Partnership in indigenous language documentation and advocacy: Experience from the Abureni Language Project


  • Emmanuel Paul Abureni Evangelical Outreach
  • Daniami Etire DIPATO Capability Management Consultants Ltd
  • Samuel Edoghotu Abureni Language Committee
  • Olaguokare Ibote Abureni Bible Translation Project
  • Emmanuel Obolo Abureni Evangelical Outreach


Indigenous language, partnership, stakeholder-involvement, native speakers, language documentation


Members of speech communities thrive to ensure that their indigenous languages and cultures are preserved through various means  and methods. The expectations over the linguistic categories in terms of content and quality, demand on cost-time-resources, spread  of front-end input and acceptability of deliverables by native speakers themselves, are critical factors that influence the successful  delivery of an indigenous language project. The above concerns are significant and become overwhelming, especially for small-groups  and endangered languages with little or no previous scientifically based linguistic research publications such as Abureni in Nigeria. On  one hand the objective of documenting the aspects of indigenous languages is to preserve their cultural heritage and identity as a  people. On another hand, native people have ventured into the documentation and advocacy of their languages so as not to be left  behind in the current wave of globalization that impacts all facets of human life. This paper utilizes Grice's theories of conversation and  meaning and seeks to highlight the place of partnership and stakeholder involvement in achieving success in indigenous  language documentation and advocacy. The authors adopt the functional framework to analyze the tasks, processes, deliverables,  challenges, and learnings so far recorded in the Abureni Language project from a participatory perspective. The paper concludes that  partnership with both internal and external stakeholders and a sustained involvement from them are enablers in delivering an indigenous language documentation and advocacy project.  


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How to Cite

Paul, E., Etire, D., Edoghotu, S., Ibote, O., & Obolo, E. (2023). Partnership in indigenous language documentation and advocacy: Experience from the Abureni Language Project. Journal of the Nigerian Languages Project, 4, 69–92. Retrieved from