This website does readability filtering of other pages. All styles, scripts, forms and ads are stripped. If you want your website excluded or have other feedback, use this form.

ScienceDirect

Skip to main content Skip to article

Create accountSign in

Sign inCreate account

Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics (Second Edition)

2006, Pages 635-637

Nigeria*: Language Situation*

Author links open overlay panelB.A.Connell [doi.org]Get rights and content

Nigeria is the largest nation in sub-Saharan Africa, with approximately 25% of the population of the subcontinent. At the time of writing, reliable census figures are not available; estimates of Nigeria's population range from 80 million to 120 million. Linguistically speaking, it is one of the most complex countries in the world, with approximately 440 languages (Crozier and Blench, 1993), comprising over 20% of Africa's 2000 plus languages. The most widely accepted classification of African languages (Greenberg, 1963, and subsequent modifications) postulates four major phyla for the continent: Niger–Congo, Afro–Asiatic, Nilo–Saharan, and Khoisan; all but the last of these are well represented in Nigeria. Nigeria's linguistic complexity is manifested first in the mere existence of such a large number of languages within one nation's borders, and second in the attendant situation of multilingualism, and its implications for development and education.

*

This article is reproduced from the previous edition, volume 5, pp. 2803–2804, © 1994, Elsevier Ltd.

Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. By continuing you agree to the use of cookies.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V.