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Title: Americanisms in Nigerian Democratic Discourse: Indications for U.S.Nigeria Political Relations
Authors: Teilanyo
Diri, I
Keywords: Americanism
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Lagos Papers in English Studies
Series/Report no.: Vol. 1;284-294
Abstract: American English, that is “expressions, spellings, and pronounciations used in American English and not in British English” (Hornby ii), has diffused into the”Englishes” of other societies, including those used in Britain and Nigeria. Their intrusion into Nigerian usage has received some attention among scholars. While such “Americaisms” in Nigerian usage is noticeable in different domains of life and in the different level of linguistic analysis (orthography, pronounciation, lexico-semantics, and pragmantic), their increasing use in Nigerian democratic discourse is particularly significant. Some of these terms have been employed in different, sometimes wrong, senses in Nigeria. This is traceable to Nigeria’s adoption of America’s presidential system of government as well as the influence of the US as a global pace-setter in film, science and technology. This paper contemplates the patterns of the influence as well as the disuse and misuse of these political Americanisms in Nigerian democratic discourse and contemplates what this suggests about the past, present and future of US-Nigeria political relations. It draws the conclusion that proper understanding and the use of American political jargons would be part of Nigeria’s strive to sustain and consolidate its democracy along the lines of American democratic ideals
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