Examination Of The Technique Of Code Switching In Selected Songs Of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister
1.1 Background to the Study
Akindele and Adegbite (2005) describe language as a system of sound or vocal symbols by which human communicate experience. Language plays an important role in human undertakings, it is also the association of sounds with thought, concept or images in the mind and also the ability to produce and interpret sound in recurrent pattern.
Since there is no limitation to the numbers of languages that exist in a community, the phenomenon of code switching is bound to occur which gives the language users of the speech community, the abilityto alternate between the available languages in their community. Muysken(2001:1) refers to code switching as the rapid succession of several languages in a single speech event. This definition shows that for a speaker to code switch, “several languages”must be involved which ranges from at least two languages and above, therefore, it takes a bilingual to alternate among the available languages in a speech community, while Weinreich(1953) refers to a bilingual people as those individuals that switch from one language to the other according to the appropriate changes in speech situation.
A somewhat related concept to code switching as a phenomenon in sociolinguistics is ‘code mixing’, Bentahila and Davies (1983) stress the importance of the relationship between switching and mixing of codes in a speech community by stating that the act of choosing one code rather than the other must be distinguished from the act of mixing the two codes together to produce something which might itself be called ‘a third code’, as a result of this, “code switching is the use of two languages within a single conversation, exchange or utterance”. With the relationship that exist between both mixing and switching of codes, it can be said that code mixing is the process of mixing elements from two languages in one utterance while code switching is the product of language mix.
The explanation of both phenomena of code switching and code mixing as they occur in conversation necessitates this study in exploring the manifestation of switching of codes in song lyrics with a focus on Fuji music from the selected tracks of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister. In so doing, this research is motivated by my keen curiosity to unearth the motivations, patterns and function of language alternation in a bilingual community with a close attention on the selected tracks of Fuji music, thereby, going beyond the previous studies on the investigation of switching in conversations.
1.2 Music in Nigeria
Music in Nigeria evolves through various trends and complexities, which in contemporary terms have continued to be driven by the emergence of sophisticated musical instruments in the music world.
As noted by Sam Akpabot (1986) a musician and a critic, describes Nigerian music as a deeply functional exercise that is influenced by political, religious, sociological, anthropological, economic and educational fronts, also that music derives its socio-cultural power from the society in order to make any progress in the future.
Also, traditional music in Nigeria or other parts of the world can also function in the social structure which is based on order of religious ritual expression of social organisation and recreation. This simply means that the kind of music by individual is a reflection of his/her religious belief, the environment he/she belongs and what the musician tends to achieve with the song(which in most ways, serve as recreation purpose
The music in Nigeria is made up of different kinds of folk and popular music, the folk much derives its influence from the ethnic background of the musician in the sense that many of the groups have their own instrument which hitherto transforms into the various types of their music and the techniques. The earliest style of music in Nigeria is traced to the 1920s with the prevalence of palm wine and highlife styles of music. But after the World War II, Nigeria music is reported to have incorporated new techniques and instrument which in turn produced new set of artist with different sense and styles of music. Artiste like I.K Dairo incorporated genres of music like funk, soul, rock n’ roll into juju. Popular music in Nigeria became very popular on the top of Nigerian charts in the 1960s.
At the end of the decade was when other music styles like Yo-pop, gospel, raggae, Fuji were introduced while juju was pushed a little bit out of the way, juju alongside fuji music was still popular during the 90s. Other typical genres of music in Nigeria include sakara music which is distinguished by the instrument which makes it a bed time serenade for its lovers. Another genre of music of Yoruba tradition is ‘Apala’ music by Haruna Ishola which is known to be the greatest exponent of Apala that is characterised by the themes of deep philosophical significance accompanied with the theme of praise that dominates the Yoruba musical genres. Other genres of music of Yoruba traditions are waka, which often features female singers with the likes of Batili Alake and Salawa Abeni as its exponent. And lastly, fuji music exists according to Wikipedia online (2014) “… arose from the improvisation of Ajisari/were music tradition, which is a kind of music performed to wake Muslims before dawn during the Ramadan fasting season.”
1.2.1 Fuji Music
Fuji is a popular Nigeria music genre, it arose from the improvisation of Ajisari/were music tradition, Wikipedia (2014). Ajisari/were music traditionally, was an Islamictype ofmusic played by the Muslim kids in Nigeria, these songs are meant to wake the muslim faithfuls for the mid-night meal that precedes the morning of Ramadan. This musical genre was made popular by Alhaji Dauda Epo akara, the deceased Ibadan-based awurebe founder and Ganiyu Kuti a.k.a Gani Irefin, (Akpan, 2006).
The late 1960s saw the appearance of the first fuji bands. Fuji was named after “mount fuji” in Japan, purely for the sound of the word according to Sikiru (1965). Fuji was a synthesis of apala with the ornament free rhythm vocals of ajisari devotional musicians and was accompanied by sakara and tambourine drum and Hauwaii guitar.
The first famous entertainers of fuji music are Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister and Ayinla Kollington.Thefujicareer of Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister began in the early 1970s with the Golden fuji group, although, he had sung Muslim songs since he was ten years old. He first changed his group’s name to Fuji London when he came back from London trip. Sikiru Ayinde Barrrister’s contending artiste was Ayinla Kollington, he is known for fast rhythm and dance-able class of fuji, he also recorded hit albums in the 80s. Fuji grew steadily between the 1960s, and 70s, becoming closely associated with Islam in the process. However, Ebenezer Obey once described juju as “mambo” with guitar.
Between 1970 and throughout the 1980s, other fuji musicians include Sikiru Adio, Suara Alhaji, Student Fuji, Wasiu Ayinde Barrister (later changed his name to Wasiu Ayinde Marshall), Rasheed Ayinde, Wasiu Alabi , Saheed Osupa etc.
Till today, fuji music has continued to attract younger generation, reason being that the other genres of music such as hip hop have been blended into it, while the use of two or more languages by these musicians has increased their fan base across the globe.
1.3 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this study is to analyse the technique of code switching in selected songs ofSikiru Ayinde Barrister
In view of the aim above, certain objectives are drawn for the research, these are:
- To identify the instances of code switching in the selected songs;
- To analyse and describe the patterns and of code switching in the selected songs; and
- To propose the purposes/functions of code switching in the selected songs.
1.4 Research Problems
There have been instances of code switching in speeches and conversations which have been investigated among scholars. The investigation of this manifestation mostly in speeches and conversations are as a result of an individual having more than one language in his/her language repertoire which in turn affects the use of language by means of alternating between those languages.
However, little has been done in exploring this phenomenon in Nigerian music, most especially, the local music, hence, this research will be used to account for the different techniques, patterns and functions of code switching in fuji music.
1.5 Scope of Study
This research was carried out by examining the various techniques patterns, purpose and functions of code switching in the selected tracks of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister songs.He produced one hundred and twenty four songs spanning across five decades, 1960-2000. Although he recorded some live performances in the late 1960s, but there is no proper record in place to show for them, therefore, our research would be carried out on the recorded/studio songs from the available ones.
Although Sikiru Ayinde Barrister mixed some elements of Arabic language in some of these selected songs, but this research is restricted to the analysis of code switching of English language/pidgin and Yoruba due to the semblance in structures of these languages. Moreso, this restriction, however, is dictated by the need to attempt a reasonable depth of analysis of the data for the study within the available time. The relevant literatures that are available for this finding, coupled with the conclusions that are drawn from the investigation can represent the findings and conclusion on the entire fuji music in Nigeria.
1.6 Contribution to Knowledge
By virtue of the data selected for this study, the findings provide some of the information that are required for code switching in songs. This study, considering the depth of analysis of the language alternation, gives a better understanding on how fujimusicians code switch in songs.
And lastly, this study gives an insight into the various purposes and functions of code switching in Fuji music and what the musicians tend to achieve with it.
1.7 Theoretical Framework
This work is in line with the related researches on the investigation of language use in the various genres of music by scholars in both Nigeria and abroad. Omoniyi (2006&2009) analysed the phenomenon of code switching in Nigeria hip hop, while in the same vein, Babalola and Taiwo, (2009) in their analysis of code switching in selected Nigeria hip hop music, concluded that the phenomenon of code switching in the hip hop songs reflects the cultural diversity and multilingual nature of the settings in which they are produced, their conclusion, nonetheless, agrees with Benthahila and Davies (2002) that the employment of code switching serves as the dual purpose of globalisation and localisation of the music. Hence, this study is tailored towards the premises and conclusion of the researches by the above scholars by examining the phenomenon of code switching in the selected songs.
Based on the findings of those scholars above, it is clearly shown that the pertinence of language and identity cannot in any way be overemphasized, in that the alternation of languages by bilinguals in music is a reflection of the musicians cultural background coupled with the cultural values and traditions with which the musicians is projecting. Hence, code switching in songs can be described as the conscious alternation of languages by the musicians with the aim of projecting one’s tradition through the reflection of identity. Also, code switching in songs can be described as the musicians’ effort at reaching out to the diverse audience which may not be knowledgeable in the musician’s tongue, but could comprehend a bit of the message through the use of elements in other languages. ‘Code switching’ being the key term used in this research, is a prominent factor to be considered by musicians in the composure of their songs, which helps them(musicians) gain audience/listeners more than expected. Therefore, this study will basically explore the phenomenon of code switching in the twenty four selected tracks of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, by approaching it from a sociolinguistic perspective with a close attention to the language alternation patterns and forms and functions.
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