Journal of West African Languages

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Cultural Policing as a Language Maintenance Strategy among the Ogu People Cultural Policing as a Language Maintenance Strategy among the Ogu People

Existing literature on Language Shift Language Maintenance (LSLM) globally has been limited to certain strategies such as the use of the language in education, the media, intergenerational transmission, etc. They are not only considered paradigmatic but also sacrosanct as a result of which data collection and analysis in this area of sociolinguistics are often predictable and monotonous. The application of these paradigms in the unpacking of LSLM situations tends to foreclose venturing beyond mainstream scholarship. Although works on Ogu-- a minority language in South-western Nigeria-- call for government and native-speakers' intervention in its maintenance, such studies have not comprehensively investigated the systematic steps that certain influential Ogu speakers have adopted to initiate its maintenance. This study therefore investigated a previously unacknowledged strategy in mainstream LSLM scholarship, which involves informal application of non-forceful, non-coercive and subtle policing strategies by native speakers in maintaining their language and culture. These strategies constitute what I have termed cultural policing (CP). The research was hinged mainly on ethnography, which entailed a decade-long observation, together with key informant interviews, in-depth interviews and focus group intervention (FGD) in three local government areas in South-western Nigeria. These local government areas were Badagry, Ipokia and Ado-Odo/Ota. Informants were purposively sampled and data were subjected to content and descriptive analysis. Based on the findings, the paper concludes that as cultural policing has been observed to be working for Ogu in South-western Nigeria, its efficacy could be tested in other minority language situations globally.                                        


Volume Number 46.2
Topic #1 Sociolinguistics
Topic #2 Language Endangerment
Author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Language Family Other Benue-Congo
Subject Language Ogu

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