The Complementizer say in Nigerian Pidgin English – Traces of Language-internal Processes or Areal Features?

Olga Frąckiewicz


The paper presents the use of the complementizer say in various types of sentence structures of Nigerian Pidgin English. The data comes from the contemporary language in its written form and is based mostly on transcriptions of Wazobia FM on-air broadcasts as well as its Facebook fan
page. The analysis of clausal examples enables us to claim that the differentiation of structures in which say is used in Nigerian Pidgin English is a result of grammaticalization which is an internal-language process but one that is strongly influenced by the conceptual patterns of introducing the complement phrase in substrate languages.

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