ENGLISH LINGUICISM AND LANGUAGE LOSS: A CASE STUDY OF YORUBA LANGUAGE USE AMONG STUDENTS OF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY AND ADEYEMI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background to the Study

Language is a human phenomenon that goes way beyond it’s immediate semiotic possibility to be a diverse sociological factor in which the people’s historical, political, cultural memory and behaviour is encapsulated. From a certain language use one can tell another’s social and cultural background and also the strings of events that has shaped the persons personality. For this reason, it is seen that language affects the people as much as the people affect a language.

Usually, the longer the event experienced by the said language users the more solidified the affects on them are by language and the clearer it is evident in the language. In a more political event like colonialism which always goes beyond a political factor to shaping the people’s attitude to life but also shaping the people’s attitude to their own native language especially to the point of disadvantaging the native language.

This disadvantage is as a result of the social significance the new language has come to stand for thereby relegating the native language to the backgrounds and imbuing it with low social standing and associating it’s ardent users with the perception of lacking in culture. It is no wonder that when an event like colonialism goes side by side with formal education or a new form of education, those who are not exposed to it and who often clings to the older world views and cultural orientation are seen as unlearned and prejudiced. Because of the position of the new language, in this our case- English, the people often tend to disassociate themselves from it thereby positioning the native language to it’s demise through disuse.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

A relationship between two language always is not an equal one. There are internal convolutions which always defines them. Surprisingly, these internal working are usually user based than the language based in that the users perception of the two languages often shape this relationship and it’s outcome. In Nigeria, the English language is the language of the media, education, formal relations and the language of the intellectuals. This has conferred on the language the status of high social class alongside it’s fluent users to the disadvantage of the native language. The younger the users the more the hold the language has on him or her while those who are not so fluent in the English language are associated with lack of education and the entire prejudice that comes with such social judgement. The motivation of this present research work is to study the presence of English Linguicism and language loss as it pertains to the Yoruba language with students of Obafemi Awolowo University and Adeyemi College of Education as a case study.

1.3   Research Questions

1.3.1      what are the manifestations of English Linguicism in the Yoruba speaking parts of the country.

1.3.2      What are the possible indications of this situation leading to a total loss of the Yoruba language with time.

1.3.3      What political factors exacerbate the situation and which can be used to mitigate the situation, reduce the prejudice on language

1.4   Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this research work includes the establishment of the threat of the loss of the Yoruba language thought the use of it in relation to the English language among students of Obafemi Awolowo university and Adeyemi college of education. It will also identify and  describe the instances of Linguicism of the English language presence in the two schools and their campuses.

 

 

 

1.5   Significance of the Study

The work will significantly help in the resuscitation of the language and motivate campaigns that are geared towards the boosting of the use of the Yoruba language especially among the younger generation. So far the discussions on the issue going on presently are always around academic circles which the younger generation who are mostly affected by the English Linguicism are not relatable to. The study carried out here will reinvent the posture and methods of the conversations around the issue so that a more practical  approach will be adopted in the tackling of the issue.

1.6   Research Hypothesis

The assumption here is that the factors that encourage English Linguicism among Yoruba speaking youth are sociopolitical in nature and that the presence of Linguicism in the social milieu has the possibility of resulting to the loss of the Yoruba language in the near future.

1.7   Scope of the Study

The research is limited to the campuses of Awolowo university and Adeyemi college of education and is focused on the manifestations of English Linguicism as it pertains to the students of those tertiary institutions with the exception of their staff members.

 

1.8   Limitations of the Study

Time majorly is the limiting factor for this research as there are many literature to be sifted through in understanding the nature of English Linguicism in the Yoruba language in the case studies.

1.9   Definition of Terms

Linguicism

This refers to the discrimination of an individual based on his or her language use or entirely his language. It also manifests in the overall judging of a person’s academic achievements, social status, character and wealth based simply on his or her language use or the eloquence or the lack of it in a particular language.

Language Loss

This refers, in the worst case scenario, to the death of the last native speaker of a particular language like is the case with Latin and many other languages. It also refers to the absorption of a minor language by another through politically motivated disuse of the former.

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