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  • Author: Akinmade T. Akande x
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Abstract

The present paper deals with multilingual practices as they have emerged in Nigeria’s vibrant hip hop community. Apart from English, the most important strand in the multilingual fabric of Nigerian hip hop lyrics is Nigerian Pidgin. In addition, several more indigenous languages are used regularly. The focus of the present study, however, is on the use of two foreign varieties, namely African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) and Jamaican Creole or Patois (JC). Borrowing from AAVE and JC is a useful strategy for Nigerian artists to authenticate their performances by international standards. In principle, multilingual practices, including use of dialects and languages which are not natively spoken in a community, fits in well with the hip hop aesthetic. However, as will be shown, some AAVE and JC elements are borrowed without a full understanding of their linguistic and cultural context or transformed in an effort to adapt them to a new local context, which also runs the risk of undermining authenticity. Borrowing from AAVE and JC proves most problematical on the level of grammar

Abstract

The major aim of this paper is to demonstrate through the grammar of the verb phrase in Standard English (StdE) and Nigerian Pidgin English (NPE) that NPE is a distinct language. The paper draws on data collected from 30 Nigerian University Graduates from three ethnolinguistic regions. Although many scholars have pointed out that NPE is a language (Agheyisi, West African Pidgin: Simplification and Simplicity, University of Stanford, 1971; Elugbe and Omamor, Nigerian Pidgins: Background and Prospects, Heinemann, 1991), not many of them have examined the verb phrase in NPE with a view to showing that its grammar is distinctive. It has been shown in this paper that the NPE verb phrase is sharply different from StdE verb phrase, and because the verb is at the centre of the clause and can determine its argument, it can be argued that NPE whose verbal grammar is radically different from that of English is a separate language. The pattern of clustering of NPE verb phrases with other NPE verb phrases or other crieterial features of NPE is also a demonstration that NPE is a distinct language. Finally, the subjects made sharp switches from StdE to NPE, speaking in blocks of first one code and then the other: this is like the behaviour of bilinguals moving from one language to another.

A Sociolinguistic Perspective

Abstract

This paper is an investigation of the pronunciation patterns of English interdental fricatives by some Yoruba speakers of English at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. This was with a view to finding out the extent to which gender, the level of education, and the position in words of the interdental fricatives (i.e., the (th) variable as in think, pathetic, and path on the one hand, and the (dh) variable as in then, father, and clothe on the other hand) could affect the realisations of these two fricatives, otherwise known as (th) and (dh) variables. Data eventually used for this study were drawn from the reading performance of thirty-three informants who were of Yoruba origin. The thirty-three informants comprised 20 male and 13 female subjects with different levels of education ranging from undergraduate to doctoral. Our findings indicated that the (dh) variable was significantly affected by gender while the (th) variable was not. It was also demonstrated that while the (th) was significantly affected by the level of education of informants, the (dh) variable had no statistically significant association with the speakers’ level of education. Finally, the results of the study revealed that the position in a word (whether initial, medial, or final) of each of the variables affected the realisations of the two variables significantly. It was therefore concluded that sociolinguistic variables such as gender and the level of education were capable of affecting the rendition of linguistic variables significantly.