Igbo (Igbo: Asụsụ Igbo), or Igbo proper, is a native language of the Igbo people, an ethnic group primarily located in southeastern Nigeria. There are approximately 20 million speakers that are mostly in Nigeria and are primarily of Igbo descent. Igbo is a national language of Nigeria. It is written in the Latin script, which was introduced by British colonialists. Secret societies such as the Ekpe use the Nsibidi symbols which were invented by the Ejagham and were used to represent other languages like Efik.
There are over 20 Igbo dialects. There is apparently a degree of dialect leveling occurring. A standard literary language was developed in 1972 based on the Owerri (Isuama) and Umuahia (such as Ohuhu) dialects, though it omits the nasalization and aspiration of those varieties. There are related Igboid languages as well that are sometimes considered dialects of Igbo, the most divergent being Ekpeye. Some of these, such as Ika, have separate standard forms.
Famous quotes containing the word language:
“The face of the water, in time, became a wonderful booka book that was a dead language to the uneducated passenger, but which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day.”
—Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (18351910)