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Among the Gbe varieties, five have thus far undergone language-based development on a larger scale.
To assess whether the remaining Gbe communities could benefit from these literacy efforts or whether additional development programs in some of the remaining communities would be beneficial, a sociolinguistic study of the language continuum was launched at the end of the 1980s by the Togo-Benin branch of SIL International.
Thus, in analyzing the Gbe data set, two different sets of similarity judgment criteria were applied to explore their effects on the computed degrees of lexical similarity, initial clustering of these varieties, and recommended priorities for further sociolinguistic research.
The purpose of this research was to study the Lexico-semantic errors of the Keiyo-speaking standard seven primary school learners of English as a Second Language (ESL) in Keiyo District, Kenya.
This study was guided by two related theories: Error Analysis Theory/Approach by Corder (1971) which approaches L2 learning through a detailed analysis of the learners' own language and Interlanguage Theory by Selinker (1972) which looks at the language of L2 learners as an interim grammar advancing towards TL.
During the first phase of this study, word and phrase lists were elicited in 49 Gbe varieties, to obtain a rough estimate of the computed degrees of linguistic similarity between these varieties, to identify how these varieties might be treated as clusters, and to establish priorities for further sociolinguistic research.
Given the study’s overall objective of assessing the extensibility of the literacy efforts already existing, a synchronic approach was chosen for this analysis of the elicited lexical Gbe data (Kluge 2000, forthcoming).
After presenting, in Section 2, pertinent background information on the Gbe language continuum, Section 3 describes the methodology employed in analyzing the elicited lexical features which resulted in the computation of two lexical similarity matrices based on the two different sets of similarity judgment criteria.
Section 4 presents the findings of this analysis, focusing on the statistical relationships between both computations and the clustering of the Gbe varieties according to both criteria sets.
The two theories complemented each other for the identifications, analysis and categorization of the learners' errors as found in the composition, story telling and teachers questionnaires.
The data was classified, analyzed and interpreted through descriptive and inferential statistical technique to test the hypotheses. From the learners' compositions and story telling tape recorded, two types of broad error categories were established: Interlingual and Intralingual. These errors included: semantic contiguity, coinage, malapropisms, learning induced, collocation and ignorance errors.
However, as Grimes (1988) points out in his study on ‘Correlations between vocabulary similarity and intelligibility,’ high degrees of lexical similarity do not correlate with a high degree of intelligibility whereas the opposite relationship does hold, in that a low degree of lexical similarity always correlates with a low degree of intelligibility.
Thus, Grimes (1988) concludes that intelligibility is unlikely when lexical similarity is below 60%.
To assess the effects of different similarity judgment criteria, two different similarity judgment criteria sets were applied to the elicited data to identify similar lexical items.