From Slang to Acceptability: Style-Shifting Variation in English Language Usage by Students of CRUTECH, Calabar, Nigeria

Mercy Ugot


This paper focuses on informal language usage by students of Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, Nigeria. This includes the use of slang words from primarily the substrate and superstrate language of the mother tongue (MT) and Nigerian Pidgin (NP) respectively. Participant observation was used for this work including lectures and other forums. Focus is on the speech discourse of students. The NP in particular is a contact language which has grown in stature due to factors of relevance as a common language in a pluralistic society like the Cross River State in particular, and Nigeria in general. Its use has also expanded due to urbanization. The MT has been observed to be influential through direct translation of certain expressions. Findings have shown that the informal use of language by the students has inadvertently affected their competence in standard and formal language use.



Contact language, substrate, speech convergence, slang, style-shifting.

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