This research is a tentative sociolinguistic study of language variation in the English spoken in Ghana. The purpose is to identify consonantal variations in the realization of the affricates and the fricatives that contribute to the unique pronunciations Ghanaians exhibit and describe them. Thus, the study identifies and describes the alternative pronunciations of the affricates and the fricatives by some Ghanaian students and teachers at the primary, Junior and Senior High Schools which are very pivotal in the study of the English language in Ghana, using Wells‟ (1982) Synchronic Analysis Approach which examines existing accents as they are.
These alternative realizations by the students at each level are then compared to find out whether the individual‟s educational level is responsible for these variations and for that matter the selection of a particular variant.
It again, compares the realization of these students at each level to that of their respective teachers to determine if the variations exhibited or found in the students‟ speeches are influenced by their teachers.
The study seeks to answer the following questions:
- What are the alternative realizations of the affricates and the fricatives in the English spoken inGhana?
- Does educational level correlate with a variant choice?
- To what extent do differences in educational levels affect variant choices in Ghanaian English?
- What are the motivations for the alternative realization of consonant sounds in the English spoken in Ghana?
The study identifies the mode of teaching as one of the major factors responsible for the way English is spoken in Ghana. It also confirms the general perception that the language of the schools is the language of the teacher.