Igbo English in the Nigerian video film
This paper examines the use of Igbo English, one of the ethnic varieties of Nigerian English, in the Nigerian video film. By Nigerian video film, we mean video films produced in, and/or about Nigeria in English as opposed to those produced in Nigerian indigenous languages which are variously known as Igbo video films, Yoruba video films, or Edo video films, among others. The data for this study come from a random selection from video films produced in Nigeria between 2003 and 2006. In all the films studied, it is observed that Igbo English is essentially the medium of communication. Igbo English is one of the three major ethnic varieties of Nigerian English and is characterized by the fact that, while the vocabulary is mostly English, the sentence pattern is essentially Igbo. The choice of Igbo English as the medium for the films seems to be part of the efforts by the producers to retain, as much as possible, the “Nigerianness” of the films, which inevitably have to be produced in English to accommodate the international audience. This study observes that Igbo English, as used in the films studied, manifests itself in four forms: Igbo English proper, composed of English vocabulary in Igbo sentence structure; Engligbo, a form of code-mixing that is almost a fifty-fifty blend of English and Igbo; translation, in which Igbo idiomatic and other rhetorical expressions are transferred literally into English; and errors induced by the influence of the mother tongue (Igbo) on English.
Keywords: ethnic varieties, indigenous languages, Igbo English, Engligbo, mother tongue, idiomatic expressions, Nigerian English, Igbo video film, Nigerian video film, code-mixing
Published online: 20 February 2009
Cited by 1 other publications
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