• ISSN: 2382-6282 (Print); 2972-3108 (Online)
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Lang. Lit. Linguist.
    • Frequency: Bimonthly
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL
    • Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Jason Miin-Hwa Lim
    • Managing Editor:  Jennifer X. Zeng
    • Indexed by:   CNKI, Google Scholar, Crossref,
    • E-mail: ijlll_Editor@126.com
IJLLL 2021 Vol.7(2): 86-93 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2021.7.2.292

The Influence of the Dagbani Imperfective Verb Form on Dagomba‟s Use of the English Tense

Sheini Memunatu

Abstract—This paper analyses the influence of the imperfective verb form of Dagbani a Mabia (Gur) language, spoken in Northern Ghana- on the English tense. Dagbani and English have been in contact for decades; they exhibit differences grammatically and phonologically. Scholars have discussed the grammar of Dagbani. However, no scholar addressed the influence of Dagbani imperfective on the use of English. Considering the fact that there is a strong interplay between English, as the official language of Ghana, and Ghanaian languages in the socio-economic, political and educational sectors of the country, teachers and curriculum developers need to pay attention to how these languages influence each other with specific focus on how to cater for these influences during classroom interactions. This paper, therefore, analyses the influence of the Dagbani imperfective form on English tense, taking into consideration the progressive aspect and the habitual present tense of Dagbani. The study sets to find out if educational levels of people affect the influence of the Dagbani imperfective on English tense. Data for the study were collected through sentence translation and picture description from (89) students in Tamale and Yendi. The data were analysed within the framework of grammatical replication theory by Heine and Kuteva, based on Weinreich languages in contact. The data are analysed based on the respondents’ levels of education (Basic, Secondary, and Tertiary). Findings indicated that the progressive aspect of Dagbani imperfective verb form overshadows the habitual present, as Dagomba(s) speak English. Irrespective of Dagomba’s educational level, they replicate the Dagbani imperfective use in English; however, the influence minimally reduces as speakers climb the academic hierarchy.

Index Terms—Dagbani, grammatical replication, imperfective, Mabia (Gur) language.

Sheini Memunatu is with University of Bayreuth, Germany (e-mail: sheinibiafeli@gmail.com).


Cite:Sheini Memunatu, "The Influence of the Dagbani Imperfective Verb Form on Dagomba‟s Use of the English Tense," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 86-93, 2021.

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