In a previous publication, (Angogo and Hancock 1980) we traced the history of the English language in Africa and established that there were specific phonological and idiomatic features which distinguished East African English from West African English. In another publication (Hancock and Angogo 1982) we took a detailed look at the so-called Anglophone Eastern Africa, and attempted to give a sociolinguistic description of speakers of East African English. We proposed a breakdown of four varieties of English registers in East Africa. This paper continues along similar lines. My focus will be on the politics of the English language in Kenya and Tanzania. In other words, the question that the paper seeks to explore is whether different political systems necessarily cause differences in the variety of language use. To put it another way, is the English spoken in Tanzania different from that spoken in Kenya because the two countries have pursued different political systems?
Kenya and Tanzania share a common border. They also share a history of British colonisation and the introduction of the English language (Hancock and Angogo 1982: 309). Alongside English, Kiswahili is the lingua franca of both countries. The politics and the use of the one language is inseparably linked to those of the other. Following independence, Kenya and Tanzania each adopted politics and language policies which differed radically from each other. Language, like choice of an economic system, was based on the country's politics.
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