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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Nominal Group Modifier and Qualifier Structures in Some American and Nigerian English-Medium Magazines Add Dissertation
Author: Emmanuel Babalola Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, PhD English
Completed in: 2005
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Williams Aremo

Abstract: This study attempted a comparative analysis of the English nominal group in the essays of selected Nigerian and American magazine columnists in order to find out the extent to which the emergent standard Nigerian English could be said to have approximated to the American native standard variety of the language in syntactic maturity.

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.

The findings of the study revealed that the nominal group is generally used in less complex forms in standard Nigerian English than in standard American native English. It also became very clear from the findings that there is greater stylistic dexterity and resourcefulness in the use of the nominal group in standard American native English than in standard Nigerian English. Moreover, the possibility of using the various parts of speech and even whole clauses within the nominal group to provide information is more fully exploited in standard American native English than in standard Nigerian English.

The study thus concluded that 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 English. Therefore, non-native users of English, including the users of standard Nigerian English in the media and elsewhere, still have to look to the educated native users of the language for the ultimate standard.