Richard Bonnie

(University of Hamburg)

A comparison of Ghanaian and Singaporean English stress patterns

Most studies on new English varieties are centered on segmental phenomena. The stress patterns of nativised Englishes for instance have not been fully researched. Besides, existing research on suprasegmental phenomena of these localised English varieties (Low & Grabe 1999, Gut 2005, Fuchs 2016) tends to compare them to negligible RP, British or American Englishes.

The stress placement of Ghanaian English (GE) has not yet been systematically described and the few arguments of stress placement and rhythm in general for GE tend to focus on auditory perceptions (Adjaye 1987, Koranteng 2006). Singaporean English (SE) on the other hand has some studies on stress placement and rhythm (Deterding 1994, Low & Grabe 1999), but these works mostly used British English as a reference point for comparison.

Comparing two nativised English varieties and hence deviating from the usual pattern of comparing nativised varieties to native varieties, this study describes the stress placement of GE in a systematic way and compares it to the stress pattern of SE using an experimental data set and 50 respondents from each context.

Adjaye, S. A. (2005). Ghanaian English Pronunciation. New York: The Edwin Mellen Press.

Deterding, D.H. (1994) “The characteristics of Singapore English Pronunciation”. In Review of Educational Research and Advances for Classroom Teachers 1

Fuchs, Robert. (2016).  Speech Rhythm in Varieties of English: Evidence from Educated Indian English and British English. Singapore: Springer.

Gut, Ulrike. (2005). “Nigerian English prosody”.  English World-Wide, 26: 153-177.

Koranteng, L. A. (2006) Ghanaian English: A Description of its Sound System and Phonological Features. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, UG.

Low, E.L. & Grabe, E. (1999) A contrastive study of prosody and lexical stress placement in Singapore English and British English. Language and Speech, 8:39-56.