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English in Kenya or Kenyan English?


Natalia Budohoska

The book aims to recognize or reject English in Kenya as a new, emancipated variety of English developing in a multilingual environment of permanent language contact. It discusses in detail the sociolinguistic situation in contemporary Kenya based on Labov’s extra-linguistic parameters and the results of a customized survey carried out by the author in Kenya. Furthermore, it identifies and describes characteristic stylistic, lexical, morphological and syntactic features of English in Kenya on the basis of the International Corpus of English (ICE). The theoretical framework employs Schneider’s Dynamic Model of Postcolonial Englishes and an effort is made to put the amount of variation found in the ICE into a wider context of other varieties of English around the world.
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The present monograph is based on my doctoral dissertation and is targeted at researching the characteristic features of English used in Kenya, also taking into consideration the sociolinguistic factors. The aim of this study is to confirm or reject the status of Kenyan English – a hypothetical new variety of postcolonial English.

The book consists of six chapters (two introductory and four analytical), Conclusions and seven Appendices. It opens with Chapter one which provides (1) the historical and sociolinguistic background for English in Kenya, (2) an account of Schneider’s Dynamic Model for postcolonial Englishes used as a reference point in this study, (3) a review of related literature and an outline of the previous research into the issue of English in East Africa and, finally, (4) a presentation of the aims of the study.

Chapter two contains a brief outline of problems, methods and tools connected with corpus linguistics as applied in this study and discusses the issues of language contact found relevant in light of this study.

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