Nigerian English in the Determinant Triangle

Ekpe Mfon Brownson


This paper investigates the present status of English in Nigeria. It is certain that there is Nigerian English and several researchers have polarized Nigerian English as either standard or non-standard. The paper argues that the classification of Nigerian English as standard and non-standard is based on the duo forces of conservatism and progressiveness. These conservative and progressive forces are determined by factors such as common core, interference and autonomy. Samples of data were collected from a non-standard nativized spoken form and the standard written form from a national newspaper all in Lagos, Nigeria. Our theoretical frame is drawn from ‘the Triangle of Three Determinants’ by Schneider (2003:180). This theory stipulates that the forces that churn out a variety of a second language are common core, interference and autonomy. Key words: Second language; English; Nigerian

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