The study examined the role of Nigerian Pidgin English in higher institutions with particular reference to students of Federal University Dutsinma. The research employed the monogenetic/reflexification theory and the data was gathered through the use of questionnaires and observation techniques. The analysis was based on the nature of the question asked as frequencies were generated and anaysed in simple percentages. The findings reveal that most students use Nigerian Pidgin however, not in formal settings such as lecture halls. In addition, the findings show that the Nigeria Pidgin English has effects on the students. This study concludes that the use of Pidgin in formal setting should be discouraged since it has not been given recognition. Its usage within the institution is affecting the students’ academic performance.
0.1 Background to the Study
One of the most important differences between man and animal is man’s ability to speak and make others understand. as such, Language is central to human existence. The relationships between humans are molded by the language they speak. It enables them to communicate their feelings and emotions to one another. This is why Edward Sapir says “language is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of voluntarily produced symbols” (8).
On the other hand, Bloch and Trager state that language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols by which a social group cooperates (5). Henry Sweet also views language as the expression of ideas by means of speech sounds combined into words. Words are combined into sentences, this combination answering to that of ideas into thoughts. (8).
From the above definitions, three words stand out “human”, “expression”, and “communication”. The word human implies that only human beings use language as a means of communication. Animals do communicate using sounds but their communication is certainly different from human language and is not language. According to Akindele and Adegbite language is a human phenomenon that has form which can be described in terms of units of sound (phonemes), word, morphemes, phrases, sentences and paragraphs or discourse” (1).
This definition shows that language has often been identified as the most unique attribute of man. It is through language that human beings grasp and understand reality and transmit it from one generation to another. This view is buttressed by Blakar who affairs that “we actually live and behave in a world of language” (4). Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman cited Noam Chomsky saying that when we study human language, we are approaching what some might call the human essence. Chomsky’s emphasis is on the important of language to human existence. Language is very important to every human being and without language, there won’t be communication.
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