A Contrastive Inquiry into Wh-Interrogatives in English and Nigerian Pidgin

Macaulay Mowarin, Akpofure Oduaran


This paper undertakes a contrastive inquiry into wh-interrogatives in English and Nigerian pidgin based mainly on Chomsky’s minimalist program of transformational grammar as the theoretical framework.  It is a pedagogical approach to the study of Nigerian pidgin in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria where the language has creolised.  The main objectives of the paper are as follows: first, it undertakes an overview of English and Nigerian pidgin and the cross linguistic typological variations of wh-questions.  Second, evaluates linguistically, the wh-interrogatives in English and Nigerian pidgin with focus on wh-words and phrases, movement, pied piping and constraints on wh-movement in the two languages.  The paper also discusses the use of ná and nkợ as wh-forms in NP.  Finally, the paper examines the learning problems that a competent speaker of Nigerian pidgin will encounter while learning English wh-interrogatives as a second language.  The importance of contrastive analysis as a panacea to the problem of semi-literary in English in Nigeria’s Niger Delta is underscored in this paper.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/elr.v3n2p90


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