Fulfulde as a Vehicular Language: An Opportunity or a Threat to Minority Languages in Maroua?

James N Tasah


It is increasingly recognized that most minority language speakers tend to give
up their languages in favour of a vehicular language as they move to urban
centres. In recent years, the degree of endangerment of indigenous languages
seems to be accelerating due to the increased dominance of Fulfulde. This study
seeks to find out whether the seeming progressive abandonment of local
languages in the Far North region of Cameroon is due to Fulfulde or French.
Data was obtained through participant observation and questionnaire
administration. The results indicate that Fulfulde, and to a certain extent
French tend to monopolize most of the proposed domains of language use. The
findings show that the respondents have limited fluency in their Mother
Tongues. They 􀁄􀁏􀁖􀁒􀀃 􀁕􀁈􀁙􀁈􀁄􀁏􀀃 􀁗􀁋􀁄􀁗􀀃 􀀩􀁘􀁏􀁉􀁘􀁏􀁇􀁈􀀃 􀁌􀁖􀀃 􀁊􀁕􀁄􀁇􀁘􀁄􀁏􀁏􀁜􀀃 􀁅􀁈􀁆􀁒􀁐􀁌􀁑􀁊􀀃 􀁓􀁄􀁕􀁗􀁌􀁆􀁌􀁓􀁄􀁑􀁗􀁖􀂷
Mother Tongues, and they considered it as a potential threat to minority
languages. It concludes that minority languages are threatened more by
Fulfulde than French in Maroua.
Key words: Endangerment, shift, multilingualism, contact, domains

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