Volume 3 - Issue 1 - June 2019

Latest issue of Journal of Applied Languages and Linguistics

Article

TITLE: Vowel Reduction in the English of Educated Edo (Nigerian) English Speakers

Author: Julianah Akindele

Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria

Mailing address: Department of English, Ikire Campus,                         

e-mail: julianah.akindele@uniosun.edu.ng

Published online: 24 July 2019, pp. 37-52

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Citation:

Akindele, T. (2019) Vowel Reduction in the English of Educated Edo (Nigerian) English Speakers, Journal of Applied Languages and Linguistics, 3(1), pp. 37-52.

Abstract

Educated Edo English (EEE) is a sub-group of Nigerian English (NigE), one of the ‘new Englishes’. Phonological studies on NigE rhythm have been on the major ethnic (Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba) and a few minority group (Isoko, Urhobo, Eka, Ibibio) while studies on EEE vowel reduction is rare. The aim of this study is to find out whether or not EEE speakers vowel reduction conform to earlier description of other NigE varieties. A Briton served as the Native Baseline while two (100 males and 100 females) hundred university undergraduates, who speak Edo as their mother tongue served as participants. Twenty English words with suffixes [-ic, -y, -ial, ian,-ion] served as instrument. Each participant produced the test items into a PC Speech Filing System (SFS). This was subjected to auditory, acoustic and statistical analyses, complemented with Rhythm Ratio (RR), and metrical grid which accounts for rhythmic alternation in Standard English. Overall, EEE speakers had 103 (2.60%) instances of appropriate use out of 4000 expected correct use. Males’ performance was 50 (1.30%) while females had 53 (1.30%). Rhythm Ratio shows NB vowel duration as (74.1RR/72.9RR) for tilting towards stress-timing and EEE speakers as (7.49RR/10.49RR), tilting towards syllable-timing.  Metrical grids revealed proliferation of strong vowels by EEE speakers. This re-affirms results from earlier researches that NE, of which EEE is a sub-variety, is not stress-timed.

                                                                                © Applied Language Studies House Publications 2019. All rights reserved.

 

Keywords: Educated Edo English Speakers, Nigerian English rhythm, Vowel reduction, Standard English, Suffixes, Stems, Rhythm Ratio

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