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International Corpus of English (ICE)



Nigeria is a multilingual country where an estimated 505 languages are spoken of which Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa are the major languages with about 18 million speakers each. English was first introduced in Nigeria with the establishment of trading contacts on the West African coast by the British in the sixteenth century. This resulted in a form of Nigerian Pidgin, which probably is the predecessor of present-day Nigerian English Pidgin, which is mainly used for inter-ethnic communication. English began to be formally studied in Nigeria from the middle of the nineteenth century on. It now has a geographical spread throughout the country and is used in predominantly formal contexts such as government, education, literature, business, commerce, media, international communication and as a lingua franca in social interaction among the educated élite. It is treated as "the official language of the country" although there is no government statute or decree specifying this. Currently, about 20% of the population have some command of English and use it regularly in their daily lives.
Population: 140 million

Bamgbose, Ayo. 1982 Standard Nigerian English: issues of identification. In: Braj Kachru (ed.), The Other Tongue. English across cultures, Oxford: Pergamon Press, 99-111.
Bamgbose, Ayo. 1997 English in the Nigerian environment. In: Ayo Bamgbose, Ayo Banjo and Andrew Thomas (eds.), New Englishes. Ibadan: Mosuro, 9-26.
Gut, U. (2004): Nigerian English - phonology. In: Kortmann, B. & Schneider, E. (eds.), A Handbook of Varieties of English, Amsterdam: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 813-830.
Jibril, Munzali.
1986 Sociolinguistic variation in Nigerian English. English World-Wide 7: 147-174.
Jowitt, David.1991 Nigerian English Usage. Lagos: Bencod Press.


Nigerian newspapers online


Weiterführende Informationen


The ICE Nigeria project is based at the Westfälische Wilhemsuniversität Münster, Germany. 


Professor Dr. Ulrike Gut 
Englisches Seminar
Westfälische Wilhemsuniversität Münster
Johannisstr. 12-20
48143 Münster




Professor Dr. Inyang Udofot 
Department of English 
University of Uyo 
Akwa Ibom State 

Tel.: +234 8 520 0303 



Professor David Jowitt
Department of English
University of Jos
P.M.B. 2084, Jos
Plateau State