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Glocal English

The Changing Face and Forms of Nigerian English in a Global World


Farooq A. Kperogi

Glocal English compares the usage patterns and stylistic conventions of the world’s two dominant native varieties of English (British and American English) with Nigerian English, which ranks as the English world’s fastest-growing non-native variety courtesy of the unrelenting ubiquity of the Nigerian (English-language) movie industry in Africa and the Black Atlantic Diaspora. Using contemporary examples from the mass media and the author’s rich experiential data, the book isolates the peculiar structural, grammatical, and stylistic characteristics of Nigerian English and shows its similarities as well as its often humorous differences with British and American English. Although Nigerian English forms the backdrop of the book, it will benefit teachers of English as a second or foreign language across the world. Similarly, because it presents complex grammatical concepts in a lucid, personal narrative style, it is useful both to a general and a specialist audience, including people who study anthropology and globalization. The true-life experiential encounters that the book uses to instantiate the differences and similarities between Nigerian English and native varieties of English will make it valuable as an empirical data mine for disciplines that investigate the movement and diffusion of linguistic codes across the bounds of nations and states in the age of globalization.
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1 Conceptualizing Nigerian English


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Conceptualizing Nigerian English1

We all know that there is such a thing as British English because it is the progenitor of all subsequent “Englishes” (as professional linguists call national and sub-regional varieties of the English language) in the world. And we do, of course, know that there is American English not only because it is the earliest national variety to rebel against some of the conventions of British English—a fact that inspired the celebrated Irish writer George Bernard Shaw to famously remark that “England and America are two countries divided by a common language” (see Pinto, 2000, p. 19)—but also because America’s current preeminent position in the world ensures that its variety of English is now relentlessly universalized through a scarcely perceptible but nonetheless powerful process of pop-culture-induced linguistic osmosis.

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