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PROJECT TOPIC- COMPARATIVE SYNTAX OF NEGATION IN ISU DIALECT OF IGBO

PROJECT TOPIC- COMPARATIVE SYNTAX OF NEGATION IN ISU DIALECT OF IGBO

ABSTRACT

This work titled “Comparative Syntax of Negation in Isu dialects of Igbo” was aimed at identifying the various negative markers in Isu dialect, to examine the grammatical functions performed by the negative markers in Isu dialect, and also to examine the relationship between the realization of negation in the standard Igbo and Isu dialect. The researcher adopted a descriptive research method, data were collected and analyzed based on which it was found that there 1/2/3/4/5 negative markers in Isu are placed after /before/ in between the verb. In all there are/there are no difference between the systems of negation in Isu dialect and Igbo dialect. However, the findings highlights the need for more dialectal approach to Igbo grammatical description as in capable of revealing little variation that may aid better understanding of the working of human language.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background of the Study

The study of negation is more than a mere description of expressing “no or not” in the language. Negation structures unfold other patterns of language structure, especially with regard to the evolution of grammatical categories. Simply put, the grammatical categories associated with affirmative and negative is called polarity. In Linguistics, affirmation and negation are terms of opposite meaning which maybe applied to statements, verbs, phrases, clauses and some other utterances.

This means that a sentence, verb, phrase and clause maybe said to have either affirmative or negative polarity. That is, affirmative (positive) form is used to express the validity of a basic assertion while negative form expresses falsity. In otherwords, when a sentence contradicts or is the opposite of a positive statement, it is called negation. Various scholars have defined negation in different ways: Anagbogu (2005:575) quotes crystal (1976:243), Walters (2000:208), Oluikpe (1976:164) and Heasley (1983:19) that “negation is a grammatical process in which affirmative sentence is negated”.

A negative sentence must have a negative operator in form of affix or a full fledge word (Anagbogu 2005:19). The process of negation is however a curious deviant from other grammatical categories even as it employes: Morphological, syntactical and phonological categories and its properties to exist in most languages. Various definitions of negation, markers used and features to negative sentences in African languages with special focus on Isu and Nnenwe dialect spoken in Ebonyi State is our major concern in this work.

Therefore, this work seeks to give detailed account negation in Isu and Nnenwe dialect of Igbo, its brief history and then the data analysis on negation in Isu and Nnenwe. The need to know and understand why, how and what brings about negation in Isu dialect necessitate the research on this topic. Isu dialect is said to be one of the dialects classified under the Igbo language which is found under the Kwa group of language, family. Isu and Nnenwe communities has a large number of speakers.

Linguistically, Isu dialect has little morphology. That is, grammatical information is for some part, encoded word externally or indiscrete root morphemes as opposed to word internally via a series of affixes. However, verbs inflect for tense (That is, past and non-past) and aspect (progressive, perfective, durative and indicative), through both prefixation and suffixation. Also, verbs bear additional morphology depending on the sentence type, for example: Verbs in imperative sentence bear special suffixes (e.g, fu, ru etc). Reduplication is also a productive derivational morphological process in the dialect. However, in Isu dialect, the basic order in the dialect is subject, verb and object. That is, SVO.

PROJECT TOPIC- COMPARATIVE SYNTAX OF NEGATION IN ISU DIALECT OF IGBO

  • Statement of the Problem

According to Walters (2000:208), it has been earlier stated that when a sentence contradicts or is the direct opposite of a positive statement, it is called negation. It is a well known fact that all languages have a way of negating affirmative sentence. Igbo Language is made up of various dialects, one of them being Isu and Nnenwe. All these dialects of Igbo vary from one another at various grammatical levels (phonological, morphological etc). The researcher therefore intends to investigate the dialect to find out if negation contributes to one of the distinguishing factors between the dialect and other dialects of Igbo.

  • Objective of study

The aim and purpose of undertaking this research work is to investigate the grammatical workings of negation in Isu and Nnenwe dialect. More specifically, the researcher intends to:

  1. Identify the various negative markers in Isu and Nnenwe dialect.
  2. Examine the grammatical functions performed by the negative markers in isu dialect.
  3. Examine the relationship between the realization of negation in the standard Igbo and Isu dialect.
    • Research Questions

This research work is designed to answer the following research questions in line with the objectives of this research.

  1. What are the various negative markers in Isu and Nnenwe dialect?
  2. What are the various grammatical functions performed by the negative markers in Isu and Nnenwe dialect?
  3. To what extent can the realization of negation in Isu and Nnenwe dialect be related to that of standard Igbo?
    • Significance of Study

The choice on this topic is motivated by the fact that studies on negative constructions in most African languages is not very popular and some people are completely ignorant of the interesting operations underlying this aspect of linguistics. However, the knowledge on its operation in Isu and Nnenwe dialect made this work relevant.

  • Scope/Limitation of Study

In syntactic analysis, many topics come into discussion but this research work focuses on the negation aspect of Isu and Nnenwe dialect. Other topics like question formation, transformational rules, etc. do not come into discussion in this research work.

PROJECT TOPIC- COMPARATIVE SYNTAX OF NEGATION IN ISU DIALECT OF IGBO

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