The Contrastive Study of Igbo and English Denominal Nouns

  • Aloysius U. Umeodinka
  • Christian E. C. Ogwudile


Language is an indispensable tool in the affairs of human beings. It is a system of arbitrary and conventional symbols by which humans communicate. Language is the central object of study in linguistics. In the morphological study in linguistics, Denominal nouns are words formed from nouns. Linguistics, through its branch, Applied Linguistics, has been of immense help in the teaching of a second language and in analyzing learner’s errors. The teaching of nominalization has not been all smooth for an Igbo second language learner of English language. That is why this study is set to contrast English and Igbo Denominal nouns. The objective is to find out the similarities and differences between the nominalization process in Igbo and that of the English language. Also, the study will seek to know how the findings will contribute to the enhancement of the teaching of English Denominal nouns to the Igbo learning English as a target language. A descriptive approach is used in the study. The theory of Contrastive Study propounded by Robert Lado in 1957 guides the study. The study discovers that unlike English, Igbo language uses syllable reduction, reduplication and noun-agent and noun object combination. Also, it discovers that both English and Igbo employ both prefixation and suffixation in nominalization. Another discovery is that since there exist more irregularities in the English morphological process than in Igbo, the pedagogical attention for the Igbo learner should be centred on the majority of the words and their specific patterns in the irregularities.

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eISSN: 1595-1413