Contrastive Study of Efik and English Phonology (M.A.)

A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of Arts and Social Studies
in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Arts(English)
Ahmadu Bello University.April, 1979

About the Book

    CHAPTER ONE: Introduction
        1.1 Need for the study
        1.2 Statement of the Problem
        1.3The variety analysed/Informants
        1.4 Elicitation procedures
        1.4.1 Production tests - purpose
        1.4.2 Recognition test - purpose
        1.4.3 Interview questions - purpose
        1.5 Problems of approach
        1.5.1 Method of contrast and comparison
        1.5.2 Descriptive model
        1.5.3 Order of entries
        1.6 Notes to chapter One

      CHAPTER TWO: Efik and English vowel systems, analysis and predictions
        2.1 Efik vowels, (general)
        2,2 English vowels, (general)
        2.3 Efik front vowels
        2.3.1 English front vowels
        2.3.2 Efik and English front vowels predictions
        2.4 Efik back vowels
        2.4.1 English back vowels
        2.4.2 English central vowels
        2.4.3 Efik vowel assimilation
        2.4.4 Efik vowel length
        2.4.5 Efik vowel harmony
        2.4.6 Efik and English vowel systems predictions
        2.5 Efik and English vowel sound frequency
        2.6 Efik and English vowel Charts
        2.7 Notes to chapter Two

      CHAPTER THREE: Efik and English consonant systems, analysis and predictions
        3.1 Efik consonant sounds, (general)
        3.2 English consonant sounds, (general)
        3.3 Efik consonant Sounds, (preliminary phonotactic possibilities)
        3.4 Efik plosive consonants
        3.4.1 English plosive consonants
        3.4.2 Efik and English plosive consonants predictions
        3.5 Efik fricative consonants - analysis
        3.5.1 English fricative consonants - analysis
        3.5.2 Efik and English fricative consonants predictions
        3.6 Efik nasals - analysis
        3.6.1 English nasals - analysis
        3.6.2 Efik and English nasals - predictions
        3.7 Efik semi-vowels; Efik flap - analysis
        3.7.1 English semi-vowels; lateral; affricates analysis
        3.7.2 Efik and English semi-vowels; flap; lateral; affricates — predictions
        3.8 Efik double consonants
        3.9 Efik and English consonants - summary
        3.10 Notes to chapter Three

      CHAPTER FOUR: Efik and English suprasegmental features
        4.1Introductory comments
        4.1.1 Tone/Intonation distinction
        4.2 Efik syllable structure
        4.2.1 Efik semantic tone
        4.2.2 Semantic/Grammatical tone link
        4.2.3 Efik Grammatical tone - prefixes/suffixes
        4.2.4 Efik Grammatical tons - compound words
        4.3 Downdrift
        4.3.1 Downdrift - problems
        4.4 Efik tone assimilation
        4.5 "Stress" in Efik
        4.6 Question "intonation" in Efik
        4.7 English intonation
        4.7.1 The rising/falling tune
        4.7.2 English intonation - other sources
        4.8 Stress in English
        4.9 Notes to chapter Four

      CHAPTER FIVE: Findings, summaries and Conclusions
        5.1 Introductory comments
        5.2 Production test - first part- findings
        5.2.1 Production test - second part - findings
        5.2.2 Production test - third part - findings
        5.2.3 Production test - stress - findings
        5.2.4 Production test - intonation - findings
        5.2.5 Production of items of special difficulities - English
        5.2.6 Production of items of special difficulties
        5.3 Recognition test - findings
        5.4 Interviews - findings
        5.5 Summaries and conclusions
        5.6 Notes to Chapter Five

        (i) Production test - questions
        (ii) Recognition test - questions
        (m) Interviews - questions
        (iv) Notes on sound frequency

        Table 1: Elicitation Procedures
        Table 2: Efik vowels, (Sound frequency)
        Table 3: English vowels, (sound frequency)
        Table 4: Efik Pure Vowcls, (chart)
        Table 5: Efik falling diphthongs, (chart)
        Table 6: Efik “pseudo diphthongs," (chart)
        Table 7: English pure vowels, (chart)
        Table 8: English "closing" diphthongs, (chart)
        Table 9: English 'tentring' diphthongs, (chart)
        Table 10: Efik consonants, (chart)
        Table 11: English consonants, (chart)
        Table 12: Efik consonants = positional distribution
        Table 13: English consonants - positional distribution
        Table 14: Efik consonants, (sound frequency)
        Table 15: English consonants, (sound frequency)
        Table 16: Hierarchy cf Production problems English consonant sounds
        Table 17: Hierarchy cf production problems English vowels
        Table 18: Hierarchy of production problems - English stress
        Table 19: Hierarchy of production problems - English intonation
        Table 20: Hierarchy of recognition problems - English consonants and vowels


This study is concerned with an analysis of Efik and English phonology. It investigates areas of differences as well as areas of similarities with a view to anticipating the problems which Efik learners or users of English are likely to encounter. It examines the place of Contrastive Analysis, (CA), as a key notion in linguistic description and attempts to trace the role of non-linguistic factors in explicating the problems faced by the Efiks. In handling the two languages, there is generally more detailed description of Efik phonology while relevant areas of English phonology come in for contrastive or comparative purposes only. The rationale for this approach is established in the first chapter.

Chapter One stipulates the desirability for the investigation. It discusses the problem, limits the investigation, indicates the elicitation procedures and clarifies such issues of approach like method of contrast and comparison, descriptive model and order of entries.

Chapter Two deals with Efik and English vowel systems. It attempts an analysis of the two sound systems and makes predictions in the light of the analysis.

Chapter Three discusses Efik and English consonant systems. The areas of differences and areas of similarities are pointed out and problems or their absence for the Efiks are predicted in the light of CA principles of interference and of facilitation.

Chapter Four takes a look at Efik and English supra-segmental features. The main supraisegmental features discussed are stress, tone and intonation. Efik tone is contrasted with English intonation and the place of stress in both languages is highlighted.

Chapter Five focuses on findings, summaries and conclusions. It discusses information revealed through data collected, sets up hierarchies of production as well as recognition problems, and takes a fresh look at the major issues by way of summaries and conclusions. Finally, a bibliography at the end indicates the sources consulted for this study.

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