A Morphological Analysis of Loan Words Among Yoruba Speakers Of English Language in Kaduna Metropolis

Filed in Articles by on November 25, 2022

A Morphological Analysis of Loan Words Among Yoruba Speakers Of English Language in Kaduna Metropolis.


The thesis entitled “A Morphological Analysis of Loan Words among Yoruba Speakers of English in Kaduna Metropolis” is a documentation and analysis of some English, Hausa, and Arabic loan words in the Yoruba language.

The study is propelled by the following observations: that a large part of the vocabulary of the Yoruba Language is loan words from other languages particularly the English, Hausa, and Arabic languages due to language contact in a heterogeneous society, that these loan words are basically as a result of the need for new designations and identity and that these loan words have been domesticated and are generally used by the Yoruba speakers according to their profession, religion and even their level of literacy in Kaduna metropolis.

The work, therefore, finds out the extent to which language contact through Urbanisation has influenced the loaning of words and how some words have been integrated into the vocabulary of the speakers and hence give some forms of identity.

The source of data for the research is a primary source that involves the participant observation method and tape recording of utterances. The researcher discovered that there are very many English, Hausa, and Arabic loan words in the Yoruba language and that in the course of integrating these loan words, they (the loan words) experienced adjustment in line with the morphophonemic rules of the Yoruba Language.

This study will help to understand the learning problems of students of English Language, teach Yoruba speakers of English better, and how the issue of interlanguage and hence interlingual errors or even errors arising from interference can be tackled.



Many children born in Nigerian urban areas are exposed to two to more languages because of the heterogeneous nature of the cities/towns. One of such languages is the language of the environment; the other may be their mother tongue L1, English language which is the official language of the country, and bits of Arabic language which is the language of Islam. That is if Islam is one of the predominant religions in the metropolis.

Kaduna metropolis used by the researcher as the scope is a cosmopolitan city and hence heterogeneous in nature. This influences language use among the speakers in the metropolis due to the contact of different languages. A child born in this environment is exposed to a minimum of two other languages aside from his mother tongue. They include Hausa (the language of the environment) and English language (the official language of the nation and medium of instruction) and Arabic used for worship among the Muslim faithful.

Language contact occurs in a variety of phenomena which include language convergence, and relexification, other products include pidgin, creoles, code-switching, code-mixing, etc. Banjo, (1983), Madaki, (1983), Pariola (1983) in Olaoye (1991), also state that, when languages come into contact, a variety of phenomena take place which are bilingualism, borrowing, re- relexification, code-switching, code-mixing, and perhaps language death. This research focuses more on word borrowing/loaning as a phenomenon of language contact.

Code-switching as defined by Myers-Scotton, & Ury, (1977) is the practice of moving between the variations of languages in different contexts. Scotton (1988) uses the level of social significance to distinguish between code-switching and borrowing. Scotton seems to suggest that, the use of a borrowed item is code-switching until enough speakers use it and the item is accepted by native speakers into their dictionary.

Due to the nature of this town (Kaduna), it was observed that a large number of Yoruba speakers neither speak nor understand the standard Yoruba dialect.

The vocabulary of such speakers is greatly affected by the encroachment and heavy borrowing/loaning of English and Hausa words as these are the predominant languages spoken in the city due to the different languages coming into contact. Fragments of Arabic words are also inherent in the vocabulary of such speakers.

Therefore, this has motivated the researcher to look at the borrowed/ loaned words that have been integrated into the vocabulary of these speakers, the morphological adjustments made to the loaned words, and more importantly, the linguistic effects of language borrowing/ loaning on Yoruba speakers of English in Kaduna metropolis.


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