Ghanaian Pidgin English

Ghanaian Pidgin English is used by roughly a fifth of Ghana’s more than 25 million inhabitants (2012) in a variety of situations. It is a predominantly oral and urban phenomenon, spoken in the south of Ghana, especially in the capital Accra. It is confined to a smaller (though growing) section of society than Pidgin English in other anglophone West African countries, its functional domain is more restricted and the language is more stigmatized. There are two main varieties: "Uneducated" Pidgin is associated with the less educated sections of society, while "educated" Pidgin (also called "Student Pidgin") is usually spoken by Ghanaians who have at least progressed to the upper forms of secondary school. The uneducated variety is the default lect documented in APiCS. This variety can be heard e.g. in the so-called zongos, quarters in the bigger southern cities which are home to migrants from Ghana’s north but also from neighbouring countries like Mali and Burkina Faso. At times, reference is made in the database to alternative structures in Student Pidgin, which is spoken mostly by male speakers in informal settings in the secondary schools and universities, but increasingly also outside these institutions. In one case (Feature 5 "Order of demonstrative and noun) the database provides information on a more acrolectal variety of the default lect (uneducated Pidgin).

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No. Feature Value % lect Details Source
No. Feature Value % lect Details Source

Consonants

bilabial
labiodental
dental
dental/alveolar
dental/alveolar
affricate
palato-alveolar
retroflex
palatal
velar
labial-velar
uvular
glottal
plosive/affricatepbtdt͡sd͡zt͡ʃd͡ʒʈɖcɟkgk͡pg͡bqʔ
aspirated plosive/affricatet͡sʰt͡ʃʰ
glottalized stop/affricateɓt͡sʼt͡ʃʼ
nasalmnɳɲŋ
trill, tap or flaprɾ
fricativeɸβfvθðszʃʒxɣχh
lateral/approximantɬlɭjw

Vowels

frontnear-frontcentralnear-backback
high
higher-mid
mid
lower-mid
low

Special segments

ɹvoiced dental/alveolar approximant - Exists only as a minor allophone
ʨvoiceless alveolo-palatal affricate - Exists only as a minor allophone
ʥvoiced alveolo-palatal affricate - Exists only as a minor allophone
ɕvoiceless alveolo-palatal fricative - Exists only as a minor allophone

Legend

 Exists (as a major allophone)
 Exists only as a minor allophone
 Exists only in loanwords
 Does not exist
No. Feature Value % lect Details Source