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The Endangerment of Cultural Rituals in Bafut: A Documentary Linguistic Perspective

$ 49.5

Published: 2023-11-15
Category: Language arts and Disciplines
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This study in a response to the endangered state of African languages in general and the Bafut language in particular sets out to document the language used within cultural rituals in Bafut. The endangerment of African languages in particular, and the world’s languages in general, has been a call for concern by linguists such as Krauss (1992) and Harrison (2007). Their reports on the level of language endangerment around the world have helped bring consciousness to the minds of linguists, and the language community about how fast our local languages are dying. In this light, many linguists have taken up the task of studying and analyzing local languages. Some of which include: Ladefoged (1964), Crozier (1978), and Unonji (2019). This study employs both the qualitative and quantitative research design, while drawing inspiration from the theory of Discourse Analysis, particularly the Functionalist Paradigm of discourse analysis to classify four main rituals (birth, enthronement, marriage and death ceremonies) in the form of discourses, in a bid to analyse the language used within them. It goes further to present the different changes that have surfaced within these rituals with the advent of modernism. Using the Extended Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (EGIDS), it classifies the level of endangerment of the Bafut language. After the consideration of factors such as lack of intergenerational transmission and the amount of language loss within birth, enthronement, marriage and death rituals, the results reveal that the Bafut language can be classified under category 6b of the EGIDS which is termed “threatened”.  

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