Multilingualism in Techiman Zongo community


The paper describes the multilingual situation in Techiman Zongo Community with particular reference to how language diffuses at the level of use and stage of prestige of languages. English, Akan, Hausa, and other languages in the Zongo community, were the prime concern in this write up. Sociological Theory of diffusion of innovation as a process in a social system where an innovative idea or concept is spread by members of the social group through certain channels was employed in the analysis of the data collected. Using questionnaire, data from 100 individuals in ten (10) households, the investigation reveals that speakers of all ages use English almost exclusively for official matters. For unofficial matters, the use of English appears to correlate negatively with age: the older participants use Bono, Asante, Hausa (indigenous languages) more while the younger participants use either of the indigenous or home-grown languages or English more. The result also shows that the younger generation may not be proficient enough in the Ghanaian Languages to pass it onto the next generation. The paper concludes that the Ghanaian government should take this situation seriously and modify its language policies with respect to languages other than English. Languages such as Bono and Hausa which are predominant in Techiman Zongo as well as the entire Brong Ahafo Region should be codified or standardized as Regional Languages and mandatory in schools.


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