This essay is going to examine the use or Nigerian Pidgin in Ipodo
and Alade markets. Chapter one treats the background study, hypotheses,
aim of the study, objectives scope of study, and limitations of study,
while the second chapter will treat in detail the review of related
literature in Nigerian pidgin English the role of pidgin English in
Nigeria, the growth of Nigerian pidgin, the role or the government
attributed status, attitudes towards Nigerian pidgin English - society,
tense and aspect or Nigerian pidgin.
Chapter three looks into the presentation of data while chapter four treats the data analysis.
The fifth chapter concludes this essay by re-emphaising the importance and use of pidgin English in trade in Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
A pidgin is a reduced language that results from extended contact
between groups of people with no language in common. It evolves when
they need some verbal communication, perhaps for trade but no group
learns the native language of any other group for social reasons that
may include lack of trust or of close contact.
A typical definition of any pidgin is invariably in two parts: a
reference to its nature/function and a reference to the situations that
give rise to it. Thus, Reinecke [1964:534] tells us that "a minimum or
makeshift language [arises] when men of different speech are thrown into
contact and must reach an understanding ... " and Todd [1974:1] defines
a pidgin as "a marginal language which arises to fulfill certain
restricted communication needs among people who have no common
In these two definitions, a pidgin is described as minimal, makeshift
or marginal, which suggests that it is not a full language, does not
have a long history and is not central to the communicative codes
available to its users. It is also claimed in each definition that the
kind of situation that gives rise to a pidgin is one in which the people
in contact have no language in common.
These rather archaic definitions are supported both by common sense
and by practical observation. If people have a language in common, there
is no need for them to resort to a makeshift form of communication. On
the other hand, it is accepted that a pidgin -like stage probably exists
as a universal in the learning or acquisition of a second language, and
some scholars now talk of a 'pidginization theory' of second language
acquisition. The theory of decreolization, the observation that a pidgin
becomes more and more like the language on which it is based (if they
exist side by side), also supports the possibility that a pidgin stage
is a universal of second language learning.
Inits initial stages, a pidgin is simple in having loose syntactic
rules, a narrow and flexible bounded or differentiated vocabulary and
phonological component not properly defined, thus its semantic base
account for much of its speaker's mutual compatibility.
A language in the making, it necessarily expands from this simple
level to a more complex one. There is also the possibility that it would
become a different language or another dialect of the' same one from
which it is contrived, depending on the similarities in the linguistic
backgrounds of pressure brought to bear against its survival by the full
At some point of its development, such a communication system becomes
a pidgin and at a further stage it becomes a Creole. But such
maturation is probably merely a function of its speaker's inmate
linguistic potentials and subject to a combination of both variable and
content factors. Pidgin close impulsively from people's desire to
communicate and may as a result, be more or less co-terminus with human
Pidgin is said to have been creolized in Sierra Leone and Paupa now
Guinea, but in Nigeria there arc varieties of Pidgin English according
to different linguistic groups, yet they possess at some points some
common features which makes those varieties mutually intelligible.
Nigerian Pidgin English consists of vocabulary items from each language
used to enhance mutual understanding in communication.
The hypotheses for this study are as follows:
i. Pidgin has assumed a significant role in communication in
Nigeria, especially between and among ethnic groups that do not share a
ii. Nigerian pidgin can promote national unity, because it has
the power of bringing peoples of different languages, groups, social
class and religion together.
iii. Pidgin is fast assuming the role of a major language in Nigeria.
1.3 AIM OF THE STUDY
The aim of the study is to examine the use of Nigerian Pidgin English in Ipodo and Alade Market of Ikeja, Lagos State.
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study are as follows;
i. To attempt to examine the nature and use of pidgin in
domestic trade in Nigeria using Alade and Ipodo markets as case study.
ii. To investigate the level of the usage of pidgin in both market.
iii. To find out the perceptions the traders have of pidgin and their attitudes towards pidgin.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
In a quest to show the significance or importance of Pidgin in
Nigeria, it was observed that Pidgin in Nigeria is highly
underestimated. Considering the very high number of Pidgin Speakers in
the country and its ever growing importance in trade in Nigeria, this
work may have brought into "lime light" this importance.
The reason for the significance of this study is educational. By
this, it is believed that people will be able to learn how to appreciate
the important role pidgin plays, not only in trade but in almost all
the facets of the Nigerian setting. This significance of study contains
all the information earlier presented in the statement of the problem,
research objectives and information deduced from review of relevant
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study was limited to the Pidgin English speakers in Alade and
Jpodo markets respectively market. The source of data for this study was
the use of questionnaires. Both sellers and buyers served as
respondents. Also, assistance was given to respondents who could neither
read nor write. The questionnaires were filled for them in the form of
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
During the cause of the fieldwork, several problems were encountered they are as follows:
i. Due to the noisy nature of the market the recording was distorted.
ii. The high level of illiteracy in the market did not help
matters. At a point, help had to he gotten from an
interpreter to help decode the Yoruba language
iii. The sincerity or the respondents on whom the questionnaires
are administered arc doubtful because their answers may not be true.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
A pidgin is a reduced language that results from extended contact
between groups of people with no language in common. Examples are: