A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF STRESS ASSIGNMENT IN NIGERIAN NEWSCASTS AND NEWS REPORTS
Existing studies have observed that stress as one of the English suprasegmentals constitutes a major challenge to Nigerian users of English and that there is a marked difference in the use of stress in Nigerian English and Standard British English (hence SBE). Newscasters and news reporters however are assumed to be models for good pronunciation in the second language context. This research sets out to examine, through a comparative approach, whether Nigerian newscasters or news reporters approximate closely to the SBE in the appropriate use of stress. It also aims to find out whether news reporters and newscasters of private TV stations (hence TVS) do better than public TV stations newscasters and news reporters in the appropriate assignment of stress. Metrical theory guides the analysis in showing how stress is assigned by the newscasters and news reporters. Data was collected through the extraction of news from a recording of newscasts and news reports of six different television stations, that is, three public and three private TV stations. Data was derived from the counting of occurring instances of appropriate stress assignment of words and deviations from SBE pronunciation. This was subjected to perceptual, statistical, and metrical analysis. The results show that newscasters from both private and public TV Stations approximate closer to the SBE in stress assignment than news reporters. The results also show that private TV station newscasters and news reporters generally performed better in the appropriate assignment of stress than Public TV Stations newscasters and news reporters. Thus, this study concludes that Nigerian newscasters from private TV stations (though non-native speakers of English) are models for Standard Nigerian English pronunciation because they all performed better in their level of compliance with the SBE pronunciation.