Stylistic and sociolinguistic variation in Schneider’s Nativization Phase

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Taking educated Ghanaian English (GhE) as an example, this article considers the place of stylistic and sociolinguistic variation in Schneider’s (2003, 2007) Dynamic Model of the evolution of New Englishes. The study examines variation in one phonological and one morphosyntactic variable, investigating t-affrication with regard to variation across the two genders and two speech styles in spoken GhE, and analysing relativizer choice in written texts of differing formality. The results demonstrate that GhE shows robust and consistent stylistic and gender-related variation, although it has only reached Phase 3 of Schneider’s Dynamic Model. This is noteworthy on a theoretical level since the emergence of local sociolinguistic norms would not have been expected until Phase 5.


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