A Survey of the Linguistic Preferences of Cameroon Pidgin English Speakers
Pidgin English speakers from five major towns in Anglophone Cameroon were asked to indicate their preferences for linguistic variants of variables whose use in written literature had proven problematic. The relationship between the scores and speakers' mother tongue, age, sex, educational background, and geographical location was considered, with particular interest in choices made when one variant was closer to standard Cameroon English than another. Test results indicate, among other things, that students' preference for variants closer to standard English gives way to favorisation of mesolectal forms after their studies; this contributes to the basic stability of Cameroon Pidgin English (PE), in spite of the ever-increasing acquisition of standard English (SE). It is suggested that, in making decisions for written literature, lexical items generally should be chosen at the mesolectal level, but that the orthography should reflect phonological variants closer to SE.
Published online: 01 January 1994