Kenyan English: The Chimera in Sociolinguistics of English-speaking Communities in Kenya
CLAREP Journal of English and Linguistics (C-JEL)
Author: Gerry O. Ayieko
Institution: Kenyatta University
The English language has spread across the globe in the last two hundred years resulting in a number of non-natives varieties of English across the globe. There is a divergence between these different varieties in phonology, morphology, syntax, lexical semantics and sentential semantics, discourse, an pragmatics as well as sociolinguistics. There is a general tendency to name these varieties based on countries such as Indian English, Nigerian English etc, the main argument in the present paper is that such terms are inaccurate from a dialectological perspective. The present study adopted a critical review methodology to critique the construct ‘Kenyan English’. The three main questions that the critical review sought to answer were: i) how is the existence of “Kenyan English’ exist as an independent variety of English conceptualised? ii) what are the research paradigms and theoretical assumptions underlying the investigation of ‘Kenyan English’? iii) to what extent can one speak of ‘Kenyan English’ as a discipline with its own distinct methodology? The study reviewed fifty studies on Kenya that were selected using a criterion set up focusing on: the methodology, aims, methods, and findings of the study. The findings were thematised into ontology, epistemology, axiology and methodology and each study assessed using these parameters. The results show that the existence of “Kenyan English’ as an independent variety of English is really in doubt and lacks empirical support because of the research paradigms and theoretical assumptions used so far. There are no clear and distinct methodology or methods that have been applied in ‘Kenyan English’ as a discipline. There is need to incorporate methodology and methods of standard dialectology so that the variety ‘Kenyan English’ can be established in space and time of the country Kenya.
Kenyan English , axiology, epistemology,ontology, Kenyan Englishes
ISBN: 978-3-96203-247-0 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-96203-248-7 (PDF)