Corpus Linguistics and Language Development in Ghana
Keywords:corpora, corpus linguistics, Ghanaian languages, language development
The compilation of corpora and the analysis of linguistic phenomena via corpus data have become a fascinating linguistic practice around the world and by this, corpus linguistics is now incredibly popular. As it is now well established, empirical linguistic investigations that do not employ corpus approaches suffer many setbacks, key among them being that interesting lexical, phraseological, semantic and discourse insights derived via corpus techniques would be missed in a manual analysis. Yet unfortunately, not much work on language studies in Ghana is based on corpora and corpus techniques. This paper suggests that a crucial first step towards the development of languages in Ghana lies in the initiation of large-scale electronic corpus projects. Not only would corpora enrich linguistic descriptions of Ghanaian languages (including Ghanaian English), they also have the potential to provide deeper insights into the socio-cultural and religious values of the Ghanaian people through a discourse analysis that relies on corpus methods. The arguments advanced in this paper also have implications for how language teaching at the various levels in Ghana should proceed.
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