Acoustic Correlates of Stress Patterns in Phrases and Compounds in the Sub-varieties of Educated Nigerian English

Stress correlate Educated Nigerian English compounds phrases


April 8, 2023


Although scholarly attention has been drawn to the stress correlates of the sub-varieties of Educated Nigerian English (ENigE) without a conclusion on modes of determining stress patterns in the varieties, therefore, the current study provides insights into the stress correlates in the sub-variety. Two regional sub-varieties of ENigE, namely: Educated Yoruba English (EYE) and Educated Igbo English (EIE), are compared to describe the correlates of the stress of ENigE. Data were collected from twenty (20) university degree graduates (ten men and ten women). The participants have Igbo and Yoruba as their first languages (L1), satisfying Udofot’s 2004 classification for an educated variety of NigE. The participants read the prepared phrases and compounds to acoustic cues for stress placement in educated NigE. Acoustic signals such as pitch, intensity and duration are employed. The thresholds of significant difference are set at p<.05. This allows me to explore the interactions between YE, IE, and the control (British English). Findings show that pitch (F0) serves as the main cue for stress correlates in the sub-varieties. The results further reveal that 80% of the participants operated British English stress pattern in isolated words. It suggests that the cues for stress placement vary in the varieties by region and gender where English functions as a second language. However, duration and intensity as acoustic parameters are insufficient to predict stress correlates in the sub-varieties of the ENigE understudy. The study as well discovers fundamental frequencies as stress correlates in the sub-varieties.