Cracks in the Wall: Towards A Re-Orientation of Linguistics Study and Research in Nigeria.

  • GS Omachonu
  • AS Wakawa


The fact that remarkable progress has been made in linguistic study and research in Nigeria notwithstanding, the study of linguistics in Nigeria still leaves much to be desired. Linguistics in Nigeria has remained on the old order in that it has pre-occupied itself with“doing linguistics for its own sake”. This strictly formal approach, the paper argues, has rendered the discipline arid and unattractive to students. Besides, it has been observed also that although researchers in African linguistics have taken great strides in the description of the indigenous languages at all levels, the contributions and findings from their intellectual efforts have not imparted considerably on the larger society. Consequent upon the above, this study through a thorough assessment of literature investigated the present state of the art, identified the reasons for the missing links and as well offered explanations for the present scenario in the discipline. Proposals for establishing cross-disciplinary programmes were put forward as a way of charting a new course for linguistic study and research in Nigeria. The paper concludes that making linguistics directly relevant to practical problem solving in the Nigerian economy is not a baseless consideration because the relatively late arrival of linguistics in Nigeria notwithstanding, it has stayed long enough to affect positively the well being of the people. To ensure the survival of African languages and optimal utilization of research efforts in indigenous languages and linguistics, it suggests that a holistic approach which combines action, research, advocacy and activism be adopted by researchers in Nigerian linguistics.

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eISSN: 1595-1413