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OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies

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Meaninglessness in language: the case of the Igbo language

George Ọnwụdiwe

Abstract


Language as a means of communication conceives and transmits information. To perform this unique role, language should be devoid of any misconception. Language as speech and writing depends on some features to be relevant during communication exercise. Such features are today advertently or inadvertently mishandled, thus jeopardising this major function of language and thereby render the language meaningless. This paper investigates those factors which contribute to render language meaningless, especially in the Igbo language. The factors manifest both in speech and in writing the language; and they hinge on wrong pronunciation and spelling or wrong writing convention of the Igbo language. The causes of meaninglessness in Igbo language presented in this study include lack of knowledge of the form and mechanics of the language, poor or lack of training in the use of the language, both at home and in schools, lack of interest, the wave of the present trend of the (Igbo) youths in chasing foreign cultures at the detriment of the Igbo culture, lack of seriousness or lip service on the part of the government and other agencies as NGOs in promoting the Igbo language and culture. These findings therefore, will greatly help the students and teachers of language, particularly the Igbo language. Also, Igbo newscasters, preachers, traders, actors and actresses, businessmen and indeed all those literate in Igbo language and who use the language in their daily interaction will find the work useful. This will ultimately enhance communication in the language.




AJOL African Journals Online