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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

       Tone can be said to be the pivot around which Igbo language rotates. Meaning in Igbo language mainly depends on the one used. For instance, the Igbo word “akwa” if not tone-marked c be interpreted in various ways by the readers. To some readers, it can mean “cloth” (akwa), “cry” or “bed” (akwa and to some other people can take it to mean “egg” akwa. This shows that tone is vital to Igbo language and as such it is very important to furnish the readers with accurate information about the standard Igbo tone.

       It is due to the above fact that the pronunciation of words in Igbo involves the pitch of the voice in one way or the o to L about change in meaning and that the Igbo i regar as a tone language.

       Researchers so far have shown that students in our schools today perform badly in this area of Igbo language and worse still, some students shy away from this area completely in examination. At times, they tone-mark the words dialectically instead of tone marking them with standard Igbo one.

       However, in these researchers work the investigator intends to work on the tonological differences in the standard Igbo and Agbaelu dialect with particular reference to Isuofia dialect. The researcher has the intention of finding out i are of differences and make necessary recommendations.

1.1 STATEM OF PROBLEM

       Nobody expects that all the dialect make up the standard Igbo language should have exactly the same tone pattern in all aspects. At times some dialects deviate from the standard Igbo and dialectal tone patterns constitute a problem in the teaching and learning of standard Igbo tones in ô school today. For instances in the standard Igbo the word “azu” (fish), word “azu” with high high tone (azu) cases like ttii abound, and they pose a great problem to the Igbo tonology experts.

1.2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

       The m purpose of this study is to find out the tonological variations that exist between the standard Igbo and Isuofia dialect with particular references to Isuofia  dialect.

       The work also aims at making some recommendation for reducing the negative effects these tonological differences might have on the teaching and learning of standard Igbo tones in our various schools.

SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

This project is expected to be of great help to the student of language especially those majoring in Igbo language.

       Moreover, Igbo language teachers will find this work useful too. Tonological experts will also benefit from this work.

       In addition this project will serve as a guide for future researchers who may like to carry out further investigation on dialectal tone variations in other dialect.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION

1. To what extent are there significant differences between the lexical tone pattern of the standard Igbo and Isuofia dialect.

2. To what extent do significant differences exist in the associative construction tone pattern of standard Igbo and Agbaelu dialect.

3. To what extent significance differences be established between the sentence tone pattern of standard Igbo and Agbaelu dialect.

1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY

       The investigators limits this research work to tonological difference in standard Igbo and Isuofia dialect with particular to Isuofia dialect in Aguata local government area of Anathbra state.


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