PIDGIN IN CREATIVE WORKS IN ENGLISH IN CAMEROON

Jean Paul Kouega, Mildred Aseh

Abstract


This study, which deals with code-switching and language choice in multilingual contexts, describes the use of Pidgin in creative works in English in Cameroon, with the focus on the forms that this language takes in the works, the types of characters who are made to speak this language, and the functions that this language plays in these works. The data comprise three plays and two novels, all published between 2000 and 2006 by experienced writers who have a good command of English and yet make their characters speak in Pidgin. The analysis shows that Pidgin in the corpus takes the form of individual lexemes like salaka (libation, sacrifice) and relatively short utterances like This sun fit kill man (This sun is so hot that it can kill someone.). The characters who speak Pidgin in these literary works are generally low-ranking and rural people, illiterates and other people who are hardly looked up to in the Cameroonian society. Finally, Pidgin helps writers to realise some stylistic effects such as variations on the scale of formality, with English being used when addressing a superior person and Pidgin when addressing an inferior person. Most importantly, creative writers reproduce in their works what is observed in the Cameroonian society and this can be regarded as a formal way of enhancing their readers’ plurilingual competence.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/sm-2017-0005


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Keywords


Cameroon Pidgin English; creative works; code switching; attitude; language choice

Full Text: PDF

Barcode: 9772335201001
Print copy: ISSN 2335-2019
Online copy: ISSN 2335-2027