Nigerian English Syntax and Usage: Between Deviance and Deviation

LAWAL M. Olushola


This study tries to distinguish the term "deviance" from the term "deviation" in Nigerian English. The two terms, which are comparatively different, are discussed within a socio–linguistic framework of M.A.K. Halliday's systemic grammar, which later developed into Functional Linguistics that places emphasis on the issue of meaning in grammatical theory. Typical Nigerian English innovations are related to the local socio – cultural and linguistic contexts of Nigerian culture and society. The paper touches on Nigerian English syntax and partly on lexico–semantic variation in Nigerian English to bring to the fore the distinction between the terms in focus-deviance and deviation. The work also discusses and attempts to show how some Nigerian English expressions erroneously made can be corrected and be made to move near the native English so as not to encumber intelligibility and create misinterpretation for the native speakers and other Nigerian users of English who are adept to the native speakers' usage. The implication of deviance and deviation in Nigerian English is therefore discussed with reference to international intelligibility and communicative strategies. The source of the data collected is from the day-to-day English use by some Nigerian English users.

Keywords: Deviance, Deviation, Nigerian English Syntax, Usage, Functional Linguistics.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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