Linguistic Taboos in the Igbo Society: A sociolinguistic Investigation

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This article investigates linguistic taboos in the Igbo society in terms of their classification and socio-cultural factors affecting their usage. The article classifies linguistic taboos in the Igbo society into five categories: morality-related linguistic taboos, veneration-related linguistic taboos, decorum-related linguistic taboos, religion-related linguistic taboos and fear-related linguistic taboos. The article argues that while religion and decorum-related linguistic taboos are unmentioned and have no permissible alternatives because they are closely tied to different Igbo deities, morality, veneration and fear-related ones have euphemisms. It notes also that taboo expressions are hardly taught in schools and advocates the teaching of linguistic taboos to learners of Igbo as a second language. It advocates further the inclusion of this aspect of the Igbo language in the school curriculum and Igbo textbooks. Two principal methods were used to collect data for this study: questionnaire and oral interview. The data collected were presented in tabular form, using descriptive statistics.



Linguistic taboo,, Igbo,, second language education,, school curricula