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Ife Studies in English Language - Abstract

Title

INTONATION PATTERNS OF THE ENGLISH OF NIGERIAN PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS

Authors

Adesina B. Sunday and Kehinde C. Fadeyi, Department of English, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Published

© Ife Studies in English Language Vol. 12 (1) 2016, pp. 16-31

Language

English

Abstract:

The first formal training most Nigerian students have with English is through nursery and primary schools. The proficiency of the teachers at this level is an important factor in the development of the English language skills of the students. Therefore, this study investigated the intonation patterns of the spoken English of eighty Nigerian primary school teachers. The teachers were selected from four local governments in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. The test material assigned to them was a written dialogue between two people, which they read in the form of role-play. A modified version of Pierrehumbert’s (1980) Tune-Text Association theory, as adapted by Udofot (2002), was employed as the theoretical framework. The data were subjected to perceptual and acoustic analyses. The falling tune, rising tune and fall-rise tune were identified, while the rise-fall tune did not exist in their spoken English. The existence of the fallrise tune was traced to bi-syllabic words found at the edge tones of prosodic phrases. The participants did not use intonation to express doubt, polite request and indifference; however, they employed the raised tune to indicate surprise. Therefore, the raised tune (RH/RL) was proposed to be included as a pattern of intonation in Nigerian English.

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