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Code-switching and lexical borrowing: Which is what in Ghanaian English?


Mixed local feelings about the use of local words in the English of Ghana. A Ghanaianism is a vocabulary item peculiar to Ghana. It may be an English item that has undergone a local semantic shift, an item of local origin used consistently in English, or a hybrid of the two. In addition, the term Ghanaian English as used here refers, not to a variety whose features have been more or less fully recognised and described, but broadly to the English used by Ghanaians who have had at least some formal education and are able to use English in some registers. Drawing on a collection of Ghanaianisms compiled over the last 10 years, this paper looks first at some of the prevailing problems in attempting to define the transference phenomena widely identified as code-switching (CS) on the one hand and lexical borrowing (LB) on the other, then at how Ghanaians deal with the phenomenon of borrowing into English at the text level.

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English Today
  • ISSN: 0266-0784
  • EISSN: 1474-0567
  • URL: /core/journals/english-today
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