Hausa’s Ascent in Public Domains and the Fate of Kataf Cluster Languages


    This study investigated language use in public domains among communities speaking Kataf cluster languages, focusing on the emerging trend of increased use of Hausa and the implications. Guided by theories on language endangerment and multilingualism, the quantitative research design was adopted to investigate the phenomenon. A sub-section of a structured questionnaire (complemented by open-ended interviews) was used as instrument(s) to generate the required data. The native speakers of the cluster’s member languages were the research population. In keeping with the scientific research procedure, purposive random sampling was used as the technique to select five hundred persons as the research informants, as it was not possible to reach all the persons that constituted the research population. The sample comprised fifty persons from each of the ten ethnolinguistic groups covered by the research (i.e. 50 persons x 10 groups = 500 informants). The desire to select more enlightened persons who could read in-between the lines, i.e. persons who knew the way language use practices should ideally be and understood how such practices appeared among the focused communities, was the rationale for employing the chosen sampling technique. Thus, the sample comprised educated males and females between the ages of 18 and 45 years, mostly civil servants (teachers, administrators, etc.) that possessed the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) or equivalents as minimum educational qualification. Descriptive statistics in the form of frequency and percentage distributions were employed as the mode of data analysis. The data analyzed in tables (1) to (5) not only revealed a gradual decline in the use of Kataf cluster languages in public settings in favour of Hausa but also provided strong evidence for the endangerment of the affected languages, highlighting potential consequences for cultural identity, community cohesion, and wider linguistic diversity.


    author/Ibrahim Ahmed (PhD)

    journal/Tasambo JLLC | 15 February 2024 |  Article 01