A Study of Selected Igbo Television Presenters’ Pronunciation of English Speech Sounds


    The English language is used to solve the problem of language variation or problems emanating from language variation in Nigeria. Mass media plays a major role in conveying information to the general public. The conveyance of information is possible and easy when appropriate linguistic tools as well as the correct pronunciation of words are employed. However, there is always the implication of wrong pronunciation on the listeners whenever television presenters do not articulate words correctly. Some television presenters are faced with the problem of mother tongue interference which may lead to the incorrect articulation of English speech sounds. This is responsible for the phonological errors that are evident in the speeches of many television presenters, especially from the Igbo speech communities with significant implications on the educational performance of Nigerian youths who see them as stars and also imitate their phonological errors. The study, therefore, investigates the pronunciation of English speech sounds of selected Igbo television presenters. Data for the study were gathered from four (4) randomly selected television stations and one (1) purposively selected television station. These stations were selected because they are widely watched and some of them are award-winning television stations. The data collected were analyzed using simple percentage frequency. The result of the study reveals that the presenters in this study substitute /t/ for // and /d/ for /ð/; /Ɔ/ and /Ɔ:/ for //; /Ɔ:/, /a/, or /e/ for /ɜ:/ and /i/, /a/ or /e/ for /ǝ/. The reason for this is the fact that the central Igbo consonantal inventory has no dental fricatives // and /ð/ and at the vowel level, it has no central vowels //, /ɜ:/ and /ǝ/. So, interference occurs in the pronunciation of these sounds. Based on the findings, it is recommended that the phonological aspect of the English language should be handled by specialists; Nigerians should be sensitized on the need for proficiency in oral English hence, it should be one of the criteria for selection of television presenters.

    Keywords: English, Igbo, Presenters, Pronunciation, Speech Sound

    DOI:  www.doi.org/10.36349/tjllc.2023.v02i02.010

    author/Lawrencia Uloma OWORU Ph.D

    journal/Tasambo JLLC | 15 June 2023 |  P. 85-93