Styles of Communication, Vol 3, No 1 (2011)

Formality as a Feature of Postcolonial English in Kenya: a Contrastive Analysis Based on the International Corpus of English

Natalia Budohoska


In monolingual countries where English is the native language of the majority of population, it is used across all domains and registers, and by all members of society. In post-colonial, multilingual countries it comes to be used as a lingua franca in more restricted contexts. Because there is a significant difference between the role and use of English in a native and monolingual environment and a non-native, multilingual environment (Trudgill 1999) the following paper concentrates on differences in the formality level of English in postcolonial Kenya and Great Britain on the basis of parameters set up for this study. The data for this paper come from the International Corpus of English for East Africa and for Great Britain. The conclusions concerning the formality of English were drawn basing on a quantitative study employing the chi square test for evaluating significance of the features discussed and revealed a higher level of formality of English in the ICE-K. This study is an introduction to further qualitative research of characteristic morpho-syntactic features of English in Kenya.


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