With over 75 million speakers, Nigerian Pidgin has become by far the most widely spoken and fastest growing language in Nigeria today. Nigerian Pidgin is the first language, or one of the first languages, learned by tens of millions of people across southern Nigeria and in urban areas throughout the entire country. For those who do not learn Nigerian Pidgin as one of their first languages, it is learned informally as a second language in one or a number of venues for interethnic contact, including marketplaces, workplaces, schools, universities, military and police barracks, etc. Many of those who learn Nigerian Pidgin as one of their first languages, as well as a considerable number of those who learn Nigerian Pidgin as a second language, eventually end up using it as their main language of day-to-day communication. Proficiency in Nigerian Pidgin ranges from the ‘deep’ varieties spoken by those who have learned it as their mother tongue for generations in Warri and Sapele, to varieties heavily influenced by other ancestral Nigerian languages spoken by those who have learned Nigerian Pidgin as a second language and who use it only for trading in the marketplace, to varieties heavily influenced by Standard English spoken by those who have learned Nigerian Pidgin as a second language and who use it only with classmates at university, etc. Unless otherwise specified, the lect of Nigerian Pidgin utilized for the descriptions and examples of features, lexical items, and constructions provided in this work (default lect) is that used by the millions of people who have learned Nigerian Pidgin as a first language and who use it as one of their main languages of daily communication in the metropolitan area of the city of Port Harcourt at the mouth of the delta of the Niger River in the southeast of Nigeria.
|trill, tap or flap||r||ɾ|
|kʷ||labialized voiceless velar plosive - Exists (as a major allophone)|
|mb||prenasalized voiced bilabial plosive - Exists only as a minor allophone|
|Exists (as a major allophone)|
|Exists only as a minor allophone|
|Exists only in loanwords|
|Does not exist|