Polysemous usage in domesticated English varieties: A case study of the verb ‘see’ in Nigerian English

Author

Rotimi Taiwo

Affiliation

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Abstract

The concept of domestication, nativization or localization has been at the forefront in the discussions on non-native varieties of English. Scholars are beginning to draw more attention to how the English language is being adapted to the culture of non-native speakers, while still retaining many of its original features as used by native speakers. The domestication of English is now a reality in the former colonies of Britain. This draws attention to the importance of context in usage. This work looks at the lexical verb see and its domestication in the Nigerian English usage. It examines the use of the verb in the various forms of spoken, written and CMC modes by Nigerians. The study identifies fifteen different senses of the verb see considered to be peculiar to Nigerian English usage, cutting across the educated and the uneducated lectal domains. These usages reflect the extension of the basic Standard English senses of the word within the Nigerian worldview to express the Nigerian experience.

Keywords

domestication; polysemous; Nigerian English; meaning; socio-cultural; Nigerian Pidgin; conceptualization

Publication Date

June 1, 2009

Issue

Volume 3, Issue 1

Citation information

Taiwo, Rotimi. 2009. “Polysemous usage in domesticated English varieties: A case study of the verb ‘see’ in Nigerian English.” Language. Text. Society 3 (1): e52-e66. https://ltsj.online/2009-03-1-rtaiwo. (Journal title at the time of publication: SamaraAltLinguo E-Journal.)

BibTeX

@Article{TaiwoR2009,
author = {Taiwo, Rotimi},
title = {{Polysemous usage in domesticated English varieties: A case study of the verb ‘see’ in Nigerian English}},
journal = {Language. Text. Society},
year = {2009},
volume = {3},
number = {1},
pages = {52–66},
url = {https://ltsj.online/2009-03-1-rtaiwo/},
}

References

Adamo, Grace Ebunlola. 2007. “Nigerian English. Is it – can it be – part of a quest for cultural expression and identity?” English Today 23 (1): 42–47.

Adegbija, Efurosibina. 2003. “Idiomatic Variation in Nigerian English.” In Studies in African varieties of English, edited by Peter Lucko, Peter Lothar, and Hans-Georg Wolf, 41-56. Frankfurt am Main; New York: Peter Lang.

Adegbija, Efurosibina. 2004. “The Domestication of English in Nigeria.” In The Domestication of English in Nigeria, edited by Abiodun Adetugbo, Segun Awonusi, and E. A. Babalola, 20-44. Lagos: University of Lagos Press.

Adegbija, Efurosibina, and Janet Bello. 2001. “The Semantics of ‘Okay’ (OK) In Nigerian English.” World Englishes 20 (1): 89-98. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-971x.00198.

Adeniran, Adekunle. 1979. “Nigerian Elite English as a Model of Nigerian English.” In Varieties and Functions of English in Nigeria, edited by Ebo Ubahakwe, 221-227. Ibadan: African University Press.

Akere, Funso. 1978. “Socio-cultutral Constraints and the Emergence of Standard Nigerian English.” Anthropological Linguistics 20 (9): 402-421.

Akindele, Femi, and Wale Adegbite. 1999. The Sociology and Politics of English in Nigeria. Ile-Ife: Obafemi Awolowo University Press.

Alm-Arvius, Christina. 1993. The English verb see. Gothenburg studies in English 64. Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis.

Awonusi, Victor O. 1990. “Coming of Age: English in Nigeria.” English Today 6 (2): 31-35. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0266078400004715.

Awonusi, Segun. 2004. “Cycles of Linguistic History: The Development of English in Nigeria.” In Nigerian English, Influences and Characteristics, edited by. A. B. K. Dadzie and Segun Awonusi, 46-66. Lagos: Concept Publications.

Bamgboṣe, Ayọ. 1982. “English in the Nigerian Environment.” In New Englishes: a West African perspective, edited by Ayọ Bamgboṣe, L. Ayo Banjo, and Andrew Thomas, 9-26. Ibadan: Mosuro.

Bamgboṣe, Ayọ, L. Ayo Banjo, and Andrew Thomas, eds. 1995. New Englishes: a West African perspective. Ibadan: Mosuro.

Bamiro, Edmund O. 1991. “Nigerian Englishes in Nigerian English Literature.” World Englishes 10 (1): 7–17. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-971X.1991.tb00133.x.

Banjo, L. Ayo. 1995. “On Codifying Nigerian English: The Research so far.” In New Englishes: a West African perspective, edited by Ayọ Bamgboṣe, L. Ayo Banjo, and Andrew Thomas, 203-231. Ibadan: Mosuro.

Dadzie, A. B. K., and Segun Awonusi, eds. 2004. Nigerian English, Influences and Characteristics. Lagos: Concept Publications.

Daramola, Adeyemi. 2004. “The Lexical Characteristics of Nigerian English.” In Nigerian English, Influences and Characteristics, edited by. A. B. K. Dadzie and Segun Awonusi, 242-255. Lagos: Concept Publications.

Erling, Elizabeth. 2006. “Englishes/New Englishes/World Englishes.” In An Encyclopedia of the Arts. 4 (5): 405-410.

Igboanusi, Herbert, ed. 2001. Language attitude and language conflict in West Africa. Ibadan, Nigeria: Enicrownfit Publishers.

Jowitt, David. 1991. Nigerian English usage: an introduction. Ikeja: Longman Nigeria.

Kachru, Braj B., ed. 1983. The Other tongue: English across cultures. World language English series. Oxford; New York: Pergamon Press.

Kujore, Obafemi. 1985. English Usage: Some Notable Nigerian Variation. Ibadan: Evans Publishers.

Mehrotra, Raja Ram. 1982 “Indian English: a sociolinguistic profile”. In New Englishes, edited by J. B. Pride, 150-173. Rowley MA: Newbury House.

Horne, Merle, Petra Hansson, Gösta Bruce, Johan Frid, and Marcus Filipsson. 1999. “Discourse markers and the segmentation of spontaneous speech—The case of Swedish men ‘but/and/so’” Working Papers 47: 123-139. Lund University, Department of Linguistics.

Platt, John Talbot, Heidi Weber, and Mian Lian Ho. 1984. The new Englishes. London; Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Redeker, Gisela. 1990. “Ideational and Pragmatic Markers of Discourse Structure.” Journal of Pragmatics 14 (3): 367-381. https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(90)90095-u.

Saxton, Karen. 1995. “Review of the book ‘The English Verb See’.” Language 71 (2): 401-402.

Schiffrin, Deborah. 1987. Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wong, Jock. 2006. “Contextualizing Aunty In Singaporean English.” World Englishes 25 (3-4): 451-466. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-971x.2006.00481.x.

Sinclair, John McHardy, and Malcolm Coulthard. 1975. Towards an analysis of discourse: the English used by teachers and pupils. London: Oxford University Press.