The Influence of Mother Tongue on English Language Pronunciation: The Case of Akoose
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The Research presents the influence of the mother tongue, Akosse on the English language especially at the level of pronunciation. Interviews were carried out and questionnaires administered and they all resulted in the fact that the mother tongue has an overriding influence on, not just English pronunciation but even on accent and grammar. The principle of interference or code-mixing, which clearly shows how languages in contact tend to influence each other, was used as a theoretical framework. In a nutshell, all instruments and techniques that were used in the course of this research showed that the mother tongue Akoose has greatly influenced English language pronunciation.
This chapter presents the background of the Akoose language and the people, their historical background, geographical location as well as the hypothesis of the study, The structure of this work, the statement of the problem the aims and objectives, delimitation as well as the significance of the study will be presented. Language according to Wittgenstein (1987), distinguishes us from all other forms of life on earth more than any other human attribute. Language is so built in the way we believe that it has “become an axiom of being human” and it is what makes possible much of what we do and perhaps even what we think. Thus the study of language is like the study of life. Some people have associated with Anthropologists to see how languages and culture relate. The Akoose language in the South West Region of Cameroon is not an exception to the language influence. The Akoose language comprises of several subgroups with the same dialects, which this research will better expatiate on it.
Background to the Study Area.
Geographical Background: The Bakossi tribe is found in the Tombel, Bangem, part of Nguti Subdivisions of Kupe- Muanenguba Division in the South West Region and part of Mungo Division. The attitude ranges from 200 to 2.396 meters above sea level. The area has two sustaining maintains namely mount Kupe (2,050 meters) and mount Muanenguba (2,396 meters). These mountains are of volcanic origin in fact, they are instinct volcanoes. The climate is equatorial giving rise to forest vegetation and fertile soils. It has an average relative humidity of 80%. The Area stands out as an area of irregular relief configuration of highlands and lowlands, plains, deep valleys, and caves. The hydrograph is made up of rivers, streams, and lakes.
The Bakossi tribe, which speaks Akoose as a language is said to bear different versions of oral tradition. It is believed that the Bakossi people and the tribe are said to have been founded by a man called Ngoe and his wife sumediang. Their children founded the various clans of the Kupe Muanenguba division. According to Koge (1986), the Muaneguba region was the original and initial dense settlement place of all the Bakossi people and their relatives. This will expatiate in the research work
Statement of the Problem
The first language which children get to know, understand and communicate with and others is the mother tongue. The mother tongue which a person gets to know has infinite influences on other subsidiary languages he or she gets to leam. Like the Ejagham, Larnso, Kumbo, Banso people, just to name a few, whose mother tongues have greatly influenced the manner in which they pronounce, speak, and spell in the English language. The case of Bakossi people who speak Akoose cannot be otherwise. It is in line with this that this research is intended to find out the extent to which the Akoose language has influenced the manner in which the Akoose speakers pronounce and speak English.
There is a significant influence of the mother tongue (Akoose) on the manner in which the Bakossi people speak the English Language.
Objectives/Aims of the study
In line with the problem, the main objective of the study is to examine how the mother tongue, Akoose has influenced English language pronunciation among the Bakossi speaking population of Cameroon.
- To investigate the sound of the letters which are commonly pronounced when speaking Akoose.
- To access the problems faced while speaking the English Language.
- To propose solutions to help the people speak better.
- To examine how these letters have influenced pronunciation, spelling, and writing of English.