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Social Differentiation in Cameroon English

Evidence from Sociolinguistic Fieldwork


Aloysius Ngefac

Social Differentiation in Cameroon English investigates the correlation between some extra-linguistic variables (gender, age, level of education, ethnicity, regionality, occupation, and mood) and phonological variables in a New English setting that is sociolinguistically and culturally different from most Western contexts. The investigation reveals that the type of correlation patterns between linguistic and sociolinguistic variables reported in the Western world are lacking in Cameroon because of contextual factors and the fact that English Language Teaching (ELT) goals in Cameroon continue to be based on Inner Circle English norms. It is therefore predicted that if mainstream Cameroon English is promoted and standardized and Cameroonian speakers of English are evaluated in terms of their knowledge of Cameroon Standard English, some of the correlation patterns reported in the Western world can equally be observable in Cameroon.