The Domestication of the English Language for Literary Purpose in Nigeria: Creating a National Identity Dare Owolabi Essay
Abstract—Nigeria is, clearly, one of the largest ESL users in the world.
Chinese that initial came with the colonial professionals as a foreign language has seeing that grown in leaps and bounds to now turn into a second language and, unarguably, the country’s recognized language. Because the largest dark-colored nation in the world, Nigeria, applying English while the official terminology, has influenced the language in a way that has created a Nigerian identification that is fast becoming a variety of The english language as a worldwide language. This variety of English, which I make reference to as Niglish has worldwide intelligibility, he was used by Nigerian writers to win worldwide awards.
This kind of study looks at how the English language language has been nativized in the Nigerian environment for fictional purpose, employing selected works from latest literary designers in Nigeria and by Nigerians. The paper identifies the Nigerianness inside the use of English language in the performs of the copy writers examined to exhibit how these kinds of writers have the ability to maintain a balance among local color and foreign intelligibility and acceptability. The corpora just for this study were selected and grouped underneath transliteration, interference and importation of L1 lexicon, ultimately causing switching and mixing of code.
Phonology has been purposely left out on this study pertaining to the obvious cause that nonnative adult secondary language English users are not proven to have appropriate competence of native loudspeakers in the used aspect of language. Besides, simply written functions were reviewed. The study concludes that the analysis of any regional number of English, such as Nigerian British should be endonormative rather than exonormative, bearing in mind local peculiarities, and particularly creative and sensible use of the language.
Index Terms—Domestication of english, language to get specific goal, literary purpose, local color, national identification. amaze native speakers. It is a well-known reality many Nigerian writers have received accolades globally on account of their very own literary prowess in the English language language medium. For example Nigerian born Wole Soyinka, is a first Africa Nobel Laureate in books. With the achievement of this position, it is high time true reputation be approved the emerging variety of The english language in Nigeria, which has been successfully domesticated, in addition the language has been and is continue to being ‘home-grown…adapted and tamed to suit the Nigerian environment’ (Adegbija, 2004).
Dynamism is among the characteristics of any living language, plus the different varieties of English appearing from across the globe today can be a testimony for the vibrancy of the language. Creativeness, as a vocabulary feature, offers greatly influenced these appearing varieties of British in the world, and this is also one factor that has helped midwife the Nigerian number of English; an assortment that has helped Nigerians communicate their community view, their particular way. In addition , pragmatism as a means of responding to immediate scenario through the English language language medium has led to what Omolewa (1979: 14-15) phone calls ‘working English’.
This is, yet , different from the wide spread Pidgin English, which continues to serve as the linguistic bridge around the murky oceans of linguistic Babel in Nigeria. In addition to the fact that Pidgin is considerably influenced by the immediate community languages, thus making order, regularity difficult, it really is restricted to big cities and towns and common among the proletariat. The emerging Nigerian English is usually not heavily dependent on indigenous languages. In accordance to Igboanusi (2002: 4), ‘NE provides its source in United kingdom English, and the lexicon of NE offers therefore shown a strong Uk influence’.
Basically, while Pidgin is common among the list of uneducated and spoken by the educated if they want to condescend or perhaps for an impact, NE is definitely spoken by the educated as well as the level of education determines the variety of NE used by people. Although British, as used by Nigerians, might not, and cannot, be precisely the same, as that used by those who have the language because their mother tongue, the Nigerian attempt at domesticating chinese to suit home purposes can be, no doubt, fast-becoming a variety. To that extent NENNI should be known as an acceptable starting from the guidelines in diction, pronunciation or perhaps from what is generally viewed as the standard, nevertheless possessing shared intelligibility even at international level.
The contact of English with indigenous dialects in Nigeria has some effects on the English language. Outlining Alamin A. Mazrui (2004), Akere (2009: 3), identifies domestication of English as ‘the modification of English language as a great alien medium, to make it 488 DOI: 10. 7763/IJSSH.
2012. V2. 153 International Journal of Social Scientific research and Humanity, Vol. a couple of, No . six, November 2012 respond to regional imagery, statistics of talk, sound habits and the general cultural milieu of the region’. Nigerian copy writers are seen to exhibit instances of Nigerianism in their use of English and these deviations have never been known to inhibit foreign intelligibility.
Lack of political is going to to push through any of the native languages, arising from (i) above; The language which includes come to fill the bill, which is English, is seen by many people as a unifying force inside the turbulent linguistic terrain. This language provides since gained the position of a secondary language and many with the younger years are now effective bilinguals. The English vocabulary used in Nigeria is now termed as Nigerian British, which is the nativized sort of the Standard British. The language can be used in a unusual fashion to accommodate Nigerians’ purpose and in these kinds of a way that ‘as a domestic servant does the actual master requires…English in Nigeria is now made to do exactly what Nigerians want it to do’ (Adegbija, 2005: 20).
This is just what Sinclair (1988: 3) in addition has noted about native speakers’ loss of control more than English when it is said that: ‘the English terminology has been so successfully exported round the world that the local speakers not anymore have control of it’. In a nutshell, Nigerian British is the contact form Okoro (2004: 167) classifies as ‘…English the way Nigerians speak and write that! ‘ using its peculiarities which do not seriously block international intelligibility. III. LANGUAGES AND THE QUESTION OF COUNTRYWIDE LANGUAGE IN NIGERIA Nigeria has no a single language that may be regarded as the nation’s vocabulary.
Different areas or group of communities have one language or the other unusual to these people. These several languages do not place in recognized and educational issues. Even wherever official reputation is approved three major languages that represent three major parts viz: Hausa in the North part, Igbo in the Southern region Eastern component and Yoruba in the Southern Western portion, they are just used in issues of tradition. The Nigerian linguistic situation necessitates the adoption of your non-partisan linguistic code to get the benefit of all, and this responsibility falls on the language British since not any indigenous language can be used as being a national vocabulary.
So many reasons have been submit for the adoption of English, a nonindigenous dialect, as Nigeria’s lingua franca. Some of these include: Fear of politics domination, if perhaps any native language can be selected regardless of how good intentioned; Avoiding the India’s knowledge, where the range of Hindi was reported to have led to riots in many nonHindi speaking regions (Yule, 2007); Lack of infrastructure, such as professors, books and also other learning solutions, for any picked language; V. NIGERIAN WRITERS’ PECULIAR USE OF ENGLISH FOR LITERARY GOAL What we take a look at in this section is the way Nigerian writers use the The english language language for the specific demands of Nigerians, but which nonetheless is going to still move the test of international intelligibility.
In other words, these kinds of writers happen to be rooted in Nigeria in their linguistic decision, but they distributed their text messages, like tree branches, to other parts on the planet, where some have earned one prize or the 489 International Diary of Interpersonal Science and Humanity, Vol. 2, Number 6, The fall of 2012 other. In this analyze, the data provided are arranged under the pursuing headings: transliteration, interference and importation of L1 lexicon, leading to code switching and mixing.
Your data for this research come from 3 recent books by Nigerian novelists: Lola Soneyin, The Secrete Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (TSLBSW) (2010), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Crimson Hibiscus (PH) (2006) and Half of a Yellow Sunlight (HYS) (2006). Transliteration: By simply transliteration right here we imply direct translation of an phrase in L1 to L2, such that the structure of L1 is so domineering which the resultant expression in L2 appears strange. Below are some examples from the books selected just for this study. Thanks to returning the mouth for the matter at hand my friend (5) (TSLBSW) The above mentioned expression is definitely unlikely in Standard English language, the equivalent of which is likely to be I want to thank bringing us back to the situation at hand (my friend).
Precisely what is evident the following is that there is a digression, to which among the discussants is attempting to control others backside on program, to the topic from which they’d detoured. …he hoisted him self onto his feet making use of the bedpost intended for support and prayed that morning might wake them well (14) (TSLBSW). Although the expression morning would wake them well may result from Standard The english language as a radical expression (personification), which is not the sense by which it is used here. It is a literal method of wishing which the next early morning will be well. Has this woman’s mind scattered that she right now scrubs my own mouth? (62) (TSLBSW).
This really is an expression which is not likely to offer an equivalent in Standard English language to express the actual thought. The closest paraphrase that we can easily have to exhibit the thought is: Is this girl insane that she at this point argues with me? Let me tell you among the things I did. Laughter kills me when I think of that (67) (TSLBSW).
The expression Fun kills me, in Standard English may be paraphrased “I laughed hysterically”, but indicated this way in a Nigerian book for this category of audience, is not going to carry the predicted weight. So for the purpose of the expected pounds, it has to be transliterated from the L1, and it is comprehended from the history of L1. My daughters were created with eye in their stomachs so they are really quick to digest all of that they see…Like I stated, they have eyes in their stomachs (88) (TSLBSW) The expression, sight in their bellies, which means being discernible, is usually not what can be comprehended for people who are more comfortable with Standard British. It has been particularly used for the purpose of literature in the novel. They have taken him!
They have taken him! (45) (PH) Each of our people declare the refrain sounds like… They say the Sardauna seemed like that when he was begging them to not kill him (130) (HYS) As a transliteration from a great indigenous language, in the lively voice, this means the object from the sentence has been taken (arrested), and may have been better rendered through this passive tone of voice. In many Nigerian indigenous dialects, when the performer of an action is not known, it is indicated as in the example above, as the passive words does not exist 490 in many of the indigenous languages. Interference: This is one common feature in just about any language get in touch with situation, because second language users impose the structure of L1 about L2.
The structural copy of L1 to L2 by Nigerian writers is among the ways of domesticating the English language language to convey Nigerians’ community view in an international language. Interference is a frequent feature in the use of English by Nigerians, as the L1 constructions bear seriously on L2. In some from the recent Nigerian novels from where this study draws it is data, the subsequent examples display the happening of interference that occurs inside the English language in contact with a lot of Nigerian dialects.
My mother despised her; she stated the woman experienced the disease of the eye: anything she sees, she wanted (121) (TSLBSW) The disease in the eye, because used in the novel with regards to literature, is usually not what kind that requires the interest of an oculist. In Nigerian English, talking to the Yoruba language, it indicates “greed”, “avarice”, and “covetousness”. This meaning is usually not hidden from Nigerian users of English as a second language, but may be unusual to those utilized to only Normal English. Iya Femi picked me up with her eye and plonked me to the floor (55) (TSLBSW) The word above is known as a direct transfer from the structure of L1.
Although the phrase is metaphorical, it is not probably be understood by simply anybody not intelligible in the writer’s initially language. Actually its Normal English performance is tough. The closest we can include, but which is not likely to carry the weight necessary is “Femi’s mother despised me”. You want to take out yourself (56) (TSLBSW) The typical English version of this phrase is: “Now you want to discharge yourself”. This really is a typical case of equally transliteration and interference.
Those flies in the kitchen sah, they are a sign of bad medicine from the dibia. Somebody has done bad treatments. The flies, sah. It means somebody has done bad remedies for this house (215&216) (HYS) The above is yet another case of the interference of L1 framework on L2.
The expression negative medicine in the dibia since used in the novel could be translated in Standard The english language to indicate “diabolic subject from an herbalist”. Sis, but it is usually funny, oh…Because of a lot of Book, cope with know how to giggle (130) (HYS) As a circumstance of disturbance, the L1 structure is evident in the phrase which in Standard English may be rendered “much learning has made you too sober”. L1 lexicon infusion ultimately causing code blending and code switching: Code mixing and code transitioning are normal outcomes the moment languages will be in contact. These are generally common features in many Nigerian novels and very evident in the works of fiction used for this kind of study.
In these novels you will find cases of infusion of L1 lexicons, too numerous to mention. They will include: brands of foods: He taken the stool towards his crotch and proceeded to demolish the mountain of amala, morsel by morsel, catching every single string of ewedu that dripped down his hand with his tongue (9) (TSLBSW) International Log of Interpersonal Science and Humanity, Vol. 2, Number 6, November 2012 This is so mainly because in situations where British does not possess required movement and detailed aspects for a Nigerian experience, the need to communicate frequently results in odd expressions which might be most appropriate to get the Nigerian context (Adegbija, 2004).
For instance , in conveying the need for co-operation, one of the personas in TSLBSW says: Whether we come with our palm oil with sweet potato or we accompany our yam with oil, it is important to have a fantastic meal of oil-soaked sweet potato. We must help each other (100). Okoro (2004: 167) has rightly noticed that ‘Nigerian English is simply the way Nigerians speak and write that! ‘ especially at the syntactic level using transfer of MT buildings.
This is very apparent in Nigerian literature of all genres, although our attention, here, continues to be on new Nigerian works of fiction. VII. BOTTOM LINE VI.
SEMANTICS AND INTELLIGIBILITY IN NIGERIAN ENGLISH Since noted by simply Finch (2000: 2) “‘the bread and butter’ of all linguistics…is the study of phonology, format and semantics” and semantics operates in two grammatical ranks of word and sentence. Finch goes on to admit at term rank, semanticists explore the relationships which usually words have with each other within the language overall which comprises their perception; in other words, this is which a word has due to its put in place the linguistic system. In essence, obvious circumstances of Nigerianism that identify NE will not likely likely constitute any semantic hindrance, specially in Written Nigerian English (WNE).
That is to say that there is less probability of lack of shared intelligibility in WNE actually to indigenous speakers or those used to Standard British, notwithstanding that words and expressions are used in non-traditional manner. Even though L1 lexicon items are applied alongside Regular English phrases, leading to code mixing or perhaps outright code switching, that is not hinder intelligibility, as the context of such terms provide the necessary meaning. In the event syntax, is definitely ‘the examine of grammatical relations between words and also other units within the sentence’ (Matthews, 2005: 368), NE cannot be said to be different in any way from the British or American regular.
This has to be so since ‘there are certain aspects of the grammar of English language, as used internationally which any diatopic variety decreases at its own peril’ (Banjo, 1996: 74). Speaking in the same vein, Adegbija (2004: 27) says ‘to an extremely large extent, the grammar of English in Nigeria is still in conformity with the sentence structure of indigenous varieties of English’. Only syntactic distortions may impair intelligibility, not only internationally but even locally. With syntactic composition intact many on a doble with Uk and American standard, the special make use of English to get literary goal in Nigeria is to achieve special effects, just like giving the usage of English a local flavor that creates a Nigerian national personality.
It must end up being realized that Nigerian English vocabulary ‘contains a lot of words that happen to be either not really found in Regular English and/or used in ways peculiar towards the Nigerian situation’ (Igboanusi, 2002: 14). 491 Variations are normal features of virtually any living language and such different versions do not vitiate the importance or perhaps acceptability with the various forms, but these different versions must be within the confines of acceptable forms that are mutually intelligible.
All of us quote copiously from Wardhaugh (2000: 6) to simplify this point: There exists considerable variance in the conversation of anybody individual, yet there are also particular bounds to that particular variation: simply no individual is free to perform just what he / she pleases in terms of language is concerned. You cannot pronounce words any way you make sure you, inflect or perhaps not inflect words including nouns and verbs randomly, or produce drastic alterations in term order in sentences since the feelings suits you…The variation you are acceptable has limits…these limits may be described with considerable accuracy, and…they as well apparently affect groups of audio system, not just to individuals.
Moreover, persons have knowledge of the various limits (or norms), and that knowledge is usually both extremely precise as well as almost entirely unconscious. Nigerian writers who use the English language language intended for literary purpose take cognizance of the specifics above. Their variety of British is a pragmatic response to all their peculiar circumstances and environment, without breaking basic rules of syntax and, at the same time, producing purists realize that a living vocabulary such as The english language cannot be a closed program.
The examination of any regional number of English, including Nigerian English language should, consequently , be endonormative rather than exonormative, bearing in mind local peculiarities, and particularly creative and pragmatic use of chinese. REFERENCES  E. Adegbija, “The domestication of The english language in Nigeria, ” The Domestication of English in Nigeria, a Festschrift in Honour of Abiodun Adetugbo., Lagos: University of Lagos Press, 2004, pp. 2044. A. Guitare, Making a Virtue of Necessity: An understanding of the The english language language in Nigeria, Ibadan: Ibadan University or college Press, 1996.
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Care to Owolabi (Michael) was born in Irun Akoko, Ondo Express, Nigeria in 1959 and had his elementary education there. His secondary education was at Ajuwa Grammar School, Okeagbe Akoko. He later obtained B. A., M. A. and PhD from Colleges of Benin, Ibadan and Federal University of Technology, Yola respectively. He is currently a Elderly Lecturer in English with the Department of English and Literary Studies, Faculty of Arts, Ekiti State School, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. His research fascination is English for Certain Purposes like a form of Used Linguistics and has a solid passion intended for literature and literary criticism.
He has published substantially in his topic, both regionally and internationally. 492