The Domestication of the English Language for Literary Purpose in Nigeria: Creating a National Identity Dare Owolabi Essay

The Domestication of the English Language for Literary Purpose in Nigeria: Creating a National Identity Dare Owolabi Essay

Abstract—Nigeria is, naturally, one of the greatest ESL users in the world. The language that initial came with the colonial professionals as a foreign language has as grown in leaps and bounds to now turn into a second language and, unarguably, the country’s recognized language. As the largest dark-colored nation in the world, Nigeria, applying English because the official vocabulary, has afflicted the language in a manner that has created a Nigerian id that is fast becoming a variety of British as an international language. This kind of variety of English language, which I label as Niglish has intercontinental intelligibility, he was used by Nigerian writers to win intercontinental awards. This kind of study examines how the English language has been nativized inside the Nigerian environment for literary purpose, applying selected works from the latest literary performers in Nigeria and by Nigerians. The newspaper identifies the Nigerianness inside the use of English in the works of the writers examined to show how these writers are able to maintain a balance between local color and intercontinental intelligibility and acceptability. The corpora for this study were selected and grouped beneath transliteration, interference and importation of L1 lexicon, ultimately causing switching and mixing of code. Phonology has been deliberately left out on this study for the obvious purpose that non-native adult secondary language English users are not seen to have satisfactory competence of native speakers in the voiced aspect of terminology. Besides, simply written performs were analyzed. The study concludes that the analysis of virtually any regional number of English, such as Nigerian The english language should be endonormative rather than exonormative, bearing in mind neighborhood peculiarities, and particularly innovative and pragmatic use of the language. Index Terms—Domestication of english, language pertaining to specific goal, literary goal, local color, national personality. amaze indigenous speakers. It is a well-known reality many Nigerian writers have obtained accolades globally on account of their particular literary ability in the English language language moderate. For example Nigerian born Wole Soyinka, is the first Photography equipment Nobel Laureate in materials. With the attainment of this status, it is about time true reputation be accorded the rising variety of English language in Nigeria, which has been successfully domesticated, in addition the language have been and is continue to being ‘home-grown…adapted and tamed to suit the Nigerian environment’ (Adegbija, 2004). Dynamism is among the characteristics of any living language, as well as the different types of English emerging from different parts of the world today are a testimony for the vibrancy of the language. Creative imagination, as a language feature, provides greatly influenced these rising varieties of English in the world, which is also an issue that has helped midwife the Nigerian various English; a variety that has helped Nigerians express their globe view, their own way. Additionally , pragmatism as a method of answering immediate situation through the English language language channel has led to what Omolewa (1979: 14-15) phone calls ‘working English’. This is, however , different from the wide spread Pidgin English, which usually continues to serve as the linguistic bridge around the murky oceans of linguistic Babel in Nigeria. Apart from the fact that Pidgin is greatly influenced by immediate local languages, hence making uniformity difficult, it is restricted to big cities and towns and common among the proletariat. The emerging Nigerian English is not heavily dependent on indigenous languages. In respect to Igboanusi (2002: 4), ‘NE offers its origins in British English, plus the lexicon of NE offers therefore demonstrated a strong Uk influence’. Quite simply, while Pidgin is common among the list of uneducated and spoken by the educated whenever they want to condescend or for an effect, NE is spoken by educated as well as the level of education establishes the variety of EINE used by persons. Although English language, as employed by Nigerians, might not exactly, and are unable to, be similar, as that used by individuals who have the language his or her mother tongue, the Nigerian attempt for domesticating the language to suit domestic purposes is, no doubt, fast-becoming a variety. To that extent EINE should be known as an acceptable departure from the rules in diction, pronunciation or from precisely what is generally regarded as the standard, nevertheless possessing common intelligibility also at worldwide level. The contact of English with indigenous 'languages' in Nigeria has some effects on the English language language. Summarizing Alamin A. Mazrui (2004), Akere (2009: 3), identifies domestication of English as ‘the change of English language as an alien medium, to make that 488 DOI: 10. 7763/IJSSH. 2012. V2. 153 International Journal of Social Science and Humankind, Vol. 2, No . 6th, November 2012 respond to regional imagery, statistics of presentation, sound habits and the standard cultural milieu of the region’. Nigerian writers are proven to exhibit instances of Nigerianism inside their use of English language and these kinds of deviations haven�t been seen to inhibit international intelligibility. Lack of political will certainly to push through any of the local languages, as a result of (i) over; The language which has come to fill the bill, which is British, is seen by many as a unifying force inside the turbulent linguistic terrain. This language has since achieved the position of a second language and many with the younger generations are now effective bilinguals. The English language used in Nigeria is now termed as Nigerian British, which is the nativized sort of the Standard British. The language is utilized in a odd fashion to fit Nigerians’ goal and in this sort of a way that ‘as a domestic servant does the actual master requires…English in Nigeria is now built to do just what Nigerians need it to do’ (Adegbija, 2005: 20). This is exactly what Sinclair (1988: 3) has additionally noted regarding native speakers’ loss of control over English if it is said that: ‘the English language has been and so successfully released round the globe that the indigenous speakers not anymore have control of it’. The bottom line is, Nigerian English is the type Okoro (2004: 167) classifies as ‘…English the way Nigerians speak and write this! ’ having its peculiarities which do not seriously obstruct international intelligibility. III. LANGUAGES AND THE QUESTION OF NATIONAL LANGUAGE IN NIGERIA Nigeria has no a single language that may be regarded as the nation’s vocabulary. Different areas or selection of communities have one main language or perhaps the other unusual to all of them. These quite a few languages do not place in established and educational issues. Even wherever official reputation is accorded three significant languages that represent three major areas viz: Hausa in the Upper part, Igbo in the South Eastern component and Yoruba in the Southern region Western portion, they are simply used in concerns of traditions. The Nigerian linguistic scenario necessitates the adoption of your non-partisan linguistic code pertaining to the benefit of all, and this responsibility falls for the language English since not any indigenous terminology can be used like a national terminology. So many reasons have been submit for the adoption of English, a non-indigenous vocabulary, as Nigeria’s lingua franca. Some of these consist of: Fear of personal domination, in the event any local language is usually selected regardless of how good intentioned; Avoiding the India’s experience, where the range of Hindi was reported to obtain led to riots in many nonHindi speaking locations (Yule, 2007); Lack of system, such as instructors, books and also other learning resources, for any selected language; V. NIGERIAN WRITERS’ PECULIAR USE OF ENGLISH PERTAINING TO LITERARY PURPOSE What we analyze in this section is the method Nigerian authors use the British language to get the specific requirements of Nigerians, but which will non-etheless can still move the test of international intelligibility. In other words, these writers happen to be rooted in Nigeria inside their linguistic decision, but they spread their messages, like shrub branches, to other parts worldwide, where a few of them have received one prize or the 489 International Record of Social Science and Humanity, Volume. 2, No . 6, The fall of 2012 additional. In this research, the data presented are grouped under the subsequent headings: transliteration, interference and importation of L1 lexicon, leading to code switching and mixing. The info for this analyze come from three recent works of fiction by Nigerian novelists: Lola Soneyin, The Secrete Lives of Etonne Segi’s Wives (TSLBSW) (2010), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Crimson Hibiscus (PH) (2006) and Half of a Yellow Sun (HYS) (2006). Transliteration: By transliteration right here we imply direct translation of an expression in L1 to L2, such that the structure of L1 is very domineering the resultant expression in L2 appears unusual. Below are some examples from the books selected with this study. I want to thank returning the mouth to the matter currently happening my friend (5) (TSLBSW) These expression can be unlikely in Standard English, the equivalent of which is likely to be Thanks to bringing all of us back to the situation at hand (my friend). What is evident is that there has been a digression, to which one of many discussants is attempting to steer others back again on course, to the topic from which that were there detoured. …he hoisted himself onto his feet making use of the bedpost pertaining to support and prayed that morning will wake these people well (14) (TSLBSW). Although the expression morning hours would wake up them very well may take place in Standard English language as a figurative expression (personification), which is not the sense through which it is utilized here. It is just a literal technique of wishing which the next early morning will be well. Has this kind of woman’s mind scattered that she at this point scrubs my own mouth? (62) (TSLBSW). This is certainly an expression which is not likely to offer an equivalent in Standard The english language to express the real thought. The closest paraphrase that we can have to exhibit the thought is: Is this woman insane that she today argues beside me? Let me tell you one of the things I did. Laughter kills me when I think of it (67) (TSLBSW). The expression Laughter kills me, in Standard English could be paraphrased “I laughed hysterically”, but expressed this way within a Nigerian novel for this group of audience, will not carry the predicted weight. So for the purpose of the expected weight, it has to be transliterated from the L1, and it is understood from the history of L1. My children were given birth to with sight in their stomachs so they are quick to digest everything they see…Like I stated, they have sight in their bellies (88) (TSLBSW) The expression, eyes in their bellies, which means to become discernible, is definitely not what can be realized for people who are used to Standard English. It has been particularly used for the objective of literature in the novel. They have taken him! They have considered him! (45) (PH) Each of our people admit the refrain sounds like… They say the Sardauna seemed like that if he was begging them not to kill him (130) (HYS) As a transliteration from a great indigenous terminology, in the effective voice, this means the object of the sentence has been taken (arrested), and could have been better rendered from this passive tone. In many Nigerian indigenous different languages, when the artist of an actions is unknown, it is expressed as in the example above, as the passive tone of voice does not are present 490 in numerous of the local languages. Interference: This is a common feature in just about any language get in touch with situation, because second language users impose the structure of L1 in L2. The structural copy of L1 to L2 by Nigerian writers is among the ways of domesticating the English language to express Nigerians’ universe view within an international language. Interference is a common feature inside the use of British by Nigerians, as the L1 buildings bear greatly on L2. In some of the recent Nigerian novels from where this study draws the data, the following examples display the sensation of disturbance that occurs in the English dialect in contact with a lot of Nigerian languages. My mom despised her; she explained the woman acquired the disease in the eye: everything she recognizes, she wished (121) (TSLBSW) The disease in the eye, because used in the novel for the purpose of literature, is definitely not the type that requires the attention of an oculist. In Nigerian English, in contact with the Yoruba language, it means “greed”, “avarice”, and “covetousness”. This meaning is not invisible from Nigerian users of English as a second language, but may be odd to those accustomed to only Normal English. Iya Femi picked me up with her eyes and put me to the floor (55) (TSLBSW) The expression above is known as a direct transfer from the structure of L1. Although the manifestation is metaphorical, it is not likely to be understood simply by anybody not intelligible inside the writer’s initial language. In fact , its Regular English rendition is tough. The nearest we can possess, but that is not likely to take the weight necessary is “Femi’s mother despised me”. Now you want to take out yourself (56) (TSLBSW) The Standard English edition of this appearance is: “Now you want to discharge yourself”. This can be a typical case of both transliteration and interference. All those flies in the kitchen sah, they are really a sign of bad remedies from the dibia. Somebody has done bad medicine. The lures, sah. This means somebody has done bad remedies for this residence (215&216) (HYS) The above is yet another case in the interference of L1 composition on L2. The expression poor medicine from the dibia while used in the novel may be translated in Standard English language to mean “diabolic thing from a great herbalist”. Sister, but it can be funny, oh…Because of excessive Book, cope with know how to giggle (130) (HYS) As a circumstance of disturbance, the L1 structure is usually evident in the manifestation which in Standard English may be rendered “much learning made you too sober”. L1 lexicon infusion resulting in code combining and code switching: Code mixing and code switching are all-natural outcomes when languages are in contact. They are common features in many Nigerian novels and incredibly evident in the novels used for this study. During these novels there are cases of infusion of L1 lexicons, too quite a few to mention. They include: brands of food products: He taken the feces towards his crotch and proceeded to demolish the mountain of amala, morsel by morsel, catching every string of ewedu that dripped straight down his hand with his tongue (9) (TSLBSW) International Diary of Sociable Science and Humanity, Volume. 2, No . 6, November 2012 This is so since in situations where English language does not include required expressions and detailed aspects for a Nigerian experience, the desire to communicate often results in distinct expressions that are most appropriate for the Nigerian context (Adegbija, 2004). For instance , in conveying the need for co-operation, one of the heroes in TSLBSW says: If we accompany our oil from palm with yam or we all accompany the yam with oil, it is important to have an excellent meal of oil-soaked sweet potato. We must help each other (100). Okoro (2004: 167) provides rightly observed that ‘Nigerian English is merely the way Nigerians speak and write it! ’ especially at the syntactic level by way of transfer of MT constructions. This is very evident in Nigerian literature of genres, nevertheless our attention, here, have been on recent Nigerian works of fiction. VII. SUMMARY VI. SEMANTICS AND INTELLIGIBILITY IN NIGERIAN ENGLISH While noted simply by Finch (2000: 2) “‘the bread and butter’ of most linguistics…is the study of phonology, format and semantics” and semantics operates in two grammatical ranks of word and sentence. Finch goes on to say that at phrase rank, semanticists explore the relationships which in turn words have with each other in the language in general which constitutes their sense; in other words, this is which a word has by virtue of its place in the linguistic system. In essence, obvious situations of Nigerianism that determine NE will not likely constitute any semantic hindrance, particularly in Written Nigerian English (WNE). That is to say that there is less likelihood of lack of common intelligibility in WNE even to native speakers or those utilized to Standard British, notwithstanding that words and expressions are being used in non-traditional manner. Even when L1 lexicon items are employed alongside Common English words and phrases, leading to code mixing or outright code switching, this does not hinder intelligibility, as the context of such words and phrases provide the essential meaning. In the event that syntax, is definitely ‘the examine of grammatical relations between words and also other units within the sentence’ (Matthews, 2005: 368), NE cannot be said to be several in any way in the British or perhaps American regular. This has to become so because ‘there are certain aspects of the sentence structure of British, as voiced internationally which any diatopic variety interferes with at its very own peril’ (Banjo, 1996: 74). Speaking in the same vein, Adegbija (2004: 27) says ‘to a really large extent, the grammar of English in Nigeria remains to be in conformity with the grammar of native varieties of English’. Only syntactic distortions may impair intelligibility, not only internationally but possibly locally. With syntactic structure intact many on a equiparable with Uk and American standard, the special make use of English to get literary purpose in Nigeria is to attain special effects, including giving the utilization of English a local flavor that creates a Nigerian national id. It must become realized that Nigerian English terminology ‘contains a large number of words which can be either not really found in Standard English or are used in methods peculiar towards the Nigerian situation’ (Igboanusi, 2002: 14). 491 Variations are typical features of any living terminology and such variants do not vitiate the importance or perhaps acceptability from the various forms, but these different versions must be within acceptable varieties that are mutually intelligible. We quote copiously from Wardhaugh (2000: 6) to explain this point: There exists considerable deviation in the talk of any one individual, but there are also distinct bounds to that variation: no individual is free to carry out just what he / she pleases as long as language is involved. You cannot enunciate words in whatever way you you should, inflect or not inflect words including nouns and verbs arbitrarily, or make drastic adjustments in expression order in sentences while the disposition suits you…The variation you are acceptable has limits…these limits may be described with considerable accuracy and reliability, and…they also apparently connect with groups of speakers, not just to many of these. Moreover, persons have knowledge of the different limits (or norms), and that knowledge is definitely both extremely precise and at the same time almost completely unconscious. Nigerian writers who have use the British language to get literary goal take cognizance of the details above. All their variety of British is a pragmatic response to their particular peculiar situations and environment, without breaking fundamental rules of syntax and, at the same time, making purists realize that a living dialect such as English language cannot be a closed program. The evaluation of any regional selection of English, including Nigerian English language should, therefore , be endonormative rather than exonormative, bearing in mind regional peculiarities, and particularly innovative and pragmatic use of the chinese language. REFERENCES [1] E. Adegbija, “The domestication of The english language in Nigeria, ” The Domestication of English in Nigeria, a Festschrift in Honour of Abiodun Adetugbo., Lagos: College or university of Lagos Press, 2004, pp. 2044. A. Banjo, Making a Virtue of Necessity: An understanding of the The english language language in Nigeria, Ibadan: Ibadan University Press, mil novecentos e noventa e seis. T. Crocker, “Scenes of endless research: ESP and education, in ELT files 112- The ESP educator, role, expansion and prospects, The English Council Information Service, 1981. G. Finch, Linguistic Conditions and Principles, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2k. [2] [3] [4] Worldwide Journal of Social Technology and Humanity, Vol. a couple of, No . six, November 2012 T. Hutchinson and A. Waters, English language for Specific Purposes (A learning-centered approach, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. [6] H. Igboanusi, a Book of Nigerian English Usage, Ibadan: Enicrownfit Publishers, 2002. [7] Deb. Jowitt, “English Language Educating: A View from the Millenniu, ” Lead Daily news presented on the 7th Nationwide Conference of the National Association of Professors and Experts in English skills, Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, Nigeria, 6-9 October, 2009. [8] R. It, “Identifying the nature of the learner’s need, ” English for Specific Purposes, London: Longman, 1978. [9] P. H. Matthews, Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. [10] O. Okoro, “Codifying Nigerian English: A lot of Practical Problems of Labeling, ” in Proc. with the Domestication of English in Nigeria, School of Lagos Press, 2004. pp. 166-181. [5] [11] M. Omolewa, “The Beginning of nonstandard English in Nigeria 1842-1926” in Types and functions of the English Language in Nigeria, Photography equipment Universities Press, 1979. [12] J. Sinclair,  “Models and Monuments, ” in The english language Today (ET) 15 (IV) 3, Cambridge: Cambridge University or college Press, 1988. [13] R. Wardhaugh, An intro to Sociolinguistics 3rd ed., Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Limited, 2000. Dare Owolabi (Michael) was born for Irun Akoko, Ondo Express, Nigeria in the 50s and had his elementary education there. His secondary education was at Ajuwa Grammar School, Okeagbe Akoko. He later obtained B. A., M. A. and PhD from Educational institutions of Benin, Ibadan and Federal College or university of Technology, Yola correspondingly. He is at the moment a Mature Lecturer in English on the Department of English and Literary Research, Faculty of Arts, Ekiti State School, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. His research curiosity is English for Certain Purposes like a form of Applied Linguistics and has a strong passion intended for literature and literary critique. He features published substantially in his topic, both regionally and internationally. 492

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