Friday, 15 February 2013


The Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, announces a Mother Language Competition to mark the 2013 International Mother Language Day.
The International Mother Language Day is a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity. This was motivated by the killing of four students in Bangladesh in 1952 for their campaign  to use their mother tongue, Bangali, as the official language. Since 1999, following UNESCO’s proclamation of February 21st as the International Mother Language Day, the idea has been to sensitize public opinion towards mother tongue use on this day.  The celebration also promotes mutual respect based on love of one’s mother tongue. It is in this spirit that we present this platform for expression in the mother tongues of Nigeria, following the theme for 2013, which is ‘The Book’.
The Department is organizing this competition to mark the 2013 International Mother Language Day, which comes up on Thursday 21st February, 2013. The competition comes in two categories: essay and translation. Category A is an essay on ‘Publishing in Nigerian Languages’, while Category B is the translation of part of the ‘Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights’ into any Nigerian language. The entries will be read on the 21st February, 2013; to celebrate the day and create an awareness of the status of the many lesser resourced languages of Nigeria.
Write an essay on the topic ‘Publishing in Nigerian Languages’, in your mother tongue and provide an English translation.
Translate the following passage into your mother tongue.
Article 1
1. This Declaration considers as a language community any human society established historically in a particular territorial space, whether this space be recognized or not, which identifies itself as a people and has developed a common language as a natural means of communication and cultural cohesion among its members. The term language proper to a territory refers to the language of the community historically established in such a space.
2. This Declaration takes as its point of departure the principle that linguistic rights are individual and collective at one and the same time. In defining the full range of linguistic rights, it adopts as its referent the case of a historical language community within its own territorial space, this space being understood, not only as the geographical area where the community lives, but also as the social and functional space vital to the full development of the language. Only on this basis is it possible to define the rights of the language groups mentioned in point 5 of the present article, and those of individuals living outside the territory of their community, in terms of a gradation or continuum.
3. For the purpose of this Declaration, groups are also deemed to be in their own territory and to belong to a language community in the following circumstances:
i. when they are separated from the main body of their community by political or administrative boundaries;
ii. when they have been historically established in a small geographical area surrounded by members of other language communities; or
iii. when they are established in a geographical area which they share with the members of other language communities with similar historical antecedents.
4. This Declaration also considers nomad peoples within their areas of migration and peoples established in geographically dispersed locations as language communities in their own historical territory.
5. This Declaration considers as a language group any group of persons sharing the same language which is established in the territorial space of another language community but which does not possess historical antecedents equivalent to those of that community. Examples of such groups are immigrants, refugees, deported persons and members of diasporas.

Competitors may take part in either one or the two categories, and more than one entry in each category may be submitted, provided different languages are used. For electronic submissions, send both word and pdf versions.   Deadline for submission is February 19, 2013. Submit your contribution with a short biodata following the guide and format below, to:
The Office of the Head of Department, Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, University of Uyo.

Professor Imelda Udoh
Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages
University of Uyo, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State

1 comment: