Welcome to the website for The Research Centre for Nigerian Languages, one of the patriotic initiatives of Kwara State University, Malete, Kwara State, Nigeria, West Africa.
Only roughly a decade old, the University is more forward-looking and also more nationalistic in outlook than most of its much older counterparts in the country. Thus, quite apart from some very innovative courses that it offers which are not available elsewhere in the country, it is the only Nigerian university that I know of, which prescribes a Pass in a Nigerian language (only Yoruba, for now), or a foreign language other than English, as a requirement for graduation for the first degree. That reminds me of a comparable requirement in North American universities.
The University is also the only one in the entire country that currently has a Centre meant solely for basic and applied research on Nigerian languages.For this reason and particularly also because of the University’s rather uncommon nationalistic outlook, I felt convinced that I had found a kindred spirit in it, and therefore readily accepted to be associated with the Centre as its first Director.
Those who are familiar with my writings as well as with my work at the University of Ilorin from its inception in the mid-1970s will know that I do not believe that Linguistics should be taught and studied in Nigeria merely as a discipline;it should also be presented as an effective means of achieving many practical language-specific ends. Those ends include the analysis, reduction to writing (orthography), documentation/description, and development/enrichment of our indigenous languages, all leading to the full political emancipation and restoration of at least the major ones among them. Given the myriad of unwritten, underdeveloped, and consequently underutilised indigenous languages in the country, I firmly believe that,for the foreseeable future,the study and practice of Linguistics here in Nigeria should also very much emphasise the practical applications of that discipline.
Accordingly, that belief will show very clearly in the concerns and research activities of this new Centre. Through advocacy, innovative ideas, and proposals, it will ceaselessly seek to enlighten those who should know, with a view to getting them to take needed remedial action on the country’s indigenous languages. (For the Centre’s most recent initiative in that direction, go to the link here (insert link to the article) for an article which first appeared in an abridged form on page 20 of The Nation of March 22, 2019.)
In short thereforescholars with theory-inspired interest in Nigerian indigenous languages as well as individuals, institutions, and agencies concerned for the development and general well-being of such languages will always find a willing and enthusiastic partner in this new Centre.