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
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.
David.1991 Nigerian English Usage. Lagos: