Vol. 141/142 (2003) ► pp. 289–300
A new panlectal medium in Nigeria
a little but significant index
This paper seeks to draw attention to a phenomenon in language development in Nigeria which tends to support the possibility of language barriers breaking down, not through English or any other exogenous medium, but through the resources provided by our own languages. The index towards the panlectal evolution of our languages is provided by a research recently undertaken by the writer.
On the basis of about 70 lexical cum para-lexical items, it was discovered that speakers of languages as far apart as Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo could still 'communicate' common realities of the society without recourse to their known primary linguistic loyalty. It is being suggested that with words like 'tòkunbò', 'kòbòkóbò', 'ògá' and 'apeteshi' being in use not only in the source language(s), but outside it (them), the way seems open to the possible eventual neutralization of linguistic cleavages. This trend, if sustained, will contribute to the view that communicative efficiency in a multilingual setting may not be the exclusive preserve of the 'colonial' medium. Thirdly, the unifying language of tomorrow (e.g. 'pinglish') may well see evidence from this research as ready data for exploitation.