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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The present status of Kanuri and Hausa in the Maiduguri metropolis: symbiosis or osmosis?
Authors:Opoku-Agyeman, Kwame
Bulakarima, Umara
Periodical:Annals of Borno
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
Subjects:Kanuri language
Hausa language
Abstract:Kanuri, the lingua franca of the ancient Kanem-Bornu empire, was widely spoken in parts of present-day Cameroun and Chad as well as in northeastern Nigeria (Borno State). Since the collapse of the Kanem-Bornu empire, the Kanuri-speaking area has shrunk in size. This study is limited to the Kanuri of Borno State, who form the fifth largest ethnic group in Nigeria. Hausa is the lingua franca of the entire North of Nigeria. Today it is one of the three major languages rivalling English as the official language. This paper examines the present status of Hausa and Kanuri in the Kanuri capital of Maiduguri. It presents reasons for the gradual decline of Kanuri as against the gradual encroachment of Hausa. It is concluded that Kanuri is losing ground to Hausa as a lingua franca; this is particularly noticeable in offices, institutions, other places of work, among the youth, the educated elite, and traders. Among the older generation, in the family compounds and among the peasantry, however, Kanuri still reigns supreme. Kanuri, whose former prestige was based on military, diplomatic and commercial successes, has now been superseded by Hausa, thanks to the latter's religious, geographical and commercial advantages. App., notes, ref.