English Usage in Nigeria since 1842: Patterns and Changes (A Festschrift for David EKA)


When the then Head of English, Professor (Mrs.) Inyang Udofot mentioned that she was sending out a call for contributions to Professor David Eka’s festschrift, | was somewhat taken by surprise because I had not quite realised that such a season was already with us. I have always associated David Eka with English in Nigeria. Such was his passion about this imposed foreign language that he at all times, defended it stoutly! At the time, I assumed that being an advocate of local indigenous languages and therefore being on the opposing side of the debate, any contribution I make would not be relevant to a festschrift in honour of this promoter of “global Englishes”, courtesy of his 2005 inaugural lecture.

Professor David Eka has been in the higher education system in Nigeria for upwards of forty years. His research interest has been largely in the area of English language phonology. During this period, he has made important contributions to English language research, particularly as it is used within the Nigerian context. One of the hallmark contributions, which has almost become a theory in itself, is the idea of ‘elasticity’ as it relates to rhythm in Nigerian English.

Professor David Eka deserves to be celebrated for being anexemplar to his students, as well as his colleagues. There is no question of endangerment to his professional calling because he has successfully ensured that there is “intergenerational transmission” (as we say in endangered language studies parlance) through his students, grand students, and great grand students, some of whom have become distinguished professors in their own right.

In an era where it is expedient to accept juicy political appointments, he has remained steadfast and faithful to his passion and first love of teaching, research and community service. It is difficult to quantify the number of publications he has under his belt but I must mention and remind those old enough of his editorship of the Faculty of Arts Journal of Humanities (JH), when everything was done manually then, without the benefit of computers and ICT. He served diligently in that capacity for several years dutifully turning out the journals year in year out.

He has always been a source of inspiration and motivation to the junior ones, a teacher par excellence by example in the classroom, plus a compassionate administrator as a Head of Department. His diligence is unparalleled – even after his retirement from the University of Uyo, Professor David Eka still teaches and conducts his research with passion and a sense of duty. As the pioneer Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), he brought a number of beneficial innovations to the system.

Professor Eka’s sphere of service is not defined within the ivory tower only but also without. It is in recognition of his unstinting service that the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria elected him an Elder and his community has inundated him with several accolades.

It is therefore not altogether a surprise that at this time of his retirement, his colleagues and students, former and current, have come together to celebrate and honour his intellectual achievements with a well-deserved festschrift. The festschrift entitled English Usage in Nigeria since 1842: Patterns and Changes, contains twenty-six chapters of scholarly and well researched papers in various areas of English and language studies. The papers in this volume cover issues ranging from but not limited to, features of Nigerian English, spoken English in Nigeria, rhythm of standard Nigerian English, the concept of Eka’s elasticity to sociolinguistic issues, traditidnal concerns such as the influence of English on local languages and vice versa, emerging trends such as those of text messaging in addition to the deployment of English in literary creativity.

All these have been classified into four important themes, namely:
(i) Phonological Issues in Nigerian English usage with six chapters,
(ii) English Language: teaching and learning with four chapters,
(iii) sociolinguistics of English in Nigeria with seven papers and last but certainly not the least
(iv) use of English in literary texts which has five chapters.
In an era where quality teachers in the teaching profession are a highly endangered species, here is to Professor David Eka, a seasoned and distinguished academic, an academic icon, a trailblazer, a confidence builder, a motivator and a compassionate and amiable man. I strongly commend all those who have been a part of this commemoration! And I am delighted to have been asked to write the foreword to this monumental and important volume.

Eno-Abasi Urua
Professor of Linguistics
University of Uyo, Nigeria
January 2011


Chapter 1 Phonological Features of English Usage in Aba – Judith Mgbemena. Download
Chapter 2 Nigerian Spoken English: A Phono-Sociolinguistic Study – Oladimeji Kaseem Olaniyi. Download
Chapter 3 Linguistic Rhythm and Elasticity – Imelda Icheji Lawrence Udoh. Download
Chapter 4 The Rhythm of Standard Nigerian English – Inyang Udofot. Download
Chapter 5 Aspiration in Nigerian English: Controversies and Challenges – Ubong E. Josiah. Download
Chapter 6 Towards the Standardization of Nigerian English: A Phonological Perspective – Sheila I. Njemanze. Download
Chapter 7 Deviation as Development: A Study of the Production of English Voiced Plosives and Affricates by Ibibio Speakers of English – Nkereke M. Essien. Download

Chapter 8 The Dwindling Standard of the English Language: A Challenge to the English Language Teacher – Macpherson Nkem Azuike. Download
Chapter 9 Errors in the Written Composition of Students in Colleges of Education: A Study of the Federal College of Education, Abeokuta – Ezenandu, P. E. and Adesida, A. A. Download
Chapter 10 Critical Literacy: Relevance and Engagement in Reading in the ESL Situation – Stella Ikhesor Ekpe. Download
Chapter 11 Patterns of Prepositional Complement Selection in Nigerian English Syntax – Juliet Udoudom. Download
Chapter 12 Second Language Acquisition in a Multilingual Society Ashipu, K. B. C. and Okon, Nsa Asuquo. Download
Chapter 13 Effective Teaching and Learning of English in Nigeria in the 21st Century: Problems and Prospects Richard C. Ihejirika. Download

Chapter 14 Codeswitching and Identity – Akinmade T. Akande. Download
Chapter 15 Influence of English on the Use of Ibibio Language in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State – Alice E. Udosen and Maria Afangide. Download
Chapter 16 Redefining Deviations in Nigerian English – Abolaji S. Mustapha. Download
Chapter 17 The Language of Text Messaging in Nigeria: Towards a Codification – Eno-Abasi Urua. Download
Chapter 18 Contextual Variation in Nigerian English: A Study of the Usage of Nigerian Adolescents – Dili Ofuokwu. Download
Chapter 19 Semantic Contrasts in Educated Nigerian English – Charles Okon Effiong. Download
Chapter 20 The Cultural Impact of English in Nigeria – Maria-Helen E. Ekah. Download
Chapter 21 Grammatical and Culture-Related Innovations in Nigerian English Usage – Maurice Udom. Download

Chapter 22 Code-Mixing in Ibibio Children’s Oral Play Songs: An Assessment of a Century and Half of the English Language in Nigeria – Friday Okon and Ndifreke Obot. Download
Chapter 23 War, Violence and Rotten English in Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Sozaboy – Chijioke Uwasomba. Download
Chapter 24 Registers and Code Switching as Stylistic Devices in Chukwuemeka Ike’s Conspiracy of Silence – Uchenna Oyali. Download
Chapter 25 Writing in English: Trauma and Discourse Stratagems in Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus by Chris C. Onyema. Download
Chapter 26 Towards Establishing Uyo School of Nigerian English Studies – David Eka. Download
Epilogue: Revisiting David Eka’s Concept of Elasticity – David Eka. Download
Abridged Curriculum Vitae of Prof. David Eka.
Notes on Contributors.

NOTE: THE RESPECTIVE CHAPTERS CAN ALSO BE PURCHASE. Visit http://www.davideka.com.ng to pick the chapters or just do a search.

Prof. David Eka

Late Prof David Eka was an erudite Professor of English with more than 42 years experience. As a scholar who specialized in The Phonology of English, Sociolinguistics, General Phonetics, Applied Linguistics and Use of English/Language Planning, he had lectured and imparted knowledge to many in several Institutions across the nation and beyond. He held professional memberships in some bodies some of which includes Literary Society of Nigeria. A major part of his career had been with the University of Uyo, where he lectured and held several responsibilities within the Faculty of Arts and the University at large. He lectured 7 Undergraduate Courses, 4 Postgraduate Courses and supervised several Undergraduate and Postgraduate projects, thesis and dissertations.

He has authored several books, book chapters and journal articles, many of which can can be accessed on this website. He has been the Chief Editor to the Journal of Humanities for several volumes. He was a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church. He is blessed with a beautiful family.

He is late now, but his works lives on.

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