Uwa Ndi Igbo 1. 103-104.
  • Oyelaran, O.O. 1990 "Language, marginalization and national development in Nigeria". In Emenanjo, E.N. (ed.). 20-30.
  • Ugorji, C.U.C. 2000. "Revising the Igbo syllable structure". Research in African Languages and Linguistics 6(1). 61-75.
  • Ugorji, C.U.C. 2002. "The structure of syllables in Mbieri: A multilinear approach". KIABARA: Journal of Humanities [University of Port Harcourt] 8(2). 89-99.
  • Ugorji, C.U.C. 2003. "Dialect communities and language vitality". In Ndimele, O.M. (ed.), The linguistic paradise: A festschrift for E. Nolue Emenanjo. Aba: National Institute for Nigerian Languages. 149-158.
  • Ugorji, C.U.C. 2005. "Igbo language, endangerment and empowerment". In Ndimele, O.M. (ed.), A festschrift for Professor P.A. Nwachukwu. 161-170.
  • Uwajeh, M.K.C. 2002. Beyond generative grammar: A course in performative linguistics. Ibadan: Spectrum Books.
  • Uwalaka, A. 2001. "The anguish of Igbo as a mother tongue: Internal and external conflicts". In Igboanusi, H. (ed.), Language attitude and language conflict in West Africa. Ibadan: Enicrowfit Publishers. 50-67.
  • Williamson, K. 1984. Practical orthography in Nigeria. Ibadan: Heinemann.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.doi-10_2478_v10010-007-0009-0
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