Language Choices and its Effect in a Culturally Diversified Nigeria Business Places: Adopting Giles’ Communication Accommodation Theory

Bartholomew Ayeni


The research aims at investigating inclusion strategies in Nigeria business places by taking a look at the way buyers and sellers use language while engaging in business transactions and the effect it has in the whole dealings. This is especially as they have diverse choices before them. Giles’ Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) which addresses convergence and divergence is used as a theoretical framework to reveal the socio-pragmatic elements in the discourse of a multi-cultural Nigeria business places. The research tries to see how inclusiveness is achieved in the face of diversity. Findings reveal that several languages come in contact with one another, including English, Yoruba, Pidgin, Igbo and Hausa in the market transactions in Nigeria. Participants employ various bargaining and pragmatic strategies which include greetings, humour, cajoling, flattery, pleading as well as code-switching and code-mixing. The study helps to establish that both buyers and sellers want to be at an advantage and use languages that accommodate the other party, despite their social, religious, cultural or ethnic differences. Texts were recorded from business places in Nigeria and these include banks, urban markets, and communication outlets. The texts were later transcribed and analysed. While the vendors create room for accommodation as a persuasive strategy, customers do so to get a good bargain for what they want to buy or some other favour from the vendors.


Accommodation, Divergence, Nigeria Pidgin, Nigeria Business Places

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