OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies

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Igbo and Chinese tonal systems: a comparative analysis

Sunny Odinye, Gladys Udechukwu


Chinese language was recently introduced in the department of Igbo, African and Asian Studies of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka during the 2006/2007 academic session. Although Igbo and Chinese are both tone languages, their tonal systems differ. For this reason, Igbo speaking students find it difficult to study Chinese language. To alleviate the difficulty, this paper attempts to look vividly into comparative analysis of Igbo and Chinese tonal systems. In analyzing this, words from Igbo and Chinese language are selected for an effective comparison.

Keywords: Tone, phonology, Chinese, Igbo

AJOL African Journals Online