Code-Switching and Code-Mixing As Stylistic Devices In Nigerian Prose Fiction: A Study Of Three Nigerian Novels

Faith O. Ibhawaegbele, Justina .N. Edokpayi


Nigeria has a very complex linguistic system, with many indigenous languages, various dialects, and the English language. In a multilingual and bicultural society, literary artists are constrained in their literary works by many problems. One of such problems is the expression of African/Nigerian culture, experiences and worldview in English, the language of another culture. Nigerian novelists, like the poets and the dramatists, create literature deriving from Nigerian background, with varying local situations. To proffer solutions to language problems, the novelists modify English language and adopt various stylistic-creative strategies. Among these are code-switching and code-mixing. In this paper, we examine and explicate how three Nigerian novelists employ code-switching and code-mixing as stylistic strategies in their fiction, highlighting also their stylistic significance.

KEYWORDS: Code switching, code mixing, dialect, multi-lingual, culture, sociolinguistics, audience and participants.

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