Perceptual Convergence as an Index of the Intelligibility and Acceptability of Three Nigerian English Accents

Fatimayin Foluke


This study investigated perceptual convergence as a measure of the intelligibility and acceptability of three Nigerian English (NE) accents with a view to arriving at a possible norm of usage for teaching and communication purposes. The subjects were one hundred and eighty Nigerians of varied socio-economic, educational and ethno-linguistic backgrounds drawn from various offices, institutions in Kaduna, Enugu, Ibadan. Two researcher-designed instruments were used. First is the Oral Reading Test for Accent identification made up of phonological difficulties usually exhibited by NE language users. Next is a questionnaire in the form of an intelligibility and acceptability rating scale. Based on the findings, the educated NE accent was the most intelligible and acceptable, followed by the mother-tongue based NE accent and the Regional NE accents. It was recommended among others that language policy makers confront the problem of the NE corpus to be used in teaching and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council be commissioned to produce texts on the phonology and phonetics of the Educated NE accent.



Perceptual convergence, index, Nigerian English, Accents, Intelligibility, Acceptability

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