IGBO LANGUAGE AS THE CULTURE THAT UNITES THE IGBO PEOPLE: PROSPECTS FOR DEVELOPMENT
Culture pictures peoples’ way of life. Language is one of the major aspects of culture. In fact it houses other aspects of culture, because other aspects of culture are expressed and transmitted through language. Igbo is one of the major tribes in Nigeria. In Igbo land, there are different cultural communities with different cultural practices. All these are expressed through the Igbo language. It means differences in cultural life of Igbo people has its unity in Igbo language. This paper centers on how Igbo language unites different cultures in Igbo land and the prospects for the development of Igbo language. With this in mind, the writer shows how important Igbo language is in the life and unity of Igbo people. As such, if Igbo language dies, the unity of Igbo people dies. The research adopted ethnolinguistic identity theory as the theoretical framework. The paper shows the nature of cultural practices among the Igbo people, the role of Igbo language in Igbo culture, the place of Igbo language among the Igbo people, efforts that have been put in place by some prominent Igbo people and some societies in order to promote and develop Igbo language, Way forward to the development of Igbo language.