project begins with the phonology of A Study of the Phonological Usage of the
English Language by L2 Speakers in Selected Nigerian Schools.
therefore sets out the socio cultural and accents of the L1
language's influence over the L2 acquired language.
research work also identified how to tackle the problems of the influence the L1
language has over the L2 language.
research concluded by offering the Federal State Government over how to
appreciate their able teachers by offering them training to enhance their
1.1 Brief History of English Language
1.2 Background to the Study
1.3 Statement of Problems
1.4 Purpose of the Study
1.5 Significance of the Study
1.6 Scope of the Study
1.7 Limitations of the Study
1.8 Definition of Terms
2.3 Phonological Theories
2.4 English Phonemes
2.5 Yoruba Phonemes
2.6 Differences between English and Yoruba Phonemes
2.7 Differences between English and Yoruba
2.8 Differences between English and Yoruba
2.9 Features of the Phonology of Nigerian
A Contrastive Analysis of Yoruba and English
Method of Data Collection
Summary of the Chapter
HISTORY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE
indicated in the introductory part, this chapter of the study is going to
examine the work of other linguists or scholars that are applicable to the
subject under investigation. We are also going to examine different
phonological theories and their relevance to the subject. We need to know about
the historical invention of English language.
family of languages to which English belongs to is called Indo-European, a name
which derives from the geographical range over which these languages were
spoken before some of them spread to the new world "INDO" - refers to the fact that many of the daughter languages
from earliest recorded times were spoken on the Indian Subcontinent and "EUROPEAN" - refers to the fact
that from equally early times, most of the languages of Europe
are descended from that common ancestor too.
an anonymous 5th century chronicles we learn that in 441 - 442 the Germanic
tribe of Saxons conquered Britain.
after prolonged harassment. Another version was given by a Celtic preacher and
chronicler Gilda’s says that the Saxons were invited to Britain to assist in protecting the Island from
an invasion from the North, they were given lands and allowed to settle in the
eastern part of Britain.
authoritative Ecclesiastical History of the English People written in 731 by
the English cleric and historian venerable Adams Bede dates the first landing
of the Germanic Wamosin Britain to the year 449.
Celts were the first settlers of Britain, they were subdued and
eventually ruled and sheltered by the Romans. They were ruled by Romans for 400
years, Celts were defenseless, the languages spoken then was Angle-ish and the
name of the country England
comes from Angle-land. The Romans loose their grip on Angle-land territory
because maintaining occupation forces is so expensive so the Romans were
conquered by the barbaric Germanic tribe, they had influence on the English
language. Celtic was the first Indo-European tongue spoken in England, it also has influence on
Vickings and Scandinavian influence on English was due to their attack and
eventually conquest of England
and their language too has an influence on English language.
invaded and took over England
and their language too overtook the Vicking's influence on English language was
prominent then too they all diffuse to make-up English language of today.
four main dialects of old English language were Mercian, Kentish, Northumbrian
and West Saxon which is collectively known as Anglian after
process of unification of the diverse Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in 878 by -
the Great, there was a marked decline in the importance of regional
This is not because they stopped existing, regional dialects continued even
after that time to this day, as evidence both by the existence of middle and
modern English dialects later on, and by common sense people do not
spontaneously develop new accents when there is a sudden change of political
was a change in pronunciation that began in 1400, while modern English speakers
can read Chaucer’s poem with some difficulty, Chaucer’s pronunciation would
have being completely unintelligible to the modern ear. Vowels sounds began to
move further to the front of the mouth and "te" letter "e"
at the end of words became silent. Chaucer's 'lyf' pronounced leaf
the modern life. In Middle English, name was pronounced 'nam-a',
was pronounced 'feet' and 'down' was pronounced 'doon'. In linguistic term's,
the shift was rather sudden, the major changes occurring within a century.
advent of printing press was the major development of English Language in the
entire universe. Celtic was the first Indo-European tongue spoken in England,
it also has influence on English language.
Vikings and Scandinavian influence on
English was due to their attack and eventually conquest of England and their language too has
an influence on English language.
later invaded and took over England
and their language too overtook the Viking's influence on English language was
prominent then too they all diffuse to make-up English language of then and
language is seen as a tree with stems of branches in which phonetics is a
branch of it which consists of "Phonology".
year 449 AD marks the origin of English language-Norse influence Rome alter
overtook England and ruled then for 400years, the language of Christianity
Latin has influence in the rise of English language. That period was the old
English period which is non-existent today. The period was Bewolf's writing
which is unreadable now. The first attempt made by Lord Alfred to standardize
it failed. France later over
and French became their language.
1476 which was the year that printing press was introduced by William Caxton
and Gulberthen brought about standardization of English language,
have to chose new words in their writings.
1592 Richard Treatise proposed his treatise, where spellings and grammar became
fixed. 1755 - A dictionary of English language was profounded by Daniel Jones.
English Language is one of the exoglossic languages used in Nigeria. It wields so much
influence on the Nigeria
terrain that it dominates over the 300 local languages that are used in the
influence of the English Language in the country can be attributed, to the influence
of the colonial leaders and some other native speakers of English, who came
into the country even before the colonial leaders e.g. Portuguese. These set of
English Language speakers came into the country in the 17th century
as missionaries, slave traders and adventurist, they include Irish and the
Welsh and English Language (Pidgin) English serves as their means of communication
with the illiterates population of African's then.
the British rule was established in Nigeria in 1900 and led to the
influx of many Briton's, who are believed to use the standard form of English
Language into the country. Some came into the country as traders, some came as
missionaries while some came in as government officials of British colonial
rule in Nigeria.
This led to the usage of English Language as our official language.
Nigeria is a
vast and diverse country, a federation of twelve states then, it also occupies
924,000 square kilometers, (356,669 square miles) and has a population of about
70 million, comprising of 250 cultural and linguistic groups of which Yoruba,
Hausa and Ibo they have different languages so English Language serves as the
only common means of communication between them during the colonial rule and
even after independence.
pre-statutory system of the western type of education was the result of
activities of the Christian mission invented in 1842 in the coastal areas
gradually spread to the hinterland of the territory which later became the
colony and protectorate of southern Nigeria.
aim of English Language was mainly religious, it is mainly provided for the
adults and children converts who had to learn to read the bible, the prayer
book and the commentaries and to enhance them in singing hymns. A number of the
children were sufficiently proficient in reading and writing to become teachers
or catechist in the church, clerks and interpreters in the
service and the commercial houses.
proclamation of the protectorate of the Northern Nigeria in 1900, there was no
school of the Western type in the territory except the Church Missionary
Society (C.M.S) school at Lokoja, which was then the headquarter of the Royal
Niger Company and a station of the Niger Mission of the Church Missionary
Society. There are three sources of the statutory system all of them introduced
the colonial government. First, there was Education Ordinance No. 3 of 1887 for
the promotion of Education in the colony of Lagos, which was derived from the English
system. The colony comprised of Lagos Island and its mainland Badagry, Epe, Lekki and
Ikorodu territories corresponding to the present Lagos State.
Ordinance gradually spread into Yoruba land, which the protectorate of Lagos. Next, there was the
Education proclamation No. 19 of 1903 which was applicable to the Southern
Nigeria, the territory which later became the province
of Calabar, Owerri, Onitsha,
Warri, Benin, Ogoja and the Owo District
of Ondo Province. The proclamation was strongly influenced by the practices of
the Presbyterian Mission Education System, with the background of the Scottish
Educational System. Industrial Education and the District
Primary School later emerged and known
as the "Government
the Girourard-Visher System of the protectorate of Northern Nigeria emerged and
was based on the system of the Sudan
Language overshadowed that and it became the Language of the African elites
even after independence, when Nigerians assumed the vantage of high ranking
position as Officials in Government Parastatals, it still maintained its
prestigious position as the Language of officialdom and the elitists.
can attribute the influence of the English Language as the Second Language L,,
in Nigeria due to the fact
that it serves as the only means of inter-tribal form of communication, between
different tribes of Nigeria
nation, with about 300 local dialects.
from this afore-mentioned, it also serves some other functions e.g. technical
functions in Nigeria,
these includes its roles as the Language of Law, Education, Health, Mass Media
Language from the Mid-Primary
School through Secondary
Schools and Universities functions as the language of instructions in both
Government and Private Schools, while this occurs right from creche to
kindergarten levels respectively.
the Nigerian child is exposed to the English Language early in life, one would
expect that he will be proficient in its usage but contrary is the case. The
situation is so bad that teacher's do not cease to lament about the mass failure
of students in English Language as evidenced in their WAEC, NECO and JAMB
now leads us to believe that the phonology of the Mother's tongue of Nigerian's
children L, has influence over his English Language phonology (L2
TO THE STUDY
this chapter, we would examine all the phonological theories because they are
seen as foundation over which scholastic endeavors are built. It is regarded as
tools for authenticating an academic exercise.
this, we are going to examine the key term in the topic of this study that is
the "Phoneme" from which the word "Phonological" is
1.2.1 THE STRUCTURALISTTHEORY
are the first set of linguists to clearly define or identify the concepts of
in any language. According to them, it is the first level on the hierarchy that
makes up any language system. Bowel (1988) defined phonemes as the "units
of sounds associated with meaning." In other words, they are those units
of sounds that are combined to form words and morphemes, which are in their
units of meaning. Fry (1975:1399) gives an insight into one of the major
attributes of the phonological level, which is the fact that the phoneme
inventory of a given language is a closed set. That is, no addition can be
made to it, an individual after acquiring the whole of phonemic system in his
language will have to make do with it and form or coin any words he desires
using the phonemes in his linguistic inventory.
result of the above, we are going to have a cursory look at the phonemes of
both "Cursory", because at this level it is expected that we are
familiar with the phonemes of the two languages.
theory was formulated by the linguist Roman Jacobson and it is the best known
and most influential theory of phonological development. This theory represents
the , first attempt to explain the acquisition of phonemes on the basis of
linguistics universal structural law that underlies every modification of
language of individual or society. In this theory, the period of language
development is divided into two stages which are:
linguistic which is the babbling period during which the sounds composing the
child's vocalization do not exhibit particular order of development and are not
related to the production of the following period.
(ii) The second
is the stage of the acquisition of language proper during which the child
follows a relatively universal sound and invariant order of gaining intentional
control over the sounds of the surrounding adult's language.
division is based on the widely accepted observation that during babbling, the
vocalizations of most normal children exhibit a great quantity and diversity of
sound production . (complex vowels, clicks, palatalized and
consonants etc) but that as the child begins to acquire words, most of these
sounds disappear and some of them re-appear only after a period of years. Thus,
the phonetic richness of the babbling period gives way to phonological
limitation Jacobson (1971). The second stage stands as the transition from
the desire to communicate to the ability to communicate.
to Jacobson, the different stages involved in the development of
are strictly regulated by an inherent universal hierarchy of structural laws
which he called 'laws of irreversible solidarity.' According to him, this
development proceeds from the simple and undifferentiated to the stratified and
the behaviorist theory which lays emphasis on the need to reinforce the sounds
made by children until it is perfected or equal to the adult's own production.
This recognized the babbling stage whereby children make incomprehensible
sounds as an important aspect of the child's phonological development.
1.2.2 THE BEHAVIORISTS THEORY
is the theory of language development formulated by H.O. Mower in the late
1940. The theory has its origin in the contribution of psychoanalysis which
relies on the effective relation between child and mother in the emergence of
to this theory, the first step in speech development is that the child attends
to and identifies with the caretaker's vocalization, which is associated with
primary reinforcement such as food and patting.
(1969:35-48) describes the process involved in speech development as propounded
in this theory using three different stages:
(i) During the
first stage, the child's vocalization are said to occur most frequently shortly
before feeding because of natural sounds associated with chewing, swallowing
coupled with the principle of "fractional anticipatory goal response"
that is, the child in anticipation makes the kind of sound he will make when he
feeds and this response includes: making sounds with the vocal track.
(ii) During the
second developmental period, the vocalization of the mother and subsequently
those of the child by the virtue of its similarity to the mother's acquire
secondary reinforcing properties because the mother's vocalization occur in
close with feeding or other reinforcement events.
(iii) The third
period - begins when several of the child's utterances are identified by the
parents as an approximation of a particular word. The parents reinforce these
utterances and the child gradually refines his approximation until it matches
the adult's form.
theory has been of great importance in the field of language teaching and
learning. Based on it, the environment is seen as exerting a major influence,
since it provides the models with which the child imitates and the rewards that
make learning take place. It also lay emphasis on reinforcement which
encourages the learner, not only that, active responding practice and feedback
are other actions that behaviorism lay emphasis on.
1.2.3 THE NATURALIST PHONOLOGY THEORY
was formulated by Stampe (1969). The natural phonology of phonological
development assumes a universal innate system of phonological processes -
unlimited and unordered rules which in its most language innocent stage
expresses the full set of restrictions of the human speech capacity. It
proposes that the phonetic representatives of the child's
are the results of the application of this innate system to an abstract
phonological representation. Succession revisions of this innate system occur
with the learning of each phonetic opposition through linguistic experience
with the standard (adult) language.
important contribution of this theory is its attempt to show the role of
acquisition in language learning. The main hypothesis is that, addition
generalization and un-ordering processes which characterize language learning
results directly from the failure of the child to exploit fully, the mechanisms
for resolving contradictory processes. The resultant forms are thereby
innovations, which are rejected by the standard that exert a conservative
this theory one can fully explain implicational laws such as those
of the innate system. Also while applying this process; it will no
be necessary to posit that the child has a phonemic system of its own, distinct
from the adults' system. Rather, one can assume that the child begins by
producing modified version of the representations of the adult that it has
internalized and that it is only by successive modifications of these forms
through the various suppressions of processes that the 'correct' adult
pronunciation is achieved.
1.2.4 THE PROSODIC THEORY
theory was formulated by Waterson (1970-1971). It represents the Firthian
tradition of prosodic analysis and differs from the previous theories in
rejecting the importance of phoneme - length, segments and in emphasizing both
the selective function of perception and the role of particular input in speech
of the given child. It is particularly different from the Structuralists'
theory by stressing individual differences in the patterns of acquisition as
opposed to a universal order. The theory is specifically based on the early
stages of the phonological development in the child until about two years. It
contains the following features:
(i) The child first attends to certain
(ii) Non deviant
adult forms that recur frequently in the same kinds of situations.
child selectively attends only to particular high salient utterances and does
not perceive minor variations in the use of particular words or expression.
Following this, the child tends to perceive utterances as a whole unit and he
perceives certain phonetic features of the utterances without necessarily being
aware of the sequential relationship. Also tends to identify some kinds of
"Schema" or 'Skeleton' consisting of a' particular set of features
selected from set of features shared by a number of adult forms.
there is tendency for some children to acquire certain sounds earlier than
others, the phonological patterns of children learning the same language is
also different because every child has a different input from the people around
theory attempts to answer questions such as why a child uses one word to
another, or why omits or replaces some adults sounds which he is capable of
producing since he uses them in other contents.
noteworthy from all the above views that a' child's language development is
gradual and systematic. In essence, the phonological aspect of how children
acquire vocabulary can be proved to be a stimulating and worthwhile exercise.
OF THE PROBLEMS
1. Why do most Nigerian children perform
better in the identification
orthography of English Language than in identification of its
2. What are the
factors responsible for the poor performance of Nigerian children in English
Language and what are the factors responsible for the peculiarities?
3. Which theory
of English Language learning is the most appropriate for teaching in Nigeria?
OF THE STUDY
(i) The main
objective of this research is to access the phonology of the Yoruba bilingual
children by examining how the children's native language affects their
acquisition or usage of their English phonology.
(ii) This study
aims at examining the acquisition and use of the English phonology by Yoruba
children of L2 acquisition of the English Language.
restricting itself to the examination of the English phonemes as used by Yoruba
children, (particularly children of Ilorin
origin in Ijora-Badia, Lagos)
it seeks to serve as models for other linguists who might be interested in
(iv) The aim of
this study is to find out the influence of Ilorin Yoruba dialect (a variety of
Yoruba language) on the phonology of standard British English (RP). That is,
the changes that may likely occur as a result of the contact of the Ilorin
Yoruba dialect and English language. In other words, this work is to search for
the features that distinguish the phonology of Nigerian English variety from the
Received Pronunciation. These features shall be identified from the recorded
speech collected and analyzed. We hope to provide solution to bridge the gap in
OF THE STUDY
of research works have been done on their phonological interference. This work
is to add to the efforts that have been made. Our concentration is on this
topic because much has not been done particularly on the phonological
interference of Ilorin
indigenous Yoruba dialect and English language. Also, the cosmopolitan nature
of Ijora-Badia Yoruba draws our interest. This work shall help the Ilorin indigenous Yoruba
students and other readers on their spoken English.
can be handled from different angles. Its segmental aspects can be treated and
attention can be paid only to supra-segmental aspects and the two levels can be
jointly discussed in this research work.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
time, financial constraints and for effective result, this study will only
focus on three secondary schools within Ijora-Badia. These are: Cardoso Secondary School,
Gaskiyya College and Ajeromi-Ifelodun Secondary
Schoolall in Ijora-Badia. Fifteen students shall be selected all together from
these Secondary schools.
terms will be used in the course of this research works and they will be
Phoneme is the smallest phonological unit that brings about a change in
PHONETICS: Is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human
speech, or – in the case of sign
languages-the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical
properties of speech sounds or signs (phones): their physiological production,
acoustic properties, auditory perception, and neurophysiologic status.
PHONOLOGY: Is a
branch of linguistics concerned with the systematic organization of sounds in
languages. It has traditionally focused largely on
of the systems of phonemes in particular languages, but it may also cover any
linguistic analysis either at a level
beneath the word (including syllable, onset and rhyme, articulatory gestures,
articulatory features, moral, etc) or at all levels of language where sound is
considered to be structured for
conveying linguistic meaning. Phonology also includes the study of
equivalent organizational systems in sign languages.
the supra-segmental level, phonology of Nigerian English is differentiated from
Received Pronunciation in areas such as stress, intonation and rhythm.
STRESS: This is the degree of
force exerted on a syllable in a word to lay emphasis.
RHYTHM: Phonology of Nigerian
English is described as syllable timing rhythm instead of stress-timing rhythm
of Standard British English. This is because most Nigerian indigenous languages
have syllable-timing rhythm as intonational languages. Syllable-timing rhythm
is a feature of phonology of Nigerian English because the Nigerian speakers of
English transferred the feature of their first language to English language.
Interference is an effect of bilingualism or. multilingualism. It is a
linguistic situation whereby the features of the first language are being
negatively transferred to the target language. It's a process that occurs
during the period of learning.
SEGMENTAL PHONOLOGY: It
is the aspects of phonology that studies individual, sound segments and how
these segments come together. It is also an aspect that functions above the
individual sound units.
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