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Title: Variation according to context in a second language : a study into the effects of formality on the English used by Ghanaian university students
Author: Owusu-Ansah, L. K.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1992
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The present study focuses on interpersonal relationships as one of the most important sources of contextual variation in the English of Ghanaian University students. The assumption being made is that a well-established variety is one that shows linguistic variation in the wide range of contexts in which it is used (Kachru 1983). When a non-native variety attains this status, it is no longer appropriate to look at it as an interlanguage or of a deviant form of native English (NE). Previous studies have suggested, however, that the salient features of Ghanaian English (GE) include deviations from native norms, general over-formality and unusual lexical items and expressions. Thus the null hypothesis is that GE lacks contextual variation. Chapter 1 is a discussion of the historical and social background to the use of English in Ghana and claims that English is now used in a wider range of contexts including both institutionalised and non-institutionalised domains. This is followed by a review of the related studies (Ch. 2) and a discussion of the sociolinguistic approach adopted in the investigation of formality (Ch. 3). A preliminary study (Ch. 4) conducted to test the null hypothesis and to establish the most important questions for the main study found variation in lexico-grammatical and discourse patterns between the two tests analysed. Following this, both spoken and written data characterised by varying social distance (coded 1-5) were collected during fieldwork (Ch. 5) in Ghana from January to March 1990. This was analysed qualitatively and quantitatively (Chs. 6-9) for variation in respect of selected lexico-grammatical and discourse features and the results discussed in relation to the features of the contexts in which the texts were produced.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available