The Phonological Features of Non-stigmatized Accent of Kenyan English
Ragutu, M, J
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Kenya is a multi-lingual country which has over forty ethnic languages and about one hundred dialects of those languages. English is used as a second language but also serves as the official language and the medium of instruction from upper primary schools upto the tertiary levels of education. The phonological features of Non-stigmatized accent of Kenyan English is the topic of the dissertation. It therefore discusses both the phonetic and phonological features of one variety of pronunciation that educated native Kenyan speakers of English normally use. This variety of accent is herein called the Standard Accent of Kenyan English (SAKE). It is posited in the study as the ideal model for learning and using English in Kenya and that after it has been recognised and developed, it should supersede the RP as the declared model for teaching and using English in Kenya. The thesis for the contention is drawn from Bright & McGregor (1978:178): "Sooner or later all countries that use English as a first or second language develop (their) varieties of accent. The United States did so long ago with the result that Americans model themselves on (educated) Americans and not on any British-English speakers. The same is true of New Zealanders and Australians. According to Peter Stevens, the same thing has happened in West Africa." Let us then see what the whole work contains. Chapter One constitutes the background to the study. The language and its accents are introduced and the problem, hypothesis and the reasons for the study are stated. Literature review follows arid the method of compiling the work explained. Chapter Two Discusses the major accents in use by the native Kenyan speakers of English that one may recognise in the country. Chapter Three then zeros in on the SAKE accent, illustrating both its segmental and supra-segmental features. Chapter Four summarises the main issues and draws a conclusion.
University of Nairobi
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