English language is widely spoken across the globe. Igala language is not that favoured. It is spoken locally in its geographical location. This research studies the two languages comparatively. The notion of comparative analysis is essentially aimed at establishing, the possibilities of differences or similarities in any field of interest. In this research, the comparison is aimed at establishing the points of divergence and convergence in an international (English) and locally spoken language (Igala). Firstly, the theory of grammar universals proposes that all languages whatever their composition and disposition, are structurally and semantically identical.

Secondly, the notion of the universality of morphology in the same vein, proposes that there exist the concept of morphemes and morphological processes in all languages of the world. These claims account for the reason why this research, looks at morphological processes as used in both languages. The researcher examines the notion of morphological processes in Igala. To establish what processes are employed and how the processes occur in English. It is based on this comparison that data was generated for analyses on the findings of the research.

The researcher used the concept of Halliday’s (1975) scale and category theory, and Nida’s (1949) six principles for identifying morphemes in the study of both languages, after which conclusion were drawn.




Language is very important to man and his environment. It has pulled a lot of concern from time past, till date – hence the birth of the field of linguistics. Here, languages are studied scientifically for obvious reasons. It is most fundamental to human communications and existence. It does not occur haphazardly De Saussure (1959: 7–11) but demonstrates patterns; it is innate abilities that result in formed grammatical sentences. It is purely attributable to humans “… a system of voluntary produced symbols”, Sapir (1921). The importance of language therefore cannot be overlooked. It cannot be separated from individual and society. Language is an embodiment of speech through which the lives and experiences of individuals in the society are expressed. Every language of the world has a set of specified rules that must be observed by the users to enhance understanding. These sets of rules are the concern of linguists. Hence the classification of language arms according to the tenets of these rules – syntax, phonology, semantics, pragmatics, morphology etc.


History Of The Igala Orthography And Dialect

The Igala language was committed to writing at about the mid 19th century by Clark (1848). This was closely followed by the work of Rev. Koelle – Polyglotta Africana (1854), and Bishop Ajayi Crowder. All
these initial efforts were written wordlist, which were compared with their English counterparts. The first known Igala Primer was published by Rev. A. G. Coomber. Akinkugbe (1975, 78). This also contributed to Igala language studies. His work was a comparative work on Yoruba, Itsekiri and Igala.

Despite all the studies on Igala the issue of which orthography is best and should be used became a
controversy, until the resolution ‘7’ (1984) after the national seminar. Igala like other languages of the world, comprises of various dialects. Though no known work has been done on the dialects of Igala, experience, interactions as an indigenous speaker of the language and works as presented in dissertations and books confers the authority to so distinguish. Further, Furgerson and Gumperz (1973: 94-95) expressed in the book, Language and Language Learning, An Edinburg Course in Applied Linguistics, that, any set or language that shares at least a feature or combination of features, qualifies to be dialects of the same language.

Igala is spoken far beyond her political boundaries of the eastern part of Kogi State (Idoma, Nsukka),
western Igbo (Lokoja, Etsako, Ebu, Asaba etc). The speakers occupy the bulk of the territory within the lower Niger basin and are surrounded by the rivers Benue and Niger respectively. They are also bordered by the Northern part of Onitsha, through the confluence, to the North-east of Benue, terminating at Amagede around the Igala Agatu boundary.

Akinkugbe (1978), classifies Igala as one of the Yoruboid branches. Obviously, there exist some similarities between Igala and Yoruba.

AluEnuMouth etc.

Armstrong (1953), likens Igala and Yoruba relationship to that of English and German, and English
and Latin. However described, they (Yoruba and Igala) all belong to the Niger-Congo family. Consider the following…

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