PROBLEMS OF NOUN PHRASE WORD ORDER IN ENGLISH: A STUDY OF UNDERGRADUATE LEARNERS; PERFORMANCE

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ABSTRACT

This research presented in this study aimed at investigating the problems of noun phrase word order in English among the second language learners, using 190 undergraduate students of English Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka as a case study. The study explored the structure of English noun phrase, particularly the complex ones. The researcher observed that the arrangement of components of complex noun phrase often caused difficulties for the ESL students who have attained the level of making complex constructions in their academic writings. The researcher critically examined the problems the students have in dealing with the arrangement of words in the English noun phrase using questionnaire test questions in the form of: formation of noun phrase with simple sentences; rearrangement of premodifiers of the noun phrase, and identifying noun phrases from a passage. These test questions were given to test students proficiency level in the English language. Four research questions guided the study with a view to discovering the extent of these students problems in the construction of the English noun phrase. Information needed for analysis was also gotten from library research. Based on the investigation made, it is observed that the source of the students problem in learning the English Noun phrase word order is because they have little or no knowledge of the infinite number of grammatical forms, the modifiers with their fixed rule of ordering which adversely leads to wrong ordering of NP structure. This study resorted to the theory of group of elements of structural MHQ as expounded by Halliday in his NeoFirthian model of grammatical analysis. On the basis of these findings, pedagogical implications are discussed and recommendations for more research on the construction of complex noun phrases were suggested.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

One of the most important subjects vital to ESL students success in mastering the English language is grammar. The fundamentals of grammar are crucial for achieving fluency in any language, and acquiring the degree of difference between the speakers native language first language or L1 and the language being learned second language L2. To cover any nuance of English grammatical structure would require a great deal of extensive research, and is beyond the scope of this work. The focus, instead, will be on one aspect of English grammar word order within the English noun phrase.

Table of Contents

Tile page i

Approval ii

Certification iii

Acknowledgements iv

Dedication v

Abstract vi

Table of Contents vii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study 1

1.2 Statement of the Problem 4

1.3 Purpose of the Study 5

1.4 Scope of the Study 6

1.5 Significance of the Study 6

1.6 Research Questions 7

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1 Conceptual Framework 8

2.1 Different Perspectives of Language 8

2.1.1 Meaning Construction 9

2.1.2 Word Order 9

2.1.3 The Phrase 11

2.1.4 The Structure of the Noun Phrase in English

13 2.1.5 Structural Patterns of the Element of Noun Phrase 23

2.1.6 The Concept Modification 31

2.1.7 Theoretical Framework 34

2.1.8 Empirical Review 35

2.1.9 Summary 42

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

3.1 Research Design 43

3.2 Area of Study 43

3.3 Population of the Study 43

3.4 Sampling Technique 44

3.5 Sample Size 44

3.6 Research Instrument 44

3.7 Method of Data Collections 45

3.8 Method of Data Analysis 45

CHAPTER FOUR:

4.0 DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

4.1 Data Presentation 46

4.2 Analysis 48

CHAPTER FIVE:

DISCUSSION OF RESULTS, CONCLUSION

AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1 Discussion of Results 59

5.2 Conclusion 68

5.3 Recommendations 68

Works Cited 71

Appendix 74s

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PROBLEMS OF NOUN PHRASE WORD ORDER IN ENGLISH: A STUDY OF UNDERGRADUATE LEARNERS; PERFORMANCE

3,000.003,200.00 (-6%)

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