Comparative Study Of Morphological Processes In English And Hausa Languages

Project and Seminar Material for English Language

Comparative Study Of Morphological Processes In English And Hausa Languages


Abstract


This work aims at investigating the relationships that exist between the English and the Hausa languages at the level of their morphological processes; and the implication this relationship will have on the teaching and learning situation. The study adopted a contrastive analysis theory cum contrastive analysis hypothesis which is an area of linguistic studies that deals with the scientific study of two or more languages so as to make critical, howbeit, pedagogical comments on their areas of divergence or convergence.

The study discusses and compares some morphological processes such as back-formation, blending alternation, affixation, compounding, clipping, coinage, reduplication, acronym, and borrowing in both languages using the descriptive analysis method. The analyses were based on Kano dialect of Hausa language which is the standard Hausa dialect. From the analyses, it was discovered that, morphology which is the study of grammatical rules of word structures in any language operates in both languages with significant areas of differences and similarities; that English and Hausa use some processes to create some words; that affixation is one of the processes found in both English and Hausa; that some of the processes discussed in this study could be found in one and not in other language; that Hausa language interferes significantly on the teaching and learning of English as a second language.

This research work can be used as a source of information or rather reference material to subsequent studies in English and Hausa languages in various components of linguistic structures. It would also provide a premise for the study and analysis of morphological processes in English and Hausa. Recommendations on how to overcome the pedagogical problems were offered and conclusion drawn.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Language, an indispensable tool for human communication, is studied in divergent ways. Irrespective of the area in which it is being studied, the most central to language and relevant to human communication is the word. Words play an integral role in the human ability to use language with an infinite capacity of expressions. As a result of this, word is involved in almost all the levels of linguistic studies and analysis. Words are generally classified into phonological, grammatical, morph syntactic, content and function words.

It is important to note that every word in the lexicon of a native speaker is encoded with phonological, syntactic, semantic and, above all, morphological information. A native speaker of a language knows how to structure the words of the speaker in accordance with the morphological rules of the language, and also how to order the sequence of words correctly to form expressions or sentences in accordance with syntactic rules. The aspect of linguistics which deals with words and their entire upshots is morphology. The goal of every morphological study, therefore, is to discover and make explicit the rules or principles, patterns, processes and systems that underlie the morphological processes in a language.

It is possible, for instance, to break down Hausa word “budurwai” (girls) into smaller structural units: “budurwai” = “budurwa” + “i”. The analysis here shows that “budurwai” (girls) can be broken down into two parts. This includes the first part “budurwa”, which refers to something in the world (+ young + female + human) and the second part “i” indicates a grammatical category of a number specifying plural. The same approach can easily be applied to the word “faraa” (started), which can be analyzed thus: “Faraa = ‘fara’ (start) + ‘a’, equivalent to English past tense morpheme (-ed).


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