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Religion and language are among the most complex, defining, and intensely felt symbolic expressions of humankind. the study of language provide us with insights into religion Conversely, can the study of religion reveal the shared nature of linguistic experience This study explores how the study of language and religion can mutually inform one another. The researcher will investigate first how both emerged – separately - as objects of systematic study in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, informed by similar evolutionary, structural and functional approaches.


Most African countries (including Nigeria) are multi-ethnic and consequently, multilingual. This tends to generate ethnic rivalry and conflict. Most Nigerians focus on the multi-ethnic differences in language and culture and this has led to ethnic politics. Making it difficult for effective democracy to take off', in considering the problems of ethnicity, the tendency is to focus on inter-ethnic problems. However. Experience has shown that they can be intra-ethnic conflicts. In other words, within the ethnic groups, we have what we could refer to as 'rival' groups and these are identified by their dialects. In the Igbo ethnic group for example, we have so many of these groups that there could be a call for the creation of more states within the ethnic group. Pronunciation served as a greater criterion than that of geographical location. It will be seen from this paper that language can be a uniting factor when we understand that most Nigerian languages, particularly the Southern ones Yoruba lgbo Edo. Nupe. Ilrliobo. Igala and so on are related. They belong to one language family. Also, Okonkwo (1972) reports that the Niger-Benue confluence was a socio-economic crossroad and a cultural melting pot in pre-colonial days. In other words there was a contact between the North and the South and one could infer that  there must have been a language used in the contact.

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