Stilisierungen, Identitäten, mediale Ressourcen
Edited By Helga Kotthoff and Christine Mertzlufft
‘I go SS; I go Vas‘ Student Pidgin: A Ghanaian Youth Language of Secondary and Tertiary Institutions
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‘I go SS I go Vas’1 Student Pidgin – A Ghanaian Youth Language of Secondary and Tertiary Institutions
Kari Dako, Richard Bonnie
This article is an appraisal of Student Pidgin2 (SP) as a Ghanaian Pidgin-sound-alike (Dako 2000:74) Youth Language that so far as we can ascertain was started in the high-prestige boys’ secondary schools in Cape Coast in the late 1960s to early 1970s by the ‘Accra boys’, the sons of the emerging urban professional and political middle class in Ghana’s capital.
We investigate the structural, lexical and idiomatic peculiarities of SP and the identity assumed by its speakers, and we also examine how it fits into the pattern of other urban youth languages in Africa.
Student Pidgin (SP) is today the unmarked code of communication among male secondary and tertiary students and is gradually being adopted by female students in the same institutions (Dako 2013). Although Student Pidgin is grammatically close to Ghanaian Pidgin English (GhaPE)3 and can be classified as a WAP (West African Pidgin), it is sociolinguistically not a pidgin.
When the census was taken in Ghana in 2000 (and again in 2010), questions were included concerning ‘language’, i.e. L1(s) and additional languages spoken. This was the first time information on language had been sought in a census in Ghana. Yet when students were subsequently asked whether they had listed pidgin as one of their...
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