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Title: Self-reported repertoires and observed language use in the multilingual Ọrọ community
Author: Ekpo, Golden Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 8509 7111
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2019
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This study is a systematic account of the spoken repertoires reported by participants in a multilingual Ọrọ community, Nigeria, and the actual language practices which members of the community engage in during their everyday discourse. The Ọrọ community is a minority ethnic group whose social and linguistic behaviours have not been explored prior to this time. The research is undertaken by means of a variety of methods including ethnographic participant observation, with particular attention on relevant aspects of the Ọrọ culture and social organisations. Moreover, information obtained from the observation approach is supplemented with data gathered through face-to-face language use in the form of formal and informal interviews and questionnaires. These methods provide a detailed demographic and ethnographic survey of language use of the community. Three research questions were adopted for this study: 1. How do individuals in Ọrọ community use a range of languages/repertoires in their daily interactions? 2. How are these languages/repertoires used in the different domains? 3. What role does language ideology play in making language choices in the community? Data analysis reveals that members of the community use multiple languages to satisfy daily communicative needs. Younger generation between the age range of 49 and below speak more of NPE while the older members prefer the use of the regional languages. Parents prefer the choice of English and NPE with their children. Among the factors that fuel multilingualism in the community are migration and exogenous marriages coupled with the activities of missionaries. The sedentary people speak more of the regional languages than returnees and incomers, who speak more of NPE, English and Yoruba. Exogenous marriages increase multilingualism as most women acquire languages different from those of their husbands. Participants with higher education engage in more bilingualism with English and any of the regional languages. Generally, NPE seems to be the most widely used language in the community irrespective of one‟s academic attainment. Language ideology in the community is also one factor responsible for the choices made by members of the community in interactions. Members in some cases choose a 4 particular code based on the way the society views it. Some codes are attached to prestige and economic advantage while some others are chosen to fulfil domain rights. The thesis provides interesting new data on some external factors affecting a multilingual‟s language behaviour. It therefore contributes to our understanding not only of the Ọrọ community, but to the study of other languages like Efik and Ibibio considered in this thesis since there has not been (to my knowledge) any study of the sociolinguistic/language use of the languages before now. It is significant to the fields of sociolinguistics, multilingualism research and African linguistics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral