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This study express the tonal patterns of the standard Igbo language and Isuofia dialects of the same language. The purpose is to find out the differences that obtain between the two speech forms, hence the work is comparative in approach. The popular assumption in the Igbo literature about tone pat of the language is that high tone does hardly end a phrase or sentence that is complete in sense, although lexica such structures abound. This work reveals that such tone pattern where high-tone is disallowed at the last syllable of the last word of a phrase or sentence does not obtain in Isuofia dialect. Evidence available show 100% departure from the standard pattern. At other positions, word initial and medial-lexically speaking the percentage rang 15-17. Isuofia dialect forms our specific study       the speech forms of the Isuofia group of dialect are fairly homogeneous, we generalize in our view that Isuofia dialects have about 70% tonal similarly with the standard Igbo but differ significantly in their word/phrase/sentence final syllable tonal formation. This on the whole constitute the 30°Io difference recorded.



       Tone can be said to be the pivot around which Igbo language rotates. Meaning in Igbo language mainly depends on the one used. For instance, the Igbo word “akwa” if not tone-marked c be interpreted in various ways by the readers. To some readers, it can mean “cloth” (akwa), “cry” or “bed” (akwa and to some other people can take it to mean “egg” akwa. This shows that tone is vital to Igbo language and as such it is very important to furnish the readers with accurate information about the standard Igbo tone.

       It is due to the above fact that the pronunciation of words in Igbo involves the pitch of the voice in one way or the o to L about change in meaning and that the Igbo i regar as a tone language.

       Researchers so far have shown that students in our schools today perform badly in this area of Igbo language and worse still, some students shy away from this area completely in examination. At times, they tone-mark the words dialectically instead of tone marking them with standard Igbo one.

       However, in these researchers work the investigator intends to work on the tonological differences in the standard Igbo and Agbaelu dialect with particular reference to Isuofia dialect. The researcher has the intention of finding out i are of differences and make necessary recommendations.


       Nobody expects that all the dialect make up the standard Igbo language should have exactly the same tone pattern in all aspects. At times some dialects deviate from the standard Igbo and dialectal tone patterns constitute a problem in the teaching and learning of standard Igbo tones in ô school today. For instances in the standard Igbo the word “azu” (fish), word “azu” with high high tone (azu) cases like ttii abound, and they pose a great problem to the Igbo tonology experts.


       The m purpose of this study is to find out the tonological variations that exist between the standard Igbo and Isuofia dialect with particular references to Isuofia  dialect.

       The work also aims at making some recommendation for reducing the negative effects these tonological differences might have on the teaching and learning of standard Igbo tones in our various schools.


This project is expected to be of great help to the student of language especially those majoring in Igbo language.

       Moreover, Igbo language teachers will find this work useful too. Tonological experts will also benefit from this work.

       In addition this project will serve as a guide for future researchers who may like to carry out further investigation on dialectal tone variations in other dialect.


1. To what extent are there significant differences between the lexical tone pattern of the standard Igbo and Isuofia dialect.

2. To what extent do significant differences exist in the associative construction tone pattern of standard Igbo and Agbaelu dialect.

3. To what extent significance differences be established between the sentence tone pattern of standard Igbo and Agbaelu dialect.


       The investigators limits this research work to tonological difference in standard Igbo and Isuofia dialect with particular to Isuofia dialect in Aguata local government area of Anathbra state.

       This limitation is due to time, finance and other academic and non academic commitments.


       This described the research design, the population to be covered, the sampling procedures as well as the research instrument to be used for the collection of data for this study and how they will be analyzed.


       This study is a descriptive survey type, it is a form of inferential research arriving at collecting a sample from a large population in order to examine the distribution, incidence and interaction of educational, sociological, or in other case linguistic phenomena. This design is to be used because it is economical & simple.


       The area of study is Isuofia, which is a dialect of Igbo language Geographically Isuofla is located in Aguata local government of, Anambra state, in the Eastern part of Nigeria.

1.9 Study Population

       The population census of Isuofia is up to 80, 000. It is a well populated community. In the course of this research the researcher intend to interviewed the older ones in the community.

1.10 Sampling Procedure

       Eight competent speakers of Isuofia dialect were selected randomly, five which are elderly men and three elderly women.

111 Research Instrument

       The instrument used for the collection of data for this study was brat interview, observation and researchers.


       Data collected will be analyzed descriptively using comparative paradigm to bring out the differences among the stated dialects of study and the standard Igbo form.