Stress Patterning in Polysyllabic Words among Educated Yoruba Speakers of English in Lagos

  • Emmanuel Adedayo Osifeso Department of English Augustine University, Ilara-Epe, Lagos
Keywords: Nigerian-English, polysyllabic-words, stress, Yoruba Speakers of English


English is an isochronous language, hence the dominance of word stress in the language. However, there is a high level of variation in the word stress patterning of the different varieties of spoken English in second-language situations, compared to native-speaker varieties. This study investigates stress patterning of polysyllabic words as used by educated Yoruba speakers of English in Lagos (henceforth referred to as EYSEL), Nigeria, using 100 undergraduate and postgraduate students in tertiary institutions across the state. The participants read 120 polysyllabic words of different syllabic counts into an audio recorder. The stress patterning of the output was analysed statistically. The result yielded seven findings. One of the findings shows that EYSEL usually realise the main stress on disyllabic common nouns, personal names, verbs and compounds on the final syllable. Another finding is that EYSEL realise the main stress of tetrasyllabic words on the final syllable. The study concludes that EYSEL have a propensity for shifting the main stress in English polysyllabic words rightwards.