Between exonormative traditions and local acceptance: A corpus-linguistic study of modals of obligation and spatial prepositions in spoken Ugandan English

Article Authors: Bebwa Isingoma and Christiane Meierkord


: Research into Ugandan English places it in the nativisation phase of the evolution of Englishes, amidst a nexus of local acceptance with ingredients of endonormativity and ingrained exonormative traditions. The current study shows how the use of modal verbs of obligation and spatial prepositions provides insights into how the nexus of the above phenomena has shaped Ugandan English. For example, although the preference of have to over must is a global trend, in Ugandan English, it is more prevalent in Bantu-speaking than in Nilotic-speaking areas because of substrate influence. Crucially, although the use of spatial prepositions is generally similar to how they are used in, for example, (standard) British English, the peculiar use of from to encode stative location in Ugandan English is, despite some regional variations, so widespread in the country that it tends towards endonormative stabilisation.

Bibliographical metadata

DOI 10.1515/opli-2022-0185
Related Faculties/Schools