A. Robbin

Publications

1 A Qualitative Evidence of the Markedness of Code Switching during Commercial Bank Service Encounters in Ìbàdàn Metropolis

Authors: A. Robbin

Abstract:

In a multilingual setting like Nigeria, the success of service encounters is enhanced by the use of a language that ensures the linguistic and persuasive demands of the interlocutors. This study examined motivations for code switching as a negotiation strategy in bank-hall desk service encounters in Ìbàdàn metropolis using Myers-Scotton’s exploration on markedness in language use. The data consisted of transcribed audio recording of bank-hall service encounters, and direct observation of bank interactions in two purposively sampled commercial banks in Ìbàdàn metropolis. The data was subjected to descriptive linguistic analysis using Myers Scotton’s Markedness Model.  Findings reveal that code switching is frequently employed during different stages of service encounter: greeting, transaction and closing to fulfil relational, bargaining and referential functions. Bank staff and customers code switch to make unmarked, marked and explanatory choices. A strategy used to identify with customer’s cultural affiliation, close status gap, and appeal to begrudged customer; or as an explanatory choice with non-literate customers for ease of communication. Bankers select English to maintain customers’ perceptions of prestige which is retained or diverged from depending on their linguistic preference or ability.  Yoruba is seen as an efficient negotiation strategy with both bankers and their customers, making choices within conversation to achieve desired conversational and functional aims.

Keywords: Banking, bilingualism, code switching, markedness, service encounter

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Abstracts

2 English Language Proficiency and Use as Determinants of Transactional Success in Gbagi Market, Ibadan, Nigeria

Authors: A. Robbin

Abstract:

Language selection can be an efficient negotiation strategy employed by both service or product providers and their customers to achieve transactional success. The transactional scenario in Gbagi Market, Ibadan, Nigeria provides an appropriate setting for the exploration of the Nigerian multilingual situation with its own interesting linguistic peculiarities which questions the functionality of the ‘Lingua Franca’ in trade situations. This study examined English Language proficiency among Yoruba Traders in Gbagi Market, Ibadan and its use as determinants of transactional success during service encounters. Randomly selected Yoruba-English bilingual traders and customers were administered questionnaires and the data subjected to statistical and descriptive analysis using Giles Communication Accommodation Theory. Findings reveal that only fifty percent of the traders used for the study were proficient in speaking English language. Traders with minimal proficiency in Standard English, however, resulted in the use of the Nigerian Pidgin English. Both traders and customers select the Mother Tongue, which is the Yoruba Language during service encounters but are quick to converge to the other’s preferred language as the transactional exchange demands. The English language selection is not so much for the prestige or lingua franca status of the language as it is for its functions, which include ease of communication, negotiation, and increased sales. The use of English during service encounters is mostly determined by customer’s linguistic preference which the trader accommodates to for better negotiation and never as a first choice. This convergence is found to be beneficial as it ensures sales and return patronage. Although the English language is not a preferred code choice in Gbagi Market, it serves a functional trade strategy for transactional success during service encounters in the market.

Keywords: Proficiency, transaction, service encounter, communication accommodation theory, language selection

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1 A Qualitative Evidence of the Markedness of Code Switching during Commercial Bank Service Encounters in Ìbàdàn Metropolis

Authors: A. Robbin

Abstract:

In a multilingual setting like Nigeria, the success of service encounters is enhanced by the use of a language that ensures the linguistic and persuasive demands of the interlocutors. This study examined motivations for code switching as a negotiation strategy in bank-hall desk service encounters in Ìbàdàn metropolis using Myers-Scotton’s exploration on markedness in language use. The data consisted of transcribed audio recording of bank-hall service encounters, and direct observation of bank interactions in two purposively sampled commercial banks in Ìbàdàn metropolis. The data was subjected to descriptive linguistic analysis using Myers Scotton’s Markedness Model.  Findings reveal that code switching is frequently employed during different stages of service encounter: greeting, transaction and closing to fulfil relational, bargaining and referential functions. Bank staff and customers code switch to make unmarked, marked and explanatory choices. A strategy used to identify with customer’s cultural affiliation, close status gap, and appeal to begrudged customer; or as an explanatory choice with non-literate customers for ease of communication. Bankers select English to maintain customers’ perceptions of prestige which is retained or diverged from depending on their linguistic preference or ability.  Yoruba is seen as an efficient negotiation strategy with both bankers and their customers, making choices within conversation to achieve desired conversational and functional aims.

Keywords: Banking, bilingualism, Code-switching, markedness, service encounter

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