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LEXICALIZATION OF THE NIGERIAN PIDGIN: A CASE STUDY OF THE WARRI VARIETY

  • Type:Project
  • Chapters:5
  • Pages:109
  • Methodology:descriptive
  • Reference:YES
  • Format:Microsoft Word
(Linguistics and Communication Project Topics & Materials)
LEXICALIZATION OF THE NIGERIAN PIDGIN:  A CASE STUDY OF THE WARRI VARIETY
ABSTRACT
This study ‘Lexicalization in NP: A case study of the warri variety’ is a view into the word formation processes of the Nigerian pidgin in a bit to understand how words come into usage in this variety of the language.
    The warri variety of NP is a language spoken in the city of Warri, Delta State, Nigeria, popularly referred to as ‘waffi’ and its inhabitants as ‘waffarians’. The purpose of this work is to show just how rich this language is and subsequently point to the the fact of just how untapped it also is, in a bid to call to language experts to explore the wealth of not just this variety of NP but others as well, with the higher purpose of eventually getting a better understanding of the Nigerian Pidgin.
    The method of data collection use for this research is that of questionnaires which was dispensed at different locations in the city of warri. This work begins with a brief look into the language situation of Nigeria, the importance of the Nigerian Pidgin in the Nigerian society and gradually moves to the data presentation and data analysis before ending with the summary and conclusion. This research work is embodied in five(5) chapters which seeks to give the reader an unambiguous view of the workings of lexicalization that occur in this language.    
CHAPTER ONE
1.0    INTRODUCTION
    Language is one topic that has caught the attention of individuals from various works of life overtime. The phenomenon called linguists is one in which a field of experts called linguistics have dug into and are still digging into till date, that leaves in mind, Just how broad language is. During  research into language, it has been seen that there would be no society without language, and no language without the society, showing just how  inter-dependent both are to each other and the roles each play as it concerns perhaps the welfare of the other.
1.1    THE LANGUAGE SITUATION IN NIGERIA
    Nigeria is said to be the most populated nation in Africa, with over a 140 million inhabitant. A study on the linguistic situation in Nigeria has provided varying but useful observation of its language situation. Language experts have provided accounts of the number of languages spoke, in Nigeria based on approximation and estimation Emenanjo (2003:73), listed these accounts by (Coloman, 1958) 250 (Otite  1990) 374, (Bongbose 1992) 400 language. So many more accounts abound. It is seen that the reasons for these various accounts is due to one form of language classification or the other. Elugbe (1992) cited in Egbokhare (2001:199) states that this number constitutes 20% of all the languages spoken in Africa Egbokhare (2001) reports that of the 400 language 65% of them are spoken in the north central zone of the country, 25% of them in the south-south zone (made up of Niger Delta and the Midwest). The remaining 9% is shared between languages spoken in the north east, the south west, the north, west and the east zones. These  languages have generally been classified into three groups. The first group consist of the major languages: Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo spoken by the three most numerically advantaged ethnic groups. The second group has within it, 10 linguistic entities comprising of the fufulde kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, Ijaw, Edo, Nupe, Urhobo, Igala and Amang. The third and last group is made of  the small group languages” (Awobuluyi, 1991), which in Nigeria’s political lexicon is termed the minorities? Cited in Yuka (2001).
    The linguistic situation in Nigeria is a complex one with an extreme multilingual nature. The sociolinguistic evolution in Nigeria has had a number of outcomes on the languages spoken in the country. It lead to the extensive promotion of English as the official language of the Nigerian nation, and in later years the adoption of French as Nigeria’s second official language. English became the language of business, government and education and French was incorporated as a subject in most schools in the country. This resulted in English gaining the status of Nigeria’s lingual franca and the country’s indigenous languages continued existence as local languages, spoken only in communities where they exist.
    English language is dominant in almost all domains and specifically, it is used for all government functions. English language over the years has been seen as a language of prestige and as such been looked upon reverently. In Nigerian society,  a citizen who is not fluent with communication in English is seen as uncivilized or local. But as useful as the English language is, when it comes to the communication needs of the people, pidgin is said to be more useful. Egbokhare (2001:112) reports that the Nigerian pidgin has about 40 million speakers. A number that is far above the population of Hausa and Yoruba speakers put together. In Nigeria, pidgin is said to be the language of wider communication. Although it has no official status, the Nigeria pidgin plays a major role in the Nigerian speech society. The Nigeria  pidgin to spoken as a lingua franca across Nigeria.
    The Nigerian nation, in terms of its language situation is highly sensitive, this sensitivity can be said to be the major reason why no indigenous language has emerged as the country’s official language, for raising the status of an indigenous language to an official one over the other indigenous languages would no doubt cause an uproar as individuals would believe that the ‘chosen language’ is being forced on them and would undoubtedly come up with diverse reasons for such perceived ‘wrong doing’. This is perhaps one of the reasons why English has remained the official language of the nation as it is seen as a neutral language, but as to how true the neutrality of the English language is, remains debateable.
1.2    THE DEVELOPMENT OF NP
    The first groups of Europeans to visit Nigeria were the Portuguese, they visited the area now geo-politically known as the Niger-Delta. During this visitation, they set up a trade with the people in this region, this was around 1469AD. This marked the beginning of an extended context between the indigenous people of coastal Nigeria and visiting Europeans.
    These Europeans went about establishing schools and churches were they taught Portuguese  and the doctrine of Christianity. Seeing as the Niger-Delta is a region made up of diverse community with no well-established common language of communication, it was therefore easy for many Niger-Deltans to learn  the Portuguese based pidgin of the Niger-Delta at that time.
    After the Portuguese, the Dutch followed, they traded at the eastern end of the region and were soon after followed by the French who continued visiting Nigeria even after the arrival of the English in 1650AD to take effective control of trade in the region. After a while, between the 1700s and the 1800s, their interest in trade dwindled and moved to religion and later moved to education before finally shifting to colonial interest. As these interest changed, the language situation of Nigeria changed alongside.
    Due to the fact that the English was the new politically dominant group, English was then introduced into the Nigerian environment and the existing Portuguese based pidgin of the Niger-Delta started evolving in the direction of pidgin. Over the course of time, English became the major lexifier of NP. During the 1900s, the Nigerian pidgin has stabilized and it started spreading across Nigeria, and today, it is the most largely spoken language in Nigeria, having more speakers in Nigeria than any other language in the country.
    In today’s society, the Nigerian pidgin is not just limited to the Niger-Delta area alone but is widely spoken in many big cities in the country, tertiary institution, police and military formations and the Sabongari areas of Northern Nigeria. In recent times, the Nigerian pidgin functions as a lingua franca in Nigeria and it is also said to be a language of wider communication in the country being spoken in most communities. It is used in some context as an act of identity.
1.3    A BRIEF SURVEY OF THE GRAMMAR OF THE NIGERIAN PIDGIN
    The grammar of the Nigerian pidgin reflects the simplification process that is typical of pidgin formation. This is seen in the case of tenses, which are indicated by context or time related words rather than changes with verbs. The grammar also reflects the influence of the surrounding languages. Speakers of various native languages can use different grammar structures when they speak the Nigerian pidgin, depending on what is most familiar to them. The Nigerian pidgin borrows a good amount of vocabulary from Nigerian languages spoken around it, such as Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and the Edoid language but it’s major lexifier remains the English language. Some examples: NP substrates include:
1.2.3: From English
1.
a.Pesin        -    someone
b. Doti         -    ‘dirt’
c.Waka         -     ‘to walk’
d. Chop        -     to eat/consume
e. Domot         -     door mouth area    
1.3.2: Edo
2.
a. Kpangolo         -     ‘container’
b. Kpekere         -    ‘plaintain chipo’
c. Okada         -    ‘vegetable oil’
d. Ozeba         -     ‘a big problem’
1.3.3: Hausa
3.                                                                                                                      a. Dabaru         -     ‘to destroy’
b. Dogo         -    ‘a tall person’
c. Koboko         -    ‘horse whip’
d. Suya         -    ‘spicy grilled meat’     
1.3.4: Igbo
4.
a. Akamu         -     ‘corn starch/pap’
b. Biko         -    ‘please’
c. Obodo         -    ‘land/country’
d. Okrika         -    ‘second – handed item’
e. Ogbanje         -     ‘a water spirit’
1.3.5: Yoruba
5.
a. Adire         -    ‘tie and dye’
b. Sharaka         -    ‘show off’
c. She         -    ‘hope’
d. Shele        -    ‘happen, take place’
1.3.6: Portuguese
6.
a. Kpalava         -    trouble
b. Pikin         -    child
c. Sabi         -    to know
1.4    PHONOLOGY
    The sound system of the Nigeria pidgin bears strong semblance to those of the other English-based creoles of West Africa. It has its own spelling system which was adopted by the NLA in 2009 as the hamonised way of writing the Nigerian pidgin which has been named ‘Naija’
1.4.1: Vowels
    NP has a sound system of several oral vowel
A,i,e,o,  u
Alongside their nasal counterparts. These sounds are represented in the writing system as [a] [i], [e], [o], [u]. [e] represents both [e] and [ε] and [o] represents both [o] and [  ]. This language also has four vowels sequence or diphthongs: ai, ao, iε, ε or their variant forms used by speakers of the language.
    The Nigerian pidgin does not make distinction in the pronunciation of some words originating from English. For example, ‘bit’ for bit/beat; ful’ for ful/fool; ‘kot’ for court/cut
1.4.2: Consonant
NP has about 22 consonant sounds. These sounds are distinctly represented in the writing system by 22 roman letters and their combination, b,ch, d, f, g, h, j, k, kp, l, m, n, p, r, s, sh, t, v, w, y, z [ch] is pronounced similar to the ‘ch’ in English chat, [i] is pronounced similar to English ‘judge’ while [sh] is also pronounce similar to English ‘shoot’. Both [gb] and [kp] are evidence of the influence of Nigerian language on NP. For example; agbo, kpako, kpekere, ogbono/ogbolo.
    In words derived from English where ‘th’ sound exist, they are realized as ‘d’ and ‘f’ in NP. For example; dem ‘them’, di ‘the’, tink ‘think’, tank, ‘thank’.
1.4.3: Tone
    NP is a tonal language. In the Nigerian pidgin, pitch is used to make a difference in the meaning of a word.
7.
a. Baba (LH)     - an old man
b. Baba (HL)    - a barber
c. Fada (HL)     - a master of something
d. Fada (LH)    - a catholic priest
e. Papa (LH)    - daddy or father
f. Papa (HL) – an old man
1.5    Morphology
    NP does not make use of inflectional word building system found in English and other European languages. New words in NP can be formed mainly by derivation, compounding, reduplication and zero-derivation.
1.5.1    Compounding
    Compounding: This is the formation of a word through the combination of two pre-existing words. Examples of compounding in NP;
8.
a. Akara – wuman -> Yoruba English: a woman who fries and sells bean cake.
b. Boku – bai -> French + English – wholesale
c. Egbe-weja -> Edo + English – a thing or hoodlev
d. Go-slo -> English + English – traffic jam
e. Ova-sabi -> English + Portuguese – one who shows he knows too much.
1.5.2: Reduplication
Reduplication – here the same word or part of it is repeated to form a new word.
Example;
9.
a. Boku – boku -> French – in large number
b. Boi-boi -> English – a male household servant
c. Waka-waka -> English – someone who move about aimlessly.
1.5.3
Zero derivation – This is a processes where a word changes its function without changing the physical form. Example.
10.
a. Baz (verb) – to smoke
b. Baz (noun) – a stick of cigarette
c. Bulala (verb) – to flog
d. Bulala (noun) – ‘a cane or a whip.
NP does not use inflectional world building processes like –s, -ed, -ing which are used to show tense aspect, instead it uses separate markers like don (past tense marker), de (progressive marker) and don (perfective marks) while modal is indicated by go (will’/’shall’) of (‘would’/‘should’+ ‘have’), fit (‘may’/might’, can/could’) in Nigerian pidgin, ‘dem’ is used to show plural.
1.6     SYNTAX
    To indicate position or location in NP, the verbs ‘de’ and ‘ste’ are used, example:
11.Mi de house                
    I          am at the house
i.    Papa de Abuja
Father is in Abuja
ii.    Mary de ste with us
Mary lives with us
While ‘get’ shows ownership, examples:
iii.    Na she get di moni
She is the owner of the money
While sabi is used to indicate knowledge or understanding.
iv.    Dem  sabi di work o.
They know how to do the job
Many sentences in NP are structurally and semantically similar to those of many Nigerian language. Example,
NP: fie de kach jon
Fear is catching john
‘John is afraid’
Edo: Ohan mue Ejoni  
Fear is catching John
‘John is afraid.’
1.6.1    Negative construction.
    In NP, negation is shown with the negative markers ‘no’ (not or do/did not) and neva (has/have not). Examples.
12.
i.    A no kom
I did not come
ii.     De no go kom
They will not come
iii.    Prince fit no gree
Prince may not agree
iv.    Chi neva bui am
She has not bought it.
1.6.2    Focused Construction
    For grammatical construction, where a certain part of the sentence is emphasized, NP used the focus marker ‘na’, Examples.
13.
i.    Na yu go bui am
It is you, who will by it.
ii.     Na hu de die?
Who is it that is there?
1.6.3    Serial  verbs Construction
    This kind of sentence construction is found in NP. Example,
14.
i.    Mary tek     naif    taek      kot     di     mi
Mary took     knife     took     cut     the     meat
    Chi     tek     bag     tek     carri     di     buk
    She     took    bag     took    carry    the     book
    She used     a     bag     to     carry the book.
1.7    THE CONCEPT OF LEXICALIZATION
    “The OED (1989) defines lexicalize as ‘to accept into the lexicon, or vocabulary, of a language, and lexicalization as ‘the action or process of lexicalizing’. In this sense, simple and complex words, native as well as loan words can be lexicalized. Thus Lyons  (1968: 352) says that the relationship of the transitive (and causative) concept of ‘to cause someone to die’ is expressed  by a separate word, to kill (someone)
    Quirk et al (1985: 15257). Restrict lexicalization to words formed by word – formation processes, explaining it as the process of creating a new word (a complex lexical item) for a (new) thing or notion instead of describing this thing or notion in a sentence or paraphrase and because they can be more easily used as elements of sentences. Thus one does not say ‘someone who writes a book for someone else, who then pretends its their own, one ago  says   ghost writer instead ……………. (Hens savers, “lexicalization and demotivation” morphology: An international handbook on inflection and word-formation, ed., by Christian lenman, GEBooi, Joachim Mugdan, and Wolfgang kesselhem, watter de Grufter, 2004).
    Lexicalization is the process where new words having gained into widespread usage, enter in the lexicon (a lexicon is language inventory of lexemes). It has been broadly defined as the adoption of concept into the lexicon. It is seen by syntactic and as the reverse process of grammaticalization, by morphologists as a routine process of word formation and by semanticist as the development of concrete meaning.
1.8: AIM OF STUDY
This research seeks to take a view into the word formation process found in the Warri variety of the Nigerian Pidgin in a bid to understand how words in this variety come into usage and placing side by side certain words gotten in this research in a bid to better understand if the varieties of NP represent certain meaning with different lexical items.
   This work aims to catch the interest of  language experts in a bid to draw attention to the vast work that needs to be carried out in NP as many of its facts remain undiscovered and underdeveloped.

LEXICALIZATION OF THE NIGERIAN PIDGIN: A CASE STUDY OF THE WARRI VARIETY

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Type Project
Department Linguistics and Communication
Project ID LAC0087
Price ₦3,000 ($9)
Chapters 5 Chapters
No of Pages 109 Pages
Methodology descriptive
Reference YES
Format Microsoft Word

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    Details

    Type Project
    Department Linguistics and Communication
    Project ID LAC0087
    Price ₦3,000 ($9)
    Chapters 5 Chapters
    No of Pages 109 Pages
    Methodology descriptive
    Reference YES
    Format Microsoft Word

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