Language Corpora: The Case for Ghanaian English

Mark Nartey, Richmond Sadick Ngula


In the last two decades, the compilation of corpora and the analysis of linguistic phenomena via corpus data have become a fascinating linguistic practice around the world and by this, corpus linguistics is now firmly established as a credible approach for the study of language. Linguists and other researchers of varied persuasions are appreciating more and more the interesting dimensions corpora are introducing to language studies. Yet, not much corpus-based work goes on in Ghana. In this paper, we suggest that a vital first step towards the development of Ghanaian English (GhE) lies in the initiation of large-scale electronic corpus projects. The paper argues that corpora can go a long way to enhance the linguistic descriptions of GhE, making the features of the variety more visible and providing a good opportunity for its codification. The results of building corpora for the study of GhE will not only highlight its rich features, but also help Ghanaians and policy makers to determine its proper status in the country.


Keywords: codification; corpora; corpus linguistics; Ghanaian English; linguistic description           

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