Of Finiteness in Nigerian Pidgin (English)

Sarafadeen Gbolagade Adeleke


Nigerian Pidgin English, as a potpourri of lexicon formed from items taken from English and Nigerian languages, operates a grammatical system whose formal features parametrically varied from the grammar of its lexifier and substrates. Its grammar is simplified to pave way for easy communication between people who did not share the same tribe and tongue. This paper examines finiteness in Nigerian Pidgin English. The study reveals that the language verbs and nominal lack personal endings overtly exhibited in English to indicate finitude. Tense, aspects, number, gender and other aspects of finiteness are not morphologically marked but grammaticalized. It was concluded that, though the bulk of words that make up the Nigerian pidgin are taken from English and Nigerian indigenous languages, its grammar is unique and devoid of influence from any of its source of lexis.


Finiteness, grammaticalization, Pidgin, Creole, inflection

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