Rapport Among Users Of Competing Codes in Nyanya and Mararaba Open-Air Markets: A View from Phenomena of Code-Switching and Code-Mixing


    Multilingualism and the resultant convergence of market participants from Nigeria’s multicultural background accounts for language users’ intermittent switch/mix of codes and a strategy of giving expression to participants’ culture and worldview. With eight excerpted conversations with two of them featuring three discussants and six made up of two speakers/hearers, each. The study adopts the template by Hoffman (1991), which specifies code switching based on the juncture where language takes place, in its investigation of the phenomena of code-switching and code-mixing in Mararaba and Nyanya markets in the suburbs of the city of Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory. It was revealed that code-switching manifests at intra-sentential and inter-sentential levels for greetings, for the expression of certain market lexical items and as tools for negotiating ideal commercial bargaining. This situation is exploited by buyers and sellers who use code-switching and code-mixing as part of the strategies for courting and bonding with the buyer or seller for the purpose of good bargaining. Remarkably, code-switching and code-mixing are not negative linguistic habits but are borne out of the imperative of giving expression to the worldview of market participants which may not be adequately accommodated by other interfacing languages. Code-switching is an eye-opening phenomenon that may be exploited for the promotion of competing languages in a multilingual setting.

    Keywords: code-switching, code-mixing, Pidgin, multilingualism, open-air market

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    author/Abayomi O. Ayansola

    journal/Zamfara IJOH Vol. 1 Issue 3