Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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As a language which for the greater part of its history was used only for simple everyday interactions and which lacks any kind of standardization, Nigerian Pidgin (NigP) is not well equipped for the wide range of functions it has to perform in present-day Nigeria. Among educated NigP speakers, borrowing from English is a common strategy, but broadcasters who translate news from English into NigP have to produce a form of the language that will be intelligible to a target audience whose command of English is limited. The paper offers a discussion of this problem based on a corpus of spoken NigP comprising news and several other text categories. Text samples from the news texts are analysed, and corpus data illustrating Anglicisms and pidginization on the lexical, grammatical and discourse levels are discussed. In addition, the results of an elicitation experiment in which Nigerian informants were asked to evaluate extracts from the corpus by means of a questionnaire are reported. The news texts were found to be less satisfactory than others, and it is argued that this is due not only to Anglicisms but in some cases also to an overuse of pidginization strategies. However, there are also examples of successful adaptation of an English script, and it is argued that even with only a moderate degree of language engineering, one could build on such achievements to make NigP a more viable medium of news broadcasting.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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