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Borrowed Swahili discourse-pragmatic features in Kenyan and Tanzanian Englishes

Authors
  • Unuabonah, Foluke Olayinka
  • Muro, Loveluck Philip
Type
Published Article
Journal
Intercultural Pragmatics
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Aug 22, 2022
Volume
19
Issue
4
Pages
489–512
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/ip-2022-4003
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This study explores five Swahili discourse-pragmatic features – ati/eti, yaani, pole, sasa and sawa – which are borrowed from Swahili into Kenyan and Tanzanian Englishes, with a view to investigating their meanings, frequencies, positioning, collocational patterns, syntactic distribution and discourse-pragmatic functions. The data, which are extracted from the International Corpus of English-East Africa and the Kenyan and Tanzanian components of the corpus of Global Web-based English, are analysed quantitatively and qualitatively, from a variational and postcolonial corpus pragmatic framework. The study reveals that the Swahili discourse-pragmatic features occur more frequently in the Kenyan corpora than in the Tanzanian corpora, except in the case of sasa, which occurred with the same frequency in the online corpus. The paper identifies ati/eti as an attention marker, a quotative marker, a hearsay marker, an inferential marker, and an emotive interjection, yaani as an emphasis and elaborative marker, while pole is an attitudinal marker that expresses sympathy and sarcasm. While sasa is only an attention marker, sawa is an agreement and attention marker. The paper shows that these borrowed discourse-pragmatic features contribute to the distinctive nature of East African Englishes.

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