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Ethnolects of Cameroon English

Pronunciation, Education, and Evolution



From an integrative perspective this study analyses the evolution of ethnolinguistic variability in Cameroon English (CamE) pronunciation along the educational echelon. Focus is on the phonetic/phonological variables of ethnolects distinctive from Received Pronunciation and CamE, and markers which prompt attitudinal reactions in speakers and listeners’ perceptions. Interviews are conducted and a questionnaire designed to elicit pronunciation and attitudinal variability. Integrative methods are explored to analyse the data, and the «trace element hypothesis» postulated. As contribution to studies on the evolution in the New Englishes it proposes the lectal continuum and fossilised CamE features as yard sticks for mainstreaming CamE phonology and advocates sociophonetics in language teaching.


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The completion of this work has not come without challenges and rewards. The days of uncertainty and fear alternated with those of inspiration and hope. There were days I woke up with exuberance, filled with ideas, reading and writing for longer than usual hours. On some days, progress was slow as the worry of how to survive and the struggle for survival weighed on me. In such moments, I was stumpy, weary and unable to shape my thought, but in your different ways, you helped me on. My gratitude goes to my host university supervisor, Prof Dr Su- sanne Mühleisen for her valuable contribution in expanding the scope of this study. I am grateful to my home university supervisor, Prof Dr Augustin Simo Bobda with whom this project initiated. I immensely thank Dr Eric Anchimbe, an on-the-spot resource, who edited this work and made constructive criticism. I thank Prof Dr Gabriele Sommer for co-correcting. I am indebted to the University of Bayreuth, Germany and its branch estab- lishments: I remember the IPP (Internationales Promotions-Programm), the PhD program which created space for me to study at the University of Bayreuth. On the endless shelves in the university library, I found a wealth of knowledge. In tough times the different establishments gave me moral and financial support: I remember the KHG (Katolische Hochschule Gemeinde), the Akademische Auslandamt, the Frauenbeauftragte, the Welcome Centre, the Feuerwehrfonds, and the International Club – you found a way where there seemed to be none. I thank my...

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