The Icing on the Cake: English as another Addition to Our Linguistic Repertoires

Macaulay Mowarin


This paper discusses bilingual verbs, which are intermediate forms that cannot be fully identified with neither Nigerian pidgin nor English, in Nigerian pidgin- English code mixed utterances. The process involved in the derivation of bilingual or hybrid verbs is analogous to hybrid forms in biology. The conceptual framework of this study is Myers-Scotton (1993, 2002). Matrix language frame and the types of hybrid verbs discussed in this study include, the insertion of bare verbs from English to Nigerian pidgin; the adjoinment of auxiliary /helping verbs, as well as the negative particle, in Nigerian pidgin to inserted main verbs from English which is the embedded language. Lastly, is the presence of hybrid verbs in Nigerian pidgin’s serial verb constructions. The essay concludes that bilingual/hybrid verbs constitute an integral part of the grammatical approach to code switching.

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