This essay focused on the pragmatic features of Nigeria English as used in literatures, using the selected poems of Bayo Adebowale as a case study, to see how these pragmatic features have helped in projecting Nigerian cultures and worldviews in Nigerian literary works. The pragmatic features identified by Adedimeji (2007) were used in analysing the poems of Bayo Adebowale selected for this study and each feature was used across board. It was discovered from the analysis that the peculiar cultures, traditions and philosophies of Nigerians, represented by the poet - Bayo Adebowale, were reflected in the selected poems which were written in English through the pragmatic features of Nigerian English present in these poems. Thus, if the English language used in Nigeria (Nigerian English) has been nativised to exhibit features such as the pragmatic features to enable the language project Nigerian cultures, identities, philosophies and worldviews, then, Nigerian English should not be considered as a deviation but rather a variation of World English.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of Contents vii
Chapter One: General Introduction
1.0 Statement of the Research Problem 1
1.1 Aims and Objectives 3
1.2 Scope of the Study 4
1.3 Justification 4
1.4 Bayo Adebowale: Biographical Sketch 5
1.5 Conclusion 6
Chapter Two: Literature Review
2.0 Introduction 7
2.1 Pragmatics 7
2.2 Some Major Contributors to the Development of Pragmatics 8
2.2.1 John Lanshaw Austin 8
2.2.2 John Searle 10
2.2.3 H.P. Grice 11
2.2.4 K. Bach & R. M. Harinsh 13
2.3 Nigerian English 14
2.4 Varieties Differentiation of Nigerian English 20
2.5 Pragmatic features of Nigerian English 25
2.6 Conclusion 28
Chapter Three: Data Analysis
3.0 Introduction 29
3.1 Analysis of the Selected Poems 30
3.2 Conclusion 42
Chapter Four: Summary, Findings and Conclusion
4.0 Summary 43
4.1 Research Findings 44
4.2 Conclusion 46
1.0 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
English language is a language that is foreign to the Nigerian environment, it came with the British colonialists, but after the departure of the colonialists in Nigeria, English language continued to flourish. The survival of English language in Nigerian environment is not by luck, but because it has been nativised to suit Nigerian environment and meet the need of the Nigerian users of English (Bamgbose, 1995:1).
The origin of English language in Nigeria can be traced to 1553, when Britons visited the coastal areas of Nigeria for slave trade. The means of communication between the Nigerian traders and the Britons, then, was in Pidgin English. With the abolition of slave trade, British explorers started moving beyond the coastal areas, penetrating deep into Nigeria to promote ‘legitimate trade’ (Alabi, 2003:177). The British traders were followed by Christian missionaries who came with the aim of evangelising Nigeria. These missionaries established mission schools where English was taught primarily to enable the converts read the Bible in English and help the missionaries in the activities of the Church.
Around 1900, the Northern and southern protectorates of Nigeria came under the rule of Great Britain and the British colonial government established schools to complement those of the missionaries. Thus, through formal education and government policies on education that made English the language of instruction in schools, English language became formalised and was able to spread in Nigeria.
In 1960, when Nigeria gained her independence, the colonial masters left, but their language - English did not leave. It has remained and survived alongside the indigenous languages. In fact, Bamgbose (1971:35) believes that English language is unarguably the most important asset the British colonialist gave to Nigeria due to its functions as the official language and lingual franca in Nigeria, to mention a few of its many functions.
It is however no doubt that the English used in Nigeria, called Nigerian English, has certain features distinguishing it from other varieties of English used elsewhere in the world. These features include phonology, morpho-syntactic, lexico-semantic and pragmatic.
This essay shall attempt to look at the pragmatic features of Nigerian English, which are the aspects that reflect the cultures, traditions and philosophies of Nigerians, as used in Nigerian literatures using the selected poems of Bayo Adebowale as a case study. This essay shall also attempt to provide answers to research questions like:
i. Which pragmatic features of Nigeria English can be found in the selected poems?
ii. How has the pragmatic features of Nigerian English present in Nigerian literatures contributed to the meaningfulness of these literary works and creativity of Nigerian writers, using the selected poems of Bayo Adebowale as a case study?
iii. Should Nigerian English, because of its pragmatic features, be regarded as deviation from or variation of World English?
1.1 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This research aims to investigate how the pragmatic features of Nigerian English convey the cultures and traditions of Nigerians, using the selected poems of Bayo Adebowale as a case study. The objectives of this research are:
i. To investigate the presence of the pragmatic features of Nigerian English in the selected poems of Bayo Adebowale.
ii. To examine how the pragmatic features of Nigerian English have been deployed by Nigerian writers to enhance the meaningfulness of their works.
iii. To see how these pragmatic features of Nigerian English have contributed to the creativity of Nigerian writers, using Bayo Adebowale as a case study.
iv. To develop an empirical viewpoint on whether Nigerian English is a deviation from or variation of World English.
v. To see how language can be affected by the environment in which it is used.
1.2 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The peculiar features of Nigerian English include phonological, morpho-syntactic, lexico-semantic and pragmatic. This research shall focus on the pragmatic features of Nigerian English as used in Nigerian literary works using the selected poems of Bayo Adebowale as a case study. The pragmatic features of Nigerian English have been identified by scholars like Akere (1978), Bamgbose (1995), Adedimeji (2007), etc. This research shall employ the pragmatic features of Nigerian English identified by Adedimeji (2007) in analysing the selected poems of Bayo Adebowale.
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