1.1   Background to the Study

Language is an organic entity which is wrapped in its own intricacies and complexities. Every aspect of it is interconnected and no aspect is less important than the other. And they are always very important in the overall rendering of sense and sense making. In the English grammar, the most important is the verb which can stand alone and still render a level of sense; something that every other word class is not able to do.

However, when comes to gaining bearing during an interlocution, prepositions are the word class that make it possible. By definition, it is the word that gives out the relationship between a word found in the sentence and the word which serves as the object of that particular sentence. And like most other word class it has a string of words which also serves in it’s stead; referred to as prepositional phrases.

At any rate, the importance of this word class in a sentence isn’t felt usually by native speakers as it is seen as one of the minor parts of the word classes. It is rather learners of the language in question that have trouble using it. Take for instance the adverb which can take almost every position in the sentence being used by a none speaker whose native language is more strict in that regard. When this happens as it often does with prepositions, what is heard is a fragmented speech with an incomplete sense so that only an eloquent native speaker can hazard what is meant.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Learning a language is learning all it’s convoluted complexities and internalising it’s workings and being able to use it for communication and art. And the first step is usually to understand the language and make meaning of what is communication. Often, learning of a language understand but are not yet able to make full intelligible sentence construction mostly because of the none content words and word classes. Such include the use of prepositions and prepositional phrases in sentences. The research effort which has gone into this study reveals an academic gap in the study of the correlation between prepositions and prepositional phrases in regards to the English and Yoruba languages with the aim of establishing their various effects on language learning generally. This is the research problem which has given rise to the present study.




1.3   Research Questions

1.3.1      what are the effects of prepositions and prepositional phrases on the English and Yoruba languages.

1.3.2      How distinct are these effect on the two languages and their peculiarity.

1.3.3      What is the nature of the relationship between prepositions and prepositional phrases in the two languages.

1.4   Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this research work are founded on the academic need to study prepositions as they relate to prepositional phrases as they bear upon language acquisition. To achieve this for the English or Yoruba languages the present research aims at:

  • Establish the various effects of prepositions and prepositional phrases in the learning of either the English language or the Yoruba language.
  • To describe the processes and nature of these effects and how they influence the acquisition of the two languages.

1.5   Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will go a long way in making language learning especially those of English and Yoruba much easier as a knowledge of the use and effects of prepositions and prepositional phrases will be seen in their operational level. The work will be highly beneficial to language tutors especially those who specialize in teaching second language learners of English or the Yoruba language so that adequate attention will be given to prepositions and prepositional phrases having understood their roles in language acquisition.

1.6   Research Hypothesis

The research assumes that the correlation between prepositions and prepositional phrases are significant enough to affect language acquisition especially in respect to the English and Yoruba languages.

1.7   Scope of the Study

The study is limited to English and Yoruba languages and the word class of prepositions and prepositional phrases. The second chapter will focus on reviewing related studies on the significance of prepositions and prepositional phrases on language learning and their significance generally.

1.8   Limitations of the Study

Time generally conspired as a limiting factor for this research work as there are lost of literature to go through in the course of this writing which time constraints could not allow one to thoroughly review them.

1.9   Definition of Terms


This is the part of speech (word class) which shows the relationship between a particular word and the object of a sentence. In simpler terms it tells the position of objects.

Prepositional Phrases

This refers to the preposition, the object it is indicating its location and every other modifier in between them in a sentence.