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Title: Cameroon English Morphology and Syntax
Written By: Paul N. Mbangwana
Bonaventure M. Sala
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in English Linguistics 15

The aim in this book is to do three things: compare, describe and explicate
variants in the CamE word and sentence. As concerns comparison, the authors
identify and categorize morphological and syntactic variants in CamE
vis-à-vis the BrE-norm. As for description, Mbangwana & Bonaventure make an
attempt to understand the structure of variants and assess their
significance in morpho-syntactic structure in the New Englishes. Finally,
the authors account for the variants by bringing out some of the factors,
linguistic and non-linguistic, involved in the processes postulated.

The book answers one question: How has English been given a Cameroonian
touch both at the morphological and the sentential levels? In answering
this question, some of the processes and strategies are explored that
underlie what can be called morphological and syntactic Cameroon-ianisms.
The typical strategy as far as morphology is concerned is that of
remorphemisation and demorphemisation of BrE words. As for syntactic
variations, they can be grouped under overt variation (including the super
ordinate clause deletion for echo-questions, that-adverbials, indirect
yes/no questions, ostensive modificators and modifier relative operators),
covert variation (including the special uses of verbs of perception like
the verb smell and abuse-verbs, when clauses, until clauses and the
conjunction but) and variation engendered by the difficulty of handling BrE
transformational rules (including the tendency to avoid movement
transformations in questioning and passivisation, the avoidance of
self-embedding transformations in favour of right-branching
transformations, the conjunctive use of subordinators, post-movement
P-deletion and the avoidance of empty categories).

Cameroon, like most ex-British colonies, uses English as a second language
by making it a medium of interpersonal communication, useful in expressing
their typical meanings and thought patterns. English in such an environment
adapts itself to the users’ experiences and ways of life, so as to increase
and enrich its level of usability. Mbangwana & Bonaventure demonstrate that
the structures christened morpho-syntactic Cameroon-ianisms are structures
that were not taught, at least overtly, in class but have emerged naturally
and steadily as a generating norm for the Cameroonian community. This
explains why certain structures that do not figure in official textbooks,
still manage to creep into Cameroonian English. These are strategies
introduced to combat the complex grammatical rule system of BrE or to
create logic where none existed before in BrE. This means that CamE is
acquired (not learnt) in Cameroon. Mbangwana & Bonaventure put forward the
Grafting-over-Transfer Hypothesis (GTH) to account for such a phenomenon.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Subject Language(s): English
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9783895865220
Pages: 200
Prices: Europe EURO 68.00