Language And Culture As A Tool Of Identifying Peoples Tribe / Ethnic Group In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication

Language And Culture As A Tool Of Identifying Peoples Tribe / Ethnic Group In Nigeria


Language and culture is a very important means of identifying someone’s tribe or ethnic group. In cases where a language is used by different communities in a multilingual nation such as Nigeria. It would be difficult to use language as the only criterion to identify their tribal group. To identify a tribe or an ethnic group of an individual can be known through him or her accent and the person’s way of life this can include food, fashion etc. This work shows how the culture influences and identifies the individual’s tribe. Hence no matter how hard the speaker tires to hide his or her accent, it can not be done away with totally without trace. The English language spoken by an individual as a second language would be different from that of an English speaker who has English language as his or her L1. The phonological processes such as stress, intonation deletion of sounds and replacement of same, greatly characterize the English of an Ibibio speaker which is the language studied in this work.

Chapter One


1.1 Preamble

This chapter is the general introduction to the work, it present the background of the study, the classification of the Anaan Language. The delimitation of the study and as well as the research methodology will be explored and included here in this chapter.

A reconstruction of proto forms in Ibibios, Efik and Anaan which the research is forced on. This work is going to explore and illustrate areas of similarities and difference between the proto forms in Ibibio, Efik and Anaan but first of all undertaking a comparative reconstruction of the cognate forms of Ibibio, Efik and Anaan Languages and then undertake a lexicostatistical analysis of the language in order to arrive at a percentage of cognacy rate which will revealed whether they are the same forms, similar forms or different forms. This will enable the research to draw a conclusion about the historical and linguistic relatedness of these (3) three speech forms (Ibibio, Efik and Anaan)

1.2. Background of the Study

Anaan in this work, The reconstruction of proto forms in Ibibio Efik and Anaan is referred to the geo-political ethnic groups located in the south eastern part of Nigeria in the old cross River State and now in Akwa Ibom State.

Anaan according to Udo (1983: (4) is a sub group of one Ibibio because of cultural and dialectal acceptability the name Anaan is derived from their characteristic behavior which is one that is intolerant, furious and vindictive at any slightest provocation. They are generally warlike in nature. Esseien (1983: 1,2) The tribe shares a common boundary with the Ngwa and Ndoke (igbos) in Abia State in the North. They are bounded to the east by the Isuogbu igbo and to the south Eastern Ibibio.

Anaan originated along the eastern part of Cross River and the eastern part of the Niger Delta along the boundary of the Cameroon highlands many years ago. In another postulation on the origin of the Anaan, sir, Harry Johnson in his work stated that, “The Anaan have no tradition of legend of migration that they have always been where they are” But contradictory, he however, concedes that they first settled in Eket for many years before the visit of the early Navigators in 4500 BC and the visit of the King of Egypt. Being discontent with the land allocation they had, they migration upwards until they found their present land of habitation. Essien (1983:14) revealed that this movement of the Anaan ancestors was a matter of looking for their own destination in order to differentiate themselves from being called Ibibios. This was so because they considered themselves a distinct tribe in Nigeria with their own particular language and distinction culture. Identifying Peoples

The Anaan people major occupation is farming and craftsmanship. The land is humorously rich. This provides for active peasant farming by the natives of this tribe. Cocoyam, maize, cassava, plantain, beans fluted pumpkin etc are the major crops cultivated by the people of the Anaan. Identifying Peoples

According to Essien (1983:19) stated that the Anaan people were “the first ethnic group who settled down to cultivate farms and were the first to discover yam tuber as food. Identifying Peoples

Apart from subsistence farming the people of Anaan engage themselves in commercial farming a situation where they sell their farm products are sole out to neighboring town in the state. The Anaan people are reportedly blessed with numbers of privately own garri processing industries, likewise palm oil processing industries raffia as well as kola nut are also found among them.

Livestock farming and fishing are not left out in their enterprise quite a large number of household near pigs. Goats and dogs. The Anaan are further reported in craftsmanship, carving and other artistic vocation. The major local government areas that constitutes the Anaan tribe includes Ikot EKpene, Abak, Ukanafu,, Etim Ekpo Ekpe Atia, Ikono etc. Anaan has eight market days in a month. These are Editaha, Etim, Ofionetuk, or Ekpenyong, Edere Obo, Urua Obom, Urua Ekpe and Edet, these names were given by the Anaan ancestor and their names were derived from different semi god or commonly knows as “D Ndem’ these days are special to the Anaan. Identifying Peoples

The term Anaan refers to both the people and their language. Therefore like most tribes in Akwa Ibom State which are named after their languages Anaan is the language spoken by the Anaan people. The language is a variety of the lower Cross language. Identifying Peoples

According to GreenBerge (1963) classification, the language grouped in the Benue-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo languages family. Williamson (1982) on the other hand with single alternation classified Anaan under the lower cross of the Benue-Congo sub group of the Niger-Congo. The language has great similar feature of Ibibio and Efik language structure, though in some cased the structure of Anaan language could be difficult compared with the Efik and Ibibio language due to pronunciation and narration. However, Anaan is a dialect of Ibibio according to Udo (1983)”The Anaan are Ibibio people speaking a dialect of Ibibio Udo (1983:49) the dialect was spoken by their ancestors many thousand years ago along the cross River the language like most other indigenous languages has been influenced by Eastern educational system but Verbal Arts are still verb much inherent. Identifying Peoples

1.3. Statement of the Problem

The Main aim of this work is to reconstruct the proto forms in Ibibio, Efik and Anaan language. The intention is not unconnected with the fact that there has no work on this work in relation to Anaan. The problems of the so-called minority language such as Anaan are multi-dimensional. The most significant one being that of providing a sort of data bank and resources materials or primers where teachers and learners can tap from to enrich their knowledge of the grammar of a language.

This study is to show the relatedness of Efik Ibibio and Anaan language. The word structure of these 3 (three) languages Ibibio, Efik and Anaan will be compared with the view to finding out

  1. Where they are similar
  2. Where they differ

In order to use this Similarities and differences to derive the cognacy degree which is the proto forms. There was also a native speakers where only reluctant to supplying information needed as data for this work. Most of them were superstitions and too political to believe that this work is merely are academic exercise with no economic benefit attached. The researcher had to use a lot of persuasive techniques coupled with diplomacy in order to get unbiased information and data from the information, including promises to acknowledge them and their contribution. Then was also a problem of lack of adequate reference materials in the language.

1.5 Research Questions

The study has been carried out to provide answers to the following questions

  1. What is the level of intelligibility among the (3) speech forms
  2. Do the speakers of these speech forms have similarities in their culture
  3. What are the similarities and difference among the three (3) languages
  4. Is Anaan confirmed as a lower cross language or does it have other affiliations

1.6 Significance of the Study

The significance of this work is to contribute to the writing of Anaan Orthography, to also show that Anaan is a language on its own. The study will show the relationship between Ibibio, Efik and Anaan in particular. This study is aimed at studying the

  1. Similarities
  2. Differences

Between the three languages and to show the proto language. It is hoped that this work will be of immense value to comparativists and other people like students who will be interest in the diachronic aspect of the language.

1.7. Delimitation of the Study

This study deals with the reconstruction of proto forms in Ibibio, Efik and Anaan. It will show the similarities order to calculate the cognacy percentage which helps in tracing the proto forms or parent language.

1.8 Research Methodology

Methodology is a systematic approach to finding answers to question (Hatch and Ferhardy 1982:1) it was adopted in order to arrive at the answers to question of the relatedness of Ibibio, Efik and Anaan. The means of collecting data was oral dictation by a native of Eka uruk Eshiet in Etim Ekpo Local Government Akwa Ibom State base on primary method of information interviews and observations.

1.8.1 Research Design

This work the reconstruction of proto forms in Ibibio, Efik and Anaan discussed in five chapters; with chapter one focusing on the introductory matter, chapter two on a comprehensive and detailed review of literature of comparative reconstruction, review of literature on proto forms, theoretical framework and sound correspondence and sound change chapter three discusses data presentation which includes cognate forms in Ibibio Efik and Anaan and Correspondence. While chapter four is focused on the cruse of the matter, the data analysis and presentation of Ibibio Efik and Anaan. Finally, chapter five summarizes the work, draws conclusion based on feedback from the research and makes recommendations

1.8.2 Research Population

The research population of this project research is mainly informants from Eka Uruk Eshiet in Etim EKpo Local Government Area Akwa Ibom State based on personal interviews. The informants selected were adult non-mobile native speakers of the language in order to elicit the unadulterated form of these language.

The data elicited was based on the summer institute of linguistic word list (SIL). These few strategic and crucial custodians of the language provided information and data for this research including the information gotten from books well acknowledge.

1.8.3 Sample and Sampling Procedures

It is evidence recently that many linguistic groups in the state Akwa Ibom known, hear and understood Ibibio language have denied this fact due to political, economic and social interests. This study is to help to highlight the linguistic evidence that can be used to ameliorate or solve the controversy.

The selection of this research was based on the theory of competence and performance which was propounded by Chomsky, where the informant sampled and nation of Anaan.

The procedure for the collection of this research was through interview of competent Native Speakers of Etim Ekpo local government Area ( Anaan), the researcher took no other pattern than oral interviews the date was collected from old male and female informants. The section was based on age, sex social status and period of stay in the community.

1.8.4 Method/Tools of Data Collection

The tools use for this research was the (SIL) Summer institute of linguistic word list basic item which was administered to the informants. Also so included in the tools for this research and tape recorder, pencil, note pad and pen for data collection

1.8.5 Procedure of Data Analysis

This research is solely based on data collection. During the process of the data collection, oral interview were conducted by the researcher using adult non mobile native speakers of EKa Uruk Eshiet in Etim Ekpo Local Government area Akwa Ibom State. The interviews were conducted and recorded and the transcription was done based on the (IPA) International Phonetic Alphabet. During the interview the information were given the list of lexical items in English language and asked to provide the Anaan equivalent which they provided orally. This was done orthographically and phonetically. Hence the completion of procedure for data analysis

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Preamble

This chapter is going to state the main points of this research and also the decision of the researcher after much through has been made about all the information in connection to this research work.

5.2 Summary

In this study, we have attempted to reconstruct proto forms in Ibibio Efik and Anaan languages. It is based on the feedback from this reconstruction or analysis that we have discovered that proto-forms depict a common origin of these three languages. It has also enabled us to calculate the percentage of cognac rate and therefore predict that there must be some kind of high degree of mutual intelligibility among the Ibibio, Efik and Anaan linguistic system. This is therefore indicates that the three languages Ibibio, Efik and Anaan are linguistically historically, and genetically related.

5.3 Conclusion

Based on the feedback from this research we have decided to drew the following conclusion, that Ibibio, Efik and Anaan have a good high percentage of cognac rate, which therefore suggests that the three languages are closely related, that there must be a high degree of mutual intelligibility existing among the languages. That Ibibio, Efik and Anaan must have originated from a common ancestor language or proto language. That, since the languages are so closely related as determined by a high percentage of cognac rate, the speakers of the languages must, by implication have been very closely related in they past we have also concluded that the Anaan people speak and understand Ibibio and Efik without any formal learning.

5.4 Recommendations

It is our recommendations here therefore, that the feedback from researches such as this be given wider publicity to prove to the speakers of the languages that they are one and the same people because the similarities and correspondences in the cognate forms can be viewed as accidental occurrences.

More researches on the other areas of language documentation and analysis should be undertaken and encouraged so that more works, especially written, ones be made available to language teachers and the public. The government should also endeavor to encourage and stimulate interest in the study of indigenous languages.

It is hoped that this work will act as a pivot for future researchers, especially those who are interested in comparative linguistics. It also recommend here that future researcher especially those who are interested in comparative linguistics. It also recommend here that feature researcher should attempt to develop orthography for Anaan language so as to case the analysis of the phonology, morphology syntax and semantics of the three languages indigenes, opinion leaders, politicians and traditional rulers, especially of the Anaan clan should be encouraged by offering scholarships for Anaan and other indigenous language speakers to study language related courses and giving financial support to researcher who are venturing into the indigenous language studies.

Enlightenment programme should be carried out using the mass media such as the radio, television, newspaper and town criers, to inform the people especially the Anaan people about the presence of a course like linguistic in our higher institutions so that they can benefit from the knowledge and advantage of studying such a course.

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