Aspects of the Negation Systems of English and Urhobo: A Contrastive Inquiry
The contrastive analysis of aspects of the negation systems of English and Urhobo was undertaken to reveal areas of difference and similarity. Negation in English and Urhobo was examined in the sentence types – declarative, interrogative and imperative. Data for the study were collected from texts written in English by native and non-native speakers of English. For Urhobo, data were collected from books and articles written in Urhobo by native speakers of the language. The data were juxtaposed, analysed and contrasted. It was found that the languages differ in the morphological marking of the category of negation. Urhobo adopts a process of vowel lengthening or duplication, which involves suffixation, as well as focus marking in some sentences, but without the negative marker “not”. It was also observed that in English, negative markers “not” and “don’t” are mostly used in declarative, imperative and interrogative sentences. These differences may constitute difficulties to Urhobo learners of English negation system. Learners would therefore need to be exposed to a wide variety of materials dealing with the negation system of English.