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Codifying Ghanaian English

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Abstract

Although non-native varieties of English used in English as Second Language (ESL) communities such as India, Nigeria, Cameroon and South Africa have been described and codified in dictionaries and grammar books, there are other ESL communities such as Ghana where the localized varieties of English are still low on the continuum. In spite of the efforts that have been made to describe the development of a distinctive Ghanaian variety of English, there are many factors that have militated against these efforts. This paper gives some of the factors that affect the description and codification of a distinctive variety of “Ghanaian English” and also explores some of the possible solutions to these problems. The paper begins by discussing the status of English in Ghana and then goes on to explore some of the factors that have made it impossible to describe and codify Ghanaian English. It also discusses the means by which the English language spoken in Ghana can be accepted as a peculiar Ghanaian variety. The paper finally discusses how the codification of Ghanaian English can help in the development and growth of a Ghanaian variety of English.

References

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