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Abstract

In his article, "Playwriting in Three Major Nigerian Languages" Isaiah Ilo analyzes the frequency of playwriting in Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba, the three major Nigerian languages, which together hold about a half of the country's estimated population of 140 million. Ilo uses a case study to contrast the importance of the languages, their evolution as literary languages, and their official status with a role in education. Ilo locates the significance of these factors next to an inventory of the plays and a listing of the writers to demonstrate the neglect of the mother tongue by experienced Nigerian dramatists. The study establishes that indigenous-language drama is well-received among the Yoruba and that literature in Hausa has enthusiastic readership while the languages, including Igbo, that is lagging behind in literary growth, fail to attract the interest of experienced dramatists. Ilo concludes that the creation of dramatic masterpieces in the Nigerian languages will probably help in the languages' continued existence, growth, and fortification.

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