English in Africa: A Diachronic Linguistic Perspective

English in Africa: A Diachronic Linguistic Perspective
CLAREP Journal of English and Linguistics (C-JEL)

Author: Demola Jolayemi
Institution: University of Africa, Toru-Oru
Email: demola.jolayemi@uat.edu.ng, demolajolayemi@gmail.com

Author: Alexandra Esimaje
Institution: Benson Idahosa University, Benin City
Email: alexandra.esimaje@live.com; aesimaje@biu.edu.ng


A motif for this paper is drawn from Baugh and Cable’s (1951) A history of the English language, which renders a classical and academic historical account of the origin of the English language. The book traces the origin of the language and connects it with the present users in a way to tell them the chronologies of life, ways, and speech of their progenitors. This gives the various reading generations the idea and sense of where the language has come from, its various metamorphosis, structures, cultures and its place in the embracing universe. Such historicity, one dares to say, is as handy for a second user of English as it is to the people to which English is native. Such simulation is far and in between in the literature; the students and researchers of English often wander for extractions of this in history books. This paper, as a way of bridging this gap, thus, becomes very useful as well as significant to the people whose interest lies in the history of English language in Africa. The motifs of multilingualism, bilingualism, and diglossia call attention to the African region and the behaviours of English language, in the precipitation of multiple language-use outside the indigenous ones. The reasons for the origin of these multiple language events, and the vehicles of their transportation and propagation, often elude many people. A sociolinguistic motif, which witnesses several varieties of the spoken and written English language across the African continent, finds an expression in the substratum of a convergence English for the thoroughly multilingual communities that make up the different nations in Africa. A diachronic linguistic account of the origin of all this is imperative, to say the least; and this is the concentration of this chapter.


Diachronic linguistics, History, English language, Africa, & Sociolinguistics

Pages: 1-18
ISSN: 2698-654-X
ISBN: 978-3-96203-247-0 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-96203-248-7 (PDF)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.56907/g9q77vjf