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Language Shift from Mother Tongues towards Fulfulde in Adamawa State, Nigeria: Causes and Consequences

Gbenga Fakuade, Matudi Gambo and Abdullahi Bashir
Anthropological Linguistics
Vol. 45, No. 3 (Fall, 2003), pp. 296-315
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30028897
Page Count: 20
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Language Shift from Mother Tongues towards Fulfulde in Adamawa State, Nigeria: Causes and Consequences
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Abstract

This article discusses the language shift from mother tongues towards Fulfulde in Girei, Song, and Gombi Local Government Areas of Adamawa State, Nigeria. This study discovers that, even though a language of interethnic communication among the various ethnic groups and the Fulani in the study area already exists (namely, Hausa), there has been a shift towards Fulfulde. It is shown that the language shift affects the function not only of the shifting language, but also of the target language, as Fulfulde has intruded into more domains of life and functions among the different ethnic groups in the study area. The article shows further that other languages are less used and are finally threatened as the languages of the home. While economic, social, political, religious, and contextual factors are identified as some of the causes for the shift, language spread, language endangerment or language decline, additive bilingualism, and code-switching are found to be some of the sociolinguistic implications of the shift.

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