Linguistic creativity in Nigerian Pidgin advertising
Issue: Vol 7 No. 3 (2013)
Journal: Sociolinguistic Studies
Advertising communication aims at attracting audiences’ attention. It also motivates interest, changes perceptions, stimulates desires and manipulates social values and attitudes. In achieving these objectives, the language medium needs to be carefully selected, especially in a multilingual setting like Nigeria, given that language is the driving force that determines the effectiveness of ad messages. This paper explores the (socio)linguistic devices that are exploited in ad discourse in Nigerian Pidgin (NP) as well as the pragmatic and creative potentials of lexical innovation, code-switching, proverbs, humour and other stylistic strategies that are employed in both print and electronic ads in NP. The paper discovers that advertising in NP commands enormous public appeal because of its spread, flexibility and the creative possibilities it allows. Advertising communication presents yet another platform to further deepen the social utility and functional relevance of NP in the public space in spite of the widespread and age-long misconceptions and prejudices against it.
Author: Eyo Mensah, Roseline Ndimele
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