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AMBIGUITY IN LANGUAGE USE A STUDY OF IBIBIO USERS OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE

AMBIGUITY IN LANGUAGE USE A STUDY OF IBIBIO USERS OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.1     Background to the Study

1.2     Statement of the Problem

1.3     Objectives of the Study

1.4     Significance of the Study

 

1.5     Research of the Study

1.6     Delimitation of the Study

1.7     Limitation of the Study

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1 The Concept of Punctuation in Written English

2.2 Types of Punctuation Marks that Cause Ambiguity in Written English of Students

2.3 The Purpose of Punctuation in Written English

2.4 Ambiguity in Written English

2.5 Types of Ambiguity in Written English

 

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODS

3.1       Research Design

3.2      Area of the Study

3.3       Population of the Study

3.4       Sample/Sampling Techniques

 

3.5       Instrument for Data Collection

3.6       Validation of the Instrument

3.7       Method of Data Collection

3.8       Method of Data Analysis

 

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION/ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

4.1       Data Presentation/Analysis

4.2       Discussion of Findings

 

CHAPTER FIVE:       SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1     Summary

5.2     Conclusion

5.3     Recommendations

References   

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

English Language is the most popular and major language used in communication, although, it is the second language to the Ibibio user. Since no two languages are the same. There is always a conflict that arises between the Ibibio users of English Language. Moreover, this problem is the use of ambiguity in the usage of English Language. Ambiguity is the presence of two or more possible meanings or interpretations in a single word, phrase, sentence or statement.

Kempson (1977) defines ambiguity “as the state of having two possible interpretations from as expression”. That is an expression is general terms is ambiguous if it has more than one meaning. When a word e.g. ‘bank’ has multiple meanings, we have lexical ambiguity. While a sentence can be ambiguous, because sometimes the ambiguity is considered syntactic as a results of an alternative meaning that correspond to an alternative syntactic configuration E.g. ‘Mary Saw John with a telescope’ there are two possible interpretations from this sentence by two separate listeners. Listener ‘A’ may assume or understand that, Mary saw John with the aid of an instrument called a telescope.

Ndimele (1999) defines ambiguity “as a grammatical phenomenon in which an expression can be given more than one interpretation.” He likes it to polysemy in the sense that one strectch of utterance is given more than one meaning. Ambiguity id thus divided into two types namely: lexical and structural ambiguity.

 

Language, therefore, is a universal phenomenon which aims at promoting social and peaceful Co-operation and existence amongst the numerous people of different speech communities that constitute the world. Language has thus become an enormously powerful tool.

 

AMBIGUITY IN LANGUAGE USE A STUDY OF IBIBIO USERS OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Especially, in this universal range of application. Because language has become and will continue to be most subtle and powerful device man has and will ever have for controlling his environment including other people.

Sapir (1977) defines Language as “a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desire. Thus, by means of a system of voluntary produced symbols”. Block and Trager (1986) define language as “a system of arbitrary vocal symbols which means of which a social group co-operates”. Gimbson (1984) Sees language as “a system of conventional signals used for communication by a whole community”.

It is on this assertion that the background to this research focuses on examining ambiguity in language use among Ibibio users of English. It will also mitigate these challenges faced by Ibibio users of English Language due to their mother tongue interference to avoid ambiguous words, Phrases, sentence and statements when using English Language.

 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In Ibibio language, ambiguities arise from homonyms, homophones, homographs and anaphoric pronouns, dialectal differences among other things. It is also obvious that, Ibibio users of English Language usually have challenges using English Language without ambiguity; this is as a result of mother tongue interference.

In the same vein, these users of English Languages also lack the understanding of the basic components of the structure of English Language. This consequently influences their ambiguity structure both in their spoken and written communication.

Therefore, this ambiguity makes the listeners to have different interpretations and understanding of what is heard; and sometimes brings about confusion. For example, the word Okon in Ibibio can mean Night or somebody’s name in Ibibio. The ambiguity in language use a study of Ibibio users of English Language.

In view of the above, ambiguity in Ibibio language obstructs from performing its communicative function because message sent in most cases is misunderstood and misinterpreted by the listener. This does not only concern words, some phrases and even sentences that have multiplicity of meanings.

 

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this research is to investigate the ambiguity in language use among Ibibio users of English.  The secondary objectives are to:

  1. examine the types of ambiguity that poses grammatical tenses among Ibibio users of English Language,
  2. investigate the causes of ambiguity  in grammar among Ibibio users of English Language,
  3. to analyze the effects of ambiguity that hinder tense system among Ibibio users of English Language.

 

 1.4 Research Questions

  • what are the types of ambiguity that poses grammatical tenses among Ibibio users of English Language?
  • to what extend does the causes of  ambiguity  in grammar affects Ibibio users of English Language?
  • what can be done to eradicate the effects of ambiguity that hinder tense system among Ibibio users of English Language?

 

1.4       Significance of the Study

This research will enlighten and expose the Ibibio users to English Language to the strategies to adopt in order to avoid ambiguity in their use of English Language since the Language is the most popular and one of the major languages that is used in communication locally and internationally. The ambiguity in language use a study of Ibibio users of English Language.

The findings of this study will also educate teachers of Ibibio Language on the grammatical structure of English Language that is needed in teaching in order to avoid ambiguous sentences in the Language use. The research will equally help various studies. As well as researchers investigating a research related to the challenges of language used by Ibibio users of English Language as a second Language.

Finally, this research will serve as reference materials to researchers to seek out some of the challenges faced by Ibibio users of English Language due to their mother tongue interference and to correct them to avoid using ambiguous words when using English Language.

 

1.6 Limitation of the Study

The limitation of this study is based on the time factor where the researcher had to use a lot of time to get the research respondents.  The research being an academic assignment has a time limit and lack of enough time for the researcher due to the duration of the project defence.

Another limitation is that the researcher faced a lot of challenges regarding accessibility of materials from the library, internet in completing the research since it is academic based research.

 

Conclusion

From the findings of this research work, it clearly shows that the major type of ambiguity experience in the writings of Ibibio users of English language is lexical ambiguity.

Thus, that the causes of ambiguity among Ibibio users of English Language are: the ascription of multiple meanings to single words; lexemes; assignment of different syntactic structures to a sentence and mother tongue interference, incompetent teachers of English.

Also, poor academic background of the students; parents’ lack of interest in students’ academic work; student lukewarm attitudes toward class attendance and learning of English Language; and lack of adequate learning facilities; and that the avoidance of misplaced modifiers, avoidance of indefinite pronouns, correct spelling of words in sentences. The ambiguity in language use a study of Ibibio users of English Language.

Furthermore, alternation of context in sentences; and the use of English language by parents at home and other caregivers; organization of counseling sessions for students so as to encourage and motivate them to attach more importance to learning of English Language are the possible ways to help in alleviating ambiguity among Ibibio users of English language.

 

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