ATTITUDES OF NIGERIAN TOWARDS THE USE OF NIGERIAN PIDGIN: FINDINGS FROM BENIN METROPOLIS TABLE OF CONTENT CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background to the Study 1.2 Methodology 1.3 Purpose of Study 1.4 Significance of Study and Justification of Study Chapter two Review of relevant literature 2.0 Introduction 2.1 Conceptual Review of Literature 2.1.1 Attitude 2.1.2 Language Contact 2.1.3 Language Educational Policy 2.1.4. Multilingualism in Nigeria 2.2 Previous Studies 2.3 The Concern of the Present Study Chapter three: The mentalist perspective 3.0 Introduction 3.1Applying mentalist perspective to Nigeria Pidgin English 3.2 Approaches of the Theories Chapter four Data analysis 4.0 Introduction 4.1 Structure Questionnaire Approach 4.1.1 Characteristics of the Respondents 4.1.2 Characteristics toward Edo Language Scores 4.1.3 Attitude toward Pidgin English Scores 4.1.3 Classification of Respondents on Both Languages 4.2 The Interview Approach 4.2.1 Opinions of The Informants About NPE 4.2.2 Opinions of the Informants about Edo Language 4.3 Conclusion CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY, FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION 5.1 SUMMARY 5.2 FINDINGS 5.3 CONCLUSION REFERENCES CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background to the Study Language attitude is a personal or collective disposition, feelings and behaviors towards a particular language or a language variety. This attitude may be positive or negative. Crystal (1997:215) define attitude “as the feelings people have about their own language or the languages of others.” Attitude towards a language is not directly attitude towards the language but a reflection of attitude from the speaker of the language on the language. Attitudinal studies aid in identifying how people of one language group new the personal character and social status of speakers of another language and how they form association about other language. Language is generally accepted as a means by which people in a community interact and express feelings, thoughts and intentions. Societies rely on language and languages rely on the society. Hence, there must be a relationship that exists between language and society. The power of language mainly lies on political reason, whether or not it is an official language of the state as most of the official languages are used in formal settings, such as in education or official document. These usages empower the official languages and while at the same time degraded the unofficial ones. In the context of our living place, Benin City, speaking of ‘Nigerian Pidgin English’ one might immediately think of the local official language of Edo. However, Edo language is not the only local language of Benin; actually Benin has quite a number of languages. Nigerian Pidgin English is a contact language and like contact languages comes into being under conditions of interaction among people of different linguistics backgrounds. Pidgins usually evolve from the fusion of foreign languages and indigenous languages. Crystal 1997 explained that most of the present day pidgins grew up along the trade routes of the world especially in those parts where British, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch built up their empire. Linguists like Akmajian and others like Elugbe, Omakor (1991) observed that pidgin usually thrive in multi-lingua part of the world. Such communities are made up of different ethnic groups with different language that are not understood by other groups. Hence, in Benin City, pidgin language is found to be useful the people in contact find they cannot do without it. The pidgin becomes a common language. The origin of Nigeria Pidgin English (henceforth NPE) is traceable to the contact between the coastal peoples ofNigeria and the Europeans.Egbokhare (2006:6) observes that the first contact was made by the Portuguese around 1469. The Dutchfollowed about 1593, but soon faded away to be replaced by the English from 1650 onwards.Elugbe and Omamor (1991:3) claim that some form of Portuguese pidgin must have been spoken along thecoast. This must have been short-lived with the ousting of the Portuguese by the French, the Dutch and theEnglish. Among these groups, the British impact was more enduring and resulted in the development of anEnglish-based pidgin along the Nigerian coast. The same reasons that led to the evolution of NPE have popularized it in Nigeria. Urbanization, trade and othercontact situations within the country have led to the spread of NPE. The language has become a lingua franca notonly in a multiethnic Niger Delta, but in the whole of Nigeria. The multiethnicity of barracks and urban centreshas also helped in transporting the language inland. The result is that we now have varieties of pidgin basedroughly on the ethnic groups and geographical locations. Elugbe and Omamor (1991) observe that it hascreolized in the Warri and Sapele areas of the Niger Delta. Mafeni (1971:97) says that NP comprises a base language-English, which has been and continues to be modifiedby indigenous languages. The present profile of NP is that of a lingua franca, building linguistic and communicative bridges among the400 or so ethnic groups in Nigeria. NPE can be regarded as ‘a child of necessity’ and a language of convenience. This is because of its use as acontact language and its communicative value among our many ethnic groups. Starting from the coastal regions,it has metamorphosed into a lingua franca, penetrating inland to the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. 1.2 METHODOLOGY This study employed the primary source of data collection. A questionnaire was designed to elicit responses from members of the public. There was also the direct interview of some respondents in Benin metropolis with the aid of a digital tape recorder. Since the population of the people of Benin is much, the simple random sampling technique will be adopted in selecting one hundred (100) respondents both male and female. The responses of the participants shall be manually coded and analyzed in frequency table. 1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY The purposes of the study are: To know the attitude of Nigerians especially those residing in Benin towards Nigerian Pidgin English. To know if Nigerian Pidgin English can be used as a formal medium of communication in Edo state and consequently other states in Nigeria. To examine the contribution of Nigerian Pidgin English towards teaching and learning in schools (primary and secondary). To know if Nigerian Pidgin English is a threat to the vitality of the indigenous Edo language. 1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY AND JUSTIFICATION OF STUDY This study is very important because the results can go a long way to establishing the official state of Nigerian Pidgin English as a formal language in Edo state. This work will be of great relevance and a reference point to students of linguistics and it will highlight some issues in language planning and language vitality. It will be a guide for the federal government in planning for effective educational system in the school curriculum.
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