Friday, August 8, 2014

Endangered Languages Of Nigeria

Nigeria boasts of her many and diverse cultures and languages, but steps need to be taken to preserve the most important cultural heritage of our various ethic groups otherwise we risk loosing them forever. Below is a list of endangered languages in Nigeria; how long will it be till YOUR own Language is on this list? 20 years, 30 years, 50, 100...

1) Basa-Kontagora language

Basa-Kontagora is a nearly extinct Kainji language of Nigeria. It is spoken in Mariga, Niger state, near Kontagora and the Basa homeland.
Only 10 known speakers as of 1987
Once had 30000 speakers

2) Bete language

The Bete language of Nigeria is a nearly extinct language spoken by a small minority (50 people) of the 3,000 inhabitants of Bete Town, Takum, Taraba State; its speakers have mostly shifted to Jukun Takum. It is close to Lufu.

3) Baissa Fali language

Fali is a moribund language of southern Taraba State, Nigeria. It had few speakers in 1992. It is of uncertain affiliation within the Niger–Congo language family, clearly within the Benue–Congo languages but otherwise unclassified.

4) Defaka language

*region:Rivers State, Bonny District
*200 speakers as of 2001

Ethnically, the Defaka people are distinct from the Nkoroo, but they have assimilated to Nkoroo culture to such a degree that their language seems to be the only sign of a distinct Defaka identity. Use of the Defaka language however is quickly receding in favour of the language of the Nkoroo. Nowadays, most Defaka speakers are elderly people, and even among these, Defaka is rarely spoken — the total number of Defaka speakers is at most 200 nowadays (SIL/Ethnologue 15th ed.). The decrease in use of Defaka is stronger in Nkoroo town than in the Iwoma area. All children grow up speaking Nkoroo (an Ijo language) as a first language. The next most used language among the Defaka is Igbo, owing to the political influence of the Opobo since the days of the Oil Rivers Trade. Igbo has been a language of instruction in many schools in the region and still functions as a regional trade language.

5) Kiong language

Kiong, or Kayon, is a nearly extinct Upper Cross River language of Nigeria.
100 speakers as of 2004

6) Kudu-Camo language

Kudu and Camo (Chamo) are a nearly extinct Kainji dialect cluster of Nigeria.

region: Bauchi state
42 known speakers as of 1990

7) Labir language

Labir, or Jaku, is one of the Southern Bantoid Jarawan languages of Nigeria, spoken in Bauchi State

500 speakers as of 2008
Once had 13000 speakers

8] Lere language

Lere is a nearly extinct Kainji dialect cluster of Nigeria. spoken by very few out of about 15000 people

region: Bauchi state
unknown number of speakers

9) Lufu language

The Lufu language of Nigeria is a language still spoken mostly by older adults among the Lufu people of the Takum Local Government Authority, Taraba State; its speakers have mostly shifted to Jukun. It is close to Bete.

3200 speakers as of 2006

10) Polci/Luri language

Polci (Polchi) is a Chadic dialect cluster of Nigeria. Speakers are shifting to Hausa.
The extinct Luri dialect is not well attested. Work by Bernard Caron with the last speakers shows that it is closely related to Langas dialect.

Region: Bauchi state
there were 22000 speakers in 1995

11) Njerep language

Njerep is a nearly extinct Mambiloid language of Nigeria.
Niger delta region
only 6 speakers in year 2000

12) Odut Language
Extinct cry
Odut is an extinct Upper Cross River language of Nigeria
region once spoken: Cross river state

13) Putai language
Putai (also known as Marghi West) is a nearly extinct Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Nigeria. The language is dying out in favor of Kanuri.

region: Borno State
50 speakers (date unknown)

14) Shau language
Shau (Sho), or Lìsháù, is a nearly extinct Kainji language of Nigeria.

Region: Bauchi state
Unknown number of speakers

15) Somyev language
Somyev (Somyewe), also known as Kila, is a nearly extinct Mambiloid language of Nigeria, spoken by a caste of blacksmiths that live among the Mambila.

18 speakers as of year 2000

16) Vono language
Vono, also known as Kiwollo (Kiballo), is a nearly extinct Kainji language of Nigeria
region: Kaduna state
number of speakers unknown
there were 500 speakers in 1973

17) Ziriya language
Ziriya (Jiriya) and Sheni are a Kainji language of Nigeria. They are geographically but perhaps not linguistically distinct.

Regions: Bauchi and kaduna state
Ethnicity: 3000

Image showing major ethno linguistic groups in Nigeria

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