The Contrastive Analysis of English and Igbo Deverbal Nouns

Aloysius Umeodinka, Chinweude Ugochukwu


The teaching of foreign languages has not been without obstacles. The books and other teaching materials in use by the teachers seem not to have been tailored to suit the exact problems of the learners. This is observed to be more pronounced in the area of nominalizations, the making or derivation of nouns, in the learning of English as a second language by the Igbo. It is against this backdrop that this paper embarks on the contrastive study of English and Igbo Deverbal Nouns. The objective of this study is to investigate English and Igbo nominalizations with the view to finding out their areas of similarities and differences so as to establish how best to facilitate the teaching and learning of the English language. The approach to be adopted is the theory of contrastive study by Lado (1957) which operates by the discovery of the interference areas between the mother tongue and the target language. The study is descriptive and has pedagogic intent. It will address issues of word formation related to nominalization, that is, how nominals are formed from Igbo verbs. Also, the work derives much strength from the analytical minds of the researchers, a team of informed native speaker insiders. The researchers find out that the English derivational morphology is multi-directional, whereas that of the Igbo language is uni-directional and from the verb. The implication of these differences is that the findings will assist curriculum and syllabus designers in deciding the contents of the teaching materials for the teachers. The areas of differences will serve as the area of emphasis for the teachers as against where there are similarities. The study has also established some similarities in regular noun formation patterns in both languages. The irregular patterns and variation areas in noun formation from verbs have been discovered. It is now left for authors and curriculum planners to come up with the right materials to facilitate English-Igbo language pedagogy.

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