Morphophonemic Analysis of Inflectional Morphemes in English and Ibibio Nouns: Implications for Linguistic Studies

Ubong Ekerete Josiah, Juliet Charles Udoudom


Linguists generally acknowledge that there exists an inevitable inter-relationship between different levels of
linguistic analysis---phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Various linguistic labels are used
to describe such a link. In particular, there exists a bridge between the phonology and morphology of particular
languages. The term “morphophonemics” is generally used to describe linguistic statements that can be made of
the phonemic structure of morphemes and their effect on the grammatical content of languages. This paper
basically attempts a morphophonemic analysis of inflectional morphemes of nouns in two structurally and
historically distinct languages (English and Ibibio) in order to discover points of differences and similarities
using the Contrastive Analysis (CA) model of investigation as its theoretical framework. The results indicate that
the two languages are structurally different. For instance, Ibibio is agglutinative, tonal and analytic in nature
while English is basically analytic and intonational. The paper, therefore, analyzes the problem that the Ibibio
speaker of English is likely to encounter in the study of the English word structure. Again, based on its findings,
the paper corroborates Greenberg’s (1964) and Essien’s (2003) classifications of African and Southern Nigerian
languages respectively.

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Journal of Education and Learning   ISSN 1927-5250 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5269 (Online)


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