Linguistic Features of Pidgin in Stand-Up Comedy in Nigeria

C. A. Adetuyi, O. O. Jegede, A. A. Adeniran


This study is aimed at looking at how comedians are able to create humour through the use of Pidgin in stand-up comedies. It has been observed Pidgin creates a kind of relaxed environment when it is being used in a social setting because of its informal and non-restrictive nature. This study was carried out by identifying and categorizing the features of Pidgin in selected Nigerian comedy shows, interpreting the contents expressed by the features, and by relating the contents to the humorous opinions as expressed in the comedy shows. The data (five Nigerian stand-up comedy videos where Pidgin was adopted) for this research were downloaded on YouTube channel on the Internet and analysed using Halliday’s Systemic Functional linguistics (particularly the interpersonal metafunction). This was done to reveal how language reflects social relationship between the comedian and his audience and how this language expresses humour. The analysis revealed that pidgin is an informal language, and so its informality creates an equal social relationship in an informal setting which aids laughter. Comedians are able to express humour in Pidgin because it is a no man’s native language, and as such, they could use it creatively to achieve their aim - humour. The unserious and informal nature of the language and its method of presentation make their stories humorous. In conclusion, this study offers sociolinguists and discourse analysts an insight into a field that has not been maximally explored.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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