Publication details [#67435]

Unuabonah, Foluke Olayinka and Florence Daniel. 2020. Haba! Bilingual interjections in Nigerian English: A corpusbased study. Journal of Pragmatics 163 : 66–77.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject


The research explores five emotive Nigerian English bilingual interjections that have implications for the distinctiveness of Nigerian English: “haba”, “kai”, “chei”, “chai”, and “mtchew” in. It classifies “haba” and “kai” as borrowings from Hausa; “chei” and “chai” as loans from Igbo; and “mtchew” as an onomatopoeic interjection found in many Nigerian indigenous cultures. It further shows that “haba” signals surprise, shock, anger, disapproval, disgust, distress, despair, disbelief, disappointment and disagreement; that “kai”, “chai”, and “chei” express feelings of surprise, sympathy, sadness, anger, pain, disapproval and shock; and that “mtchew” indicates anger, utter disgust, derision, disinterest and sadness.