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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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8 Nigerianisms, Americanisms, Briticisms, and Communication Breakdown


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Nigerianisms, Americanisms, Briticisms, and Communication Breakdown

In Chapter 1, I talked about my finicky linguistic activist friend who perpetually insists that there is no such thing as Nigerian English. Nigerian idiosyncratic English usage, he says, is often no more than the product of the ignorant perversion of the rules of Standard English, and that ignorance doesn’t deserve to be rewarded with a grand, flattering label like “Nigerian English.” Besides, he often adds, we can’t legitimately talk of Nigerian English since such a variety is neither codified in any systematic manner nor does it enjoy any prestige or recognition in the pantheon of the world’s Englishes. But, socio-linguistically speaking, that is a notoriously untenable justification for denying the existence of Nigerian English.

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