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Morphological and Syntactic Feature Analysis of Ugandan English

Influence from Luganda, Runyankole-Rukiga, and Acholi-Lango

by Jude Ssempuuma (Author)
Thesis 282 Pages

Summary

This study analyses left dislocation, prepositions, and the progressive aspect in Ugandan English. It uses spoken data of English speakers with the three indigenous Ugandan languages. The results show high frequency use of left dislocation in Ugandan English. This suggests possible substrate influence from these first languages since left dislocation construction is used in these languages. The use of prepositions is overwhelmingly like in Standard English with just very few cases indicating variation from Standard English, although the three indigenous languages have very few prepositions in comparison to the English language. The use of the progressive illustrates variation among English speakers with the three first languages indicating that Ugandan English is not homogenous.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Acknowledgements
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Contents
  • 1 Introduction
  • 1.0 Introduction
  • 1.1 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.2 Purpose of the Study
  • 1.3 Research Questions
  • 1.4 Organisation of the Chapters
  • 2 Ugandan English as a Variety of English
  • 2.0 Introduction
  • 2.1 World Englishes and New Englishes
  • 2.2 Postcolonial Englishes
  • 2.3 Models of World Englishes
  • 2.3.1 English as a Native, Second, and Foreign Language
  • 2.3.2 Kachru’s Three Circle Model of World Englishes
  • 2.3.3 McArthur’s Circle of World English
  • 2.3.4 Schneider’s Dynamic Model of World Englishes
  • 2.3.5 Meierkord’s Interaction across Englishes Model
  • 2.3.6 Mair’s World System of Englishes
  • 2.4 Ugandan English
  • 3 Language Situation in Uganda
  • 3.0 Multilingualism
  • 3.1 Multilingualism in Uganda
  • 3.2 Major Indigenous Languages Widely Spoken in Uganda
  • 3.2.1 Luganda
  • 3.2.2 Runyankole-Rukiga
  • 3.2.3 Acholi-Lango
  • 3.3 English in Uganda
  • 3.3.1 Promotion of English in the Uganda Protectorate
  • 3.3.2 Status of English in Independent Uganda
  • 3.3.2.1 English as a second language
  • 3.3.2.2 English as an official language
  • 3.3.3 Functions of English in Uganda
  • 3.3.3.1 English as medium of instruction
  • 3.3.3.2 English as language of administration
  • 3.3.3.3 English as lingua franca
  • 3.3.3.4 English as language of media and literature
  • 4 Data and Methodology
  • 4.0 Introduction
  • 4.1 Defining the Variables
  • 4.2 Quantitative Method
  • 4.3 Data
  • 4.4 Informants
  • 4.5 Data Collection: Semi-Structured Interviews
  • 4.6 Data Analysis
  • 4.7 Data Quantification
  • 5 Left Dislocation in Ugandan English
  • 5.0 Introduction
  • 5.1 Left Dislocation in Standard English(es)
  • 5.2 Research on the Use of Left Dislocation in World Englishes
  • 5.2.1 Left Dislocation in L1 Varieties of English
  • 5.2.2 Left Dislocation in L2 Varieties of English
  • 5.2.2.1 Left dislocation in English L2 varieties in the Pacific and Asia
  • 5.2.2.2 Left dislocation in English L2 varieties in Africa
  • 5.3 Research on Left Dislocation in Ugandan Indigenous Languages
  • 5.3.1 Left Dislocation in Luganda
  • 5.3.1.1 Subject left dislocation in Luganda
  • 5.3.1.2 Object left dislocation in Luganda
  • 5.3.1.3 Indirect object left dislocation in Luganda
  • 5.3.2 Left Dislocation in Runyankole-Rukiga
  • 5.3.2.1 Subject left dislocation in Runyankole-Rukiga
  • 5.3.2.2 Object left dislocation in Runyankole-Rukiga
  • 5.3.3 Left Dislocation in Acholi-Lango
  • 5.3.3.1 Subject left dislocation in Acholi-Lango
  • 5.3.3.2 Object left dislocation in Acholi-Lango
  • 5.4 Analysis of Left Dislocation in Ugandan English Data
  • 5.4.1 Analysis of Left Dislocation among English Speakers with Luganda as L1
  • 5.4.1.1 Analysis of left dislocation in Ugandan English among Luganda L1 speakers according to noun phrase function
  • 5.4.1.2 Analysis of left dislocation among English speakers with Luganda as L1 according to discourse function
  • 5.4.1.3 Analysis of Left dislocation in relation to co-referential pronouns and adverbs among the seven English speakers with Luganda as L1
  • 5.4.2 Analysis of Left Dislocation among English Speakers with Runyankole-Rukiga as L1
  • 5.4.2.1 Analysis of left dislocation among English speakers with Runyankole-Rukiga as L1 according to noun phrase function
  • 5.4.2.2 Analysis of left dislocation among English speakers with Runyankole-Rukiga as L1 according to discourse function
  • 5.4.2.3 Analysis of left dislocation in relation to co-referential pronouns among seven English speakers with Runyankole-Rukiga as L1
  • 5.4.3 Analysis of Left Dislocation among English Speakers with Acholi-Lango as L1
  • 5.4.3.1 Analysis of left dislocation among English speakers with Acholi-Lango as L1 according to noun phrase function
  • 5.4.3.2 Analysis of left dislocation among English speakers with Acholi-Lango as L1 according to discourse function
  • 5.4.3.3 Analysis of left dislocation in relation to co-referential pronouns among English speakers with Acholi-Lango as L1
  • 5.4.4 Comparison of Left Dislocation Usage among English Speakers with Luganda, Runyankole-Rukiga, and Acholi-Lango as L1
  • 5.4.5 Comparison of Left Dislocation in Ugandan English and Other Varieties of English
  • 5.5 Conclusion
  • 6 Prepositions in Ugandan English
  • 6.0 Introduction
  • 6.1 Types of Prepositions
  • 6.1.1 Grammatical Roles of Prepositions
  • 6.1.2 Syntactic Relationship between Prepositions and Other Grammatical Categories
  • 6.1.3 Types of Prepositional Meaning
  • 6.1.3.1 Grammaticised and bound prepositions
  • 6.1.3.2 Lexical meaning of prepositions
  • 6.1.3.2.1 Location in space
  • 6.1.3.2.2 Metaphorical or abstract use of the spatial prepositions
  • 6.2 Variation from Standard English in the Use of Prepositions in World Englishes
  • 6.2.1 The Use of Prepositions in English L1 Varieties
  • 6.2.2 The Use of Prepositions in English L2 Varieties
  • 6.3 Prepositions in Ugandan Languages: Luganda, Runyankole-Rukiga, and Acholi-Lango
  • 6.3.1 Prepositions in Luganda
  • 6.3.2 Prepositions in Runyankole-Rukiga
  • 6.3.3 Prepositions in Acholi-Lango
  • 6.4 Analysis of Prepositions in Ugandan English
  • 6.4.1 The Distribution of Prepositions in the Ugandan English Data
  • 6.4.2 Grammaticised and Lexical Prepositional Meaning in Ugandan English
  • 6.4.2.1.1 The use of the preposition in among English speakers with Luganda as L1
  • 6.4.2.1.2 The use of the preposition in among English speakers with Runyankole-Rukiga as L1
  • 6.4.2.1.3 The use of the preposition in among English speakers with Acholi-Lango as L1
  • 6.4.2.1.4 The use of the preposition in in Ugandan English
  • 6.4.2.2.1 The use of the preposition at among English speakers with Luganda as L1
  • 6.4.2.2.2 The use of the preposition at among English speakers with Runyankole-Rukiga as L1
  • 6.4.2.2.3 The use of the preposition at among English speakers with Acholi-Lango as L1
  • 6.4.2.2.4 The use of the preposition at in spoken Ugandan English
  • 6.4.2.3.1 The use of the preposition on among English speakers with Luganda as L1
  • 6.4.2.3.2 The use of the preposition on among English speakers with Runyankole-Rukiga as L1
  • 6.4.2.3.3 The use of the preposition on among English speakers with Acholi-Lango as L1
  • 6.4.2.3.4 The use of the preposition on in spoken Ugandan English data
  • 6.4.2.4.1 The use of the preposition to among English speakers with Luganda as L1
  • 6.4.2.4.2 The use of the preposition to among English speakers with Runyankole-Rukiga as L1
  • 6.4.2.4.3 The use of the preposition to among English speakers with Acholi-Lango as L1
  • 6.4.2.4.4 The use of the preposition to in spoken Ugandan English data
  • 6.4.2.5.1 The use of the preposition from among English speakers with Luganda as L1
  • 6.4.2.5.2 The use of the preposition from among English speakers with Runyankole-Rukiga as L1
  • 6.4.2.5.3 The use of the preposition from among English speakers with Acholi-Lango as L1
  • 6.4.2.5.4 The use of the preposition from in spoken Ugandan English data
  • 6.5 Conclusion
  • 7 The Progressive Aspect in Ugandan English
  • 7.0 Introduction
  • 7.1 The Progressive Aspect
  • 7.1.1 Progressive Forms
  • 7.1.2 Semantic Classes of Verbs Used with the Progressive
  • 7.1.2.1 Activity verbs
  • 7.1.2.2 Communication verbs
  • 7.1.2.3 Mental verbs
  • 7.1.2.4 Occurrence verbs
  • 7.1.2.5 Existence verbs
  • 7.1.2.6 Causative verbs
  • 7.1.2.7 Aspectual verbs
  • 7.1.3 Uses of the Progressive
  • 7.2 Previous Studies in the Use of the Progressive in World Englishes
  • 7.3 The Progressive Aspect in Ugandan Languages: Luganda, Runyankole-Rukiga, and Acholi-Lango
  • 7.4 The Progressive in Spoken Ugandan English Data
  • 7.4.1 The Progressive Aspect in Data of English Speakers with Luganda as L1
  • 7.4.2 The Progressive Aspect in the Data of English Speakers with Runyankole-Rukiga as L1
  • 7.4.3 The Progressive Aspect in the Data of English Speakers with Acholi-Lango as L1
  • 7.4.4 The Progressive Aspect in Spoken Ugandan English
  • 7.5 Conclusion
  • 8 Conclusion, Limitation of the Study, and Recommendation
  • Abbreviations
  • Appendices
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • Bibliography

1 Introduction

1.0 Introduction

As a country, Uganda derives its name from Buganda kingdom which became a British protectorate in 1900. It shares borders with Kenya in the East, Tanzania in the South, Rwanda in the South West, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West, and South Sudan in the North. Currently, its population is estimated to be 34,856,813 people with almost 74.5 percent below the age of 25, making it one of the countries with the world’s youngest population (Ugandan Bureau of Statistics 2015). Uganda is a multi-ethnic and multilingual country (cf. Chapter 3: “Language Situation in Uganda”). English is the co-official language together with Kiswahili and the main medium of instruction in the country. With an increase in the school enrolment because of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) Act, the number of Ugandans who use a nativised Ugandan English variety is expected to increase tremendously. This nativised variety is influenced by different indigenous languages not only at the phonological level but also at the morphological and syntactic levels. The present study provides the description of the morpho-syntactic features of Ugandan English and explores the extent to which Luganda, Runyankole-Rukiga, and Acholi-Lango influence the variation in the use left dislocation, prepositions, and the progressive aspect, the key linguistic features in this study.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

Presently, the trend in the study of World Englishes is to describe and investigate features of national and local varieties. This involves “the recognition of diverse modern English varieties as legitimate, wherever they are spoken, as long as their speakers abide by some local communal norms” (Mufwene 2010: 43). Unlike other varieties of English, not much research has been carried out in respect to the variety spoken in Uganda. For instance, Ugandan English is not discussed in the compendia and handbooks of World Englishes, for example, Kortmann and Schneider (2004), Schneider (2007), Kirkpatrick (2007), and Mesthrie and Bhatt (2008). The political instability in the country in the 1960s, 1970s, and in the early 1980s almost paralysed all the institutions, thus making the collection of authentic data which could lead to a scientific description of this variety very difficult (cf. Schneider 2007: 189). Nevertheless, Ugandan English is briefly mentioned in McArthur (2002) and in Schneider (2011). Although in their discussion ←15 | 16→of East African English, Schmied (2008) and Wolf (2012) have included Ugandan English under East African English, the data used for their analysis, that is, the East Africa component of the International Corpus of English lacks data from Uganda. Moreover, they claim that East African English is mainly influenced by Kiswahili, a language that lacks native speakers in Uganda. It must be noted, however, that Schmied (2006 and 2012) does address the influence of Luganda on Ugandan English because of its role as the lingua franca1 of the capital city, Kampala, and the language of wider communication2 in the country.

Despite the scarcity of scholarly research with respect to Ugandan English, there are some book chapters (Nelson and Hongtao 2012; Ssempuuma 2012) as well as journal articles (Fisher 2000; Isingoma 2013, 2014) which have discussed features of Ugandan English. In addition, there are MA and PhD dissertations (Isingoma 2007; Tukwasibwe 2014) which have investigated features of Ugandan English. Presently, to the best of my knowledge, no empirical research has investigated the use of left dislocation, prepositions, and the progressive aspect2 in Ugandan English.

1.2 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to systematically examine and analyse the morpho-syntactic features, focusing on the use of left dislocation, prepositions, and the progressive aspect, in Ugandan English. This study uses authentic spoken English data produced by speakers whose first languages (L1) are Luganda, Runyankole-Rukiga, and Acholi-Lango. It explores the influence of the indigenous Ugandan languages in the use of the above mentioned morpho-syntactic features in Ugandan English. In addition, it intends to widen the scope of research in this variety, and thus make a significant contribution to research into varieties of English. Furthermore, the researcher hopes that the results of ←16 | 17→this study will enable Ugandans to appreciate the variety of English spoken in their country, because the results illustrate how the linguistic features under study are used similar to and different from Standard English. Lastly, it is hoped that this study will stimulate further research into this variety and the comparison of the linguistic features of Ugandan English with other varieties of English.

1.3 Research Questions

This study is guided by the following research questions.

1. To what extent do the indigenous Ugandan languages (Luganda, Runyankole-Rukiga, and Acholi-Lango) influence variation in the use of left dislocation, prepositions, and the progressive aspect in Ugandan English?

2. To what extent does the use of left dislocation, prepositions, and the progressive aspect in Ugandan English differ from Standard English (British and American)?

3. To what extent does the use of left dislocation, prepositions, and the progressive aspect in Ugandan English differ from other second language (L2) varieties of English?

1.4 Organisation of the Chapters

This book is divided into eight chapters. After this introduction chapter, Chapter 2 “Ugandan English as a Variety of English” gives a general discussion of the theoretical framework about studies into varieties of English and discusses the terminologies frequently used, that is, World Englishes, New Englishes, Global English, and Postcolonial Englishes. It continues to discuss some of the models which have been used in the description of varieties of English and presents where Ugandan English fits in each of these models. In addition, it discusses Ugandan English and presents reasons why this variety is the focus of this study. Furthermore, it points at some of the features of Ugandan English which have been analysed in previous studies.

Chapter 3 “Language Situation in Uganda” gives an overview of the multilingual nature of the country which in a way necessitated English to be the co-official language of the country because of its neutral status. It also presents the three indigenous Ugandan languages, that is, Luganda, Runyankole-Rukiga, and Acholi-Lango, whose speakers serve as independent variables in this study. It gives the estimate number of speakers of these languages and mentions the ←17 | 18→areas or locations where they are spoken. It goes on to elaborate the introduction and promotion of the English language during the colonial era and after independence. Furthermore, it discusses the status of English as the co-official and second language in the country, as well as its functions, that is, medium of instruction, language of administration, lingua franca, language of the media, and literature.

Chapter 4 “Data and Methodology” states the linguistic variables and the social variables used in the analysis. It elaborates on how data was collected and analysed with respect to the dependent variables under study in chapters 5, 6, and 7. It also presents the methods used in the analysis, that is, the quantitative method (in presenting the results and testing their significance).

Chapter 5 “Left Dislocation in Ugandan English” starts off with an overview of the use of left dislocation in Standard English, World Englishes (both L1 and L2 varieties), and the use of this syntactic structure in the indigenous Ugandan languages (Luganda, Runyankole-Rukiga, and Acholi-Lango). This is followed by the analysis of left dislocation in Ugandan English data with respect to noun phrase function, discourse function, and in relation to co-referential pronouns. The results indicate that since the three indigenous languages have obligatory subject left dislocation, the frequent use of this structure in Ugandan English suggests possible substrate influence. It ends with the comparison of left dislocation in Ugandan English and other varieties of English.

Chapter 6 “Prepositions in Ugandan English” gives the definition and the grammatical roles of prepositions in Standard English. It discusses the variation in the use of prepositions in World Englishes and in the three indigenous Ugandan languages. It then analyses the most frequently used prepositions in the data. This is followed by the presentation of the grammatical and lexical prepositional meaning of the prepositions in, at, on, to, and from with respect to space, time, abstraction relations, as grammaticised prepositions, and in idiomatic and fossilised expressions. The results show that to a large extent, these prepositions are used as in Standard English to indicate space, time, and abstract relations. Nevertheless, there are instances showing variation from Standard English which suggest possible substrate influence.

Chapter 7 “The Progressive Aspect in Ugandan English” begins with the discussion of the progressive aspect in Standard English, World Englishes, and in the three indigenous Ugandan languages. The results show that the meanings of the progressive are used with varying frequencies by speakers of three Ugandan languages. Most of the progressives refer to non-delimited habitual activities. This occurs more among speakers with Luganda L1 than with speakers of Runyankole-Rukiga and Acholi-Lango L1. This seems to suggest possible ←18 | 19→substrate influence and gives an indication that Ugandan English may be heterogeneous at different levels.

Finally, Chapter 8 “Conclusion” sums up the results of the study. It also presents the limitations of the study and points at further areas which could be of interest to researchers who are focusing their attention on Ugandan English.

←19 | 20→←20 | 21→

1 Lingua franca is defined by Matthews (1997: 209) as “any language used for communication between groups who have other language in common” and by UNESCO (1968), quoted by Meierkord (2006: 1) as a language “used habitually by people whose mother tongues are different in order to facilitate communication between them”.

2 Language of wider communication is defined by Barotchi (1994: 2211) as “a language that affords a means of communication beyond the local group to the national and international arenas”, and by Brutt-Griffler (2006: 690) as “a language that provides a mutually intellegible medium for speakers in multilingual societies”.

2 The article “The use of the progressive in Ugandan English” published by John Benjamins https://benjamins.com/catalog/veaw.g59 is republished in this book with permission from John Benjamins

2 Ugandan English as a Variety of English

2.0 Introduction

The present study takes the feature-based approach to investigate some of the morphological and syntactic features of Ugandan English. In addition, it uses a variationist approach, introduced by William Labov in 1960s, which “commonly adopts a quantitative methodology, focusing on the frequency with which linguistic forms e.g. pronunciation or grammatical features occur across speakers, groups of speakers or speaking styles” (Swann et al. 2004: 323). According to Melchers and Shaw (2003: 13), “variation in world Englishes can be found at all levels of language, i.e. spelling, phonetics/phonology, morphology, syntax, the lexicon, and discourse”. Various studies such as Kortmann and Schneider (2004) have discussed variation in the English language, focusing on the phonological and morpho-syntactic features in different regions and countries. Most recently, Kortmann and Lunkenheimer (2012) provide The Mouton World Atlas of Variation in English, which presents a large-scale typological survey of morpho-syntactic variation in the Anglophone world where Ugandan English is part of the 18 indigenised L2 varieties of English. Similarly, Siemund (2013) takes a typological approach at the study of varieties of English.

This chapter reviews the three terms in the studies of varieties of English spoken as L2 worldwide, that is, “World Englishes”, “New Englishes”, and “Postcolonial Englishes”. Each of these terms has been used variably by scholars in the field. The following sections elaborate on how these terms developed and have been used in the studies of varieties of English. In addition, it presents six out of several models used in describing World Englishes. Finally, it indicates where Ugandan English is positioned in this theoretical framework and in the models describing World Englishes.

2.1 World Englishes and New Englishes

Currently, there are various varieties of English spoken worldwide. World Englishes is one of the terms that have been used to describe these varieties. According to Bolton (2006: 240), this term “functions as an umbrella label referring to a wide range of differing approaches to the description and analysis of English(es) worldwide”. The concept of World Englishes evolved during the postcolonial period after the 1960s when unique linguistic features in institutionalised varieties of English in the former British and American colonies were recognised ←21 | 22→(Kachru 1997). The term World Englishes is attributed to Braj Kachru. It is used largely to describe emerging localised3 or indigenised varieties of English which developed in former British and American colonies and protectorates (McArthur 1987). According to Bolton (2006: 240), this is the narrower sense of the term which is used to specifically refer to “New Englishes” found in the Caribbean, in West African and East African societies, as well as in Asian societies. The term New Englishes was proposed by Pride (1982) to refer to the use of English as an L2 in postcolonial countries in South Asia, South East Asia, West Africa, and East Africa. In their book, The New Englishes, Platt, Weber, and Ho (1984) suggest that the term “New Englishes” should be used to describe varieties of English spoken in regions where English is not the native language of the majority of the people and where it has been acquired through the education system. They argue that this term should be reserved for varieties where English is used in a wide range of functions by the people in the country “as a regular language for communication in at least some areas of everyday activity” (Platt et al. 1984: 6). New Englishes are influenced by indigenous languages in the countries where they are spoken, for example, in Nigeria, India, Ghana, Kenya, Philippine, and Uganda, and therefore exhibit distinctive phonological, morphological, and syntactic features. Llamzon (1983) quoted by Bolton (2006: 240) remarks that the new varieties of English are “identifiable with reference to four essential sets of features: ecological, historical, sociological and culture”. In addition, Jenkins (2003: 2) observes that in these societies, English is used as “an official (i.e., institutionalised) second language in fields such as government, law, and education”.

Details

Pages
282
ISBN (PDF)
9783631782187
ISBN (ePUB)
9783631782194
ISBN (MOBI)
9783631782200
ISBN (Hardcover)
9783631781272
Language
English
Publication date
2019 (April)
Tags
Languages Dislocation Prepositions Progressive Multilingualism Uganda
Published
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien. 2019. 282 p., 1 col. ill, 80 b/w tab.

Biographical notes

Jude Ssempuuma (Author)

Jude Ssempuuma is a lecturer in English Linguistics at Bayreuth University, Germany. His research interests include varieties of English, contact linguistics, cognitive linguistics, and multilingualism.

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Title: Morphological and Syntactic Feature Analysis of Ugandan English