ACOUSTIC CORRELATES OF STRESS ASSIGNMENTS OF LOANWORDS AMONG NIGERIAN SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH
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Nigerian English as a variety of world Englishes has received scholarly investigations at the segmental and suprasegmental levels. At the suprasegmental level, studies on the major varieties of Nigerian English have identified characteristic nature of stress assignment and interactions, but little or no research has explored stress assignment on loanwords in Nigerian English. The study examines the stress placements on loanwords among educated Igbo and Yoruba speakers of English. A well-prepared text is read by sixty (60) educated Igbo and Yoruba speakers of English, and Daniel Jones’ 8th Edition Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary serves as a control variable. The study uses Praat 6.0 to ascertain the degree of prominence of each syllable in the tokens among the respondents (dependent and control). The samples are analyzed using the metrical theory of stress for theoretical relevance. Findings reveal that the stress patterns of educated Igbo and Yoruba speakers of English in loanwords are 65% and 70% (respectively) closer to British English (hence, BrE), while the average percentage for both educated Igbo and Yoruba is 67.5%, similar to BrE. The study shows that educated Igbo and Yoruba speakers of English preferably stress the second syllable regardless of what is obtainable among the native speakers.
JEL Classification Codes: H75.
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