Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 130

Full Length Research Paper

Cultural influences on the fictional expressions of Nigerian Igbo speaking writers

Alexandra Uzoaku Esimaje
Department of English Studies, Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 10 August 2011
  •  Published: 30 September 2011



The study examined the fictional expression of Igbo writers in English to determine its underlying influences and to evaluate the effects which it has on its non-Igbo audience. It specifically examined selected works of Elechi Amadi and John Munonye who adopted an indigenized form of English in which features of Igbo language, culture and world-view were either wholly or partially imported into standard British English. The study revealed that this approach accommodated the peculiar circumstances of the writers and enabled them to effectively reflect their thoughts. A comprehension-interpretation test, of the features of Igbo language and culture in the texts, which was conducted on people from other ethnic groups and who are non-speakers of Igbo showed that the losses in intelligibility were few in each novel. The study therefore concluded that the impact of the Igbo features in the novels did not hinder their comprehension and accessibility to non-Igbo speakers. It then recommends a shift of focus from the search for the appropriate medium for Nigerian fiction to the assessment of particular forms of expression to determine their reception and effectiveness.


Key words: Fictional expression, Igbo language, culture and intelligibility loss.