Code Mixing As A Sociolinguistic Medium In Some Selected Songs In The Nigerian Music Industry

Project and Seminar Material for English Language

Code Mixing As A Sociolinguistic Medium In Some Selected Songs In The Nigerian Music Industry


Language plays an important role in the society and this leads to the study of code mixing in relation to sociolinguistics and how code mixed utterances have been triggered as a result of language gap, stylistic motivations, domains, societal factors, message intrinsic factors, physical settings and situational factors. This work examined how these motivations have resulted in code mixed utterances by critically analyzing randomly selected utterances from the randomly selected songs of artistes in the Nigerian music industry. It was discovered that English language has adapted to the Nigerian context which brings out the creative and unpredictable nature of language users. It is therefore safe to conclude that motivations for code mixing enhance communication among cadres of people linguistically united or disjointed.

Chapter One

General Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Society impinges on language, and language impinges on the society. Hence, there must be a relationship existing between language and society. The interdependency of these two entities – language and society led to the study of sociolinguistics. Sociolinguistics is the study of all aspects of linguistics applied towards the connections between language and society, and the way we use it in different language situations.

Language is seen as a unifying force and a common ground among various people through which effective communication is carried out. It has however been noticed that even within the same language, there are different ways or styles of speaking. The contact English language had with Nigeria and her indigenous languages and a bid to communicate effectively across and within ethnic boundaries (cases of intra and inter ethnic communication), led to code mixing.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

The multilingual nature of the country and some individuals’ multilingual or bilingual competence and the inter-language relationship existing between English language and over four hundred indigenous languages in Nigeria have led to code-mixing in conversation, discourse and communicative competence. These lead to the following questions

  1. Is there any limit(s) or constraint(s) to code-mixing?
  2. Is code-mixing really necessary in discourse?
  3. What informs code-mixing?

1.3 Aims and Objectives

This research is informed by questions arising from code-mixing in the lyrics of songs in the Nigerian music industry. This research focuses on some songs in which Yoruba language predominates in the Pidginize English medium used. This research attempts at discovering why the artistes code mix in their songs.

This study will examine the various reasons and motivations for code-mixing. This study will look at how the artistes have arrive at a communicative end via code-mixing and examines the success or otherwise of this trend.

1.4 Delimitation and Limitation

Due to the researcher’s level of proficiency, knowledge and understanding of the English, Yoruba and Pidgin languages, the researcher will cover some selected songs in the Nigerian music industry in which these languages are used.

To achieve the success of this research work, the work is limited to code-mixing.

1.5 Justification

This is regarded as an addition to the existing stock of researches on the subject of code-mixing. However, to the knowledge of the researcher, no work has done a study of code-mixing as a sociolinguistic medium in the Nigerian music industry. This study aims at tackling code-mixing as used in the lyrics of songs of some artistes in the Nigerian music industry. This study will therefore be useful to students of sociolinguistics generally.

1.6 Methodology

Ten songs will be chosen randomly from the lists of songs in the Nigerian music industry and these songs will be analyzed alongside the reasons and motivations for code-mixing.

Chapter Four

Summary, Findings and Conclusion

4.1 Summary

The first chapter is a general introduction to the whole work. Here, the background to the study, statement of the research problems, aims and objectives, delimitation and limitation, justification and methodology of this work are discussed. The second chapter reviews works that have been done in the field of sociolinguistics, code mixing, motivations for code mixing functions of code mixing and the views of renowned scholars on the perspectives of determining and investigating Nigerianisms.

The third chapter analyzes randomly selected utterances from the songs of artistes in the Nigerian music industry like the songs of Ikechukwu featuring D’banj titled Critical, eLDee’s Bosi Gbangba and Ota mi, Lord of Ajasa’s Le f’enu so, 9ice’s Wedding Day, Jah bless’ Jo o, Da grin’s Thank God, Lala, Democracy and Ghetto Dreams using the available reasons and or motivations for code mixing applicable to each song. The fourth chapter sums up the whole work by stating the researcher’s findings in the course of the work and concluding the work as a whole.

4.2 Findings

After critically examining the randomly selected songs in the Nigerian music industry, it has been found out that code mixed utterances could be motivated as a result of language gap, stylistic motivations, societal factors, domain, message intrinsic factors amidst other motivations. It has also been found out that some morphological processes like semantic shift, contraction and clipping are employed alongside the code mixed utterances.

Finally, it has been discovered that rhyming schemes are also achieved through code mixed utterances and cultural sets or beliefs could also be fused with code mixed utterances.

4.2 Conclusion

From the findings made in the course of this work, it is evident that code mixed utterances is triggered by some motivations, that the artistes have reached a communicative end via code mixing, that code mixing shows a language user’s dynamism and competence to creatively compose songs in order to fulfil their goals of satisfying and communicating with the pleasure-loving and pleasure-seeking audience.

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