A Geo-Linguistic Survey of Minority Languages of the Benue Valley


  • Esther Iveren Shagba Department of Languages and Linguistics, Benue State University, Makurdi


Benue Valley, Geo-linguistics, Language Endangerment, Language Identity


Linguistic heterogeneity is the most appropriate term used to describe a multilingual speech community like Nigeria. This is a sociolinguistic truism that is prevalent most especially in the Benue valley. The minority languages in this block are so many that it is actually so difficult, to determine their number. A proactive attempt to know their number entails taking a demographic data of these languages periodically. In view of this, the researcher decided to venture into collating and determining the actual facts and figures of the different indigenous languages in the area and assessing their status and prestige in the Nigerian Babel. This is done with the aim of carving a national identity for these languages and bringing them out of oblivion into limelight. The researcher used the linguistic yardstick of mutual intelligibility to determine the differences between languages and dialects. This was done through both primary and secondary research. In achieving the main aim of the paper, the researcher used the Ethnolingusitic Vitality (E.V) theory. As for the findings, the researcher found about one hundred and fourteen (114) languages in the area of study. The researcher also established the fact that all the minority languages in the Benue Valley are endangered and some are actually dying. Apart from that there are also threats to these minority languages. Based on the findings, conclusion was drawn and recommendations made. Among other things the study has recommended that the federal government should set up a minority languages Commission.


Author Biography

Esther Iveren Shagba, Department of Languages and Linguistics, Benue State University, Makurdi





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How to Cite

Iveren Shagba, E. . (2019). A Geo-Linguistic Survey of Minority Languages of the Benue Valley. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 22(2), 192–215. Retrieved from https://jolan.com.ng/index.php/home/article/view/243