Features of Tone in Nigerian English Stress Pattern

Adesina B. Sunday, Olubunmi O. Oyemade

Abstract


Nigerian English (NE) has a distinct stress pattern that is often credited to influences from the tone of the Nigerian indigenous languages. This study examined the extent of the influence of tone and the characteristics of stress in NE. Three hundred NE speakers were purposively sampled. The data collected through tape-recording of their renditions of a prepared text was subjected to acoustic analysis, complemented by descriptive statistics. The results showed that stress was assigned in a tone-influenced manner; stress was determined by the presence and the position of the high tone. This suggests that NE should be classified as a pitch-accent language. Therefore, prominence in NE words is better discussed in terms of both tone and stress, rather than as either only tone or only stress.

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