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THE USE OF CODE SWITCHING AND CODE MIXING IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

While Nigerian scholars have examined code-switching in conversation and in literary language (Akere, 1980; Amuda, 1986, 1994; Goke-Pariola, 1983; O’Mole, 1987; Lamidi, 2004; Ayeomoni, 2006) this study presents a critical examination of code-switching in contemporary Nigerian hip-hop music. In spite of the fact that most Nigerian hip-hop singers use English, they still try to identify with their roots by mixing English with their indigenous languages. We present code-switching inf.–, the lyrics of five Nigerian hip-hop musicians: Sunny Nneji, Weird MC, D’Banj, P Square and Styl Plus. The objectives are to examine the nature of the phenomenon of code-switching, to examine the reasons for code-switching, to discuss the stylistic effects of this trend, and to examine the implications of this practice for communication through music. Our findings reveal that while most code-switching is done in three languages – English, Nigerian Pidgin and Yoruba – Yoruba plays a prominent role. This makes the language the vehicle for the elaboration of themes within the songs. We also observe two major kinds of code-switching; ones in which chunks of ideas in different languages feature in turns, (inter-sentential code switching) thereby producing switches at discourse boundaries; and ones in which expressions from other languages are sandwiched between those of a dominant language (inter-sentential code switching). The study concludes that the unique identities created by code-switching in Nigerian hip-hop have positive local and global influences for music and artists, and reflect the ethno linguistic diversity of the Nigerian nation.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Any keen observer of the Nigerian Music screen will readily agree that much innovation has been introduced by the new hip-hop groups whose brand of music is very popular with Nigerian Youths and Adults alike. These young Nigerians entertainers demonstrate creative ingenuity in the way they have blended Nigerian Language or another with English or its Pidgin variety. In some of theses pieces almost half of the music is composed and sung in a Nigerian Language, and the other half in Standard English or Pidgin variety. This phenomenon in language use has been described in socio-linguistics as code-switching and code-mixing.

Although this socio-linguistics concept has been widely studied, its investigation has largely been restricted to speech or conversational situations and most within formal settings Nigeria (if any) have been carried out on its use in other domains of language use, including music. Although music can be regarded as a kind of speech performance, it is a genre clearly different from any informal conversational exchanges.

This paper will examine new trend of code switching and code mixing Nigeria’s indigenous languages with English, with a particular focus on hip pop in Nigeria music.

1.1    AIM AND OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this research “The use of code switching and code mixing in Nigeria music” is to show and analyze why musicians in Nigeria code switch and code mix their indigenous language into their music for proper expression and the use of their indigenous language shows where they hail from as in part 7 the states they come from. Aside that indigenous language is used to give better meaning and explanation of their mind.

1.2    SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

This project being a unique work will really contribute to our understanding of the music industry in Nigeria in particular. It will showcase and educate us why musicians in Nigeria code switch and code mix their indigenous language along side with English Language in their music. It will as well stand as a guide for the upcoming researchers or students who intend to write from this perspective. It is also important to know that communication is a key way of interaction of code mixing and code sw3itching ones indigenous language in music is a means of communication.

1.3    SCOPE OF STUDY

The researcher hopes to reveal and examine the nature of these phenomena, to find out the extent of this practice, to examine the reasons for this practice, to discuss the stylistic effects of this trend and to discuss the implications of the practice for communication in or through music across the globe. The youths and adults are the most beneficiary of this study because they are young at heart and interested in entertainments in general especially the music industry.

1.4    THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Socio linguistics, as the scientific study of society and the behaviour of people in the society are regards language use.

1.5    HYPOTHESIS

This research projects will explain to us why musicians in Nigeria code switch and code mix their indigenous language in their music. Also, some musicians’ code switch and code mix in three languages- English, Nigerian Pidgin and Yoruba – Yoruba plays a prominent role. This makes the language the vehicle for the elaboration of themes within the songs.

1.6    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

There has been a growing concern on the negative impact of the hip-hop music on youth in the Country and in spite of the seeming financial success and popularity of the musicians; hip-hop culture has been frequently condemned for its exploitation of women on duty. Most of the Hip-hop artistes have a lot of vulgarity, sexual, resonance preposterous violence, drugs and good time symbolism.

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