Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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The virtual community under consideration is called the Nigerian Village Square (NVS), ‘… a marketplace of ideas’. As an online discussion forum, NVS combines the features of listservs and newsgroups with a more elegant and user-friendly interface. While computer-mediated communication (CMC) technologies augment political discourse in established democracies, new media and mobile technologies create avenues for a virtual sphere among Nigerians. Therefore, the ideal virtual sphere guarantees equal access to all connected netizens, equal right for all languages in netizens’ linguistic repertoire, and it fosters democratic deliberation through policy debates, public dialogues and ‘online polylogues’. By linguistic marketing is meant discourse as a vehicle for ‘promotional acts’ and for ‘selling’ particular cultures and ideologies to multicultural and multilingual readers/audiences. One interpretation of this is in terms of asserting language rights and linguistic equality. The use of Nigerian languages with Nigerian Pidgin online is promotional and for existential negotiation. This results in language mixture which is an instantiation of freedom of speech, freedom of switch and freedom to switch. The underlying pragmatic motivation for top-down language mixture and alternation in Nigerian virtual discourse is attention-getting with the aim of inducing an interdiscursive writer-reader cognitive as well as communicative interaction. Other pragmatic functions of code switching discussed in the paper include allusive textuality, amusing phaticity, anticipated interactivity, affective expressivity and audience affiliation or alienation, among others. Thus, intertextuality is an explanatory technique for investigating previously unexplored phenomena in digital code switching.


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