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Ademilokun: Aspects of Yoruba Lingual-cultural Retentions in Abimbola Adelakun’s Under the Brown Rusted Roofs

Mohammed Ayodeji Ademilokun


Previous studies on nativisation of English in African literary productions have focused on literary works of first and second generation African writers such as Amos Tutuola, Chinua Achebe, Niyi Osundare among others, with little critical attention paid to nativisation of English by new Nigerian writers. This essay adds to the discourse on the subject of language in African literature by examining the language of Abimbola Adunni Adelakun, a new generation Nigerian writer, in Under the Brown Rusted Roofs. Through a close reading of the text and insights from Systemic Functional Linguistics, this paper elucidates the various Yoruba lingual-cultural features used by the new generation Nigerian writer for the promotion of Yoruba identity in the text. Data analysis revealed that Adelakun used lexical transfer, literal translation, coinages, code-mixing, proverbs, incantatory discourse, Yoruba Muslim discourse features, Yoruba advertising poetry and lineage praise poetry to nativise the literary text by giving it a Yoruba coloration. The study concludes that Adelakun’s use of the English language further enhances the African identity and shows that new generation writers are also committed to linguistic nationalism in their prosecution of their literary enterprise.


Keywords: lingual-cultural, retentions, Abimbola Adelakun, nativisation, linguistic nationalism