The Phonological Interference in Television Newscast in Nigeria

The Phonological Interference in Television Newscast in Nigeria

Abstract: This research work examined the Phonological Interference in Television Newscast in Nigeria. Phonological interference as one of the problems encountered by television newscasters in Nigeria, more especially some Yoruba and Hausa newscasters in NTA since it is our area concentration the work has been treated using six major interference phenomena. This project has helped to identify some of the challenges facing the newscasters in the media houses on the phonological level. This research work also provided solution in remedying the problems. The consequences of the above problem is the newscasters could no longer express their competence with other newscasters who speaks much better in other media houses. 

The Phonological Interference in Television Newscast in Nigeria



1.1 Background to the Study

Since this work falls within the general frame and context of Nigerian English, it is important to provide some background for its understanding. Fuchs (2012:27) argues that “the spread of English around the world has allowed scores of new varieties to emerge, often referred to as ‘New Englishes’.” Going by Kachru’s (1996) concentric circles, Nigerian English. features in the Outer Circle with other Englishes such as Indian English, Singaporean English, and Sri Lankan English. According to Schneider (2003, 2007), all of these varieties of world Englishes follow a similar developmental process. At first, they are modelled on the source variety (exonormative phase), often British English. Thereafter, they develop their own norms, which come to be considered the standard as they enter the endonormative phase, of course, just as the literature on Nigerian English reveals.

In multilingual settings like Nigeria, internal and regional differentiation set in eventually. The routine use of English in Nigeria results from British colonialism and missionary activities. English, being Nigeria’s official language, serves as the language of the media in Nigeria. It is the language of news broadcasting organisations with national and international coverage and audience. As Platt et al. (2019), Kachru (1996) and Udofot (2013) have argued, the long years of contact between English and the many indigenous Nigerian languages have resulted in a nativised variety, Nigerian English, which is one of the new world Englishes.

The important role of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) within the context of Standard British English, which is the normative standard for Nigerian English, has been highlighted by Roach (2009) and others. Correspondingly, CNN and VON have influenced American English and other world Englishes, including Nigerian English.

However, if the question “what is language?” is asked, it has many senses and can be variously defined. It can be language of a particular field like science, humanity just to mention few. It can also be the animal language, sign language and many other types of languages.

Human language especially spoken dominates them all. Human language is natural. According to Adebayo (1995), “Language (Human Language) is one of the chief means by which a person learns to organise his experiences and thoughts”

In Adebayo’s words above, human language is one out of many means by which a person’s experiences and thoughts can be organised. This supports the many senses that language has. And also, without language, (spoken) thoughts will never be born and experiences of life will be wasted because no one will be able to learn from them. Communication is the major bridge that links the whole world. Communication is a crucial factor in the society at large and there is pieces evidence that prove this. The global village and the internet prove this among others.

Language whether written, spoken, sign or through any means is a tool for communication and English language, out of many languages of the world has emerged the most used language all over the world. The global village use this language (English) and it stands to be the language of the net.

English language accords respect and pride to its speakers but some have been left with the effective use of this language especially in the countries where the language (English) is not the mother tongue or the first language one comes in contact with, for instance in countries like Nigeria, Ghana and many others.

The language teachers, the broadcasters and some few others have been left with the duty of speaking the correct version of English language in Nigeria. And if this proof is true, these categories of people should speak error free English. However, it is unfortunate that some of our broadcasters still goof on air and this distorts communication. In the light of the above, this research is out to work on the use of language in English newscast under the title “Mother Tongue Interference in English Newscast: a Case of a Recorded NTA Television News”


1.1 Statement of the Problem

This work knows that some issues that have become problems in our media houses have been handled by some scholars. For instance, Medubi (2007) and Okoye (2007). Both of them dwelt more on the problems confronting the press in Nigeria but not directly as this work will handle it. No one has really worked on how Mother Tongue Interference distorts communication in our media houses in Nigeria. This work will look into this problem and will try to proffer solutions.

The Phonological Interference in Television Newscast in Nigeria

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this research is to achieve some set goals.

  1. This research is to further enlighten the media on the importance of Standard English.
  2. This research is to also help the second language teachers. Since they are the foundation layers of all learners and when the foundation of a leaner is solid, anything built on it will stand erect.
  3. This research will be useful for the media and the second speakers of the English language on how to produce sounds of English that will be free from Mother Tongue Interference.
About Peter Lawson 2732 Articles
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.