Profile of the Language Situation: Idoma

Odumuh, Adama Emmanuel
University of Abuja, 1994

A discussion of the situation of Idoma, a Nigerian language, begins with different accounts of the language's origin, referring to both local legend and cosmology. It then proceeds to a review of modern linguists' efforts, since 1927, to classify the language. A statistical overview contains information on the number of speakers of Idoma as a first language, bilingual and multilingual speakers, varieties within the language, and structural and functional relationships between varieties.

The history of Idoma documentation is included here and phonology and alphabet are outlined. Subsequent sections discuss: government policy concerning language use and choice of language for administrative purposes at local, regional, and national levels, within political and policy-making agencies or functions, in health services, and in the judiciary system; use of Idoma as a medium of instruction, as an academic subject, and in teacher education; the role of the language in research and academic pursuits; Idoma in religious denominations and religion-related services; English, Idoma, and other languages in trade and industry; maintenance of Idoma cultural life and arts, including publications; language choice for television and radio, sports and leisure, local markets and domestic service, and family and friendship networks; and language attitudes and stereotypes.

The pdf of this paper is available to download from ERIC - Institute of Education Sciences.