Publisher: University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Communicative Inequality In A Participatory Democracy: The Linguistic Imperatives

Chris Agbedo
KEYWORDS: Communicative Inequality in a Participatory Democracy: The Linguistic Imperatives


in this paper, we examine the concept of communicative inequality as an aspect of social inequalities that characterize any given society such as Nigeria. In the multilingual setting of Nigeria. the rights of the L1 speakers of the nearly four hundred local languages to use their communicative competences for the purpose of social interactions have largely been circumscribed by the colonial masters' predatory linguistic imperialism, which foisted English Language on the people in utter disregard for their native languages. This linguistic arrangement remains antithetical to the noble tenets of participatory democracy as a political system. To reverse this trend, it is recommended that a path, which effects a radical departure from the infamous predatory imperialism be defined, one that favours the total integration of the nation's indigenous languages in the socio-economic, political dispensation of the nation. In specific terms, the linguistic imperative being advocated here emphasizes the developmental aspect of all the indigenous languages and language empowerment of the people based on just principles of equality and eqalitarianism.


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