A Contrastive Linguistic Analysis of Inflectional Bound Morphemes of English, Azerbaijani and Persian languages: A Comparative Study

Topics: Inflection, Verb, English language Pages: 30 (7510 words) Published: June 28, 2014

A Contrastive Linguistic Analysis of Inflectional Bound Morphemes of English, Azerbaijani and Persian Languages: A Comparative Study

Bahram Kazemian1 & Somayyeh Hashemi2


This study aims at contrasting and comparing inflectional bound morphemes of English, Azerbaijani and Persian languages in details to pinpoint any similarities and differences between them. To do so, an inventory of Azerbaijani, Persian and English inflections with examples and illustrations are listed to highlight their similarities and discrepancies. There are restricted numbers of inflections in each language and are utilized to indicate aspects of grammatical function of a word. Results reveal that there are more varieties of inflections in Azerbaijani language than in English or Persian and; they share some common properties as well as several dissimilarities. English and Persian represent more irregularity in terms of plurality for nouns and affixation for verbs; Azeri incorporates numerous inflections into each category as well. The differences are the major source of difficulties for a native speaker of Azeri or Persian to learn English and vice versa. To overcome this, teaching should be effectively and efficiently managed at these different points to smooth the path for learners. Based on the findings of the study, some implications can be drawn for translators, textbook writers, syllabus designers, learners and instructors involved in language pedagogy.

Keywords: contrastive analysis, Azerbaijani and Persian languages, inflectional morphemes


Contrastive analysis has been an essential and systematic branch of applied linguistics which deals with the linguistic description of the structure of two or more different languages. Such descriptive comparison and contrast serve to show how languages differ in their sound system, grammatical structure and vocabulary. This type of analysis can be used in language teaching, translation, and of course, designing syllabus among others, to point out the areas where the similarities and discrepancies between two or more languages are present.

Azeri language, also known as Azerbaijani, is the official language of the Republic of Azerbaijan, though some dialects of the language are spoken in several parts of Iran such as Azerbaijan Provinces, Ardabil, Hamedan, Gazvin and Zanjan Provinces. Azeri language can also be heard in parts of eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, and in southeastern area of the Republic of Georgia. Azeri people in Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan are bilingual. Worldwide, there are about 30 million or more native speakers of this language (Farzaneh, 1998). Persian (Farsi) is an Indo-European language, spoken and written primarily as an official language in Iran, Afghanistan, and a part of Tajikistan. It is written from right to left in the Arabic-like alphabet (Mace, 2003).

In all these places, English is incrementally becoming popular and essential due to educational, social events and circumstances and it has become a compulsory subject in schools and of course for families in the society. As English teachers, the paramount importance of learning and teaching English morphology should be recognized. The ability to acknowledge the components of words, i.e., affixes, roots and word families etc., is believed to be an important skill in language learning and teaching (Yarmohammadi, 2002).

Morphology and Bound Morphemes have become the focus by many experts in the field of linguistics and language teaching. Azeri and Persian EFL learners are to master explicitly or implicitly bound morphemes and inflections respectively. The complexity in learning English inflectional morphemes, which Azeri and Persian students are likely to encounter, seems to arise from different linguistic systems as well as different linguistic affiliation. Two reasons have been put forward for the considerable emphasis on this issue: the importance and necessity...

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