Tag Archives: Nigerian English

Educated Nigerian English Phonemes (Published)

There has been a natural desire for linguistic independence among language experts as the English language has continued to function as a medium of communication in Nigeria since 19th century (Jowitt 2007, Banjo 1971). The realism is seen on the interest in the development of National variety of English and the volumes of scholarly article on the variety of Nigerian English. Some of these articles have adequately proved that grammatical, lexical and phonological systems have attained appreciable standard. But the general publications on these studies have not been harmonized and appropriated. The objectives of this study is to determine and document the common core features of Educated Nigerian English Phonemes (ENEP). The study also analyzes the contexts, the nature and root causes of the emergence of stable phonemic forms of ENE.  The researcher also determine whether the distinctive forms are nationally acceptable and internationally intelligible and by so doing, establish the standard ENE Phonemes. Two hundred Nigerians of varied educational backgrounds and levels were selected by a random sampling technique from thirty linguistic groups and different occupational levels in Nigeria. The study reveals that there are stable phonemic features that differ slightly from SBE Received Pronunciation ( RP) but cut across all the levels of education as well as the regional varieties. The study recommends that such features should be accepted as national the standard.

Keywords: English phonemes, Nigerian English, educated Nigerian English

Hindering Impact of Nigerian English and Pidgin on the Learning and Standard English in Nigerian Universities (Published)

English is the language of instruction, study, and testing in all institutions of higher learning in Nigeria. Despite the fact that Nigerian English and Pidgin are means of communication in Nigeria, they pose many problems in learning English in the universities. They are sources of errors and non-standard expressions in English. The two varieties are non-standard and constitute impediment to the learning of accepted official usage. They are widely spoken and understood by many Nigerians. Quite often, a great number of students prefer to express themselves in Pidgin English and Nigerian English rather than go through the mental rigours of speaking simple correct English. Students sometimes use them interchangeably in speech and writing in the course of their studies and assignments. The use of these nonstandard varieties discourages the learning of the accepted standard usage and orthography. This paper discusses the learning problems created by Nigerian English and Pidgin English in our university and recommends strategies for discouraging the negative effects these nonstandard varieties have on sound learning of English as a second language in Nigeria.

Keywords: English, Nigerian English, Nigerian Universities, learning standard, pidgin

Lexical Deviations and Intelligibility in Popular Nigerian English (Published)

Nigerian English has been recognized as a distinctive variety of world Englishes.  However, descriptive analyses and documentation of what constitute standard and non- standard Nigerian English have not been purposefully established. This study undertook to analyze lexical deviations in Popular Nigerian English (PNE) using Adesanoye’s (1973) Varieties One and Two exponents. The study assesses the national and international intelligibility of lexical peculiarities in Popular Nigerian English and also determines the factors responsible for the peculiarities. Data were collected from four hundred students and two hundred civil servants who have received formal education in the English language. The subjects were Primary school graduates, Junior Secondary School graduates and Senior secondary school graduates exemplifying Variety One exponents. The Second Year undergraduates and the Civil servants with OND or NCE certificate exemplified Variety Two exponents. The subjects were selected by a Stratified Random Sampling Technique (SRS) and our focus is on Varieties One and Two exponents. These are PNE writers. Four hundred essay scripts and two hundred   letters written by the subjects were read.   The distinctive PNE forms that have high frequency of occurrence and wide distributions in the corpus were analyzed. A quantitative approach using frequency count and simple percentages was adopted in the analysis of data. The study revealed that Popular Written Nigerian English deviates from SBE at the lexical level. The lexical deviations were found to be widespread and regular. Again, the study revealed that popular written Nigerian English is intelligible both nationally and internationally at the lexical level when examined in contexts.  The forms which emerged were as a result of the socio-linguistic realities of the Nigerian environment and culture.

Keywords: Intelligibility, Lexical Deviations, Nigerian English

Style of Nigerian English Conversation: A Discourse-Stylistic Analysis of a Natural Conversation (Published)

The study entitled ‘Style of Nigerian English conversation: a discourse- stylistic analysis of a natural conversation is a linguistic stylistic analysis of educated Nigerian English conversation. The study following the example of Davy and crystal (1969) was aimed at identifying the common features of conversation in educated Nigerian English in relation to the linguistic features of conversational English. Our findings showed that Nigerian English conversation has the features of inexplicitness of expressions, randomness of subject- matter and general lack of planning;, normal non-fluency and gap-fillers; the use of in-group slang and abbreviations known to participants; extreme informality, etc. In specific terms, Nigerian English conversation closely approximates the Standard English conversation in terms of its style and interactive qualities as a language in use in social contexts. The study discovered, that, Nigerian English conversation, apart from the common core – features which it shares with the general conversational English, has some indexical markers which locate it in its socio-cultural and sociolinguistic context as English as a second language

Keywords: Conversation, Discourse-Stylistics, Nigerian English, Style