Cultural and Linguistic Hybridizations in Cameroon: English Loanwords in ngə̂mbà

Achille Fossi, Adrienne Ouafo Lambo

Abstract


This paper examines the various linguistic processes that English loanwords in ngə̂mbà have undergone due to the long-term contact between this African language and English as the language of European importation. A close scrutiny of the borrowed lexical items shows that they fall under many domains of life such as administration and religion, commerce and technology, culture and artefacts, to name these few and have undergone many modifications at the levels of phonology (clusters simplification, shwa deletion, voicing, devoicing, tone insertion, etc.), morphosyntax (compounding, syllable insertion, derivation, reduplication, etc.) and semantics (broadening, narrowing, loan translations, etc.). The present study analyses the linguistic processes that underlie English loanwords in ngə̂mbà, a Bantu language spoken in the West Region of Cameroon. The corpus gathered for the study comprises 249 loanwords collected through interviews and participant observation of ngə̂mbà speakers aged between 16 and 83, living in rural and urban areas. The descriptive model is the framework used for the data analysis in this study.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v4i1.1148

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