Facts have been established by researchers and they justify that the English used in Nigeria is a variation of the British English (BE) and not a deviation from the norms of BE. This is an attempt to investigate the extent to which Nigerian columnists use the lexico-semantic features of Nigerian English for their reportings. This work has adopted the lexico-semantic variation of Nigerian English as identified by Babatunde (2001) as our working parameters alongside our data which are randomly selected dailies in the months of April, May, August, November and December 2010. It is evident that the socio-cultural background of the Nigerian people is captured by Nigerian English. Nigerian speakers find it preferable to use the Nigerian English, with all its local flavours because most of them are incompetent in the use of English language and also because of the socio-cultural context of the Nigerian society.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contentsv
1.1 The purpose of the study4
1.3 Scope and delimitation of the study5
2.1What is Nigerian English?7
2.3.1Characteristics of words14
2.4.1Word Meaning (Lexical Semantics)17
2.5Theories of meaning19
2.5.1Types of Meaning21
2.6Lexico-semantic variation in Nigerian English22
2.6.1Causes of Lexico-semantic variation23
2.6.2Types of lexico-semantic variation 24
3.1Presentation and analysis of data28
3.1.4Semantic extension of generalization 36
Change is often a noticeable occurrence in all living languages. Language speakers exhibit dynamism in various ways. Every language is meant for a particular group of people however, there are occasions where a language features in a foreign environment making new words emerge and some lexical items might even be lost overtime in such language.
Obviously, man who makes use of language to communicate and convey meanings has the nature of change in him. This seems to account for the change experienced in language.
Language is used to enhance effective communication and the effectiveness of its usage goes a long way to generate the effective meaning of expressions.
Consequently, the context often times is an important factor to consider when one is expressing himself.
Every country in the world has people who make use of languages which helps to perform several functions of which Nigeria is not an exception.
Nigeria is a country, which has people with diverse languages and cultures. English language is one of the language spoken in Nigeria and it serves several functions for instance, business transaction, education, administration, the language of the press, the language of entertainment and also the official language etc.
As a matter of fact, English has actually come to stay in Nigeria considering the prestige being bestowed on it by Nigerians and apparently, a very high percentage of people in Nigeria will not relent in protecting the interest of English language, simply because it helps to bridge the gap of socio-cultural differences among the Nigerian people and also promotes interpersonal relationship.
However, Nigerian columnists use English to convey their messages to their audience. Some of their expressions are being captured by Nigerian English that is, the variety of English used in Nigeria. The audience gain adequate information of the messages being highlighted.
The columnists, use to a large extent, employ some features of Nigerian English while they write and they are always conscious of the fact that there is a Nigerian English.
Talking about lexico-semantic, it means lexis and meaning. It appears to be generally recognised that frequent changes and modifications occur at the lexico-semantic level in Nigeria. A large number of lexical items and expressions of British Standard English (BSE) have undergone semantic change in Nigerian usage. Some lexical items in Nigeria English are innovated through coining, compounding, blending processes and so many others.
Lexis is stock of words used in a language, it is also known as lexemes. It simply means words. It is present in the lexicon of a language.
According to Jackson & Amvela (2007) “lexis are stock of words in a given language, that is its vocabulary or lexicon”. The study of lexis is known as lexicology.
However, lexis is always found in the context it exists. Lexis actually builds up the word structure of a language.
On the other hand, semantics simply means the study of meaning. The researches that have been made on semantics by scholars have often bothered on how meaning can be generated in a particular language. However, though there have been so many theories of meaning which have been propounded, not one of them can adequately account for how meaning of words can be inferred in a language this is as a result of the abstract and complex nature of meaning.
Odebunmi (2006) asserts that, “the engine of language is meaning; without meaning, there is no language in fact the essence of language is to generate or convey meaning”.
From the above assertion, it is quite clear that meaning is vital and an integral part in any language. It plays an important role in every language.
Pei (1966) propounds that “semantics is the study of meaning in language, including relations between language, thought and behaviour”. This suggests that meaning and language have relationship in bringing out the true value of a language.
1.1THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study will attempt to project the extent at which lexis and meaning of Nigeria English vary from the British Standard English in the viewpoint column of the punch newspapers of the some selected dailies.
Also, it will identify the various types and causes of lexico-semantic variation in Nigerian English that can be seen in the viewpoint column of the punch newspapers, to see the extent to which Nigerians who write the articles seen in the viewpoint columns being examined, use the lexico-semantic variation in the Nigerian English.
This research is studied to portray and clarify the point that Nigerian English is not a deviation from the British Standard English but rather a variation of it. Therefore, an attempt with be made to examine the Nigerian English words which are used to express the experiences and thoughts of the Nigerian people.
Some scholars like Adegbija (1988), Kujore (1990), Bamiro (1991), Odumuh, (1984, 1987, 1998) and many others have carried out extensive studies in the area of lexis semantic variation of Nigerian English and their contributions have been considered very useful, especially to the Nigerian people who have little knowledge about Nigerian English.
This study makes an effort to generate relevant use and findings about Nigerian English which will be of great benefit to English students who want to know about Nigerian English and also to the Nigerian People generally.