NOUN FORMATION IN ANAANG AND ENGLISH: A CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS


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NOUN FORMATION IN ANAANG AND  ENGLISH: A CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1              Background of the Study

Anaang is a name which marks a dual identification: it identifies a people- the Anaang and their language. As a people, the Anaang is claimed to be the second-largest ethnic group after the Ibibio in the present-day Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. They number 1.4 million following the 1991 census result. They occupy the North – Western part of Akwa Ibom State with a total of 2.735g. kilometers. They are bounded by Abia State in the North, Rivers State in the West, the Ibibio people in the South, East, and North East.

The Anaang people are semi-Bantu speakers who originated from the central Benue valley in Nigeria. They are said to have moved through the Northern flank of the Cross River to the Enyong Greek and eventually through the present-day Eastern Ibibio (Ikono) land to settle at the location of the present-day Abak. Greenberg (1963) further claims that the Anaang people were the first wave of the Ibibio-speaking people to settle in the present-day Ibibio land (Greenberg 84). Udo argues that the Anaang people who migrated to the present area were semi-Bantu. The source points out that researchers have made it known that life had existed along the banks and valleys of Cross River many years even before the migration of the Bantu people to this part of the world” (37).

Anaang is one of the languages spoken by the Anaang people of Akwa Ibom State in the South-South geographical zone of Nigeria. Anaang belongs to the Bantu language group and it is spoken as a first language by the Anaang people. (Essien 1982:12). Gleason’s (1961) discussion on language families identifies the Niger-Congo as the most important language family in Africa. The central branch of this language family “centers on Eastern Nigeria and Cameroons”. Essien (1993:14) says that the migration of the ancestors of Anaang was a matter of securing a separate geographical entity in order to demarcate themselves from the Ibibio people. The reason for this separation, according to Essien, was because the Anaang people considered themselves as a distinct tribe, militant in nature, and would not succumb to any threat to their safety, language, and culture from any other people (Ibibio).

Geographically, the Anaang people occupy the Western part of Akwa Ibom State of the South-South geopolitical zone of the Nigeria nation. Anaang people live in eight out of thirty-one Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State: namely; Abak, Essien Udim, Ika, Ikot Ekpene, Ukanafun, Oruk Anam and Obot Akara.

The occupation of the Anaang people are farming and trading. Their primary food crop is cassava which is produced in large quantities for subsistence. Other agricultural products are cocoyam, sweet yam, sweet potatoes, etc. In addition, they are engaged in crafts, pottery, and blacksmithing (cf. Nyarks, 2003:5). Udo (1983:54) observes that the Anaang area is an industrious environment. This is the reason one of their towns; Ikot Ekpene, which is prominent in the production of raffia items is called ‘Raffia City’. The product from the raffia business include carpets, bags, hats, belts, foot mats, shoes, waist gears, ankle gears, etc. As traders, there are eight market days in Anaang, namely: Atim, Akenyong, Aded Obo, Obo, Uruabom, Offiong, Aritaha. In fact, prominent among these markets days are also markets located in the eight local government areas. These markets attract people from all parts of Nigeria. Today, the Anaang people have specified in different Western European professions like medicine, law, teaching, banking, engineering, etc. Some of them are very industrious and successful and have even attained international recognition.

From the religious point of view, in ancient days, the Anaang people were spirited, they observed some belief systems and practices relating to supernatural forces or powers (traditional gods) and deities. Male members of the groups were initiated into secret societies such as Ekpe, Akata, Inam, Ekpe Ikpaukot (maumau), Ekong, Ekpo, Akekong Ajei, and Idiong societies, etc. While women were initiated into mbobo (fattening), Ewana, Nwogwo, and Abang Isong. Most of these secret societies were used to maintain order and morality in the society. Currently, the people of Anaang are predominantly Christians with a negligible percentage still holding on to the traditional belief systems.

Language has been defined as a system through which man collates, organizes, and relates his thoughts and ideas, and interacts with his fellow men. Language acquisition and language learning are the two major ways of gaining communicative competence in a language. While language acquisition refers to the child’s innate ability to acquire language in his environment, language learning refers to a situation whereby conscious effort is made by both the teacher and the learner to help the learner develop communicative skills in a second language. According to Miller (1984), language learning, in contrast to language acquisition, is a conscious process that occurs informal learning environments, in certain activities at school, and it focuses on language form and grammatical competence (72). In Millers’ opinion, language learning is viewed to be available to older children and adults developing a second language.

Native Anaang speakers who try to develop linguistic competence in the English language are classified as second language (L2) learners. This is because they learn the target language against the background of their mother tongue in which they have attained a reasonable degree of competence (Onuigbo and Eyisi 64). Second language learning is characterized by various problems which include transferring structures found in the first language into the learning of the target language. Second language learning tends to be easy mostly in areas where the native language and the target language are similar. But in the areas where the two languages differ, inhibition by the mother tongues is likely to occur. Baldeh (2011) explains that a French student learning English will find the vocabulary aspect of it easy because English has borrowed a lot of words from French such as nation, religion, importance, and so on. On the other hand, Nigerian students are bound to encounter linguistic problems in their path to better English because of the inherent differences between the forms and meaning of English and those of their mother tongue (35).

Using the second language effectively puts enormous stress on the learner. When faced with second language (L2) tasks, the learner is likely to develop his/her own strategies by digressing into the first language (L1). In an attempt to function effectively in the second language context, the second language learner transfers the first language acquisition and communicative strategies into the second language. Ogbuchi (2010) asserts that ‘the major obstacle in the use of English as a second language in Nigeria is that of the interference of the mother tongue’ (19). Mother tongue interference arises as a result of differences between the learner’s mother tongue and the target languages. Ogbuchi further argues that an important reason for the interference phenomenon is that English belongs to the Germanic language family while most indigenous languages in Nigeria belong to the Niger-Congo languages family (19).

Languages across the globe share certain similarities and differences. This is an important argument put forward in the theory of universal grammar as those rules representing the universal properties that all languages share (298). For instance, both the Anaang language and the English language are made up of structures comprising parts of speech, words, and sentences. Fromkin et al, state categorically that every language has a sentence that includes a subject (s), an object (o), and a verb (v) although individual sentences may not contain all three elements (526). Baleh is also of the view that all languages possess the subject-verb – object (SVO) structure though not necessarily in that order (35).

The English language shares some similarities and differences with the Anaang language. Such a relationship between the two languages can be established through a contrastive/comparative study. English and Anaang belong to different language families. Consequently, it is axiomatic that the syntactic, semantic, morphological, and phonological systems of the two languages will be at variance. This is because some linguistic properties or processes present in one may be markedly absent in the other and vice versa.

Morphology is one of the four outstanding aspects of the structure of every language that has to do with word structure and word formation even though different languages form words differently and in a number of ways that may be different from those of other languages. As a result of this, it becomes pertinent to make contrastive analysis on noun formation in English and Anaang languages to examine the processes that are operational in the two languages in order to ascertain how they relate or differ from each other in the syntactic rank scale.

1.2              Statement of the Problem

Noun formation and nominal order to English constitute a major problem which features in non standard complementation system of Anaang speakers’ output of English sentences. The differences between a source language with richly inflected verbal paradigms like Anaang and target languages with a ‘reduced’ an inflectional system like English coupled with differences in word/nominal order tend to result in deviant nominal patterns that are ungrammatical. This phenomenon characterizes the grammatical shortcomings of most Anaang speakers of English as it reflects in their performance on patterning’ with reference to language studies in general, Eka cited in Enang (2016:7) states that:

The term “patterning” has often tended to be used in respect of organizations into levels such as phonetic, phonological, syntactic, morphological, or to phenomena within levels such as sounds and structures, phonemes and all or phones, system and structure, deep and surface structure, among others.

Communication involves the patterning of individual lexical items of a language into larger meaningful stretches. To know and obey the ordering restrictions on words are just as important to the language used to acquire the lexical items. For an Anaang speaker of English to benefit from second language acquisition, and insightful exposure to the similar and different features in the language being contrasted can guide the selection of teachings. Moreover, an explanation of the various processes operative in the languages in question can aid the progress of the Anaang user of English in the acquisition of L2, and facilitate a a better understanding of L1 given the relationship between the two.

It is a known fact that the native speakers are those who have a language as their first language. They were born into the language and the society and they acquire the language naturally from birth. But a language learner is one who has already acquired his L1 and is now learning another language different from his first language. When he learns such a new language, it because of his L2 (second language).

In a multilingual a situation such as ours (Nigeria), there are indications that complement of lexical heads in English as selected in a random fashion, creating patterns which differ from those found in standard usages, thereby creating problems of intelligibility. These non-standard complement patterns in speech/writing have tended to pose serious communication problems both in a second language setting (like Nigeria) and in a first language setting (like Britain/America).

With the growing profile of English as a world language couple with its functional load in Nigeria, a high level of proficiency in the language has become an important the criterion in determining admission into schools, the offer of employment, upward mobility on the job ladder, membership of social classes, etc. The problems which result from deviant complement patterns, do quite often lead to structural ambiguity, misunderstanding and deviant sentence structures, culminating in a meaningless jumble of words. This problem is critical in the performance of some Anaang L2 speakers of English, and so should not be glossed over.

Mother's tongue is not congenital; hence, it is not inheritable. It has to be learned through imitation and selective judgment. Every normal child learns to speak the language of his home environment, be it Efik, Hausa, Yoruba, etc. To the child, it is a way of having all his needs met, a way of “getting by”. Children, therefore, learn better and achieve more cognitively when they use their mother tongue (L1) as a medium of learning or instruction.

A speaker of the second language (L2) lives in a country where the language (L2) is not the native language or in-country where the second language is the lingua Franca like Nigeria. However, the second language is used in the country as a means of communication among different speakers who also have their native language (their own indigenous languages) and as the language of a particular activity such as education, commerce, and or politics, Okpara (2005:17).

There are usually problems encountered by Anaang speakers of English as a result of the above. For instance, the Anaang speakers of English have the tendency of applying the grammatical rules of Anaang to their use of the English language. There are also, many cases of transliteration in the construction of sentences by an Anyang user of English as a second language largely because he finds it difficult to come to terms with the native speaker’s norms.

From the above explications, one readily agrees with Udondata (1995:46) who says this type of the problem stems from:

The speaker’s attempt to understand a literal transliteration of the mother tongue into the target language. This gives rise to abuse of accepted patterns and omissions of verbs, pronouns, prepositions, and articles in sentences. In many instances the direct translation of the mother tongue results in meaningless conjectures in the target language.

In learning and using a new or second language, there must be problems with the use of the second language. This work will, therefore, portray and analyze these problems which occur as a result of the differences and similarities in the two systems as it concerns the complement structures of English and Anaang. A sentence in Anaang is made up of different phrases. These phrases, in turn, comprise compulsory elements which define the phrase as a verb phrase, noun phrase, prepositional phrase, and other optional elements which help to specify or limit the reference of the phrase.

The selection of the other components of the phrase comply with the rules of combinatorial possibilities, without which the phrase would be ungrammatical. The lexical items that are chosen are the complements and the act of selecting them is known as complementation. It is also pertinent to note that Ananng noun phrase has a special characteristic especially in the positioning of the adjectives. It is entirely different from its English counterpart. The Nigeria bilingual mostly speaks English as a second language (L2) with errors from the (L1) or background language. This is because the Nigerian child who is out to learn a new language according to Lado (1951:58):

Tends to transfer the sentence forms, modification devices, the number, gender and case patterns of his native language owing perchance to psychological and subconscious memorization of his MT or the marked absence of some core features or properties of the background language into the English language.

This observation by Lado is not only peculiar to Anaang, but also cuts across the other Nigerians. Languages with a very negligible percentage are likely to maintain the structure without the mother tongue interference on the English word order. This further explains why the departure is also seen in Nigerian English usage. This postulation by Eka (2000) on the mother tongue interference on the word order of the English sentence by an Anaang learner of English is very relevant to this study because it will help other works of this nature greatly to analyze cases of direct transliteration from other background languages into the English syntactic structure, (cf, Enang, Urujzian and Udoka, 2013).

Again, it is possible that due to the influence of local languages, a particular order may be found to be characteristic of a certain usage in Nigerian English. For instance, in order of the compound subject when it consists of a third and first-person (the speaker), there is bound to be a departure. In recent times, researchers have made some attempts to investigate different levels of Anaang language. Among them are: Udondata (1993), (2002) and (2006), Udoka (1998), Enang and Urujzian (2013), Enang and Nyarks (2012), Enang et al (2013), Udo (1998), Urujzian (2005) and Udom (1999). These works, however, tended to concentrate primarily on the phonological, semantic, and morphological systems of Anaang language, with disproportionate attention to the area of complementation and syntax-related studies. Informed by the wide gap created, this study becomes very pertinent. Finally, as a result of the difference in the complement structures of English and Anaang which are likely to pose a learning problem for an Anaang learner of English, this research work investigates some of the problems and proffers solutions to them.

1.3              Purpose of the Study

This study is analytical in that it will provide a base for further discussion on Anaang and English syntax in relation to the distribution of complementation systems. It will offer certain perceptions on areas previously discussed and provide the first analysis on Anaang complementation system in a contrastive model and naturally will add positively to the ever-growing body of knowledge on the studies of natural languages.

Cross-linguistic studies aim at generally noting the distinctive features of languages and at the same time discovering the similarities and the dissimilarities in them. This work seeks to contrast the noun formation processes of the word structures of English and Anaang. It also intends to discover the patterns of nominalization in the two languages. Furthermore, it seeks to do a contrastive analysis of the distinctive structures of each of the languages in order to find out if there are similarities and dissimilarities in English and Anaang.

Technically put, this study is to analyze Anaang and English complementation system with a view to actualizing the following purpose:

1.               Studying some aspects of nominal structures in the two languages.

2.               Studying the major formation processes of nouns in English and Anaang and what syntactic features of the formations are.

3.               Studying the elements that constitute the nominalization of structures of the two languages.

4.               Identifying the similarities and differences of the nominalization of structures in English and Anaang.

5.               Investigating the extent to which the differences within and across the noun formation processes constitute learning problems for Anaang learners of English.

6.               Finding out whether the similarities facilitate the learning of noun formation in English by Anaang learners/speakers of English.

1.4              Significance of the Study

From the viewpoint of syntax, a noun is a name of a person, animal, place, or thing, it also defines qualities. Adequate knowledge of the sequencing for the appropriate handling of structural ambiguities, which may occur during language use.

It is against the backdrop of the explication above that Oluikpe (1974) opines that the teachers of The English language is exposed to a lot of problems by learners of English. Such problems can only be overcome by students if their teachers can help them to do so with the facts of grammar. In other words, a teacher can effectively lead his student from his L1 to L2 if he is aware of the intuitive knowledge of the learner's L1 and the influence of cross linguistics on his L2. This, therefore, will be suitable for the Anaang learners of English.

Hence, Udondata (2001:9) establishes that when two languages are contrasted, it enhances the exposition of similarities and dissimilarities between them. The source adds that such contrast would serve as a guide towards the selection and arrangement of teaching materials, explanation of the dissimilar processes noted in the languages that are contrasted, and the provision of the principles with which the languages can be taught or learned.

Communication involves the patterning of individual lexical items of a language into larger meaning stretches. To know and to obey the ordering restrictions on words are just as important to the language used as to acquire the lexical items. This, therefore, establishes the need for a study of complementation systems in English and Anaang. The inadequacy of work in the language syntax of Anaang and English is also a great spur for this. Juxtaposing aspects of the syntax of two languages in contact will highlight in a way the syntactic features that are possible in inter-language studies. A major contribution of the present study, therefore, will be the development of Anaang syntax as well as stimulation of further research in Anaang syntax, semantics, and vocabulary.

1.5              Research Question

This investigation will also, attempt to provide answers to the following question:

a.              What difference and similarities are identifiable in the noun formation patterns of English and Anaang?

b.             To what extent do the similarities between Do English and Anaang noun formation patterns enhance communication?

c.              To what extent do the word/nominalization order differences between English and Anaang impede communication in English by Anaang speakers?

1.6              Hypotheses of the Study

The following null hypotheses will be postulated to guide the study

Hypothesis 1:

            There are no noticeable similarities and dissimilarities between the noun formation patterns of Anaang and those of English.

Hypothesis 2:

            The dissimilarities between the word order/nominalization patterns of Anaang and English does not seriously impede communication in English by Anaang speakers.

Hypothesis 3:

            The similarities between the noun formation patterns of Anaang and English do not significantly enhance communication in English by Anaang speakers.

1.7              Scope of the Study

No two languages have the same structure and whenever two languages are in contact, contrastive studies show how there are differences in structure and functions of the lexical items. This research venture, though based on the two languages will be confined only to the contrastive analyses of the noun formation in English and Anaang. References to other contrastive studies will be made and fully accounted for where necessary. This will readily satisfy one of the major conditions for using contrastive analysis as prescribed by Head bloom (1972:27):

The the basic practice of contrastive analysis is to first write a description of a particular subset of each language to be compared (i.e descriptions of phonology, morphology, or syntax). One then compares these two subsets noting the differences and similarities. From this comparison, a prediction is made as to what the learner will find difficult or easy to learn.

Therefore, this research intends to identify the nominal categories in English and Anaang, undertake a contrastive comparison of the two sets of complement categories in the areas of phrase and clause structures, phrasal and clausal nominalization in English and Anaang in order to establish what constitutes the similar and different complementation patterns in English and Anaang.

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NOUN FORMATION IN ANAANG AND ENGLISH: A CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS


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