This research work entitled: “A Contrastive Analysis of Tiv and English Pluralisation Processes” discusses the fact that Tiv Language is still yearning for development as much is needed to study on Tiv Language. This is to help develop and standardize the language through orthography, morphology and phonology as at the present there is no central orthography for Tiv Language. This is more so that most of Tiv young generation does not know how to speak or write the Tiv Language. In doing this, the work has attempted to identifying the various morphological pluralisation processes and realizations that exist in Tiv and English Languages. The study also looked at different morphological rules that govern the use of pluralisation in the two languages and how these morphological realizations affect the syntactic structure of Tiv and English. Both the primary and secondary sources like interviews, books and journals were used in the collection of data for the work and the researcher has used the primary or the Direct Method and sampled ten subjects from the native speakers of Tiv language by way of interview. And it is the sample obtained from the interview that the researcher adapted in the analysis of the Tiv data and used the secondary source in analyzing the English data. The researcher used the Realisational Optimality Theory for the analysis of the work. In the main, this work contrasts the Tiv and English pluralisation processes identifying the similarities and differences between the two. The work also hinged on the regular and irregular plurals in Tiv Language which has been taken for granted by speakers and researchers of the language. The work recommends that the Benue State Government should re-introduce the study of Tiv Language in all nursery, primary and secondary schools in Tiv-speaking areas of the state. It is also the recommendation of the work that future researchers on Tiv Language should study more on the area of Tiv pluralisation and that the study of Tiv Language should be introduced fully at the degree level in Benue State University, Makurdi where Tiv Language is now only studied as a course unit in Linguistics.
1.1 Background to the Study
Language, in the words of Murthy (2007:1) “is the medium of communication through which we express our emotions, ideas, feelings and thoughts to our fellow people”. It is an attribute that is only possessed by human. This explains why Encyclopedia Americana (1983:727) defines language as “the faculty and ability possessed by normal human beings and by no other species, using spoken or written utterances to represent mental phenomena or events”. Sapir (1921: 8) defines language as a “Purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of voluntarily produced symbols.” Arising from the above one can conveniently say that language is an essential and a vital vehicle in communication.The basic role of all languages is to communicate mainly among humans. This communicative role enhances development. This points to the reason why all languages need to be studied to facilitate the know-how of speakers. This is the more reason why the study of pluralization in Tiv and English languages, with emphasis on Tiv in this case is necessary. The purpose for the contrastive analysis of Tiv and English pluralisation in this research is to help bring out their similarities and dissimilarities. This research also takes care of the various ways of achieving pluralisation in the two languages under study.The word “pluralisation” can be defined as the inflection of a singular noun to make it acquire a status of two or more persons, places or things, ideas, concepts and entities. Pluralisation works to indicate the status of a number of items.
The English language is rated in the multilingual nation, Nigeria, with about five hundred and ten living languages (Crozierand Blench qtd. in Fakeye 183) and(Tomori, Elug be, Bamgbosi, Akindele and Adegbiteqtd. in Farinde,94) as an indispensable,prestigious and official language of education, politics, judiciary, legislature, commerce, journalism, etc. Makinga contrastive analysis of English pluralisation processes with the Tiv pluralization processes becomesimperative as a result of the status of English in Nigeria vis-à-vis the mental preference of mostNigerian parents. Accordingly, Ogbonna confirms that parents have higher preference for theEnglish medium than for out-right Mother Tongue (MT) medium (qtd. in Izuagba and Nwingwe17). Babajide (1) substantiates the view that positive attitude for another language (English) can be due to the fact that the language integrates the speakers into a class higher than where they socially belong to or that it will be launchpad to their dream career or will lead to their social
emancipation. This situation according to Ara’s any in cited in Izuagba and Nwingwe (16) has led to