A sociolinguistic survey of the Ede language communities of Benin and Togo, Volume 6: Kura language area

Statement of Responsibility:
Durieux, Jude A., Evelin I. K. Durieux-Boon and Angela Kluge
The Kura language of northwestern Benin is part of the larger Ede language continuum. The Ede languages are spoken in the southern part of West Africa stretching from western Nigeria across Benin to the eastern part of central Togo. Among the Ede varieties, two have thus far undergone language development on a larger scale: Yoruba both in Nigeria and Benin, and Ife in Togo. A survey of the Kura communities was conducted to assess whether and to what extent existing literature and literacy efforts in Yoruba and Ife could extend to the Kura communities and to determine the nature and extent of SIL’s possible involvement among these communities. Through the administration of community and individual interviews, as well as the elicitation of word and phrase lists, the survey researchers collected data concerning: tested and reported levels of dialect intercomprehension; language vitality; language attitudes toward both written and oral forms of Kura, Yoruba and Ife; reported proficiency and attitudes regarding French; and literacy levels. Overall, the results show ‘mixed’ levels of comprehension for the oral form of standard modern Yoruba whereas comprehension of more literate and/or antiquated registers of Yoruba appears to be ‘inadequate’. Comprehension of Ife also appears to be ‘inadequate’. There are no indications of language shift, and attitudes toward Kura development appear to be positive. Language attitudes toward Yoruba and Ife also seem to be positive although literacy is apparently more highly valued in Yoruba than in Ife.
46 pages
Language surveys
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