Ghanaian English : spelling pronunciation in focus

Ngula, Richmond Sadick (2011) Ghanaian English : spelling pronunciation in focus. Language in India, 11 (2). pp. 22-36.

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This paper examines the phenomenon of spelling pronunciation in Ghanaian English and shows that it has become one of the features of pronunciation that have diverged from 'RP' (Received Pronunciation), the standard norm of English language proficiency that is taught to Ghanaians. The empirical investigation of spelling pronunciation was a selection of 50 words of English based on observation of their use by different groups of educated Ghanaians over the past four years. The selected words were further put to test as readings of the words in sentences by 60 graduate students of the University of Cape Coast were recorded, observed and phonetically transcribed. The investigation principally shows that the phenomenon of spelling pronunciation has become an unmarked feature in the way educated Ghanaians pronounce words of English. The study further suggests that two important factors account for the vastness of spelling pronunciation in Ghanaian English: the gap between spelling and pronunciation in standard British English, and the influence of L1 languages in Ghana. The paper concludes that spelling pronunciation has become an innovative feature in Ghanaian English not only because of its widespread nature but also because it satisfies two criteria any New English variety ought to meet - maintains international intelligibility and retains local identities. The study has implications for the description of non-native varieties of English, and the norms to be used in the teaching of English as a second language in Ghana and elsewhere.

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Journal Article
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Language in India
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14 Nov 2013 09:25
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 14:21