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Keywords:ASPECTS OF GUNGANCHI VERB PHRASE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of contents
GENERAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.1 General background of the language
1.2 Historical background of the speakers
1.3 Socio-cultural background
1.3.5 Marriage and burial rites
18.104.22.168 Burial rites
22.214.171.124 Naming ceremony
1.3.8 Objective of the study
1.4 Genetic classification
1.5 Scope and organization of the study
1.6 Theoretical framework
1.7 Data collection
1.8 Data analysis
1.8.1 X-bar theory
126.96.36.199 Head parameter
1.8.2 Theta theory
1.8.3 Case theory
188.8.131.52 Case in GB theory
1.8.4 Binding theory
1.8.5 Bounding theory
1.8.6 The Government theory
1.8.7 Control theory
2.1 Basic phonological concept
2.1.1 Gunganchi consonant system and their distribution
2.1.2 Gunganchi vowel system
2.2 Tone systems in Gunganchi
2.2.1 Level tones
2.2.2 Low tones
2.2.3 Mid tones
2.3 Syllable structure of Gunganchi language
2.3.1 Monosyllabic structure
2.3.2 Di-syllabic structure
2.3.3 Tri-syllabic structure
2.3.4 Quadri syllabic structure
2.4 Lexical categories in Gunganchi
184.108.40.206 Proper nouns
220.127.116.11 Common nouns
18.104.22.168 Concrete nouns
22.214.171.124 Abstract nouns
126.96.36.199 Collective nouns
188.8.131.52 Countable nouns
184.108.40.206 Uncountable nouns
2.5 Phrase structure rules
2.5.1 Phrasal categories in Gunganchi
220.127.116.11 Noun phrase
18.104.22.168 Verb phrase
22.214.171.124 Prepositional phrase
126.96.36.199 Adjectival phrase
2.6 Basic word order in Gunganchi
2.7 Sentence types in Gunganchi
2.7.1 Simple sentence
2.7.2 Complex sentence
2.7.3 Compound sentence
2.8 Classification of sentence in Gunganchi
2.8.1 Imperative sentence
2.8.2 Interrogative sentence
VERB PHRASE IN GUNGANCHI
3.1 Verb phrase and head parameter
3.2 Verb phrase and head parameter in Gunganchi
3.3 Structure of the verb phrase
3.3.1 Structure of the Gunganchi verb phrase
3.4 Classes of verbs
3.4.1 Transitive verbs in Gunganchi
3.4.2 Intransitive verbs in Gunganchi
3.5 Verbs with sentential complements
3.6 Verbs with sentential complements in Gunganchi
3.7 Verb serialization
3.8 Serial verbs in Gunganchi
3.9 Aspects in Gunganchi language
3.9.1 Progressive aspective marker
3.9.2 Perfective aspective marker
TRANSFORMATIONAL PROCESSES IN GUNGANCHI
4.2 Question formation
4.2.1 Yes/No question
SUMMARY, OBSERVATION AND CONCLUSION
GENERAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The main focus of this research work is a discussion on the verb phrase of Gunganchi language. This chapter therefore aims at introducing the work by discussing some historical facts about the Gunganchi people and the language itself. Justification for the study as well as the scope of the work is examined in this chapter. The chapter will also give information on the genetic classification of Gunganchi language and then attempt a brief review of our chosen framework, the government and binding theory.
- GENERAL BACKGROUND OF THE LANGUAGE
Kebbi State, the home of Argungu international fishing and cultural festival came into existence as a political entity on the 27th August 1991. It was carved out of the former Sokoto State with its headquarters in Birnin kebbi. From available source given by informant, Kebbi State spreads alluringly over a vast expanse of land of approximately 36.229 square kilometres representing 3.9% of the total land area of Nigeria.
In this wonderful endowed land lives a population of 3,238,628 (2006 census) people bounded by a long winding history and inspired by memories of spectacular accomplishment. At present, the state is made up of four emirates (Gwandu, Argungu, Yauri and Zuru) which are further divided into 21 local government areas: Birnin Kebbi, Ngaske, Yauri, Sakabo, Zuru, Dandi etc.
Kebbi State has diverse ethnic groups. The dominant amidst them are: Hausa, Fulani, Kabawa and the Gunganwa. The distributions of these ethnic groups show that the Gunganwa (speakers of Gunganchi) are found in Yauri local government. (Informant)
- HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE SPEAKERS
The Gunganwa also known as the Bareshe people by their
Hausa neighbours hail from Yauri Local government area of
Kebbi State. This local government area has a total population of seventy four thousand nine hundred and sixteen people (74,916). They are only found in Yauri local government and call themselves ‘Guresha amidst’. History has it that they came from an island called “gungun” which means water and “Ganwa” which means people that are surrounded by water.
- SOCIO – CULTURAL BACKGROUND
Every community has its distinct way of life. The way people eat, what they wear, their mode of marriage, etc. differ in various societies. The Gunganchi people don’t have an exception as they also have their own cultural values just like every other community.
Gunganchi as a language is the mother tongue in Yauri local government area of Kebbi State. It has neighbouring tribes like hun – saare, Lopa and Hausa.
Gunganchi people are dominantly farmers and pre-dominantly fishermen. They practice both subsistence and commercial form of farming but they major on cultivation of land and growing of crops for the sustainability of their households. They also engage themselves in fishing using cage called “suuru” and they use ‘Hauwuyu’ for farming but now they have started using hoes, cutlasses etc. They farm and fish depending on the season and their major crops are guinea corn, beans, rice and onions. They are also noted for canoe – making.
Following the 1804 Fulani Jihad, the Gunganchi people are mostly Muslims. They also have few pagans and idol worshippers. According to the informant, research has shown that 70% of the Gunganchi people are Muslims while 29% are traditional worshippers and 1% practice Christianity. Despite these ethnic diversities and religious differences, the Gunganchi people live in peace with one another.
Gunganchi people adopt the emirate system like their
neighbouring community. Their location is a multi ethnic area consisting of Lopa, Yauri, Laru etc. and the palace of the emir is in Yehwa, but the Gunganchi people are the first settlers in Yauri. Hereditary succession is not adopted in this emirate and the Emir is appointed based on the fact that he must be elderly, famous and respected among the people.
Turbaning is done for the new emir amidst celebration with burukutu (a local drink made from millet). The Emir rules the territory with local chiefs called Sariki. However, the local government chairman holds the executive function of the Yauri Local Government Area and other governmental works are executed by the Kebbi State Government.
Their major festivals that are celebrated with pomp and pageantry are Idembe which is the millet festival and Anipo festival. During the Anipo festival, animals like goat are sacrificed. These festivals bring all Gunganchi speaking communities together.
- MARRIAGE AND BURIAL RITE
Marriage in Gunganchi community is a bit complex especially for men. In Gunganchi community when a man signals his intention of marriage to a lady, the man’s parents inform the lady’s parents. Before the lady’s parents agree to such proposal, the man must farm for his in-law for an unspecified duration. He farms until the parents of the lady become satisfied. After the farming they formally announce their intension and a date is fixed for the wedding.
On the wedding day the man’s family go with guinea corn because no bride price is needed. The marriage is based on Islamic rites and the marriage ceremony is fun and full of merry making. The Gunganchi people also encourage inter marriage most especially with Hausas.
188.8.131.52 BURIAL RITES
During a Gunganchi burial ceremony, the corpse is lowered into the ground and covered with leaves. Like most tribes the death of an aged person is celebrated and that of the young person is mourned. Sudden or unusual death is usually investigated and the oracle is consulted to find out the cause of the death. The killer of the deceased is said to be killed by the spirit of the dead. The oracle that are consulted are the Gigo (true God) and Ujigo (god of thunder and iron). This is a traditional rite performed on the dead.
The Gunganchi people are highly cultural people. This
reflects in their normal ways of life which will be discussed below.
Before the present day of westernization and civilization the Gunganchi people cloth themselves with animal skin. They make various styles from these animal skins. They now make use of ‘banbariga’ (traditional dress for the man) and loose clothing with local embroidery tied around the woman’s body to wade off the sun. There are also heavy tribal marks on the woman’s face and tattoo on the legs during wedding ceremonies. However some of them still make use of animal skins till date.
The Gunganchi people take guinea corn pap as their best food. They like guinea corn that most of them prefer keeping it than selling it in the market. Guinea corn pap is served at occasions like wedding, naming and during other festive periods. Burukutu (local gin) is their favourite drink and is served during their leisure time.
184.108.40.206 NAMING CEREMONY
When a child is born, he is named after seven days. His hair is shaved and after ten years the child is circumcised.
Before the advent of western education, the people have a way of teaching morals and skills within their community to their children. They hereby teach and impact knowledge to their children right from birth. Hence when western education came it was warmly embraced by the Gunganchi people. However Gunganchi language was also used in teaching Islamic studies to their children.
1.3.8 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
In this study an attempt is made to identify the following;
1 The pattern and arrangement of words in Gunganchi language, i.e. word order;
- The lexical categories of Gunganchi language
- The transformational processes in Gunganchi language
- Combination of words to form phrases and sentences in Gunganchi language
- Rules that apply to structure of phrase in the language; and
- Classification of verbs in Gunganchi language.
1.4 GENETIC CLASSIFICATION
Murit Ruhlen states that “The idea that groups of languages that share certain systematic resemblances have inherited those similarities from a common origin in the basis of genetic classification.
A genetic classification thus makes two statements. Firstly it affirms that certain languages are in fact related to each other (i.e. share a common ancestor). Secondly, it specifies how the languages are inter-related in the form of a branching diagram.
Gunganchi language falls under the Niger-Kordofanian
language family. (Ross Jones 1992)
AFRO-ASIATIC NIGER NUO SAHARAN KHOISAN
MANDE NEW BENUE ATLANTIC VOLTA KORDOFANIAN
OKO DEFOID KAINJI IDOMOID EDOID WOLOF
WESTERN KAINJI EASTERN KAINJI
AMUKU KAINJI GUNGANCHI KANBARI BASSA LOPA
SCOPE AND ORGANISATION OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to closely examine the aspects of Gunganchi verb phrase. The Government and Binding (GB) theory will be examined and a detailed analysis of case theory will be carried out. There are five chapters in all.
Chapter one introduces the topic of the study, the language of study and the people. It gives a historical as well as socio- cultural account of the speakers including the genetic classification of the language.
A review of literature is carried out in the same chapter. Some earlier theories of grammar are examined in this chapter. The Government and Binding theory, which is the theoretical frame work used with its modules are discussed in details.
Chapter two examines the phonological concepts and basic syntactic concepts of the language. It also discusses the sound inventory, tonal and syllable inventories of the language as well as the lexical categories.
The structures of Gunganchi verb phrase as well as verb classification are accounted for in the next chapter.
Chapter four explains the transformational processes that occur in Gunganchi language. Finally in chapter five, a summary of the entire research, observation and recommendation are offered. The research will come to an end in the same chapter and the list of references is attached.
1.6 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
The theoretical framework used for this research is the Government and Binding (GB) theory otherwise known as principles and parameters theory. In the following sections of this chapter, attempts will be made to examine the details of the modules of this theory like case theory, theta theory, Binding theory and Government theory. A brief survey of some earlier theories of grammar will also be carried out.
1.7 DATA COLLECTION
The method of data collection used in this project is the
contact/informant method. Linguistic data was collected for this study by making use of language informant who is a native speaker of Gunganchi language. The data was collected through the use of frame technique and the Ibadan word – list of 400 basic items.
Below are pieces of information about the informant:
Name: CORPORAL LABBO ALKALI
NO OF YEARS SPENT IN GUNGANCHI: 20 Years
OTHER LANGUAGES SPOKEN: HAUSA AND ENGLISH
1.8 DATA ANALYSIS
To ensure an efficient data analysis in this research, all data received are accurately transcribed. The morphemes that made up the phrases and sentences are also carefully glossed.
The data collected are worked upon according to how the native speakers use it without imposing any extraneous rules or norm of correctness.
The sub – theories of GB theory
As mentioned earlier, these sub – theories interplay and dictate what can be moved from where (extraction site) and to where (landing site). The modules account for ungrammaticality resulting from violations of rules and conditions. These modules include case theory, theta theory, binding theory, government theory, control theory and bounding theory. The relationship between one sub – theory and the other is shown below
MODULAR THEORY OF GRAMMAR
X – BAR THEORY Projection Principle
D – STRUCUTRE Lexicon
Move – α θ – Theory
Bounding (O criterion)
Sells (1985:25) and Cook (1988:33)
In the diagram above, no part can be considered in isolation from the rest. Government and Binding theory posits seven sub – theories of the theory of grammar. The structure generated at various levels is constrained by a set of theories, which define the kind of relationships possible within a grammar. The sub – theories of Government and Binding theory are:
- X – BAR THEORY
- THETA THEORY
- CASE THEORY
- BINDING THEORY
- BOUNDING THEORY
- GOVERNMENT THEORY
- CONTROL THEORY
1.8.1 X – BAR THEORY
X – bar theory is part of the grammar that regulates and brings out what is common in the structure of phrase. Cook (1988:94) says:
“In the X – theory, the phrase structure is a comparatively simple system derived from a few principles and the setting of certain parameters.”
A phrase always contains a head in X – bar theory thereby showing hierarchy among the constituents. Heads are terminal nodes that dominate words.
According to Haegerman (1991:105), two levels of projection are distinguished in X – bar theory. These are the specifier and complement positions respectively.
X ’’ above ranges over all phrasal categories like Noun phrases, verb phrases, adjectival phrases, prepositional phrases, inflectional phrases and complementizer phrases.
X’ on the other hand stands for x and its complement where applicable. ‘X’ is a category variable that stands for any major word – level category like Noun, verb, adjective and preposition.
Specifier and complement represent grammatical functions or relations; they have a status similar to terms such as ‘subject’ or ‘object’. They are optional constituents for some phrases but obligatory for some others (Radford 2002:229).
The Gunganchi phrase structure is as outlined below:
CP → C’ specifier
IP → I’ specifier
NP → N’ specifier
VP → V’ specifier
AP → Adj specifier
PP → P specifier
220.127.116.11 HEAD PARAMETER
The head parameter specifies the order of elements in a language (cook, 1988:8). The x – bar syntax aims at generalizing the phrase structure of all human languages rather than idiosyncratic features of a part of a language or of a single language. Sentences may be broken down into constituents (i.e. phrase). Sentence contains a predicate. It is divided into two main parts: the subject and the predicate. (Tallerman, 2005)
The basic word order system that a language operates specifies the value of the head parameter. This means that there is a close relationship or outright interdependency between order of words and head parameter.
A language that operates the subject verb object (SVO) word order has the head first value system. For example, languages like Yoruba, English, Igbo, Hausa, etc. are SVO. A language that operates the subject object verb (SOV) word order has the head last value system, i.e. the head of the phrase comes last. Examples of SOV languages are Batonu, Bokobaru, Japanese, Maori etc. Languages like Arabic and Hebrew attest the verb subject object order (VSO) system, they are head first.
For every parameter, there is a value system. For the head parameter it is either head first or head last. This means that the head of a phrase can occur to the right or to the left of the other elements in the phrase. Gunganchi being an SVO language and also prepositional is head first.
According to Rlemsdizk and William (1989:127), Move- α is ‘Move any category α anywhere’. Move-Alpha is an instruction to move a category from any location provided there is a landing site for the moved category. It is the collapsed rule of Move-Np and Move-WH.
Move- α is the movement of a target category, α, into a matching empty category position. This sub-theory, according to Cook (1988:20) explores the restrictions that human languages actually place on movement. It is the rule, Move-Alpha that maps the d-structure onto the S-structure. Movement could be by substitution or by adjunction.
1.8.2 THETA THEORY
Theta theory deals with the assignment of semantic roles to participants in a sentence and it is constrained by the Theta-criteria. A sentence contains relationship such as who is doing the action and who or what is being affected by the action.
According to Radford (2002:373) each argument bears a particular thematic role. Arguments are subject or complement of a verb or preposition.
Theta-roles are a part of the lexical entry for a verb or a preposition; they assign θ roles to the Noun phrases that they strictly subcategorised for. The verb phrase compositionally assigns an external θ role to the subject NP which is an external argument.
According to the Theta theory, every argument must be assigned a θ – role, hence for a Noun phrase to be relevant, it must be theta-marked. Every Noun phrase must have a role it is playing in a sentence. For example:
Olu killed the goat a knife
The NP ‘a knife’ above does not seem to be relevant in the sentence above; this is because it has not been assigned a Theta-role as a result of the absence of the preposition that should assign the role. In the example below, the NP ‘a knife’ is made relevant with the presence of the preposition:
Olu killed the goat with a knife
The preposition assigns the instrumental role to the NP thereby making it relevant.
The Theta criteria serve as a constraint in the theory. It is stated thus:
Each argument bears one and only one θ role and each θ role is assigned to one argument.
1.8.3 CASE THEORY
Blake (1994:1) sees case as “a system of marking dependent nouns for the type of relationship they bear to their heads”. Case theory accounts for some of the formal properties of Noun phrases. Case theory according to Haegeman (1991:180) is the module of grammar that is concerned with the distribution of NPs within grammatical sentences. Case is a property of Noun phrases. It is one of the modules of government and binding theory that interacts with other sub – theories to determine grammaticality or ungrammaticality.
18.104.22.168 CASE IN GB THEORY
Right from the beginning of enquiry into the nature of language till this moment, the concept of case has been very relevant. The universality of case as a grammatical category is affirmed and ‘in every language case served different purposes’ (Jespersen, 1924:179).
Case Theory deals with how case is assigned and in the Government and Binding Theory, cases are assigned under government. According to Chomsky (1986:187), if a category has a case to assign, it may assign it to an element that it governs. Therefore,
Nominative is assigned by TENSED INFL
Accusative is assigned by Verb and Preposition
Oblique is assigned by preposition.
These categories governing case assignment can be illustrated with Gunganchi examples below:
Muazu túlà mãt́ʃà atʃikà
Muazu buy oil market
‘Muazu bought oil at market’
The diagram below shows the direction of case assignment in Gunganchi
Case theory controls the placement of arguments in a syntactic structure. This means that all overt Noun phrases must be case-marked or else be filtered out as they will be ill-formed.
1.8.4 BINDING THEORY
It is concerned with the relationship of NP participants in the sentence. Horrocks (1987:105) states that ‘it is concerned primarily with the conditions under which NPs are interpreted as co-referential’. As preliminary, there are three types of NPs which are relevant to the Binding theory. Thus;
- Expressions (Referential Expressions)
The anaphors are NPs that can not have independent reference such as reflexive and reciprocal pronouns, promominals are NP, that either refer to individuals independently or co-refer to individual already named in a given sentence and R-expressions are Np, with lexical heads which potentially refer to something.
The locations of antecedents that count for Binding theory are defined in three Binding principle:
- Anaphors must be bound in their local domain
- Pronominals must be free in their domain
- Referential expressions must be free.
1.8.5 BOUNDING THEORY
Bounding theory is concerned with the limitations to be placed on the displacement of constituent by the transformational rule scheme move α.( Geoffrey Horrocks 1987) The location from which movement takes place does not have to be adjacent to the landing site but it must at least be subjacent that is to say, not more than one bounding node away. For example
Olu eat what?
Olu tahma bie
(What did [s Olu eat)
‘What’ has moved from object position to the specifier of C, crossing an S boundary. So a single S boundary does not block movement.
1.8.6 THE GOVERNMENT THEORY
According to Malmhaer (1991:495), Government theory deals with the relationship between a head and its compliment and defines relationships in other sub theories. It is a long known fact of grammar that a verb governs its object (where the object could be Np, Pp).
Thus verb like see, kill, draw, explain, write, etc. govern their Np objects. Also where a preposition is found often, an Np follows, giving rise to the statement that a preposition governs its Np object. The configuration for government is as below:
In the above schemata, α c-commands β and other nodes dominated by XP. In the same vein α c-commands β. β and α can thus assign case to each other.
However, α can assign case to only β and not X and Y, with this description it is obvious that crucial to the concept of government is the issue of c-commands as the relationship between an element and those other elements it is superior to but does not dominate.
The concept of adjacency is also one of the requirements for government. Adjacency simply means contiguity. This implies that there must be no blocking between a governor and the governed.
Government theory is extended through the principle of proper government which non-lexical categories do not.
1.8.7 CONTROL THEORY
Horrocks (1987:31) in his description of the control theory says that it is one in which verbs take infinitival complements that have null subjects understood as being co-referential with an NP in the main clauses. The subject of these infinitival clauses which is not represented has been presented by PRO. The curious properties of PRO can be explained by saying it must only occur when it is not governed.
Consequently PRO can never receive case (since it has no governor). An example is cited below:
“Muritala promised his wife that he would drop the luggage”
Muritala promised his wife (PRO to drop the luggage).
The PRO here is controlled by Muritala which is the subject of the main clause.
Keywords: ASPECTS OF GUNGANCHI VERB PHRASE
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