Home » Past Questions » English Language » The standardization processes of Nigerian pidgin seems to have started during th...

The standardization processes of Nigerian pidgin seems to have started during th...


The standardization processes of Nigerian pidgin seems to have started during the post-colonial period. Naturally, Nigerian pidgin appears to be the first choice of most Nigerians in informal situations, especially when they are among those from different ethnic and linguistic background. Thus, the selection process has tactically taken place. Among all the languages used in Nigeria today, English inclusive, Nigerian pidgin could be said to be the most widely spoken. Evidence abounds in motor parks, parties, congregations and most social occasions. There is also ample evidence in the electronic and print media, especially in political propaganda, campaigns and product advertisement. Thus, in terms of spread and extensive use, Nigerian pidgin could rightly be called a national lingua franca.

The use of Nigerian pidgin in contemporary Nigerian could be described as most productive, extensive and complex. It appears that the standardization processes-selection, codification, elaboration of functions and acceptance-which started in the post-colonial era, are as now being completed in contemporary Nigeria. The reason for this assumption is simple-apart from its complex use as a lingua franca, languages of media advertisement, social interaction, unofficial military training and limited literary output, Nigerian pidgin gas attained widespread acceptability in the media, political propaganda and campaigns as well as soap operas. It is also the language of radio and television jingles. Most electronic media now use appreciable percentage of their airtime to cast news and give reports in Nigeria pidgin. Even though its use in some newspaper columns has declined, especially with the demise of the ‘Waka About’ column in the Daily Times, it is however found extensively in some newspaper advertisements .

In places like Warri, Sapele and Port Harcourt, there were reports that teachers at lower primary level taught their pupils in Nigerian pidgin. This unofficial adoption of the Nigerian pidgin as the language of the lower primary education by those teachers is justifiable considering the provision in the National Policy on Education, which states that in addition to English, the major language in the child’s environment could be used at the elementary level of education. Similarly, Nigerian pidgin has become a language of religious preaching, especially Christianity. In most rural and even urban centres where congregation are not all very well-educated, pastors resort to the use of Nigerian pidgin.

The use of the Nigerian pidgin as a literary language tends to have started in the sixties with the work of Achebe, Soyinka and others. But it is in the contemporary times that it has become most widespread. The number of poems, novels and plays written and published in Nigerian pidgin is growing even more rapidly. Many more literary writers now attempt to experiment with the language. Therefore, the evidence of codification and elaboration of functions and the partial or tactical acceptance of Nigerian pidgin are clearly visible.

The style of this passage could best be described as


A) narrative only

B) narrative and expository

C) persuasive and argumentative

D) descriptive only

The correct answer is B.

More Past Questions: