Sociolinguistics of the Varieties of West African Pidgin Englishes—A Review

Edward Owusu, Samuel Kyei Adoma, Daniel Oti Aboagye


Language contact is a key issue in the field of sociolinguistics. One notable phenomenon in the field of language contact is Pidgin English. Historically, Pidgin began as a language marked by traditional interference used chiefly by the prosperous and privileged sections of a community, represented by the unskilled and illiterate class of the society (Quirk et al., 1985). However, nowadays, it has gained status in some communities to the extent that it has become the mother-tongue of such communities. This paper, therefore, investigates the sociolinguistics of the multiplicity of West African Pidgins of Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana against some sociolinguistic variables of gender, attitudes, code switching, borrowing, slang, and domains of language use. The paper has been structured into two main parts. The first section contains the reviews/synopses of the various papers or works that have been used for the study. The second section deals with a discussion on the prominent sociolinguistic variables found in the various papers.

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