Chapter 10. Student Pidgin

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The chapter describes Student Pidgin (SP), a relatively recent youth language in Ghana that we can trace from the late 1960 / early 1970. Pidgin has always been a male language in Ghana and can be traced to itinerant migrant labourers who brought pidgin from Liberia and Nigeria. Pidgin was also associated with prostitutes from the riverin/Niger delta areas of Nigeria. When the first survey of Student Pidgin (SP) was undertaken (Tawiah 1998), only four out of 50 female students admitted speaking the language and they had all learnt it from their brothers. Today I estimate that close to 50 percent of female students admit to speaking SP. The chapter investigates why some young women speak SP and why others do not. I argue that some young women speak the code in part to create identities for themselves as SP speakers.


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