Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.489441
Title: A tri-generational study of language choice and language shift in Port Harcourt City Nigeria
Author: Ihemere, Kelechukwu Uchechukwu
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2006
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Abstract:
This study seeks to investigate and present a systematic and coherent synchronic account of the language choice patterns by Ikwerre-Nigerian Pidgin English bilinguals in Port Harcourt City, Nigeria. The Ikwerre people are a little known minority ethnic group whose social history and current linguistic behaviours have before now not been systematically explored. The research is undertaken by means of a variety of methods including ethnographic participant observation, paying particular attention to relevant features of the Ikwerre culture and social organisation. Moreover, information obtained from the anthropological approach is supplemented by data gathered through face-to-face language use in the form of oral interviews and questionnaires. The rationale in this case is to explore methodological issues in the field of language shift more generally - particularly, the harmonisation between self-reported data and ethnographic techniques. The areas covered in the thesis are: i. The extent and patterning of Ikwerre/Nigerian Pidgin English (NPE) bilingualism within the Ikwerre community. ii. The means by which people in this community utilise two different languages in their routine communicative interactions. iii. The social and attitudinal motivations for language choice at both the group (community) and individual level. Further, this study is unique in that it will explore ab initio which languages are preferred in interactions within and across three generations namely: grandparents, parents and children (hereafter referred to as the younger generation). It will utilise the concepts of social network and language attitudes analyses to account for the interrelationship between code-switching and language choice by individual speakers, and for the association of both to the wider socio-economic and macro-sociological peculiarities of this community. In addition, I plan to discover which social groups (older versus younger speakers and males versus females) are leading the change towards permanent language shift to monolingual NPE. Finally, based on the observations and findings from the study, I propose an account of the language choice patterns attested in my Port Harcourt Ikwerre community data that is based on establishing a broad typology which can be directly related to the bilingualism continuum. This framework should be equally applicable to similar bilingual settings around the world and the next phase in the research will be to test its efficacy in different communities, particularly in other non-western communities which, like Port Harcourt, have experienced rapid metropolitan growth as a result of radical socio-economic change in their recent history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Newcastle University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.489441  DOI: Not available
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