An apparent time study of the progressive in Nigerian English

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This study explores the use of the progressive in Nigerian English in apparent time and investigates the influence of the variables age, gender, ethnic group and text category on its rate of use. Several regression analyses were carried out on a total of 4,552 progressive constructions drawn from the Nigerian component of the International Corpus of English. The results show that younger speakers use more progressives than older speakers, which we interpret as evidence for ongoing language change. The frequency of progressives is furthermore influenced by the speaker’s ethnicity and the degree of formality and persuasiveness of the text category. The study further reveals that the frequency of extended uses of the progressive with verbs referring to habitual durative activities and stative verbs is stable across age groups in Nigerian English. Keywords: progressive; Nigerian English; apparent-time


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