The Discourse Particle nàa in Cameroonian Colloquial English

Blasius Achiri-Taboh


This article explores the use of the discourse particle nàa – an adaptation from local Cameroonian languages – as acommon feature of Cameroonian Colloquial English (CCE). In CCE, question tags and some adverbials – disjunctsand conjuncts – are widely signaled by means of this particle in the process of code-switching, as it takes a variety ofsemantic interpretations based on context. It is shown in the article that the use of the particle is largely licensed by alack of adequate knowledge and understanding of relevant aspects of English, although also, to some extent, by theworking of some general principle of economy. Finally, it is shown that although the preferred position of disjunctsand conjuncts in the English clause is the initial or medial position, the particle only occurs in the final position, as itsinterpretation at any given time depends on the context of speaking provided by the preceding clause.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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