Advertising is a distinct form of communication and the language used for communicating adverts is distinctive and alluring. Advertising as a form of communication requires a lot of imagination, creativity and logical thinking for it to be effective and successful. Survey was adopted as the research method for the study. In order to find out the attitudes of Audience and the media towards the use of indigenous languages in advertising, interview, document observation and questionnaire were used to elicit data. 864 copies of the questionnaire were distributed to Audience across the state while six indigenous language presenters and producers were interviewed. The radio and television programme schedules were studied to elicit the languages in use on Edo Broadcasting Service.

The data collected were analyzed with the instrument of SPSS. The findings show that Edo State Broadcasting Service shows a positive attitude towards the use and promotion of seven Edo state indigenous languages in different indigenous programmes thereby reflecting the multilingual nature of their environments of operation. Similarly, Edo state Audience support the use of indigenous languages through listening to and watching indigenous language programmes on EBS radio and television respectively. The results show that music and news are the most patronized programmes among the indigenous programmes by Audience.

However, there is the need for broadcast media to allocate more airtime to indigenous language programmes and equally reduce the high content of foreign language programmes to which Audience are exposed, while NBC need to monitor the extent of compliance to the 100% local content specification in advertising because of the enormous advantages of respect for local content use and promotion as well as the use of indigenous languages in advertising.

The broadcast media have been considered an important public domain in the use, promotion and maintenance of language in line with the sociolinguistic nature and dictates of their host communities (Silentman, 1995; David, 2004; Adegoju, 2008). Languages in any multilingual society, whether minor or major, exoglossic or endoglossic or indigenous, should be seen as resources that need be effectively harnessed for development by all public domains irrespective of their origins, numerical strength, political or economic power, among others. In other words, no single language can or should solely and effectively perform the societal developmental goals (Adegbija, 1994: 4; 39; 2004: 64; Orekan, 2010). This is so given the fact that the media, as one of the public domains, which have the capability of promoting indigenous language use perform the role of creating and circulating meaning through the use of language (Oso, 2006: 176; Silentman, 1995).

Thus, the media which use indigenous languages are important for the purpose of information democratization and decentralization, access to resources, information comprehension and utilization, mobilization, socio-political empowerment, cultural and linguistic development and survival, among others (Salawu, 2006: 8; Mavesera, 2011; Capo, 1990:2; Chibata, 2006:266). Traditional formal domains like storytelling, songs, proverbs, parables, music, dance, celebrations, which often help promote languages are positively enhanced in the broadcast media (Onyeche, 2002).

Reinforcing the above indispensable benefits accruable from the use of indigenous languages in the broadcast media, Salawu notes that without the use of the language of the people, “development will only be communicated at the people; not to the people, and not with the people”. Mavesera (2011) asserts that development includes the ability of indigenous languages to express higher knowledge and technology beyond their traditional socio-geographic boundaries. Language development or empowerment programmes in the broadcast domain can turn around the fortunes of languages (Awonusi, 2008). In other words, both globalization and multilingualism or linguistic diversity are no longer seen as

the dunghill for excuses for language under-development in multilingual contexts because the use of language in the broadcast media is part of language engineering efforts aimed at revitalizing languages feared to be going into extinction (Capo, 1990:6).

In line with this, Bodomo, Anderson & Dzahene (2009) note that, following the recommendation of the National Media policy of 2000, there has been maintenance of multilingualism in Ghanaian broadcast media which has resulted in the preparation of the Ghanaian child for effective functioning, inclusion of large population of Ghana in both the communication and democratic processes in the multilingual Ghanaian setting as well as the development of indigenous Ghanaian languages.

Mavesera (2011), on the other hand, says that globalisation is viewed by Roy- Campbell (2006:1) as the world getting smaller thereby making local languages expand their sphere of influence to communicate important knowledge on the global marketplace, express modern scientific and technological information to different parts of the world with a view to ultimately eradicating inequalities and inequities among people of the world. To this end, Swahili has been used by the broadcast media to give it prominence, growth, spread and development (; accessed: 03/03/13). Munkaila and Haruna (2001: 32) have noted that the use of Hausa as a language of national and international broadcast has positively affected its prestige, growth and development and the loyalty given it. Similarly, Elugbe (2004: 41) observes that the use of nine major Nigerian languages (Edo, Efik, Fulfulde, Hausa, Igbo, Izon, Kanuri, Tiv and Yoruba) in the national broadcast media led to the development of such languages by the Federal Ministry of Education. Jennifer (2004) reported that the mass media now serve as a significant domain of status enhancement for Quechua. Adegbija (1994: 40) reports the overwhelming influence of the electronic media on Amharic in Ethiopia, Akan in Ghana, among others. These are a few of such instances showing the place of the media in the development and maintenance of indigenous languages alongside foreign languages to engender all-round desired development.

It, therefore, becomes clear why Bamgbose (2003: 84), cited by Adegoju (2008), charges that the media’s performance should be assessed along linguistic relevance. This is clearly captured thus:

the test of the efficacy of the media for empowerment should be how far they can reach the widest audience possible, and obviously, this must involve the intensive use of African languages’ given the fact that “…90% of our people in both rural and urban areas are untouched by the alleged communication role of English.

However, in all of these efforts, attitude has been identified by numerous scholars who take the middle course between foreign and indigenous language use as one of the important factors that impact on language choice, use, coverage, shift, esteem, development, growth and maintenance (Adegbija, 1994: 40; Gardner 1985, Holmes & Harlow 1991, cited by Igboanusi & Wolf 2009). Such attitude is quite instrumental to measuring the role, use and perception of the society in general towards efforts aimed at promoting indigenous languages used side by side with foreign language (s).

Nonetheless, such scholars have, thus, decried the negative attitude of the broadcast media as well as the native speakers’ towards indigenous language use and indigenous languages in use. Both the attitude of the broadcast media and the speakers of indigenous languages reflect support for the foreign languages and some major indigenous languages against the principle of egalitarian multilingualism characteristic of host locations of broadcast media. Worst still, research reveals that such negative attitude inimical to the use, growth, development, maintenance and sustenance of indigenous languages is common among the Audience more linguistically responsible for language development. Such researches about language use, development and attitudes have been concentrated in the academic domain, especially with regard to Nigeria.

Few of such existing literature relating to mass media in Nigeria have been studied within monolingual settings, and on print media. Therefore, in this part of the country quite multilingual, little has been done on language use in the electronic broadcast media within multilingual context with respect to language attitude among Audience. Thus, the purpose of this study is to assess attitudes of Audience towards the role of the broadcast media in the use of indigenous languages and languages in use.

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