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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A Three Script Literacy among the Vai: Arabic, English and Vai
Author:Nyei, Mohamed B.
Periodical:Liberian Studies Journal
Geographic term:Liberia
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:This paper is one of the series of papers which the author has prepared in connection with his participation in a research project (from 1975-1978) to study the literacy activities among the Vais in Liberia. It describes a three script Literacy - Arabic, English and Vai script - a case study among the Vais. The Vais, a small group of people in north-western Liberia, have invented a remarkable phonetic writing system which has remained in active use for about a century and a half in coexistence with two universally powerful scripts - the Arabic and Roman alphabets. These scripts have been widely used within the social context of traditional life of the Vais. This paper is concerned with the question of what people do with these scripts. It focuses on several related questions: What are the uses of literacy in a society lacking other components of a complex technology? What brings people to undertake the effort of learning how to read and write when literacy provides them no obvious occupational consequences? What implications does history have for literacy programs? Notes.