Articles in Zimbabwean English: A corpus-based analysis

Research Article

Articles in Zimbabwean English: A corpus-based analysis

DOI: 10.2989/16073614.2023.2213738
Author(s): Faith Chiedza Chapwanya University of Pretoria, South Africa , Joanine Hester Nel University of Pretoria, South Africa


This study investigated the usage frequency of articles in the Zimbabwean English (ZE) corpus and the International corpus of English Great Britain (ICE-GB) for British English (BrE) to determine whether there are variations between the two corpora. A log-likelihood test was used to determine whether the observed variations were statistically significant. In addition, eight morphosyntactic features that are reported to show variation by Kortmann, Lunkenheimer and Ehret (2020) were used to determine whether innovation and nativisation occur in ZE and to ascertain the stage of ZE in the dynamic model (DM). A comparative analysis revealed statistically significant variations in the normalised frequency (per 10 000 words) of the indefinite article, with the ICE-GB recording a higher normalised frequency. Regarding the zero article, the normalised frequency was higher in the ZE corpus compared to the ICE-GB. There were no significant differences in the usage frequencies of the definite article in the two corpora. The findings indicate that the eight features belong to different categories from A to D. Data analysis showed that ZE is at stage 2 of the DM because features 62, 63 and 65 existed, but were extremely rare, and at stage 3 since feature 67 was neither pervasive nor extremely rare.

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