Nigerian Letter

Dan Goodman dsgood at VISI.COM
Tue Jun 24 04:35:04 UTC 2003

Date:    Mon, 23 Jun 2003 21:10:04 -0500
From:    Herbert Stahlke <hstahlke at WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
Subject: Re: Nigerian Letter

It's probably not possible to identify the native languages of the writers.
There are a levels of Nigerian English, just as there is a creole continuum.
At the top end is the formal writing found in the better newspapers,
novelists, etc.  At the other end is the very distinctive language of
writers like Amos Tutuola, whose English prose does at times reflect his
native Yoruba.  However, the more likely explanation for the seemingly
unidiomatic English in these letters is their roots in Nigerian Creole
English, often called Nigerian Pidgin or Wes Cos.

Aha!  Thanks.   And presumably, the authors are  1) copying other such
letters and 2) writing at a more formal level than their  usual speech.

I wonder if it's still strictly a Nigerian industry.

Dan Goodman dsgood at
Whatever you wish for me, may you have twice as much.

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