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World Englishes at the Grassroots$
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Christiane Meierkord and Edgar W. Schneider

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781474467551

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474467551.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 29 November 2021

The Sociolinguistic Profile of English at the Grassroots Level: A Comparison of Northern and Western Uganda

The Sociolinguistic Profile of English at the Grassroots Level: A Comparison of Northern and Western Uganda

Chapter:
(p.49) Chapter 3 The Sociolinguistic Profile of English at the Grassroots Level: A Comparison of Northern and Western Uganda
Source:
World Englishes at the Grassroots
Author(s):

Bebwa Isingoma

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474467551.003.0003

This chapter delineates the sociolinguistic profile of two categories of speakers of English in Uganda, i.e. market vendors and bodaboda (motorcycle taxi) riders, who may voluntarily or incidentally use English, given the nature of their trade, which requires them to interact with customers who may not speak their L1 or an indigenous language of wider communication in their region. Using participant observations and recorded semi-structured interviews, the study details the quotidian linguistic behaviour of 30 grassroots users of English, their attitudes towards the use of English and their verbal repertoires. The results indicate different linguistic behaviours, with Northern Uganda recording more inclination to the use of English than Western Uganda, as well as displaying more positive attitudes towards its use and a richer verbal repertoire. Also, English at the grassroots depicts many of the innovative features present among acrolectal speakers of Ugandan English, that is, the speakers of grassroots English in Uganda cannot replace the innovative norms developed by the acrolectal speakers with or example Standard British English norms. Ugandan English may therefore be said to be both norm-developing as well as norm-providing in that the acrolectal sub-variety provides the grassroots sub-variety with the norms it has developed.

Keywords:   Grassroots English, Western Uganda, Northern Uganda, attitudes, verbal repertoire

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