THE EFFECT OF YORUBA ON THE SPOKEN ENGLISH OF MUSHIN MARKET WOMEN
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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
This study is carried out to examine the effect of Yoruba on the spoken English of Mushin market women in Lagos state. The need to examine and correct the wrong pronunciation of English words in many Nigerian market women, particularly among the Mushin market woman in Lagos demands extra effort and great attention. This is because, it is observed that this problem is the result of the features found in their indigenous languages which are transferred to the sound system of the English language. Their English phonetics reflects the structure of the sound system of their mother tongue (Osisanwo 2009). With respect to this, we shall discuss the term phonology.
Phonology is the sound system of a language. It is the study of the properties of the sound system of a given language. It is the systematic study of how the speech sounds function and are organized in human languages. Hyman (1975:1) cited by Osinanwo (2009:3) asserted that, the goal of phonology is to study the properties of the sound system which speakers must learn and internalize in order to use their language for the purpose of communication. According to Oyebade (1998:2) phonology is the scientific study of the arbitrary vocal symbol used in human speech and the pattern into which these symbols produce intelligent, meaningful utterances.
Akmajian et al (2008:109) asserted that ‘phonology is the subfield of linguistics that studies the structure and patterning of sound in human language’. Hence, speakers of Nigerian English are still facing a lot of pronunciation problems as a result of their L1 influence on their spoken English (Alabi, 2007). So many works have been done on the segmental features of the phonology of Nigerian English such as Utin (2009) based on the Anang accent of English language.
Mushin lies on the railway from Lagos and at the intersection of roads from Lagos, Shomolu, and Ikeja. After the 1950 independence from the Great Britain, there became large migrations to the sub-urban areas. This led to intensive overcrowding as a result, poor sanitation and inadequate housing lead to poor living conditions. However, since the rise of industrialization in Nigeria, Mushin has become one of the largest beneficiaries of the industrial expansion. Their local commercial enterprises include spinning and weaving of cotton, shoe manufacturing, bicycle and motorized-cycle assembly, along with the production of powdered milk (Jowith, 1991).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite the fact that various studies has previously been conducted on the phonology of Nigeria English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages respectively, however, research gaps exists in the area of the effect of Yoruba on the spoken English of Mushin Market women in Lagos which this study sets to bridge. It is obvious that language has gain a lot of ground among the Nigeria languages, however it is one of the major indigenous language in Nigeria. Therefore this study is set out to find the effect of Yoruba language particularly the Mushin Yoruba dialect on the phonology of English. That is, it is to check the influence of the Mushin Lagos Yoruba dialect on the sound system of the English language at the segment level. In other words, this work will find out the English phonemes which are mispronounced by the Mushin indigenous Yoruba market women.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The aim of this study is to find out the effect of Mushin Yoruba dialect on the phonology of standard British English (SBE). That is, the changes that may likely occur as a result of the contact of the Mushin Lagos Yoruba dialect and English. In other words, this work is to search for the features that distinguish the phonology of Nigeria English variety from the received pronunciations. These features shall be identified from the recorded speech collected and analyzed. We hope to provide solution to bridge the gap in the differences.
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