Features of Nigerian English as Tools for Humour in Funke Akindele’s Jenifa’s Diary

  • Esther Bamigbola Department of English Studies, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria
Keywords: Sociolinguistics, language contact, ESL Ft, language variation, Nigerian movie industry


This study examines some characteristics of Nigerian English used as tools for humour in Funke Akindele’s television comedy series  titled ‘Jenifa’s Diary’. Seasons one and two of the series were selected for analysis. The conversations analysed were gathered via downloaded videos of the play. Descriptive linguistic and sociolinguistic methods are used to investigate the phonological, syntactic, and lexico-semantic features of the English language used in the soap opera. The study reveals that features of Nigerian English used as elements of humour in ‘Jenifa’s Diary’ include idioms, proverbs, semantic extension, semantic shift, euphemism, calquing, code-switching, coinages and malapropism. Other features include substitution of consonant sounds, wrong stress placement, lack of word class distinction, inability to distinguish between count and non-count nouns, omission and wrong use of articles, poor knowledge of rules of concord and wrong conjugation of the progressive form in sentence constructions.  The study concludes that the use of English in the Nigerian movie industry is a representation of the way the language is used in the society at large.