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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 4, 2010

In the name of the sign: The nsibidi script as the language and literature of the crossroads

Maik Nwosu
From the journal


The study of nsibidi, one of Africa's native writing systems, has mainly taken two routes — the taxonomic, which is concerned with the classification of nsibidi signs, and the genealogical, which attempts to resolve the question of where and how nsibidi originated. This essay undertakes a semiotic and literary analysis of nsibidi as an influential language of the crossroads. In modern Nigerian literature, for instance, the poetics of “nsibidi” may be said to include a weighty concern with cosmologies or trajectories of origin and the representation or renewal of an existential drama rooted in a myth of the crossroads.

Published Online: 2010-11-04
Published in Print: 2010-October

© 2010 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York

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