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Academic Paper


Title: Hierarchies in Igala Complementary Binominal Marking
Author: Salem Ochala Ejeba
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Port Harcourt
Linguistic Field: General Linguistics
Subject Language: Igala
Abstract: In this work, it is proposed that a normative hierarchy exists for human language, akin to the well known animacy hierarchy observed and documented in the linguistic semantics literature. It is claimed that the normative hierarchy is the super ordinate of animacy hierarchy and other such hierarchies that may be observed to exist in human language. The evidence from Igala (New Benue Congo, Nigeria) illustrates the functioning of this hierarchy in a language system: specifically used only in the context of complementary binominals which are rigidly irreversible. In the literal interpretation of normative hierarchy, it establishes some forms of social, spatial or temporal relationships in the real world between the collocated words, where structural order of the nouns conjoined by the low toned vocalically underspecified complementary binominal marker (CBM), ŋv corresponds to grammatical preference, which in turn derives from the semantics of the Igala language; the kind of superiority that has been referred to as normative hierarchy in this work. The CBM is exclusively utilized to establish the idiomatic expression of the formulaic irreversible binominals in a manner that the other coordinative strategies, using the coordinative morpheme, kpàjí and juxtaposition do not.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Presented at the 25th Annual Conference of the Linguistic Association of Nigeria (CLAN) on Linguistics/Language, Integration, and National Development, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria, 3rd – 6th December.
Publication Info: Ms


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