Rhyme, Rhythm and Rhetoric in Religious Discourse in Nigeria’s ESL Environment

Dare Owolabi


This study documents the ingenious use of the English language in a second language environment, in a way that is making Nigerian preachers who use English as a medium of communication almost becoming more catholic than the Pope. The method used was the researcher’s observation as a participant in the places where the sermons where the data were drawn from were preached. This is in addition to reading various Christian literatures and documenting the observed ingenious use of the English language in a non-native environment. Data gathered were analyzed based on stylistic and pragmatic techniques. The results showed that the English language is gradually taking on a life of its own in Nigeria, especially in the way words are selected, coined and manipulated, in addition to the systematic structural arrangement of points and ideas in sermons to make them rhythmical, rhetorical and memorable. From the way the English language is used as discussed in this study, from both literary and linguistic points of view, making recourse to speech act theories, it is obvious that the English language is becoming a servant in Nigeria. Nigerian second language English users are now showing a mastery of the language and giving it a Nigerian identity, while adopting it to suit their peculiar purpose.

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v2n5p1

International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'ccsenet.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.