A CONTRASTING ANALYSIS OF ENGLISH. AND YORUBA MORPHOLOGY

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A CONTRASTING ANALYSIS OF ENGLISH. AND YORUBA MORPHOLOGY

Abstract:

This study demonstrates the fact that a language, in this case Yoruba, that is not as widely spoken as English, French, German etc. may contain morphological processes comparable to the widely used languages of the world. An attempt is made to contrast the morphological processes of Yoruba with that of English based on a descriptive, formal, but taxonomic approach. It is found out that Yoruba has limited morphological processes that is, where English makes use of both inflectional and derivational morphology, Yoruba makes use of derivational morphology. Also, in its use of the derivation, Yoruba makes extensive use of prefixation while English makes use of both prefixation and suffixation. The other Morphological processes the Yoruba language lends itself to are: reduplication (which is the most productive process), compounding, and calqueing. As for English there are the processes of suppletion, replacives, compounding, very faint trace of calqueing and reduplication. Suffixation is the most productive morphological process in English. Another finding is that there is no genetic relationship between the two languages. In spite of this, however, the morphological features can still be compared as there are common processes as mentioned In paragraph two above. Also the English language serves as the base language whose morphological processes are used to dig out some of the processes in the Yoruba language. Thus, in chapter one we look at the purpose of this present study, the problems to be faced, the scope of study and assumptions on which the study is based. An attempt is also made to see why the TG approach is not adopted in the study. Chapter two looks at all the morphological processes that are available in the two languages pointing out those processes that are most productive in each of the languages. Such processes for example inflectional and derivational suffixes that are absent in the Yoruba language but present in English are also discussed. Chapters three and four look at the relevance of morphology to syntax and semantics respectively. It is seen that the use of morphology in English is mainly connected with syntax while the Yoruba language puts the semantic aspect into more productive use. Chapter five then gives a summary of the whole work including a highlight of the important findings in the mode of word-formation of the two languages. The study have, thus, indicated that a contrastive study of English and Yoruba (and any other Nigerian language) in whichever field of linguistic study (phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax) is necessary as this will throw light on what features of the languages are common and where the differences occur. This is not only valuable as an academic pursuit but of great benefit to learners of English and textbook writers for students, in this case, Yoruba students learning the English language.

A CONTRASTING ANALYSIS OF ENGLISH. AND YORUBA MORPHOLOGY

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