A Sociolinguistic Study of Identity (Re)construction on Nairaland Online Forum


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships


Department of English.


Traditional markers of identities are constantly being altered or discarded in today's digital age due to development in communication technologies. However, existing works in Nigeria have been on traditional sociolinguistics, to the neglect of the linguistic and cultural flows across the world. It is against this backdrop that this study examines the (re)construction of identities on Nairaland Online Forum. Using data from the forum, the study explores the deployment of language to (re)construct identities, and discuss the implications of these linguistic practices on language spread and linguistic globalization. Drawing insights from Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT), Giles (1973); Coupland & Coupland (1991); Multiple Voices, Myers-Scotton (2006); and Language Crossing, Rampton (1995), the study seeks to identify and analyze patterns of identity, and highlight linguistic practices deployed to construct identities in intergroup interactions. Through an in-depth analysis of the discourse, this study will foreground and enable us to appreciate better the flow of linguistic practices across the world in today’s digitalized age.