Anglo-Nigerian Pidgin: a sociopsychological survey of urban, Southern Nigeria
Mann, Charles C.
Pidgins and creoles are hybrid languages that evolve from situations of language contact ( e.g. slave trade); creoles are traditionally regarded as pidgins that have acquired native speakers. Since the 1960s, the contemporary study of pidgins and creoles has grown from strength to strength, and has earned much-deserved academic recognition and respect in the field of linguistics, the subject area being now known as pidginistics and creolistics. Strangely, while some progress appears to have been made in the quest to define, classify and better understand their linguistic-structural dispositions (and possible applications), precious little study has been conducted on the anatomy of social attitudes toward such languages, in spite of the stigmatized statuses they traditionally suffer. To compound this point, equally relatively few language attitude studies have been conducted in Africa. This survey hopes to fill some of the current gap. Consequently, it was decided that a sociopsychological survey would be undertaken on Anglo-Nigerian Pidgin (ANP), a contact variety, which is said to have derived from initial contacts with Portuguese sailors in the 15th century and the diverse ethnicities along the coastline of the geopolitical area now called 'Nigeria', and probably underwent processes of relexification/adlexification with intensified contacts with the British, especially in the 18 th century (Hancock, 1968). The findings on ANP appear to demonstrate that social attitudes are mainly based on pragmatic issues of formal and informal instrumentality, as would be the case with any other ('natural') language, and not on sociomoral considerations. The survey also throws up three possibly-viable hypotheses on language attitude orientations (Age of Contact Hypothesis; Source of Contact Hypothesis; and, Language Competence Hypothesis).