The aim of this study is to examine the differences and similarities between English and Ijọ segmental phonemes and suprasegmental feature. The study uses contrastive analysis (CA) as its theoretical framework. CA is a good tool to find out difficulties which second language learners may encounter such that predictions are made. The use of this framework is, therefore, borne out of the fact that it facilitates second-language (L2) learning in that the features of learners’ first language (L1) and L2 are succinctly contrasted for a pedagogic purpose. Differences abound between English and Ijọ segmental phonemes and suprasegmental features. These differences notwithstanding, there are a few similarities between their phonemes. It is revealed that such differences are found more between the vocalic phonemes of the two languages than their consonantal phonemes; and their suprasegmental features are totally different from each other. Owing to these differences, it is predicted that Ijọ learners of English find it difficult to learn English phonemes, stress and intonation. However, these learners find it easy to learn areas where there are phonemic similarities between their L1 and the target language.


Title page
Table of contents

1.1       Background to the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Research Questions
1.4       Purpose of the Study
1.5       Significance of the Study
1.6       Scope of the Study
1.7       Limitation of the Study

2.1       Theoretical Studies
2.2       Empirical Studies
2.3       Summary

3.1       Area of Study
3.2       Research Population
3.3       Method of Data Analysis

4.1       Presentation of Data
4.1.1    English and Ijọ Segmental Phonemes English and Ijọ Consonantal Phonemes English Consonants Ijọ Consonants English and Ijọ Vocalic Phonemes English Vocalic Phonemes Ijọ Vocalic Phonemes
4.1.2    English and Ijọ Suprasegmental Features English Stress and Intonation Stress Intonation Ijọ Tone
4.2       Comparison
4.2.1    Analysis of Differences and Similarities between English and Ijọ Consonants
4.2.2    Analysis of Differences and Similarities between English and Ijọ Vowels
4.2.3    Analysis of Differences and Similarities between English and Ijọ Suprasegmentals

5.1       Findings
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendation


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study
Language is as old as man, and it is inevitable because it is the means through which humans communicate, translate, and transmit ideas into reality. And as such the history of language can be traced as far back as the creation of man on earth. Finnegan (2008:11) opines, “A good many people in all parts of the world share a belief that the origin of language can be traced to the Garden of Eden”.

Different scholars have different views on the origin of language. People have different ways of explaining why languages change or differ from one author. The Old Testament relates that before the tower of Babel all men and women spoke the same language and could understand one another. Eventually, human pride provoked God into confounding their communication with mutually unintelligible languages. However, language differences among people can be seen as a penalty for sinful behaviour.

Language differences can also be traced to the intermingling of people with different linguistic backgrounds in a particular location. But linguists believe the reason for numerous languages in the world is the natural change over time, the inevitable product of reshaping speech to meet changing social and intellectual needs, reflecting contact with people speaking other languages.

When groups move to new places and mix with speakers of different languages, there is an influence because their languages must adapt to new circumstances. The people will be forced to learn each other’s language to achieve a purpose. Such is so glaring in Nigeria when the colonial masters came into the country and introduced English, which is used as an official language today. Pidgin English is as a result of people moving from one place to the other to meet changing social and intellectual needs. It is amazing that, with influences of languages on each other, there are changes which occur. Naturally, there are differences and

similarities between languages. The differences are always more than the similarities, but all

languages are complete irrespective of the differences. They all perform the same purpose

which is communication. Anagbogu, Mbah and Eme (2010:26) ask a question: Does the

language of a particular people perform the function they want it to perform? If it does, then

it is complete. It is true that when a language performs the purpose which its speakers intend,

such a language is complete; no language in the world is seen as superior to the other.

It is on this basis that we want to do a contrastive analysis of English and Izon segmentals and supra-segmentals.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
The English language was introduced into Nigeria by early European traders, who first visited the country in the 16th century. However, Spencer (1971:79) avers that it is difficult to lay hold on evidence available to picture in any form the nature of African-European contact in a linguistic point of view, but it is clear that it is from the mercantile period that pidgin of West Africa came into existence. In order to trade and later to administer and to teach Nigerians the Christian religion, these early Europeans, specifically the British, literally forced Nigerians to learn the English language.

However, the English language has been in Nigeria for decades now but it still poses problems to the ordinary man in Nigeria. Few among millions of Nigerians can speak English fluently. Even with difficulties of the language, Bamgbose (1971:65) opines that it is still the language of government, business, commerce, education, mass media, literature and for internal and external communications. Thus, the language is indispensable to the country.
Ijo is a large language group spoken in Rivers state, Bayelsa state, Delta state, Edo state and Ondo state. It is divided into East Ijo and West Ijo. East Ijo comprises Nkoro.......

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 60 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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