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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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Academic Paper

Title: The present perfect in Nigerian English
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article offers an analysis of present perfect (PP) use in Nigerian English (NigE), based on the Nigerian component of the International Corpus of English (ICE). First, we analyze variable contexts with the Simple Past (PT; determined by temporally specified contexts) as one of the main competitors of the PP, and thus assess the PP-friendliness of NigE in contrast to other varieties. We further provide an alternative measure of PP-friendliness and test register effects in terms of normalized and relative PP and PT frequencies. Our results indicate an overall reduced PP-friendliness of NigE and show internal variability in terms of PP frequencies in different variable contexts. As regards register effects, NigE does not show less variability of PP frequencies compared to British English (BrE). However, the distribution of the PP across registers in NigE does not follow the British pattern where certain registers are particularly PP-friendly. We discuss potential determining factors of the low frequency of the PP in NigE, and conclude that neither substrate influence nor general learning mechanisms on their own can comprehensively account for it. Instead, we suggest that historical influence from Irish and perhaps (at a later point) American English, in conjunction with general learning mechanisms, may be responsible.


This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 21, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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