Multilingual Practices in Nigerian Army Barracks


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




The interconnectedness between language and identity is undoubtedly very strong as we can locate identity in language and vice-versa. This link becomes much stronger in multilingual settings where speakers switch from one language to another to express identity. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to investigate how the Nigerian army negotiates multiple identities through code-switching and language choice. The research settings will consist of six army barracks spread across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. Fifty informants will be selected from each of the six barracks. Participant observation and face-to-face interviews will be used as means of gathering data from our informants and the data collected will be analyzed descriptively by using the existing works on code-switching as our framework. The study will reveal various identities of the army based on their profession, their ethnic, cultural and religious affiliations, and their social networks.