Stress Assignments of Loanwords among Nigerian Speakers of English
Nigerian English like a variety of world Englishes has received scholarly investigations at the segmental and suprasegmental levels. At the suprasegmental level, studies on the major varieties of Nigerian English have identified the characteristic nature of stress assignment and interactions, but little or no research has explored stress assignment on loanwords in Nigerian English. The study examines the stress placements on loanwords among educated Igbo and Yoruba speakers of English. A well-prepared text was read by sixty (60) educated Igbo and Yoruba speakers of English, and Daniel Jones’ 8th Edition Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary served as a baseline. The study uses Praat 6.0 to ascertain the degree of prominence of each syllable in the tokens among the respondents (dependent and control). The samples are analyzed using the metrical theory of stress for theoretical relevance (Liberman, 1975). Findings revealed that the stress patterns of educated Igbo and Yoruba speakers of English in loanwords are 65% and 70% (respectively) closer to British English (hence, BrE). The study showed that educated Igbo and Yoruba speakers of English preferably stress the second syllable regardless of what is obtainable among the native speakers.
Keywords:BrE, Igbo English, loanwords, Praat, Yoruba English
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