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The Standard English and the Nigerian Pidgin English are two languages that borrow heavily from each other. This essay will discuss how both languages have evolved over time. Its has two parts where the first part discuss the social, economic, political, historical and cultural experiences while the second part talks the relation of language and power and the issues of hegemony, imperialism and discourse analysis.
Nigerian Pidgin English
This is a version of Standard English and Nigerian multi ethnic languages spoken as kind of lingua franca across Nigeria. It is simply referred as Broken English since most of the words do not follow the phonological or grammatical requirements of Standard English. It was long considered as the language of the uneducated, illiterate and uncivilized masses of Nigeria. But now the story is different because with its oscillating, reverb ting tones its humorous imagery and playful gestures, it is now spoken in Nigeria, regardless of age, class, religion, education status and even regional origin.
There has been a lot of concern regarding what can be considered as Standard English. Some people regard Standard English as the American accent English while others consider Anglo (British and Canada) to be the most suitable. It can be described as a variety of English that is viewed as correct by many, in the sense that it shows none of the regional or other variations that are considered to be non-grammatical and common in most popular languages.
The origin of Nigerian pidgin cannot be traced back to a specific time. But many scholars and Authors have traced it back to the entrance of European colonialist in Africa. Pidgin English has largely borrowed from the British Standard English. The can be traced to the fact that United Kingdom were the fore founders on Nigeria as a state thus explaining the numerous derivation from the language. Since then, the pidgin language of Nigerian accent has continued to evolve. Examples of pidgin Language may include. You have been sent to torment me or?- dem send you? , I will slap you- I go land you slap, God has answered my prayers- Butta my bread, God ye don butta my bread Don, the light skinned gal uses cream- day allow gal go use cream, what is happening- wetin de happenin?, I don’t know- me no no.
Standard English can be traced back to the industrial revolution. During the industrial wave that swept across Europe, English merchants crossed borders in trade endeavors. In effect they popularized the British English. Other European Dwellers came to accept it as the standard language for trade and other inter relational activities.
Nigeria as a country has a wide disparity in regard to its education systems. A good number of elite Nigerians are well educated and conversant with Standard English. However another even bigger population of the Nigerian citizenry didn’t have access to formal education and thus can only communicate in the multi ethnic languages. However in the course of the interaction with the elite educated ones, they learn few words of English. They have fused this few words with their vernacular languages and come up with the Pidgin English.
Though Standard English cannot be said to have made great strides in the social circles, it has nevertheless played a major role in the way conversations are held. People who are strangers are not as casual to each other prefer to use Standard English during there social gatherings.
When the Queens administration settled in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, they used it to administrate their new colony. This was viewed as an economic worthwhile decision since learning all languages spoken in the diverse Nigeria would have been too costly. In the process the Nigerians and the White settlers picked word from both set of languages and used it to derive the now popular pidgin. Nigerian pidgin can be said to be popular for a number of reasons and among them it’s the economical aspect of learning Standard English.
Standard English is however still used in official communications
It is said that language is culture and none can be separated from each other. And as such when two languages meet, then the two cultures have met and there is likely to be a lot of cultural exchanges in that society. The changes have effect on the culture and language of the recipient society and the impact will be felt on the entire community and its recipient. As a loop effect the Standard English has impacted on the culture and communication of Nigerian citizenry, thus the birth of Nigerian Pidgin.
Nigeria is a nation that has undergone major political turmoil’s. From coup d’états, Religious conflicts, colonialism, huge population of diverse ethnicities e.t.c
The Biafra war popularized the Pidgin English since the language was used as a code that only militias from the same camp could understand. Public rallies and political campaigns are often made in Pidgin English since it has a far wider reach compared to Standard English.
On different Circumstances Standard English has been popularized by its ability manipulate across different multi-lingual backgrounds. Most International Political meetings are addressed in Standard English or Anglo-French for the French speaking countries.
Language and Power
Language is the Mama dash tool dat Mash mongers use to subscribe de theories and ideology to de subject. And among adas the most obvious feature of how power operates is in its relationship to power, - instrumental, mama dash and influential.
Language sub consciously matric us to behave in a certain way adopt particular opinions or attitudes, without any obvious force. Language and power operate in such spheres us social [phenomena e.g. advertising, culture and media, politics/law e.t.c.
In a las gidi , the citizens are subjects of the constitution and other laws drafted by politicians They impose this laws and taxes to citizens but seek to influence them to buy there last year tori or to vote for them back.
Jugunu de define yo’ creation and maintaining of an unequal economic, territorial and cultural relationship between states based on domination by the superior and subordination by the inferior. Its popular considered, a western Jogba (palmer, 2005), that promotes expansionist and de oyoyo views primarily towards Africa and Asia’s third world economies.
Its widely accepted as jollification colonialism where the west seeks to mach the na land’s policies and running of affairs by making joke na joke(babawilly 2009. www.negex.com) demands. Being the colonial masters of Africa and the English as the most common official language, the west extends there muscle power to Africa and Asia with ease. Las gidi ne good example where jollof (slang for oil and also a dish) exploration and other national affairs has been done to de wahala of this powers.
Hegemony is gorimapka influence/obaish often exercised by one onyinbo(s) over others, usually in a confederation.
De ovie di partly to Blame, the iacon influence da France ya have of UN Affairs is caused by the excessive power na English language mach. African Nations(oba) have also not been able to penetrate into the world affairs due to de same reason
It’s thus evident that the role of language in manifestation of power whether negative or positive is enormous. Language plays a great role in the ways things are done whether by the subjects or power mongers.