Anti-Language and Cyber Scam Subculture among Urban Youth in Southwestern Nigeria


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of Linguistics and African Languages


Cyber scam, an on-trend subculture among Nigerian urban youth, has posed a major security and economic threat to the global community. As part of the strategies developed to ‘institutionalise’ their illicit business and evade the punitive hand of the Nigerian and international law enforcement agencies, cyber scammers in Nigeria have devised various strategies, including the deployment of anti-language and slangy expressions in their transactional and social interaction. Extant studies on cybercrime in the Nigerian context have addressed the phenomenon from the sociological, economical and information technological perspectives with little attention paid to it from a linguistic perspective. Therefore, this study, gathering data via participant, non participant observation, and key informant interviews and drawing inputs from Halliday’s (1976) theory of anti-language, investigates the linguistic strategies employed by cyber scammers in Southwestern Nigeria in their social and transactional interaction.