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The Use of Conjunctions Among L1 Luganda Speakers of English

Dorica Deborah Mirembe, Bebwa Isingoma

Abstract: The study looks at the use of conjunctions among L1 Luganda speakers of English as a second language (L2) in Uganda. Using a corpus compiled from oral and written discourse, the study found that the conjunction mostly used among L1 Luganda speakers of English was “and”, followed by “but”, both of which were marginally used as sentence openers, with the written data showing no single incidence of using “and” in this respect. It was also established that a number of English conjunctions were either totally absent or only used sporadically in both types of discourse. For example, correlatives such as “scarcely…when, no sooner…than” were completely absent from our corpus. Substrate influence from Luganda has been seen to have a role, not least in the co-extensive use of “although/though” with “but” in subordination, although analogy appears to work synergistically with substrate influence here (see Andersen, 1983). Innovations involving the rejection of constructions with the conjunction “if” were observed with regard to what appear to be mixed tenses (e.g. If you did not study chemistry at lower levels, you will not understand this concept), although in L1 English such constructions are legitimate since they do not encode the semantic relation of condition (Swan, 2005). Given that L1 Luganda speakers of English are Ugandans, this aspect of the findings in the study lends itself to observations made in earlier studies (e.g. Ssempuuma, Isingoma & Meierkord, 2016; Isingoma, 2021) on the structural nativization of English in Uganda as well as trends towards endonormativity in the sense of Schneider (2007).
Keywords: conjunction / L1 Luganda speakers / speakers of English / absent

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