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The Sociolinguistic Impacts of Language Contact on Nigerian Pidgin Usage

Queen Ugochi Njemanze
Published July 2019

Abstract

The global spread of the English language is one of the linguistic phenomena that has brought about linguistic concepts like language code, language contact, language expansion, language change and language variation. These changes further created an avenue that gave rise to such designations as world English, New Englishes, American English, Indian English, Nigeria English and many others. We also have varieties such as the Nigerian Pidgin which is prominent in almost all spheres of human interaction especially among students within Nigeria. This paper therefore explores meaning and development of Nigerian Pidgin and the impact of language contact on the Nigerian Pidgin variety, based on sociolinguistic principles. The paper concludes by advocating for the need to elevate the Nigerian pidgin to the height it has attained based on its usability, expansion and simplicity in the communication trends of the Nigerian University students and the society. This paper asserts that pidgin should be seen as a new language that fills the gap created by standard English usage in communication.

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