Reduplication In Nigerian English

Project and Seminar Material for English Language

Reduplication In Nigerian English


This research work is concerned with reduplication in Nigerian English from the speeches and utterances of some students in the Department of Modern European Languages and Linguistics, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. The study shows that reduplication occurs to signify contrastive meaning, pluralism, emphasis and creation of new words with different semantic forms. Reduplication was therefore further discovered to be one of the features of Nigerian English.

Table of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of content
  • Abstract

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Research Questions
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Significance of the Study
  • 1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Overview of Nigerian English
  • 2.2 Reduplication and Repetition
  • 2.3 Reduplication and Triplication
  • 2.4 Reduplication and Tautology
  • 2.5 Full and Partial Reduplication
  • 2.6 Functions of Reduplication

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Sources of Data
  • 3.2 Methods of Data Collection
  • 3.3 Analytical Procedure

Chapter Four

4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Contrastive Meaning in Reduplication
  • 4.2 Pluralism in Reduplication
  • 4.3 Emphatic Expression in Reduplication
  • 4.4 Discussion

Chapter Five

Summary of Findings and Conclusion

  • 5.1 Summary of Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • References

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

Reduplication is a morphological process in which the root of a word or a part of it is repeated. In many languages, reduplication is used in inflections to convey grammatical functions and in lexical derivations to create semantic functions. Kachru (1982) noted that the reduplication of items belongs to various word classes. For instance, some English words are often reduplicated or repeated consecutively, either for emphasis, pluralisation or to create new meanings. Bobda (1994) identified three categories of words which generally undergo the process of reduplication; numerals, intensifiers and quantifiers.

1.1 Background to the study

Reduplication is an important phenomenon in language studies. Its attributes have long been studied in terms of various formalist theories. However, there is a general consensus that the role of reduplication in English language has been widely ignored. Recent corpus based studies have indicated that the usage of reduplication among English language speakers is more widespread than assumed to be and needs in-depth study (Nadarajan, 2007).

This research work is embarked upon because every time many Nigerians speak English language, one hears the reduplication of some words and this reduplication tends to change the meaning of their utterances.

1.2 Research Questions

This research work seeks to provide answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the place of reduplication in Nigerian English as a variety of English Language?
  2. What functions does reduplication serve in Nigerian English?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study is to carry out an analysis of reduplication as an issue in the morphological process of Nigerian English. It is aimed also to identify the functions and contributions of reduplication in language development. Specifically the study hopes to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Identify the characteristics of reduplication as a morphological process in Nigerian English.
  2. Analyse how reduplication can create sematic form, emphasis and pluralisation in Nigerian English

1.4 Significance of the Study

It is hoped that this work will serve as a contribution to the morphological analysis of Nigerian English most especially from our daily use of reduplication on the course of our interactions. It is also hoped that this research work will trigger further studies in reduplication from different students and scholars of language and other related disciplines.

1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study focuses on reduplication as an issue or feature in the morphological process in terms of analyzing Nigerian English. The work is limited to utterances of students of the Department of Modern European Language and Linguistics(MELL) of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.

Chapter Five

Summary of Findings and Conclusion

5.0 Introduction

This chapter concludes this project. It focuses on the summary of findings and conclusion.

5.1 Summary of Findings

This research work looked at reduplication as one of the morphological processes in analyzing Nigerian English as one of the varieties of English language. It covers the position of reduplication in a language. It also looked at the functions and effects reduplication performs in our day to day utterances. This research work also tried to sort out the differences between reduplication and repetition, reduplication and triplication among others. To this end, the following findings were made:

  1. That reduplication could change the semantic form of an utterance , statement or sentence
  2. That through reduplication the form of a phrase or sentence can be changed from singular to plural form.
  3. That emphasis can be reiterated in an utterance or statement by the use of reduplication
  4. That there could be contrast in meaning in utterances or sentences by using reduplication
  5. That new words or concepts can be arrived at when reduplication is used.

5.3 Conclusion

The use of reduplication for expressive and aesthetic effect in English is more extensive than previously thought. Possible and new studies are constantly coming up with instances that show its usage to be more widespread than originally believed. As a form, reduplication is partly predictable and regular, corresponding to expected sound alternation patterns.

However, despite a number of studies on reduplication, there are still exceptions which need to be worked out for each language. In the words of Jacobson and Waugh (1987), it is not possible to predict that each pattern will undergo the same alternation for all languages and variations are not deterministic and the formulated rules should be modified based on different individual cases. Most of all, not all reduplications are meaningful or have pragmatic outcomes. The deterministic rules are incomplete and require further study, and the rising number of corpus-based studies on reduplication will definitely help develop greater awareness about the direction of reduplication in actual discourse. Until then, it is evident that reduplication is interesting word play which can serve to enrich any language.

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