A contrastive study of reduplication in the Igbo and Hausa languages


  • Aghaegbuna Uwaezuoke Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
  • Gift Anachunam Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria


Language teaching, contrastive analysis, language education, reduplication, second language learning


The Igbo and Hausa languages belong to different language families, and are agglutinative and inflecting languages respectively. As languages of two of the majority ethnic groups in Nigeria, their speakers may have interest in learning each other’s language. However, possible differences in structures of the two languages may hamper their easy learning and teaching. This paper presents a contrastive study of reduplication in Igbo and Hausa aimed at identifying their differences and similarities and aiding in learning and teaching them. The primary data obtained through oral interview of speakers of the two languages and the secondary data from literature are analysed using the descriptive analysis and contrastive analysis methods. The results reveal some similarities and differences in the reduplication processes of both languages. Both languages operate complete and partial reduplication, and their complete reduplication involves doubling the entire word. The reduplication process in Hausa is more complex than in Igbo, especially the partial reduplication, which most often results into geminate consonant that is disallowed in Igbo. Complete reduplication in Hausa does not involve inter-fix of a morpheme to the reduplicated form as sometimes witnessed in Igbo. The learners and their teachers should obtain copies of contrastive study done on grammar of these languages, including this one, and the teachers carefully should drill the students on those areas they foresee difficulties in learning the languages.

Author Biography

Gift Anachunam, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria






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How to Cite

Uwaezuoke, A., & Anachunam, G. (2023). A contrastive study of reduplication in the Igbo and Hausa languages. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 26(1), 82–105. Retrieved from https://jolan.com.ng/index.php/home/article/view/368