A CONTRASTIVE STUDY OF IGBO AND ENGLISH AFFIXATION

A CONTRASTIVE STUDY OF IGBO AND ENGLISH AFFIXATION

ABSTRACT

This research work hinges on the contrastive analysis of Igbo and English affixation. The Igbo and English languages are of different linguistic backgrounds and as such are characterized by differences in the affixation processes. Such differences create problem in second language learning especially in verbal affixation. This study therefore, describes the affixation features of the Igbo and English languages and identifies areas of differences and similarities between the Igbo and English verbal affixation.  The work also states the pedagogical implications of the differences in English and Igbo affixation. The data were collected and analysed using the descriptive research method, which were later arranged in tables. The findings of the work reveals that in verbal inflectional affixation, the formation of past tense in Igbo involves a regular –rv form with only two exceptions to the rule. The perfect aspect which makes use of –la. is also regular. But gthe English language uses the regular –ed form and many other irregular ways for forming their past tense and perfect aspect and this creates problem to the second language learner. Also, the -s form or third person does not exist in Igbo and as such poses a problem to an Igbo learner of the English language. Again, the researcher discovers that in derivational affixation, prefixes in Igbo are limited to a few vowels that are conditioned by the vowel harmony rule and in some cases the syllabic nasals. But in the English language, there are many types of prefixes. The Igbo learner therefore, faces problem of how to master the large number of distinctive prefixes in English verbs. The researcher therefore, recommends that language teacher should concentrate on the areas of differences in both languages while teaching and then use adequate teaching methods and aids in teaching to ensure the learner understands.