LINGUIST List 16.296
Mon Jan 31 2005
Diss: Socioling/Syntax: Babalola: 'Nominal Group...'
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Nominal Group Structural Types in Some American and Nigerian English-Medium Magazines
*Please note that this dissertation is not completed.
Message 1: Nominal Group Structural Types in Some American and Nigerian English-Medium Magazines
From: Emmanuel Babalola <dipojokeyahoo.com>
Subject: Nominal Group Structural Types in Some American and Nigerian English-Medium Magazines
Institution: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
Program: PhD English
Dissertation Status: Imcomplete
Author: Emmanuel Taiwo Babalola
Dissertation Title: Nominal Group Structural Types in Some American and Nigerian English-Medium Magazines
Subject Language(s): English (ENG)
This study represents, in the main, an attempt at contributing in giving
the necessary direction to the development of a Standard Nigerian English
comparable to a native standard variety of the language. Accordingly, we
have carried out in the study a comparative analysis of the English nominal
group in the essays of selected Nigerian and American magazine columnists
who can be assumed to be among the best users of standard English in their
respective linguistic environments, and on the basis of our findings we
have discussed the extent to which the emergent Standard Nigerian English
can be said to have approximated to the American native standard variety of
the language in syntactic maturity.
More specifically, the data for the study were drawn from twenty essays
written by four regular columnists, one each from the highly rated American
Time and Newsweek and Nigerian Tell and Newswatch magazines. The essays
were analysed first for occurrences of the various basic structural types
of the nominal group in English (H, MH, HQ and MHQ) and then for
occurrences of the possible nominal group modifier and qualifier structural
types (M, MM, MMM, etc; Qa, Qb, Qc, etc). The findings in respect of the
occurrences of the structural types were then compared and contrasted. All
through, the procedural principles were guided by insights from Contrastive
Analysis as carried out in Applied English Linguistics, and Systemic
Functional Linguistics was employed as the main theoretical framework.
On the basis of our findings, it has seemed reasonable to draw the
a. The nominal group, with respect to the choice from both its basic
structural types and its possible modifier and qualifier structural types,
is generally used in less complex forms in Standard Nigerian English than
in Standard American native English.
b. There is greater stylistic dexterity and resourcefulness in the use of
the nominal group in Standard American native English than in Standard
c. The possibility of using the various parts of speech and even whole
clauses within the nominal group to pass information is more fully
exploited in Standard American native English than in Standard English.
d. Since the nominal group is the grammatical area within the sentence
where the potentiality for versatile and innovative use of English can be
best achieved, Standard Nigerian English, in which the nominal group is
generally less stylistically exploited and less informative, is clearly yet
to attain the same level of syntactic maturity as Standard American native
e. Non-native users of English, including the users of Standard Nigerian
English in the media and elsewhere still have to look up to the educated
native users of the language for the ultimate standard.
f. It is recommended that scholars try and work with other kinds of
Standard Nigerian English data and Standard native English data for a total
picture of level of syntactic maturity of Nigerian English to emerge. It is
also suggested that learners and users of English in Nigeria and other
second language situations continue to be encouraged to read as much as
possible English-medium publications from the educated native speakers.
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