Comparing English Worldwide: The International Corpus of English

By Sidney Greenbaum | Go to book overview

17
The Sociolinguistics of English in Nigeria and the ICE Project

AYO BANJO


1. ENGLISH AS A MODERNIZING AGENT

The amalgamation in 1914 of the Northern and Southern Protectorates to form the Colony and Protectorates of Nigeria can be taken as marking the first step in the modernization process of Nigeria, for the aim of amalgamation was to render the territory more amenable to development--initially, to be sure, for the benefit of the colonizing power. But the process of exploitation inevitably benefited sections of the local populace as well, giving them more economic power, and exposing them to precisely those modern ideas that were to help them, after barely fifty years, to terminate the colonial status of the country.

It is possible to see modernization process as taking place simultaneously in two interlocking domains, namely the public and the private. The English language --and often the literacy skills of that language--plays a prominent role in both domains.

In the public domain, we can identify politics, administration, the judiciary, education, commerce, the media, and the arts. The role of English in Nigerian politics tends to be subsumed under the role of the language in other sub-domains--notably administration and the media. But true as it may be that politics does find expression in these two other areas, there are other aspects of the use of English in politics which deserve independent examination.

Before 1960 Nigerian politics had mainly been concerned with the struggle for independence. The advent of party politics from 1950 onwards had introduced a new dimension to the use of English in Nigeria. Of the three regions, the North alone had a lingua franca in the Hausa language. The West was almost linguistically homogeneous, with the majority of the citizens speaking Yoruba as a first or second language. But there were, in addition, important languages in the eastern part of the region. Similarly in the East, the majority of the citizens were Igbo- speaking, with other languages spoken in the southern and south-eastern parts of the Region. In the south, therefore, English was, from the beginning, the language of politics. But since, later on, all politicians had to compete for power at the centre

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Comparing English Worldwide: The International Corpus of English
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Contributors xi
  • List of Figures xiii
  • List of Tables xv
  • Abbreviations xvi
  • Part I Introduction 1
  • 1: Introducing ICe 3
  • References 12
  • 2: Learner English Around the World 13
  • References 23
  • Part II Compilation and Annotation 25
  • 3: The Design of the Corpus 27
  • References 35
  • 4: Markup Systems 36
  • Notes 45
  • References 45
  • 5: The Umb Intelligent ICe Markup Assistant 54
  • References 64
  • 6: ICe Annotation Tools 65
  • 7: Developing the ICe Corpus Utility Program 79
  • 8: About the ICe Tagset 92
  • 9: Autasys: Grammatical Tagging and Cross-Tagset Mapping 110
  • 10: An Outline of the Survey's ICe Parsing Scheme 125
  • Reference 139
  • 11: The Survey Parser: Design and Development 142
  • References 157
  • Part III Problems of Implementation 161
  • 12: The New Zealand Spoken Component of ICe: Some Methodological Challenges1 163
  • References 177
  • 13: Second-Language Corpora1 182
  • References 195
  • 14: The International Corpus of English in Hong Kong 197
  • References 213
  • Part IV Applications 215
  • 15: The Corpus as A Research Domain 217
  • 16: ICe and Teaching 227
  • 17: The Sociolinguistics of English in Nigeria and the ICe Project 239
  • 18: Why A Fiji Corpus? 249
  • References 260
  • 19: Prosice: A Spoken English Database for Prosody Research 262
  • References 278
  • Index 281
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