A Comparative Study Of Numeric Systems Of English And Hausa Languages

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A Comparative Study Of Numeric Systems Of English And Hausa Languages


Chapter One


1.1 Introduction

This work is a comparative study of the numeric system of two of the most widely spoken languages not only in Nigeria but Africa and the world as a whole. It is to explain the styles adopted by the speakers of both languages in expressing numeral situations.

In the early days of some comparison between languages, some scholars had argued that there was such a strong linguistic affinity between Hausa and English numerals so much that the two languages could have common meaning and non- instinctive way of communicating ideas, emotion and desires by means of voluntarily produced symbols. This is because any language is fundamentally a series of sounds which become meaningful only when those sounds are grouped together in certain definite arrangements (Olaye, 1982). Besides, just as languages must name things and talk about them, virtually all human languages (English and Hausa inclusive) count things. By this token, numeration is somewhat a universal phenomenon.

Both English and Hausa languages may need little or no introduction because they are both languages of wider communication.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Given the nature of their numeral comparison, it is good to look at their linguistic affiliation. Hausa is a Chadic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family. The Bole-Tongale Angas and Ron groups of the west Chadic languages represent the closest relative of Hausa. While English language really started with arrival of three German languages. In that numbers and counting have become an integral part of English and Hausa everyday life especially when we take into account, in the modern computer. These words you are reading have been recorded on a computer using a code of ones and zeros.

It is an interesting story how those digits have come to dominate our word. Presently, the earliest known archeological evidence of any form of writing or counting are scratch marks on a bone from 150,000 years ago. But the first really evidence of counting in the first form of the numbers from twenty thousand years ago. An Ishango bone was found in the Congo with two identical marking of sixty scratches each an equally numbered group on the back. These Markings are certain education of counting and they mark defining moment in a western civilization. In present day, counting we learn about cardinal and ordinal numbers followed by grammar rules and animal names and that of conversation in Hausa.

Learners of English as second language have many difficulties in counting or position due to (LI) interference
The product of two consecutive positive integers was taken and converted into some numeral base -n system
In the base- n system it’s written as a double digit number with consecutive position integers digits, each at most case.

Both languages need challenges due to their huge influence in society.

Hausa has what is probably the most unusual and complicated of any of the world’s natural languages numeral systems.

In summary and conclusion numerable, it should be noted, it is a very important aspect of any linguistic system, and numbering is an integral and inseparable part of the grammar of any language because there is hardly any meaningful linguistic discourse in a language that does not make reference to quantity, size, time, distance and position.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study are to:

  1. Examine the numeral system of English and Hausa with a view to identifying their similarities and differences.
  2. Establish whether or not the numeral grammar rule determines difficulties in counting.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The research project will enable students concerned to identify the weakness and possible correction to their counting of numbers; particularly with regards to the problems of translation difficulties among users of English language as a second language or lingua franca. Also, the findings of this study are expected to serve as a store of knowledge for further researches and a literature to be reviewed by researchers in related field.


1.5 Scope and Limitation

This study is primarily limited to the counting grammar rule in English and Hausa languages. The research area also covers such aspects like rules governing the languages as well as the similarities and differences that exist in cardinal numeral system. These among others are some areas that this research work limits itself to in an effort to see that all the relevant as well as related areas of the topic are covered by the work.

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Chapters one deals with statement of the problem purpose of the study scope and limitation of the study as well as definitions of some important terms used n writing this project. In chapter two it reveals the related literature of various scholars and authors who worked on differences, similarities and other related materials. Similarly, the research used chapter three to describe the research design, research instrument, population and sampling techniques, data collection and designed a well structure questionnaire chapter reveals data presentation and analysis, discussion of findings summary and conclusion, reference and appendix.

From the foregoing, this research has come to conclude that numeral systems plays an important part in the counting of numbers of any language. And knowing the numeral systems of both languages English and Hausa helps the learners to overcome the problems of using numbers in system analysis.

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