Aspects of Francophone Cameroon English Derivational Morphology: The Case of Noun-formation
This study focuses on a morphological analysis of noun-forming affixes that Francophone learners of English in Cameroon use in their written English. This entails identifying and analysing the use of these affixes when added to verbs, adjectives and other nouns, while taking into consideration the frequency of their use, the various difficulties involved in their use, and the strategies employed by learners to overcome these difficulties. The study is carried out on some four schools in Yaounde: the Government Bilingual Primary School Mballa II, Lycée d’Anguissa, College Adventist and The University of Yaounde I. Data for this analysis is collected from some forty scripts equitably selected from these schools using random sampling. The data are analysed based on the Principles and Parameters theory in Second Language Acquisition. The major findings reveal some general trends in the use of these affixes by Francophone learners of English. There is evidence of French interference in the morphological parameter settings of these learners’ written English due to the negative transfer and use of French morphological settings in situations that require different parameter settings in English. Furthermore, learners of all levels simply omit the use of the affixes where they are not familiar with. Besides, they tend to over-generalize the use of the affixes to exceptional situations. In rare contexts, learners, especially those of Terminale and Level III, succeed in setting and using some morphological parameter settings that are peculiar to English.
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