Volume 43, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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In the 1990s, the existing literature anticipated a fast-growing influence of American English on Kenyan English in the following years. Mazrui and Mazrui (1996) even predicted a “coca-colanization” of Kenyan English. Focusing on vocabulary, the present study investigated whether the anticipated influence has occurred or not. From a sample of 75 fourth-year university students it collected self-reports of which words they used from 93 pairs of American-vs-British English counterparts. These self-reports were then compared with, among others, the frequencies of the same words in two corpora of Kenyan English which were compiled two decades apart. The study found that the respondents’ self-reports indicated a 59 percent use of British English vocabulary, against only a 28 percent use of American English vocabulary. This finding was by and large corroborated by the frequencies of the words concerned in the two corpora. Thus, the anticipated American English influence has not materialized.


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