Regional variation in Ghanaian Student Pidgin

Use and attitudes

Authors

  • Elisabeth Hampel University of Bonn

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.38791

Keywords:

Student Pidgin, African youth languages, language attitudes, language ecology, Ghana

Abstract

Student Pidgin (SP) is an African youth language practice among Ghanaian students and graduates. It originated in cities along the Ghanaian coast, where most empirical research on SP has been conducted so far. Little is known about the use of SP in other regions of the country. The present paper aims to fill that research gap by comparing reported use and language attitudes of students in Ghana’s two largest cities, the capital Accra and Kumasi, capital of the Ashanti region. The cities have a comparable number of inhabitants, but are located in different regions of Ghana. Over two hundred high school and university students answered a written questionnaire or participated in qualitative interviews. The results show significant regional differences both in reported use and attitudes towards the youth language, which can be explained by the different language ecologies of Kumasi and Accra.

Author Biography

Elisabeth Hampel, University of Bonn

Elisabeth Hampel obtained an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Bonn, Germany, where she also worked as a research assistant in the English Department. Her research interests include African youth languages, crosscultural pragmatics and postcolonial studies. She has previously published in the Journal of Politeness Research. 

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Published

2020-12-16

How to Cite

Hampel, E. (2020). Regional variation in Ghanaian Student Pidgin: Use and attitudes. Sociolinguistic Studies, 14(3), 299–320. https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.38791