Language choices and distributions in informal public space: A case in Winneba

Hamidu Alhassan 1, *, Isaac Oduro 2, Godwin Kusi Danquah 3, Patience Addo-Kuffuor 4, Yaa Asantewaa Bediako 1 and Veronica Wiafe 1

1 Department of English Language, St. Monica’s College of Education, Mampong Ashanti, Ghana.
2 Department of Ghanaian Language, St. Monica’s College of Education, Mampong Ashanti, Ghana.
3 Department of Communication Studies, UPSA, Ghana.
4 Department of English Language, Wesley College of Education, Kumasi, Ghana.
Research Article
World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 2024, 22(03), 2006–2013
Article DOI: 10.30574/wjarr.2024.22.3.1889


Publication history: 
Received on 14 May 2024; revised on 25 June 2024; accepted on 27 June 2024
This paper investigates the influence of linguistic variables on language choices and distributions in Informal Public Space in Winneba. The aim of the study is to bring to light the linguistic choices that are made in Winneba where existing studies have described as multilingual setting. Demographically, the study divided Winneba into Formal Public Space, Informal Public Space and Semi-Formal Public Space. The focus of the study was on the informal public space defined in the study as places such as lorry stations, market places, saloons, dressmaking centers, shops, drug stores, drinking bars, food joints, restaurants, hawkers, hostels, etc. The study is grounded in qualitative approach and rooted in survey as design. In terms of sampling, the study randomly sampled and administered questionnaires to two hundred and fifty (250) respondents operating in twelfth (12) domains which constitute the Informal Public Space in Winneba. From the study, it emerged that, the university community now determines language distribution in the informal public space in Winneba. This new trend has given the English Language the urge to spread from the formal public space across all the other spaces leading to a diglossia. The effect of this new linguistic trend in Winneba is the competition between English language and Fante (Effutu/Guan) for dominance in the Informal Public Space which is highly dominated by non-literates. This competition has led to usurpation of spaces by the two dominant languages with the overall effect being the weaken language; Efutu which faces possible extinction in the near future.
Public space; Awashed; Established Migrants; Diglossia; Extinction
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