A CONTRASTIVE STUDY OF THE POLITENESS STRATEGIES OF ENGLISH AND IGBO LANGUAGES

A CONTRASTIVE STUDY OF THE POLITENESS STRATEGIES OF ENGLISH AND IGBO LANGUAGES

ABSTRACT

The focus of this research  is to examine to some extent, the similarities and differences between the politeness strategies of  the Igbo and the English languages. This will help us to recognize the  difficulties a language learner encounters when  learning a second  language, and be able to proffer some solutions to the problem. As an official language in Nigeria, English language is taught and learnt as a second language in academics and other learning environments. A native Igbo speaker has already developed a measurable amount of communicative competence in his or her native language before encountering the English language. His knowledge of the Igbo language might however affect his learning of  English in one way or the other, therefore making him inefficient in the language he is learning. This difficulty is known as interference. This problem of interference however can be reduced if the English language learner can learn some of the pragmatic principles which are necessities for effective communication in every language.  Although the politeness principle is a universal principle, each language or culture has developed some idiosyncratic features which differ to some extent. Thus, this research tries to find out the similarities and differences between the politeness strategies  employed by both languages, and how they affect the second  language learners. The theory of Contrastive analysis was used in this work, and the findings show that politeness strategies in the Igbo language rely heavily on ‘honorifics’ and ‘ titlemania’. This study has implications for language learners, because it will  help the language learners understand the unique nature of the English language politeness strategies, and how they differ from their own language which is the Igbo language.  It is recommended that second language learners should make effort to study pragmatic principles and the English politeness strategies properly,  because this would help reduce the errors that occur in second  language learning. This research which  is on the Contrastive study of  Politeness Strategies of  English and Igbo language is divided into five chapters. Chapter one introduces the topic under research and demonstrates the need for a contrastive study of  the  politeness strategies of English and Igbo language, by looking at the background of  the topic and emphasizing its universality. Chapter two which is on literature review,  reviews  relevant literatures  by various researchers, and their contributions to the study of politeness. Chapter three dwell on theories of Contrastive analysis, politeness theories, and research  method, showing the procedures used in the work, using secondary sources.  In chapter four, the data used  in  this research are analysed and chapter  five presents the summary and conclusion.