SOCIOLINGUISTICS OF LANGUAGE USE IN TELECOM ADVERTS: GLO, MTN, 9MOBILE AND AIRTEL JINGLES AND POSTERS

ABSTRACT
The study explored Sociolinguistics study of language use in Nigerian telecommunication advertisements. This was against the background that Sociolinguistics study of language use is an increasing popular advertising strategy adopted by most Nigerian advertisers. To understand this situation, the study set out to find out the languages that are employed for Sociolinguistics study of language use advertisements by the telecommunication industries, examine the graphic display or positioning of the code-mixed item to attract consumers’ attention, and investigate the reasons for Sociolinguistics study of language use in telecommunication advertisements. A qualitative method of data collection was used for the study. Specifically, descriptive research of qualitative design was used for this work. Computer-mediated research instrument was employed while descriptive statistics was used to analyse the data. Two theories guided this study: Fairclough’s Ideological model of advertising and Poplack’s Conversational Sociolinguistics study of language use model. The study was found that Akan/English is the most widely used language for codemixing while inter-sentential mix is the most dominant type of Sociolinguistics study of language use. Also, it was found that catch phrases that are inscribed with colours that create passion and excitement in consumers against a relaxed and ideal background that significantly projects the fonts of the code-mixed item often attracted consumers because these adverts bring with them certain connotations and culturally loadedmeaning.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
Indisputably, colonization is an important factor responsible for bilingualism in Nigeria (especially English and Nigerian languages). Of the many languages spoken in the country, English has historically enjoyed pre-eminence. The dominance of this phenomenon in the linguistic ecology of Nigeria is as a result of the desire of theBritish to give a sense of cohesion to the separate political units they had annexed.

Hence, English was imposed as the official language of the Crown Colony (Albakry & Ofori, 2011). As Boadi (1971) puts it, the English language was perceived “as a unifying language for the distinct ethnic and linguistic groups [the British administration] had colonized and was administering” (p.17).

In pursuance of their policy of political integration, the British introduced English to Nigeria through education. This explains the later association between the classroom and the country’s official language (Nartey (1982), Dakubu (2000). As Adjaye (2005) points out, “in Nigeria ‘being educated’ means being literate and having the ability to speak English” (p.10). Mazrui (1966) contends that, “although English did have a status independent of its role as a vehicle of literacy, there is no doubt that a connection did exist between the prestige of the English language and the prestige of education at large” (p.18), as one’s ability to speak the language has consistently been used as a measure of one’s level of education. Similarly,Obeng (1997) also argues that there is such a close connection between formal education and English in that the number of English speakers directly depends on the extent of education. Finally, Nartey (1982) observes that because of the close connection between English and education, “all educated Nigerian s are bilinguals in English and at least one Nigerian language” (p.183).

Over the years, it has been observed that Nigerian s find it difficult to speak the locallanguages without mixing it with bits and pieces of English (Albakry & Ofori, 2011). Studying at the university, students develop a deep sense of the opportunities and advantages of speaking English well. They have learnt various grammatical features of English style. Hence, when they converse in Akan or in other Nigerian languages, Sociolinguistics study of language use becomes inevitable (Sichyova, 2005). Sociolinguistics study of language use assists students to communicate fluently, effectively and successfully. They consider codemixing as “a communicative resource” (Adendorff, 1996, p.389). According to Trudgill, “speakers mix to manipulate or influence or define the situation as they wish, and to convey nuances of meaning and personal intention” (2000, p.105). Drawing upon this, it may be suggested that Sociolinguistics study of language use can be used for as a way of modifying language for the sake of personal intentions.

The language contact situation at some point allows English to be mixed not only in spoken form, but also in written form. While most written genres remain monolingual, the language of advertising has the advantage of owning the poetic license. Most advertisements are designed to promote the sale of particular products or services. Some advertisements, however, are intended to promote ideas or influence behaviour such as encouraging people not to use illegal drugs or smoke cigarettes. These advertisements are often called public service advertisements (PSAs). Some advertisements promote institutions such as the Nigeria Red Cross or the Nigeria Telecommunications Company, and are known as institutional advertising. Their purpose is to encourage people to volunteer services, donate money or simply to improve the image of the institution doing the advertising, respectively. Advertising is also used to promote political parties and candidates for political office. Political advertising has become a key component of electoral campaigns in many countries including Nigeria.

However, the most dominant type of advertising is commercial consumer advertising, which is the focus of this research. and radio advertising in Nigeria offer a particularly rich medium for understanding the linguistic means by which advertisers attempt to achieve persuasion and thereby motivate potential customers to become actual purchasers. Advertisements communicate information by their linguistic content and visual appearance. They are constructed in this way to have the basic effect of selling products or services to people. With the enormous growth in advertising media, like radio, billboards, television, magazines, and the internet, the language and images of advertising reach almost everybody, constituting a dominant culture in the public sphere. The enormous competition for potential customers has led advertisers to exploit the incredibly versatile capacities of language and image to influence people’s thoughts and actions. In order for this medium of communication to be successful, the linguistic and visual symbols it employs need to have significant meaning for the potentially enormous group of customers.

Across cultures, English is frequently used in advertisements and it appears to be the preferred lingua franca in code-switched advertisements. This phenomenon is well documented by numerous linguistic researchers (Ljung (1985), Bhatia (1992), Li(2000), Martin(2002). The types and nature of advertisements and the target audience determine the choice of English used in advertisements. The past few decades witnessed the “Englishization” (Larson, 1990:367) in many sectors in many societies, not only in the former British colonies but also non-British areas such as Europe (Larson, 1990: 367).

The English language symbolizes westernization, technology and modernity. Mixing English in advertisements can give associations to these images. media uses the written language as well as visual images to get the attention of potential consumers.

Because of this, the use of the English words also matter in the advertisement (Bhatia, 1992). Often they come in the form of attention-getters. How much and in whatcontexts English is mixed depends on how receptive the particular country is to this foreign language.

The prestige factor attached to English has been on the rise, and telecommunication advancements have brought a striking and notable transformation in the linguistic image of Nigeria. The occurrence of the mixing of English words in everyday indigenous language discourse is increasing day by day. The interspersing or hybridization of language cannot be labelled as a mere linguistic modification; it is rather a socio-cultural phenomenon that needs to be studied. Sociolinguistics study of language use in Nigeria has been well documented by linguistic researchers such as Forson (1979, 1982),Amuzu (2005, 2010), Quarcoo (2009, 2013),Albakry and Ofori (2011), but rarely has a comprehensive study been done on Sociolinguistics study of language use in the Nigerian advertisements. The present study is aimed at offering insights on the Sociolinguistics study of language use in advertisements among telecommunication companies in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
The use of English as a sign of bilingual and multilingual creativity in Nigeria's advertising discourse cannot be underestimated.However, relatively little has been done to examine Sociolinguistics study of language use in advertisements in Nigeria.Anderson and Wiredu (2007) explored Sociolinguistics study of language use as a Linguistic Resource in Nigerian Advertisements while Vanderpuije (2011) also examined Sociolinguistics study of language use in Television and Radio Advertisements. The significant finding from these works is the established fact that Sociolinguistics study of language use in advertisements signals a social identity.On the foreign front, Gao (2005) argues that English is used as a tool of persuasion in bilingual advertising in cultures where English is either a second or a foreign language and is a sign of modernity in China. Bulawka (2006) examines the use of English in Polish advertisements and argues that English generates some sort of aesthetic appeal and positive images in the mind of the Polish audience. Moreover, he posits that English indicates the characteristics of a modern society and as a source of linguistic creativity and innovation. Jia-Ling (2008) opined that the role of English in Taiwanese advertisements is to generate the socio-psychological functions and allocation of domains unique to English in global advertising.From the above, it can be said that studies on Sociolinguistics study of language use adverts abound but very little is found in Nigerian literature. This study therefore seeks to fill that gap.

1.3 Objectives of the Study
In line with the research questions, this study purposes to:

1. Find out the languages that are employed for Code-mixing advertisements by the telecom industries.

2. Examine the graphic display or positioning of the code-mixed item to attract consumers’ attention.

3. Investigate the reasons for Code-mixing in advertisements by the telecommunication industry.

1.4 Research Question
The study seeks to find answers to the following research questions:

1. Which languages are usedin code -mixing advertisements by the telecom industries in Nigeria?

2. How does the graphic display or positioning of code-mixed items in advertisements attract consumers’ attention?

3. What are the reasons forCode-mixing in adverts in thetelecommunication industry?

1.5 Significance of the Study
Primarily, the results of this research will inform policy makers in the Nigerian telecommunication industry on the impact of their linguistic and non-linguistic blend of information that are displayed on their advertisement. The results and findings of this study should similarly serve as a good source of information for other sociolinguists who wish to conduct a more comprehensive study on Code-mixing in advertisements in Nigeria. The study is also expected to enrich related previous research works on Code-mixing in Nigerian advertisements in terms of a solid body of research experience.

1.6 Scope of the Study
This study looks at Code-mixing in telecommunication advertisements in Nigeria. It studies five telecommunication networks in Nigeria. The media have always been a popular advertising medium. advertising include Newspapers, Magazines, Brochures, and Fliers, Posters. Advertising products via newspapers ormagazines is a common practice. advertising notwithstanding, there is also outdoor advertisement which comprisesBillboards, Kiosks, Tradeshows and Events organized by a company. Outdoor advertising is a very popular form of advertising, which makes use of several tools and techniques to attract customers outdoor. The billboard advertising is very popular; it, however, has to be really succinct and catchy in order to grab the attention of passersby. For the purpose of this research, advertisements would encompass outdoor advertisements especially billboards. Thedata were retrieved from the internet and as such only code-mixed advertisements of these telecommunication networks were purposefully used for the study. This delimitation was informed by the difficulty the researcher encountered in accessing erected billboards or advertisements in both Koforidua (the researcher’s place of abode) and Accra (the nation’s capital). The study is thusa representation of the whole country since all five telecommunication networks are nationwide and not region or city-specific. Code-mixing is used as an umbrella term for other similar language contact phenomena such as code-switching, code-changing and code-shifting.

1.7 Organization of the Study
The study has been organized into five chapters. Chapter One, which is the Introduction, has so far dealt with the background of the study, statement of the problem and purpose of the study. It has also considered the significance and scope of the study. Chapter Two reviews Literature that is related to the present study. Here, the works of various authors on the subject are subjected to a critical review so as to provide a basis for the present study.This chapter also discussed the theoretical frameworks on which the study was based. Both the conversational code-switching model and ideological model have been well explained and linked to the present study. The third chapter looks at the Methodology which the researcher used to conduct the study. The methodology included research design, sampling procedure, procedure for the treatment of data and the limitations encountered in gathering the data. Data Analysis and Discussion of the results of the study is done in Chapter Four. Summary of Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations to the study are presented in the final Chapter, Five.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 91 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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