MEANING GENERATION THROUGH MINIMAL PAIRS SITUATIONS IN HAUSA AND ENGLISH LANGUAGES
The study is aimed at doing a phono-semantic study of minimal pairs in Hausa and English Languages with idea of generating meaning through minimal pairs by means of contrastive analysis. The study is motivated into this investigation by some observed speech features of some Hausa speakers of English in the Faculty of Arts, Nasarawa State University, Keffi as they communicate in English. This is observable when, for instance, a Hausa speaker seems to give some English minimal pairs similar pronunciations irrespective of the sound contrast distinguishing them. Therefore, one hears a Hausa speaker of English pronouncing the following pairs of words: peak and pick, caught and cut, goat and gut, etc as if they were the same in spelling, pronunciation and meaning. The study had established the basic factor affecting the Hausa pronunciation of English minimal pairs. Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis developed by Robert Lado (1957) was used as theory for analysis. Data were collected through audio-tape recording. The population was drawn from Hausa speakers of English in the Faculty of Arts, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria. The analysis revealed that most English and Hausa minimal pairs initial and final are consonantal, while medial are vowel based. Tone played a prominent role in distinguishing two or more lexical items in Hausa language. The study recommended that the Hausa speakers of English (especially those in the study area) should make some effort to become fully aware of their innate tendencies to commit the pronunciation errors identified in this research work, so that they will be able to identify areas of similarity as well as difference between English and Hausa.
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