Contrastive Study Of Adjectives In Hausa And English Languages

Project and Seminar Material for English Language

Contrastive Study Of Adjectives In Hausa And English Languages


Abstract


This study conducts a contrastive analysis of adjectives in Hausa and English, aiming to uncover linguistic nuances, structural variations, and potential challenges faced by Hausa learners of English. The research problem centers on the need for a comprehensive understanding of adjective usage in both languages to enhance cross-cultural communication and language learning. The objectives include investigating similarities and differences, analyzing adjective placement, exploring gender and number agreement patterns, and identifying potential pitfalls in Hausa learners’ usage of English adjectives. Employing a descriptive research design, the study selects fifty adjectives from relevant texts and applies models such as Banathy’s contrastive analysis and Wilson’s cognitive descriptive model. The findings reveal distinct order and agreement patterns, direct translation challenges, and potential mistakes made by Hausa learners. The conclusion emphasizes the significance of grasping these linguistic disparities for effective communication. Recommendations include integrating study insights into language education, curriculum design, and further research exploring diverse linguistic aspects.


Table of Contents


Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.1.1 Brief Historical Background of Hausa
  • 1.1.2 Brief Historical Background of English
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Research Questions
  • 1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study
  • 1.5 Scope of the Study
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study

Chapter Two

Review of Related Literature

  • 2.0 Preamble
  • 2.1 Concept of Language
  • 2.1.1 Concept of Grammar
  • 2.1.2 Concept of Parts of Speech
  • 2.1.2.1 Concept of Adjective
  • 2.1.2.2 Types of Adjectives
  • 2.1.2.3 Uses of Adjectives
  • 2.2 Empirical Review
  • 2.3 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3.1 Contrastive Analysis
  • 2.3.2 Error Analysis

Chapter Three

Methodology

  • 3.0 Preamble
  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.3 Sources of Data Collection
  • 3.4 Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.0 Preamble
  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Data Analysis
  • 4.3 Findings and Discussion

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion, and Recommendations

  • 5.0 Preamble
  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • Works Cited

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

English language is one of the essential part aspects of educational system almost all over the world and the obvious reason to this fact is the importance of English language. English according to Baugh (203) is a lingua franca, a language used for international communication. English Language has remained the language of government, law, administration, politics, mass media, commerce and all sorts of social engagement for people from different language groups in Nigeria. It is the language of education and medium of instruction for all subjects expect the indigenous languages or French. A credit or at least a pass in it is one of the prerequisites for admission into any higher institution of learning in the country.

English has therefore become so important that we cannot avoid speaking or writing it in a way that is universally accepted. An appreciable degree of competence is expected from the learners of English. It is the language of democracy, politics, education, science, researchers and it is used almost in all fields of knowledge and walks of life. Likewise, the rest of the world, English language learning and teaching are also one of the important parts of the educational system in Pakistan. It is taught from grade one till graduation level in Pakistan as a compulsory subject (Gulzar, 97).

Language is a fundamental tool for communication and expression of thoughts, ideas, and emotions. It is an essential aspect of human existence that enables individuals to interact with their environment and with other people. Adjectives are an integral component of language that describes, modifies, or quantifies nouns or pronouns. Adjectives provide crucial information that helps to create a clear and vivid mental image of what is being described (David, 10). The study of language has always been an essential part of understanding human communication. In recent times, researchers have shown a growing interest in comparative linguistics, which aims to compare and contrast the grammar, syntax, and other linguistic features of different languages (Crystal, 17). One area of comparative linguistics that has attracted much attention is the study of adjectives in different languages.

Hausa is a Chadic language spoken in Nigeria and several other West African countries. It is the second most spoken language in Africa, with over 60 million speakers (Ethnologue, 78). English, on the other hand, is a West Germanic language spoken worldwide and is one of the official languages of Nigeria. It is the most widely spoken language in the world, with over 1.5 billion speakers (Ethnologue, 80).

Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns. They can convey different qualities of a noun, such as size, color, shape, texture, etc. The way adjectives function in a sentence differs across languages. For instance, in English, adjectives usually come before the noun they modify, while in some languages like Hausa, adjectives come after the noun (Bentahila, 83).

The contrastive study of adjectives in Hausa and English language aims to identify the similarities and differences in the use of adjectives in the two languages. This study will focus on the morphological, syntactic, and semantic aspects of adjectives in Hausa and English. Morphology refers to the study of the structure of words and the way words are formed. In the case of adjectives, morphology deals with the formation of adjectives from other word classes. For example, in English, adjectives can be formed by adding suffixes like -ful, -less, -ous, etc. to nouns or verbs (Yule, 187). In Hausa, adjectives can be formed by adding suffixes like -a, -i, or -u to nouns (Newman, 90).
Syntactic aspects of adjectives refer to the way adjectives are used in sentences. In English, adjectives usually come before the noun they modify, as in “the red car.” However, in Hausa, adjectives come after the noun they modify, as in “mota babba,” which means “big car” (Abdul-Raheem, 25).

Semantic aspects of adjectives refer to the meaning of adjectives and the way they are used to convey different qualities of a noun. For instance, in English, the adjective “good” can convey different meanings depending on the context, such as “kind,” “skillful,” or “pleasant” (Cruse, 2018). In Hausa, the adjective “mai” is used to convey the meaning of “having or possessing,” as in “mai mata” which means “possessing a wife” (Newman, 98).

A contrastive study of adjectives in Hausa and English language is essential for effective communication and language learning. This study aims to examine the similarities and differences in the use of adjectives in Hausa and English, identify the challenges that Hausa speakers may face when learning English, and vice versa. By comparing and contrasting the use of adjectives in Hausa and English, this study hopes to provide useful insights for language teachers, learners, and researchers in the field of contrastive linguistics.

1.1.1 Brief Historical Background of Hausa

The Hausa people are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa, with a rich cultural heritage that dates back to ancient times. The origin of the Hausa people is a subject of much debate among scholars, but there is evidence to suggest that they migrated from the Middle East to West Africa sometime between the 9th and 14th centuries (Gyekye, 116). The Hausa people settled in what is now modern-day Nigeria, Niger, and Ghana, and established a powerful empire that dominated the region for several centuries.

The Hausa Empire was founded in the 14th century by a legendary figure named Bayajidda, who is said to have arrived in the region from the Middle East. According to legend, Bayajidda defeated a giant snake that was terrorizing the people of Daura, a city in northern Nigeria, and was subsequently crowned king of the city. He then went on to establish a dynasty that would rule over the Hausa people for several centuries (Yahaya, 125).

The Hausa Empire was known for its advanced political and social systems, including a well-developed system of taxation and a complex legal code known as the “Hausa Law.” The empire also had a thriving trade network, with goods such as salt, textiles, and slaves being traded throughout West Africa and beyond (Gyekye, 216).

In the 19th century, the Hausa Empire began to decline as a result of internal conflicts and external pressures from neighboring empires such as the Fulani Empire. The British also played a significant role in the decline of the Hausa Empire, as they began to establish colonial rule over the region in the late 19th century (Yahaya, 225).

Despite the decline of the Hausa Empire, the Hausa people have continued to maintain a strong cultural identity and have made significant contributions to West African culture. Hausa is now one of the most widely spoken languages in West Africa, with an estimated 50 million speakers (Gyekye, 96). Hausa literature, music, and film have also become popular throughout the region, with many Hausa artists achieving international recognition.

The history of the Hausa people is a complex and fascinating one, with a rich cultural heritage that has survived for centuries. From the founding of their empire to their contributions to West African culture today, the Hausa people have played a significant role in shaping the history of the region.

1.1.2 Brief Historical Background of English

The historical background of the English language is a fascinating journey that spans over centuries, encompassing numerous cultural, social, and linguistic shifts. Tracing its origins from the distant past to its present global status, this section sheds light on the evolution and transformation of English into one of the most widely spoken and influential languages in the world (Crystal, 114; McCrum, MacNeil, & Cran, 206).

The roots of the English language can be traced back to the Germanic tribes that inhabited present-day England during the Early Middle Ages. Around the 5th century, these tribes, including the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, migrated to the British Isles, bringing with them their respective Germanic languages. These languages gradually merged and evolved into what is now known as Old English. The earliest recorded Old English texts include epic poems like “Beowulf” and religious manuscripts like the “Anglo-Saxon Chronicle” (Crystal, 117; Baugh & Cable, 122).

The historical context of England underwent a significant shift with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Normans, led by William the Conqueror, brought with them the Norman-French language, which heavily influenced the English spoken at that time. This linguistic fusion, referred to as Middle English, resulted in a rich vocabulary that integrated both Germanic and Romance elements. The “Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer, written in the 14th century, is a prominent example of Middle English literature (McCrum et al., 261).

The late Middle Ages saw English emerging as a language of literature, administration, and law, gradually displacing Latin and French. The printing press, invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century, played a pivotal role in the standardization and dissemination of the English language. With the publication of the first English book, “The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye,” by William Caxton, the written form of English began to spread, aiding in the development of Early Modern English (Baugh & Cable, 235).

The Renaissance era brought about a renewed interest in literature, science, and the arts, further influencing the English language. The works of Shakespeare, who wrote in Early Modern English, have left an indelible mark on the language’s vocabulary and syntax. The introduction of new words and phrases from various languages, exploration, and trade expanded English’s lexicon and its global reach (Crystal, 74).

The expansion of the British Empire during the Age of Exploration further propelled the spread of the English language across the world. English became a dominant language in various colonies, leading to dialectal variations and the emergence of different Englishes, such as American English, Australian English, and Indian English (Baugh & Cable, 368).

In contemporary times, English has solidified its status as a global lingua franca, used for international communication, business, diplomacy, and technology. The internet and digital platforms have accelerated the exchange of English words and expressions, influencing languages worldwide. The widespread use of English in academia, science, and research has further cemented its position as a language of knowledge and innovation (Crystal, 121).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Learning a second language can be challenging, especially when the two languages have different linguistic structures. The differences in the use of adjectives in Hausa and English language can pose a significant challenge for language learners, as they may not be able to use adjectives appropriately in the target language.

Adjectives are an important part of the grammar of any language. They serve to modify or describe nouns, and can greatly affect the meaning and interpretation of a sentence. However, adjectives may vary in their usage, form, and meaning across different languages. Thus, a comparative analysis of adjectives in two languages, Hausa and English, is necessary to provide insights into their similarities and differences.

Therefore, there is a need to identify the similarities and differences in the use of adjectives in the two languages to aid effective language learning. The purpose of this study is to investigate and compare the use of adjectives in Hausa and English languages, with a focus on their forms, functions, and meanings. The study aims to identify the similarities and differences in the use of adjectives in these languages, and to explore the implications of these differences for language learners and teachers.


1.3 Research Questions

This study seeks to answer the following research questions:

  1. What are the similarities in the use of adjectives in Hausa and English languages?
  2. What are the differences in the use of adjectives in Hausa and English languages?
  3. What are the mistakes made in the use of adjectives by Hausa Learners of English language?

1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The main aim of this study is a contrastive study of adjectives in Hausa and English languages. The objectives of this study are:

  1. To identify the similarities in the use of adjectives in Hausa and English languages.
  2. To identify the differences in the use of adjectives in Hausa and English languages.
  3. To put forward the mistakes made in the use of adjectives by Hausa learners of English language.

1.5 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on the use of adjectives in Hausa and English languages. The study examines the morphological features of adjectives in the two languages. The study analyzes the properties of adjectives in Hausa and English, including their connotations, collocations, and cultural associations. This includes a comparison of how adjectives are used to express attitudes, emotions, and evaluations in both languages.

The study examines the morphological and syntactic properties of adjectives in Hausa and English languages which include, the inflectional patterns, comparative and superlative forms, and the use of adjectival suffixes and prefixes and will investigate how adjectives are used in Hausa and English to describe, modify, and qualify nouns. This includes a comparison of the frequency, placement, and syntactic roles of adjectives in both languages.

The study is also limited to a contrastive analysis of adjectives in Hausa and English and will not cover other parts of speech or language aspects such as syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Data for the study will be collected from authentic sources such as textbooks, corpora, and dictionaries. The study therefore focuses on identifying similarities and differences in the use of adjectives in the two languages and will not attempt to evaluate the relative merits or deficiencies of either language.


1.6 Significance of the Study

The significance of this contrastive study of adjectives in Hausa and English languages lies in its potential to enhance language teaching and learning. Adjectives play a crucial role in the grammar and meaning of sentences, and their usage can differ greatly between languages. By investigating the similarities and differences between Hausa and English adjectives, this study will provide valuable insights into the structures and meanings of adjectives in both languages. This will help language learners and teachers to develop more effective teaching and learning strategies, leading to improved proficiency in both languages.

Another significant aspect of this study is its potential to bridge the cultural gap between Hausa and English speakers. Adjectives can express attitudes, values, and cultural perspectives, and comparing their usage in both languages can help to enhance intercultural communication. This study will provide a deeper understanding of how adjectives are used in Hausa and English, and highlight the similarities and differences between the cultural values and perspectives of the two languages. This will help to foster greater cultural understanding and appreciation between Hausa and English speakers.

Furthermore, this study will promote linguistic diversity by highlighting the unique properties of adjectives in Hausa and English. Language is an important aspect of culture, and each language has its own distinct features that reflect the diversity of human expression. By examining the similarities and differences between Hausa and English adjectives, this study will help to preserve and promote the linguistic diversity of these two languages. This will also help to raise awareness of the importance of linguistic diversity in the world.

Finally, this contrastive study of adjectives in Hausa and English language can contribute to the advancement of linguistic research. The study will provide new insights into the properties of adjectives in these two languages, leading to further research and exploration of their grammatical and semantic features. This will also contribute to the development of linguistic theory and the advancement of our understanding of language as a whole. This study has significant implications for language teaching and learning, cultural understanding, linguistic diversity, and linguistic research.


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