THE KORO-IJA NOUN PHRASE by siwoyxrzafiawzzy

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OBATOYE, Julianah Fôláśadé



                       MAY, 2011

      This essay has been read and approved as meeting the

requirements of the Department of Linguistics and Nigerian

languages, University of Ilorin, Ilorin Nigeria.

…………………………..                                       ……………………
Dr. I.O, Sanusi                                       Date
Project Supervisor

…………………………..                                       ……………………
Prof. A.S, Abdussalam                                 Date
Head of Department

…………………………..                                       ……………………
External Examiner                                     Date


     This work is dedicated to Almighty God the reason for

my existence, giver of life, for his protection, guidance and

provision since birth up to this present moment and for

seeing me through the course of my programme. May I live to

praise him always for his goodness and Mercy endureth

forever and ever.

     Also, to my beloved parents Mr & Mrs Obatoye for their

moral and financial support, may you live to eat the fruit of

your labour, God bless you (Amen).


     All praise is due to ALMIGHTY GOD for sparing my life

up to this present moment and to another important stage of

journey through my life.

     I wish to express my profound gratitude to my project

supervisor, Dr. Issa Olarongbe Sanusi. Who has always been

a source of inspiration? I am greatly indebted to him for not

only spared part of his valuable but limited time to citizen

and make a necessary concretion in this work but also

recshaped my academic performance. May Almighty God add

this effort to scale of good deeds in the Day of Judgment


     Equally,   I   am   greatly    indebted   to   the   Head   of

Department Prof. A.S Abdussalam and all my lectures in the

Department of Linguistic and Nigerian Language University of

Ilorin. Who over the year taught me formally and informally

not only something about linguistics but also life as a whole, I

thank you all for the knowledge imparted in me, your advice

and encouragement.

      I am extremely grateful to my parents, Mr. & Mrs J.O /

R.O Obatoye. For their love, kindness, prayer and financial

support, again a great debt is owned to my beloved brothers

Mr. Sunday Obatoye and Mr John Obatoye and their wives

and children, also the family of Pastor & mrs. Amos Grace

Agboola for their prayer and financial support during my


      Once again, to my elderly ones Obatoye Peter, Obatoye

Isaac and Obatoye Felicia thank you all for your love and


      I Also, owned indebtedness to my friends Ayoade

Olatoyan, Ojo Olaniran, Okunlola Paul, Jesumbo, and my

room mate, Ife-Oluwa thanks you all for your advice,

encouragement, love and prayer support for me you were all

there when I needed you, may the Lord bless you all. Thank

you all.


NP    -    Noun Phrase

N     -    Noun

C     -    Complemantizer

Det   -    Determine

Sov   -    Subject, Verb, Object

PS    -    Phrase Structure

FC    -    Focus Construction

CP    -    Complementizer Phrase

PM    -    Phrase Marker

TNS -      Tense

D.S -      Deep Structure

S.S   -    Surface Structure

Pres -     Present

Pro   -    Pronoun

Aux -      Auxiliary

[ ]   -    Represents Phonetic Boundary

[/] -      Represents High Tone

[\] -      Represents Low Tone

( ) -     Brackets

VP    -   Verb Phrase

AP    -   Adjectival

PP    -   Prepositional Phrase

Spec -    Specifier

I.P   -   Inflectional Phrase

Conj -    Conjunction

//    -   Phonemic representation

t     -   Trace

     -   Re-write arrow

Deg -     Degree

Agr   -   Agreement

V     -   Verb

P     -   Preposition

Adj   -   Adjective

                     TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page                                 i

Certification                              ii

Dedication                                 iii

Acknowledgment                             iv

List of Symbols and Abbreviations          vi

Table of Contents                          viii


1.0   Introduction                         1

1.1   General Background of the Study      1

1.2   Historical Background                3

1.3   Socio- Cultural Profile              5

1.3.1 Cultural Values                      6

1.3.2 Governance/Administration of Koros   6

1.3.3 Religion and Festivals               8

1.3.4 Marriage Rites                       9

1.3.5 Burial Rites                         10

1.3.6 Attitude and Cultural Beliefs        11

 1.4 Geographical Location                         12

 1.5 Economy                                       13

 1.6 Education                                     14

 1.7 Relationship with Neighboring Town            14

 1.8 Genetic Classification of Koro-Ija Language   15

 1.9 Scope and Organization                        18

1.10 Theoretical Framework                         19

1.10.1 Government and Binding Theory               20

1.10.2 Sub-Theories of Government and Binding      22

1.11 Data Collection                               26

1.12 Data Analysis                                 29



2.0   Introduction                                 30

2.1   Basic Phonological Concepts                  30

2.1.1 Sound Inventory of Koro-Ija Language         31

2.1.2 Consonants System                            32

2.1.3 Syllabic Consonants                          34

2.1.4 Vowels System                              34

2.1.5 Tone System in Koro-Ija Language           38

2.1.6 Function of Tone in Koro-Ija Language      40

2.1.7 The Syllabic System of Koro-Ija Language   41

2.2   Basic Syntactic Concepts                   44

2.2.1 Phrase Structure Rules                     46

2.2.2 Noun Phrase                                48

2.3.3 Verb Phrase                                49

2.2.4 Adjectival Phrase                          52

2.2.5 Prepositional Phrase                       54

2.3   Lexical Categories                         56

2.3.1 Nouns                                      56

2.3.2 Pronouns                                   60

2.3.3 Verbs                                      65 Tenses in Koro-Ija Language              66 Aspects in Koro-Ija Language             67

2.3.4 Adverbs                                    68

2.3.5 Adjectives                                 71

2.3.6 Prepositions                               73

2.3.7 Conjunctions                                75

2.4   Basic word order in Koro-Ija Language       76

2.5   Sentences                                   79

2.5.1 Simple Sentences                            80

2.5.2 Compound Sentences                          82

2.5.3 Complex Sentences                           85


3.0   Introduction                                88

3.1. Noun Phrase                                  88

3.1.1 The Noun Head in Koro-Ija Language          89

3.1.2 Position of Noun within the NP              92

3.1.3 Co-Occurrence of an NP with Adjectives      94

3.1.4 Co-Occurrence of and NP with Determiner     96

3.1.5 Co-Occurrence of an NP with Preposition     98

3.2   Functions of Noun Phrase                    100

3.2.1 Noun Phrase as Subject of the Sentence      100

3.2.2 Noun Phrase as an Object of a Verb          102

3.2.3 Noun Phrase as Indirect Object of a Verb    104

3.2.4 Noun Phrase as an Object of a Preposition   106

3.2.5 Noun Phrase as Complement of Preposition         109

3.2.6 Noun Phrase as Subject of a Sentence             111

3.2.7 Noun Phrase as Appositive in the Objective       113

3.2.8 Noun Phrase as Appositive in the Subject Position 115

3.3   Embedding in NP                                  116

3.4   Noun Phrase with Post Modifiers (IN) „With‟      118


4.0   Introduction                                     120

4.1   Transformation Process                           120

4.1.2 Movement                                         123

4.2   Focus Construction                               125

4.2.1 Subject – NP Focusing                            126

4.2.2 Object – NP Focusing                             129

4.2.3 Indirect Object – NP Focusing                    131

4.3   Relativization                                   133

4.4   Reflexivisaton                                   138



5.0   Introduction                                     143

5.1   Summary                                          143

5.2   Conclusion                                       145

5.3   Recommendations                                  145

      References                                       147

                       CHAPTER ONE


      This chapter focuses on the General Background to the

study, the historical background, social-cultural profile,

cultural values, Genetic classification, and Data collection,

Analysis of the data and Review of the chosen framework.

1.1   General Background to the Study

      Nigeria is a multi-lingual country-blessed with about

512 languages (Gojeh, Jatau and Mammah 1998). Spoken

within and outside the country, but only few of these

languages have been committed to writing. Interestingly, this

work    is   ultimately   targeted    at    ensuring     that   Koro-Ija

language,    a   language    without       orthography    occupies    it

dignified position by way of making explicit what is implicit

about the language in record time.

       This study focuses on the aspects of Noun phrase of

Koro-Ija language. The language is spoken in some parts of

Plateau, Kaduna and Niger States.

       It is spoken by the population of about 150,000

speakers. (Gordon 2005). They are majorly known as Rugo

among themselves, the language is predominantly spoken in

ija-koro village, Tafa Local Government Area of Niger State.

       The Koros people are administered by clan hands and

they are assisted by the chivies. The migrated from Zana

emirate i.e the Kingdom of Kwararafa which date back to 19th

century also by Gordon (2005). The person that led the

migration was called Najaja. He is a hunter, Ija-Koro was

derived from his name. His fact that the place is comfortable

for him, which is known as Koro.

      As an introductory, chapter, I shall focus firstly on the

historical background of Ija-Koro, Socio-cultural Background,

Genetic Classification, Scope and Organization of the study,

Theoretical framework and Brief Review of the Chosen

Framework, Data Collection and Data Analysis.

      Bearing in mind that a community without a written

orthography is tantamount to a society without an identity.

      My     mission    is   that    after,   putting   forward     my

contribution, this language (Koro-Ija) will be able to compete

favourably    with     the   superior    ones    that   have      wider

representation. I hope that my target shall meet the need for

which it is intended.

1.2   Historical Background

      There exist many versions of the origins of the Koro-Ija

language. Some primary and secondary sources of oral bases,

assured monolithic origin for the Koros. However, all these

contradictory versions reflect migrations and interrelations.

      According to Na‟ibi and Hasan in their book „A chronicle

of Abuja‟

      „Another popular legend of the Koros claimed that they

were evidently influenced by the attempt to link their origin to

the universal perspective and centres of old civilization. This

legend claimed that one Koro and his younger brother Jukun

were born east of Mecca and settled in “Apa”, which became

the capital Kwararafa Kingdom. He was blessed with four

children named Igala, Nupe and two daughters, Igbala in turn

begot Alago and Idoma, one of the daughters of Jukun begot.

Ankwe (Gojeh and Jatau 1998:9).

      From linguistics evidence of some Koro the legend of

Koro and his brother Jukun were not from Mecca. Infact,

some Koro, Kanun, Jukun and Arab do not belong to the

same linguistic group as evidenced in the recent linguistics

classification of Gordon (2005).

      The above legend contradicts the oral account narrated

by Sarkin Muhammed Yawa, the present village head and

14th chief of Ija-Koro village.

      According to him, a group of Koro people left Zaria area

on a hunting expedition to old Abuja Emirate, years before

the Hausa Zazzau came to Abuja (Suleja) under the

leadership of Shiwoyi who later became the first chief of Ija-

Koro. They later discovered that the land was blessed with

thick foliage and more games, they decided to settle very close

to the forest, close to the Kata (Gbayi) people who they met

there and who also welcomed them without any rancour or


1.3   Socio-Cultural Profile

      The Koros are known for unshakable peace and

unflinching tolerance even with other distinct neighbours.

The ideal life of the Koros are tolerance and respect for others,

which they believe are indispensable for survival and

productivity. The puzzle of Koro social psychology attracts

scholarly interest to examine the binding forces. Other groups

are most comfortable with them for their human relations,

accessibility, peace and docility.

         They are identified through joking relations, common

facial     marks   sharing   of     foods,   traditional/   cultural

consultation, moving together in the market or social

occasion and sometimes forging common origin.

1.3.1 Cultural Values

      Cultural values are the cherished tradition and ethos,

which are desirable to their society and taken as normative


      They are expectations and practices that make life

meaningful      and      anticipation     of   better   tomorrow.     One

observable cultural value of these people is good mind and

behaviour and predisposition to work as demanded.

      They      values    submissive      character     discipline,   pre-

disposition to obey orders and fulfill responsibilities. This is

re-enforced through organization of age- grades, favour for

the behavoured and punishment for the deviants. They also

love organizing their societies with a structural authorities

some of which are religious and some administrative.

1.3.2 Governance / Administration of Koros

      The unit of authority starts with the household under

its   house     head     called   „Pinwada”     or   “Ikpunkuya”.     The

household heads are answerable to the clan-head (ebe-tuko)

or ward head.

     They are also answerable to the village head (Ezmela),

all the village heads are answerable to the chief (Osu) who

might even be the village head. The Osu or Ghere-Ghabin is

turbaned like and emir since colonial days.

     The committed leadership attracted the administration

of Arab and European writers and remarked that they were

world famous in governance better than European, Asia or

American systems.

     However, the Koro system or government was purely

Confederal arrangements for sporadic consortium against

invaders. In attempt to account for the semi-autonomous

nature   of the   village   groups, some   informants simply

submitted that they were kingdoms independent of external

control and reduced over big settlement into a kingdom.

1.3.3 Religion and Festivals

     The Koros are dominantly traditional worshippers with

every families having its own ancestral shrine. There were

also clan shrines (ebe-tukwo). Town shrine and individual or

town cults and sanctuaries (ashma ukuk) many pre-colonial

polities were purely exercising cultural and religions control

of tribes while excluding non-tribe even in the dame

settlement.   Hence,     individuals     and    families    paid   more

allegiance to their king and cultural cum religions heads.

     Festivals are organized to unite their entire king far and

near, and their chief priests regarded as rulers or their tribe

only, but without defined territory.

     Till now, the Koros are culturally vibrant. There is also

an   annual   festival    called     Kuye,     it   is   celebrated   to

commemorate the death of Nayaja, the great hunter who

emancipated the Koros from the shackles of hukdas and led

them to their, present location. An antelope most be castled

as the festival rites or atonement. However, some of these

festivals have reduced in importance because of the influence

of western education.

1.3.4 Marriage Rites

     Just like any other tribe or language, marriage is a sin-

qua-non   (necessity)   to   human   existence;   hence,   it   is

unavoidable to any society. It is the only universal approach

to procreation. The koros engage in union through secret

negotiation between the family of the bride and the groom

initially, the groom and the bride are secluded from this

arrangement. This is so because, premarital intercourse is

forbidden in Koro tribe.

     Marriage ceremony here is garnished accomplished with

different traditional display among which is the physical

combat between young boys, unlike in other parts of Nigeria

where marriage is celebrated in the daytime. In Ijakoro,

celebration galore starts at night with intriguing traditional

dances maiden (s) are on ground to entertain guest with

terrific dance step. There is a traditional method during

marriage rites called “keep chance” this is employed when the

stage is overcrowded.

     One distinctive thing about their marriage is that a girl

of 14 or 15 may be given out in marriage.

     Finally, every father in Koro sees it as a pride to witness

the marriage of his son. The father may cast a cause on the

son, if he decided not to marry as at when due or at the

appropriate time.

1.3.5 Burial Rites

     Death is accompanied just like any other tribes with

sorrow and agony people gather at the village square. The

relations come out in mass with their various masquerades

and they were traditionally expected to dance till down, before

the deceased will be curial to the grave, the masquerades

jumps over the corpse sever times.

     Relatives, friends, sons and grandsons spray money on

the corpse as transport for his journey to his ancestors. A

masquerades shout indicates readiness for the burial.

     The corpse will be carried shoulders high in readiness

for the grave. The specialists known as “Abuyo” are waiting

for the corpse behind the graveside to do the burial proper.

     Another specialist waits at the inner room of the grave

waiting for the corpse. Finally two negative are called to bid

the corpse goodbye.

     Seven nights of dancing and a formed ceremony will be

inaugurated as final valedictory service.

1.3.6 Attitude and Cultural Beliefs

     The people of Ija-koro were noted for their rich and

catchy culture. The language cultural ethnics and values

advocate for a no limit “respect”. To them, “agrey hair can‟t be

purchased from the market”.

     The community is a place away from home i.e the

hospitable spirit of its inhabitant is inestimable. Apart from

this, the moral principle of its people transcends the

materialistic ethos of our time.

      Their maids are not allowed to involve in premarital sex

because it is an abomination (in the past, but not absolutely

this day). This contradicts what is obtainable in this morally

decaying society.

      All these fascinating qualities were in evidenced or seen

in the informant‟s unselfish disposition to render assistance

whatever the need arises.

1.4   Geographical Location

      The Koros are found in the federal capital territory,

Abuja (FCT), Niger and Kaduna States respectively. In

Kaduna State they live together in Kagarko Local Government

Area (LGA) in Koro and Jere Chiefdom. In Niger State, they

live together in Kuta, Chanchanga and Suleja. In FCT, they

live in the whole of Bwarri and Abuja Municipal Area Council


      Their population was given by Barret (1992) as 45,000

(Gordon 2005). There was no estimate for the Koro of

Nassarawa State in Parda, Keiru and Keffi LGAS. The

population of the Koro of Niger was conservatively put at

150,000 in 2007.

1.5   Economy

      Agriculture is the mainstay of the Koro‟s economy.

Commercial and subsistence farming are dominant. Yam and

Maize are the major article of trade. The land has varying

proportion of Silica, Salt, Nitrogen and phosphorus. It is

alluvial and sticky in the paddy areas and sandy on the up

lands and fertile. They make plants grow well.

      The boom in agricultural production is related to the

fertility of soils. It is interesty to note here that faming in this

region   is   of   great   antiquity.   The   ethnobotanical   and

archaeological findings suggest that farming date back to

3,000 BC.

      However, agriculture here did not possess the rich

potentialities that belonged to it in the other regions

Agricultural produce are sold in a weekly market called Ija-

Koro market.

1.6   Education

      It is beyond the shadow of doubt that, the issue of

Western education in today society if dominant and nearly

unavoidable Ija-koro, a small speech community in Tafa Local

Government Area of Niger State is exampled forms this so

called nomenclature.

      The land of literacy is very low among the Koros to the

extended that nearly 85% of the Ija-Koro people can neither

read nor write.

      Since the languages have not been committed to writing

there is a very clear indicates that, it is not a language of

education. Contrarily, it possible for a Koro teacher to code-

mix i.e adapts his/ her native language in teaching. This is to

ensure clarity and brevity in explanation.

1.7   Relationship with Neighbouring Town

      The immediate neighbouring towns and villages to Ija-

Koro include Koro-Zuba and Ija-bwari. They are friendly with

their neighbour it usually attracts something good to them.

      The Koro people find it extremely easy to interact with

neighbours since they were mostly polyglot. Apart from this,

the similarities in lexical items of the people and their

neighbour      bridges   the    gap        of   communication   barrier

commercial linkage is established at a very convent form.

1.8   Genetic Classification of Ija-Koro Language

      Languages are related to one another, some are more

closely related while others are distantly related. On the basis

of these relationships, languages are classified into families or

phyla, within each family various sub-division can still be


      The classification of African languages, distinguished

four major groups called phyla namely: Afro-Asiatic, Niger-

Kordofanian, Nile-Shoran and Khoisan. Only three of these

families are represented in Nigeria majority of Nigeria

languages      belong    to    Niger-Kordofanian       phylum   which

coincidentally is my major concern.

      Koro-Ija is a sub-division of Niger-Kordofanian what is

Genetic classification?

      It is the sub-grouping of all relevant languages into a

genetic. This is away of classifying all languages that are

related into one group, domain or Node.

      A node is a group of language that are closely related to

the other than to any language outside the group.

      The other group Niger-Congo has more than 1,000

languages and they have about 180million speakers while

Kordofanian over area of concentration is Benue-Congo which

is a sub-group of Niger-Kordofanian where over language of

specification is found.

      Meek quoted by Gojeh, Jatau and Mamah (1998:18)

classified it simply as:

      “Nigerian semi-Bantu with no further Finenent Gordon‟s

(2005) linguistics family tree tracs Koro to have originated

from among the Niger-Congo group of languages through the

Atlantic Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Plateau Western

to North Western Koro.


                  Niger-Congo                                  Kordofanian

         Mande                  Atlantic Congo

                 Atlantic              Ijoid           Volta-Congo

         Kru                 Kwa                  North             Benue-Congo

Defoid     Edoid            Nupoid       Idomoid          Igboid     Cross-river       Bantoid

                                                                        Kanji          Platois


 Berome         Souther      Ndumen       Alume         Ninzic       West       East     North

Yeskwa         Gyongic      Koro       Hyanic        Jiju        Tyap       Tyap

  Koro-zuba                 Ija-Koro                 Jijilic

     Adapted from Roger Blench (2006)

1.9   Scope and Organization of the Work

      This project describes the structure of Noun phrase in

Koro-Ija language. It aim at studying the language and to

know more about Koro-Ija language as much had not been

written about it. It is in view of this that I decided to study the

aspect of Noun phrase in Koro-Ija language.

      This research work is divided into five chapters, chapter

one deals with general background, historical background,

socio-cultural   profile,   genetic   classification,   Theoretical

framework, data collection and data analysis, scope of study

and brief review of chosen framework.

      Chapter two covers the basic phonological concept i.e

sound inventory, tonal system and syllable structure and

basic syntactic concepts which included, phrase structure

rules, lexical categories, basic word order and sentience


      The third chapter deals with the syntactic focus area

that is Noun phrase of Koro-Ija language, function of Noun


     Chapter four is all about the syntactic transformational

processes that    occur   in   the     language   such as   focus

construction, Relativization, Passivization, question formation

and negation.

     The last chapter, which is the fifth deals with Summary,

Conclusion, Recommendations and References.

1.10 Theoretical Framework

     The theoretical framework of this research project is

based on the generative grammar popularized by Chomsky

and other linguist. This helps in the description of word found

in the language as in the analysis of the data collected from

the native speakers with the use of descriptive grammar.

     The syntactic part of this research is based on the

Government and Binding theory, which incorporate the

theory of the structure of phrases known as x-bar syntax.

This is aimed at expressing general phrase structure of all

human language rather than features that are particular to

one part of a language or to a single language.

     This theory proposes that there are certain modules,

which conspire to tell a native speaker of a language that a

grammar is correct. There are various segments that work

together to let a speaker know that his grammar is right,

these segments are called modular grammar some of these

modules are: projection principle, x-bar theory, theta theory,

case theory, binding theory, bounding theory, control theory,

government and binding theory.

     All these modules conspired to show that there is

something universal about languages the government and

binding theory incorporated all these together to show the

relationship between the modules of grammar under the

Government and Binding theory is shown below, this shows

the relationship between the principles and sub-theory of

Government and Binding theory.

1.10:1Government and Binding Theory

     Government and Binding Theory (GB) will be used in

the analysis of noun phrase in Koro-Ija language. This theory

is a modular deductive theory of universal grammar (UG),

which posits multiple levels of representation related by the

transformational rule (moved). However, it is more advanced

theory of Universal Grammar. Sanusi (1996:19-21)

     Haegman (1991:13) defined Government and Binding

theory as the theory of universal grammar which is the

system of all the principles that are common to all human

languages. Government and Binding theory is otherwise

known as principle and parameters theory. In GB theory, the

grammar is a continuous interaction between component and

sub-theories embodying different principles and parameters.

     Again, Sanusi (1996:21) explained that Government and

Binding    Theory     greatly     eliminates   proliferation   of

transformational rules, like passive, affix-hopping, verb-

number agreement, question formation, equi-NP deletion,

raising, permutation, insertion e.t.c.

     Government and Binding theory operate through the

Modules of grammar like Government, case, theta, control,

binding, and bounding and x-bar theory.

1.10.2 Sub-Theories of Government and Binding

     Horrock (1987:29) stated that, the lore grammar of a

given language is derived from the interaction of sub-theories

of Universal Grammar. There sub-theories are inter-related

that each of them can account for grammatically or

ungrammaticality of any sentence. These sub-theories are:

x-bar theory

Case theory

Government theory

Control theory

Binding theory

Bounding theory

Theta theory

     The above listed sub-theories are diagrammatically

represented below to show the inter-relationship among them.

        X-bar Theory            The projection            Lexicon

Case Theory    Movement            Bounding               - Theory
                                    Theory                - Criterior

           S- Structure

    PF Component

                                                 LF Component
  Adopted from Cook (1988:33)

  X-bar Theory

        Base on appropriate analysis for the research work, x-

  bar is the theory to be adopted for comprehensive analysis.

        Chomsky (1986:3) is of the opinion that x-bar theory in

  one or another of its variants, lexical entrails can be limited to

  minimal from with indication of no more than inherent and

  selection features and phrase structure rules can apparently

  be dispensed with entirely, a highly desirable move for

  familiar reasons.

     Cook (1988:94) explains that x-bar syntax replaces large

number of idiosyncratic rule with general principles, it

capture properties of all phrases, not just those of a certain

type, and it bases the syntax on lexical categories that link

with entries in the lexicon.

     Haegman (1994:104) stated that x-bar theory is the part

of grammar regulating the structure of phrase.

     Webelbum (1995:18) however, explained that, x-bar

theory is the central Module of the principle and parameters

approach in syntax.

     A phrase in x-bar syntax always contains at least a

head as well as other constituents Cook (1988:94).

     The head of the projection is zero projection (x0) heads

are terminal modes, they dominated words x-bar theory

distinguishes two level of project complement combines with x

to form x1 projection X‟ to from X‟ projection (X  X‟. YP). The

specified combines with the topmost X‟ to form the maximal

projection XP (XP spec; X‟)


                        Spec             X1

                                 X            YP

Adopted from Haegman (1994:105)

     Indeed, it is shown above that, the liner order of the

constituent with respect to the head of the project is not

universally fixed.

     However, as proposed in Chomsky (1986a) every

maximal projection (XP) has as specified of XP position, the

intermediate X1 projection serving as XP‟s core where the

cone consists of the head.

     (X0) and the compliment, which can be a maximal

projection on it own.


                     Spec         (Core which is recursive)

                             X0       Complement

     Due to the fact that, X-bar theory bring out, what is

common and constitute the structure of phrase. X-bar theory

will be the applicable theory to be used in the analysis Koro-

Ija Noun phrase.

1.11 Data Collection

Samarin (1967:43) say:

           “The kind of corpus a field researcher

           obtains is determined by the purpose

           and techniques he adopts in his data


     The focus of this research is largely and primarily for

language description.

       There are two types of data collection they are:

Information method

Introspective method

       The introspective method is kind of method where by

the investigator serves as his or her own informant.

       The informant method is a type that relies on the

knowledge of the native speaker of the language understudy

for purpose of collecting data.

       In this research work the method I used is informant

approach, I was able to visit the village called Ija-Koro in Tafa

Local Government of Niger State. During the visitation I was

able to come across two competent native speakers of the

language (Koro-Ija). Below are pieces of information about the


Name:             Jubril Galadima

Sex:              Male

Age:              40years

Occupation:       Teacher

Number of years spent in the village: Since birth

Name:             Alhaji Mohammed Bawa

Sex:              Male

Age:              65years

Occupation:       Makele (Blacksmith)

Tittles:          Village Head

Number of years spent in the village: Since birth

       During the interaction with the informants I was able to

present to them the Ibadan worldlist of 400 items, which I

asked them to be calling it for me in their native language.

The informants were able to call each item for me 3 times for

the sake of clarity.

       I also make use of framework technique, which is the

basis for collecting syntactic data on the language of study, in

other to make it easier to determine the actual underlying

from of constituent and syntactic context in which a word or

constituent occur within a grammatical sentence and also to

determine the basic word order.

1.12 Data Analysis

     To ensure an efficient data analysis this research, all

data received are transcribed. The morpheme that makes 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.

                       CHAPTER TWO

        Basic Phonological and Syntactic Concepts

2.0   Introduction

      This chapter deals with phonological and basic syntactic

concepts of Koro-Ija language. The phonological concepts like

sound system which consists of vowel and consonant system,

tone patterns, syllable structures and syntactic concepts like

phrase structure rule, lexical categories, basic word order and

sentence types.

2.1   Basic Phonological Concepts

      Yule (1985) submits that phonologic is concerned with

the abstract or mental aspect of the sound in language rather

than with actual physical articulation of speech sound.

      Phonology is defined as the study of speech sound. It is

the study of sound patterns and systems in a language.

      Phonology essentially deals with a description of system

and the pattern of speech sound in a language. It is based on

a theory of what every speaker of a language unconsciously

knows about the sound pattern of the language. It is related

to phonetic, it is a step further ahead phonetic.

        Adolf Noreen talked about speech sound, according to


             “A speech sound is a group of sound

             which are phonetically similar and

             whose divergences are not use for

             linguistics purposes”.

        The basic concept of phonology is phonemes. A

phoneme is said to be phonemic, if it constitutes a change in

the meaning of the affected words.

        Phonological processes refers to type of change or

changes which occur (s) in the sound system of different

language especially when two morphemes or word are


2.1.1        Sound Inventory of Koro-Ija Language

        Sound is the smallest unit of speech that causes a

displacement of the air drum speech sounds are made in the

mouth, nose and throat with the help of the part of the body.

However, not all part of the body is used for sound production

and those used are only performing that function as

secondary in order words, sound is a smallest linguistics unit

which can be treated in isolation and multiple combinations.

No language or the world operates without a sound system

Koro-Ija language i.e a language spoken in Tafa Local

Government of Niger State also possess its own sound


2.1.2 Consonants System

      Consonants are sounds produce with partial or total

obstruction of the airstreams. A consonant may be voiced or

voiceless depending on the place of glottis or the mechanism

put in place.

      Parameters for describing consonants

Place of Articulation

Manner of Articulation

State of the glottis

            Central or lateral articulation

            Velic opening

                   The Alphabet are listed below:

                   a, b, by, d, e, ç, f, g, gb, gw, h, i, j, k, kp, kw, l, m, n, mw,

            ch, gh, tw, o, ô, bw, p, r, s, sh, t, ny, gj, ng, u, v, w, y, z, zh, nw.

                   Koro-Ija language attests thirty-two (32) consonant

            sounds, both voiced and voiceless.

                   b, d, f, g, gb, h, j,k, kp, kw, l, m, n, mw, ch, gh, tw, p, r, s,

            sh, t, ny, gj, w, ng, v, y, z, zh, by, bw, nw.

                                             Consonant Chart of Koro-Ija

                                                                                                                   Palatized velar
                                             Labio dental

                                                                                                                                                   Glottal velar
                                                                                                                                     Labio velar








Stop             P          b   bw           bj             t d        tw                     k,g     kw           gj                kp gb         gh

Fricative                                            f, v   s, z                    ჳ                                                                             h

Affricate                                                   t                      dჳ
Nasal            m              mw                          n                                     Ŋ        Ŋw
Lateral                                                     l

Trill                                                       r

Approximant      w

2.1.3 Syllabic Consonants

     Syllabic consonants are those consonants that occur

with syllable peak, in other word they can take the place or

represent in syllable analysis. They bear a tone just as if they

were vowels. We therefore call them syllable Nasals

2.1.4 Vowels System

     Vowels are sounds product without any obstacle of the

airstreams coming from the lung. In other word they are

sound   produced    with   little   or   no   obstruction   of   the

airstreams. Unlike consonants, all vowels are voiced because

they are produced when the vocal cords are had closely

together in such a way that the air capillary vibrates. Vowels

are prominent in all hum languages in that they form the

nucleus of all words. The vowel the vowel system of different

language may very in terms of number, for instances, English

attest five vowels, and Yoruba attest seven vowels. Likewise,

Koro-Ija language, a noticeable feature of all vowels is that

they share common harmony, which we shall discuss later.

     We have the oral and the nasalized vowels in Koro-Ija


     Oral Vowels

     Orthography       a           e        ç        i    o        ô    u

     Transcription     a           e        ε        i    o        ‫כ‬    u

     Nasalized Vowel

     Orthography       an          en       çn       in   on       ôn   un

     Transcription     ã           ĕ                 ĩ    õ             ũ

     Vowel Charts

     Oral vowels charts

     (unrounded)                                          (rounded)
                     Front              Central           Back

   High close          i                                      u

 Mid-high close            e                                  o

 Mid-high close
                               ε                               ‫כ‬
 (Half open)
  Low (open)

Examples from the data

/i/ - /igwὲrὲ/ (climb)          /ìlάά/ good morning)

/e/ - /ènóma/ (meat)            /èvúam/ (nose)

/ε/ - /etaa/ (hand)            /ὲtúkwá/ (woman)

/a/ - /akí

bí/ (money)                     /awã/ (teacher)

/o/ - /oríré/ (swallow)         /òfõ/ (tail)

/‫כ/ - /כ‬b‫כ‬re/ (full)            /‫כ‬naa/ (grind)

/u/ - /rùnú/ (soup)             /kútá/ (thing)

Nasal Vowel Chart

             (unrounded)                                (rounded)

                          Front            Central     Back

        High close          ĩ                           ũ

    Mid-high close              ẽ                       õ

    Mid-high close
    (Half open)
      Low (open)

Examples from the data

/ĩ/ - /kuwĩ/ (faeces)

/ã/ - /wã/ (come)

/ẽ/ - /mi hẽ/ (bee)

   -       (lick)

/õ/ - /òfõ/ (tail)

/ / - /kaw / (mosquito)

/ũ/ - /rìfũ/(body)

Long Vowels

Unlike English language where dot is used to indicate vowel

length in Koro-Ija, the most convenient way to write long

vowels is by doubling the vowel.

Examples are:

/Òjíi/      „lose‟

/mimìí/     „look for‟

/kùnáa/     „grinding stone‟

/kunέὲ/     ‘bird’

/ek/        „strong‟

/kulée/       „eight‟

/mànée/       „oil‟

/kùrúun/ „knee‟

2.1.5 Tone System in Koro-Ija Language

     All Nigeria languages except Fulfulde are tone language

that is the pitch of the voice can make a different to the

meaning of the words. Tones serve as pitch in language to

distinguish       lexical   and    grammatical   meaning.   To

distinguished or inflect words all languages use pitch to

express emotional and other paralinguistic information. It can

also be used to convey emphasis, contrast and other such

features in what is called into nation but not all language use

tones to distinguish words or their inflections, analogously to

consonant and vowels. Such tonal phonemes called „toneless‟

     Tone also plays almost no grammatical role in many

African tone languages, such as beauty language; however,

tones are distinguished by the relative level. Koro a Niger-

Congo language is tonal. The language attests to register

tones. In order to ensure a local explanation, there is need to

explain the term „Register‟. Register tones are tones that can

be measured in terms of a regular pitch range. The pitch

difference is intertwined with a vowel phonation.

      According to Pike (1957), it defines a tone language as a

language having significant but contractive pitch on ach


      Also Welmer (1973) view tone as when segmental

phonemic and non segmental phonemic enter into the

composition of some morpheme. When you refer to two level

of tone can be attested.

      According to Welmer, he brought down the meaning of

tone into simplicity. Tones may be transcribed in many ways;

it is represented on a syllable.

      High Tone         (/)

      Low Tone          (\)

      Mid Tone          ( - ) it is unmarked

     Examples from our language of interest;

     High Tone:

     /kíw/     „Navel‟

     /kúwó/     „fear‟

     /ódà/     „word‟

     Low Tone

     /òè/      „God‟

     /jὲ/       „eat‟

     /rìẽ/     „abuse‟

     Mid Tone

     /kige/     „town‟

     /rufo/     „play‟

     /kugo/     „house‟

2.1.6 Functions of Tone in Koro-Ija Language

It brings about change in meaning

It brings about easy reading for non-indigenous speakers.

It brings different meaning of word in the same graphical to

structure of segment.

It gives a clear meaning

     A tone is said to perform grammatical function, if it

brings a change in the meaning of two words having the same

or similar graphical representation. Causes like these are

attested in Koro-Ija languages.

     /énwé/      (sun)

     /ènwé/      (day)

     /ruwẽ/      (ground)

     /rùwẽ/      (earth)

2.1.7 The Syllable System of Koro-Ija Language

     The fact that syllables are important units if illustrated

by the history of writing syllables have gained academic

recognition because of its role in language analysis but get,

there are no acceptable phonetic definition for it. But, it is

often convenient define it depending on how it function.

Syllables can be precisely termed as the smallest part of a

word which can be pronounced at a breath. The native

speaker of a language with a high degree of reliability is in a

vantage position to analyze the no syllable inherent in each


        According to Malmberg (1963:129) a syllable consisting

of a consonant plus a vowed is the oldest of all syllabic types,

the only one which is general in all languages.

        A syllable can be conveniently broken into three broad

categories viz:

        The Nucleus

        This is the core of a syllable it marks the boundary of a

syllable. It has priority it occurs at the syllable peak.

        The Onset

        It simply the first consonant in a syllable for instances;

torn-taste. The„t‟ in tore is a typical example of the onset from

my observation; both vowel and consonant dominate the

initial position in Koro-Ija language.

     The Coda

     It is final consonant in a syllable Koro-Ija language

doesn‟t attest to the coda.

     Types of syllable in Koro-Ija or open syllable, a syllable

can either be a closed or open syllable.

     We    have      CV    structure:    according   to   Malmberg

(1963:129) a syllable consisting of a consonant plus a vowel is

the oldest of all syllable types, the only one which is general

in all languages.

     We have in Koro-Ija language:

     VCV structure

     CVCV structure

     CVCVV structure

     VCCV structure

     Examples of syllable structure are:

     VCV Structure

     i.    /òlá/ -        „Fire‟


     ii.   /eʤi/ -        „Smoke‟

2.2 Basic Syntactic Concepts

     Syntax is the aspect of grammar that deals with how

words are put together to form sentences and how such

sentences are interested in natural language, Yusuf, (1992:1).

     Syntax as a branch of linguistics, uses words as

building blocks that are put together in a Nile governed way.

This is to say that the words are not strung together in a

random order; they follow rules allowed by human language.

     Yusuf (1997:2) the sentence is made up of words

phrases and clauses. As the level of syntax, the word is the

smallest units, which graduate to a phrase, clause and


     Syntax is the study of the arrangement of words to form

sentence. In speech, the nature speakers of a language put to

bear on the discourse his total knowledge of the language and

his competence.

     Syntax is a branch of linguistics; it is a level of language

analysis. It is a word that is derived from current Greek work

which means syn-together tax-arrangement.

     Syntax is a sub-field of linguistic that studies ordering

or arrangement of sentence constituency it is the branch of

language that study grammar.

     Yule 1989 defines syntax as a process of setting out

together or arrangement.

     Tallerman (2005) defines syntax as the study of

syntactic properties of language, it see syntax as sentence

construction, how word are put together to make phrase and


     Akmagian etel (2004) see           syntax as sub-field of

linguistics that study internal structure of sentence and

relationship among the internal.

     Radford (1997) syntax is concerned with the ways in

which word are to form sentences. A sentence has structures.

When we are talking about syntax, we are referring to

arrangement    ordering    of   words   to   make   grammatical


     Syntax is a subfield of linguistics that explain the

combinational possibilities of words that are permissible in a

given language i.e the regular co-occurrence, combination,

arrangement, ordering or better still structural arrangement

of words to form meaningful sentence. It studies the internal

arrangement of structure of a sentence and how these

structures agree with each other.

2.2.1 Phrase Structure Rules

     Phrase structure rules are re-write, expansion rules,

very much like the expansion of an icon in the computer,

which displays the content of a phrase or sentence. It is like

opening a box to disclose its contents.

     According to Horrock (1987:31), phrase structure rules

are simply formal devices for representing the distribution of

the phrase within sentence. A phrase structure rule is a set of

rules, which generates the constituents of a phrasal clause

category (Yusuf 1997:6).

     Chomsky (1986) identifies four phrase types related to

lexical categories. Verb phrase, Noun phrase, prepositional

phrase and adjectival phrase. These phrases are the maximal

projection.       (xps)    of       the    lexical   heads.   (Verbs,      Noun,

Preposition and Adjective) respectively.

      The phrasal categories in Koro-Ija are: phrases are built

around a „skeleton‟ consisting of two levels as depicted below.

      AP      NP      VP        PP        _____ Phrasal Level

      A       N       V         P         _____ Word Level

      The phrase structure component states the linear

organization        of     the        constituents      of    an     utterance.

Transformational          grammar           rules    depend     on   the    prior

application of phrase structure. In this chapter, I will examine

the phrase structure component. Phrase structure rules are

rules of the base component which insert words into their

logical positions in a structure.

      In transformational generative grammar sentence can

be dividend into constitute verb. We have each word of the

sentence belonging to a phrase and this we now forms part of

the sentence phrase structure rule are ways to described the

syntax of a language and it is use basically to break

sentences dawn into a constituent part.

     As was mentioned earlier the native speaker does not

string words together randomly Stockwell (1977). He follows

specific ordering which makes his speech uniform with other

speakers. In short, native speakers behave as if they know the

rules of the language. It is this innate knowledge of the rules

that we try to capture in the study of syntax Yusuf (1997:2).

2.2.2 Noun Phrase

     The noun phrase is the categories that code the

particular in the event or state described by the verb. It is

headed by a Noun pronoun. The main phrase can also be

found in different constituent in the sentence, it can be found

in the subject position, object position or as object of the

preposition, Yusuf (1992:5)

     Examples of Noun phrase in Koro language

Èyá kúma nìchôo

           The boy      tall

           „The tall boy‟

Èyàn túkwan

               The child female

               „The female child‟

Kinee kiburôn

               Bird a black

               „A black bird‟

     Noun phrase in Koro-Ija would be discussed in the next

chapter, which is the focus of study.

2.2.3 Verb Phrase

     The verb phrase, according to Yusuf (1997:21) is

traditionally called the „predicate‟ because it has the sentence

predicator namely the verb; the verb is the head of the verb

phrase.   It    is   lexical    category   that   tells   us   what   he

participatory roles of the nominal are in the sentence. It

expresses or allocates roles to Noun phrase in the sentence.

     The verb phrase is a group of word which has the main

verb as a head. Its structure is determined by the type of verb

that exists in the constituent. In the same manner the verb

type is determined by the sub-categorization features of the


        The verb phrase consists of a verb alone or a verb with a

complement and or an adjunct whichever, situation obtains,

the verb services as the head of the verb phrase. Other

categories that complement the verb are also as the phrasal

categories of their respective word classed. For instance, a

verb can be transitive in which case, it selects co-occurs with

an object or two, or intransitive in which case it co-occurs

with or without adverbials.

        Koro-Ija, like Yoruba and ever other language, attests

verbs and verb phrases with or without the satellites. The

structure of Koro-Ija verb phrase is described with the

structure in below:

1. VP        V (NP) (PP) (S‟)

        The structure in (1) above is exemplified in (2) below

        Yin Kokolo ni kìkàwô

        Kick ball with leg your

        „Kicked the ball with your leg‟

        The structure of Koro-Ija verb phrase is described with

the structure below.

1. VP        V (NP) (PP) (S‟)


                     V1                 NP

                     V          N                PP

                    Yin    Kokolo           P         NP

                                            ni        Pr


ii.     Dua kubvon wásere èkpàré

        Use knife cut meat

        „cut the meat with the knife‟

2.2.4 Adjectival Phrase

       Adjectival phrases do normally co-occur with Noun-

phrases. They function as either complement or adjunct of

the    noun   Radford;      (2002:28)   Adjectival   phrases   are

obligatorily headed by adjectives. In Koro, Adjectival phrase

performs with attributive and complement functions. The

phrases can ether consists of an adjectives or adjectives with


       Adjective phrases usually occur before nouns (as

attributes) and after verbs as predicative adjectives. The

Adjectival phrase usually has an adjective as its head and it

can be pre-modified by adverbials.

       Below is the phrase structure rule for Koro-Ija Adjectival


ADJP              ADJ (ADV) (PP)

The structure in the example above is exemplified below.

Ònomo machin

         Beautiful very

         „Very beautiful‟

Ègén manç

          Lazy too

          „Too lazy‟

Machin yínmiyìnmì

          Very gentle

          „Very gentle‟

     Below is the phrase structure rule for Koro-Ija Adjectival



                       Adj               Adv

                       ègén              manç

                       large             too

2.2.5 Prepositional Phrase

     The prepositional phrase headed by a preposition

function as either complement or adjunct to the Noun head or

the verb, it is very related to the Noun phrase because it

contains a prepositional phrase is closely related to the Noun

phrase. In this case, the preposition is the head and it

precedes the NP in the PP.

     In Koro-Ija, the prepositional phrase codes several

information like location, manners and instruments. The

prepositional phrase has its complement, the noun phrase.

The structure of Koro-Ija prepositional phrase is described as

in the example below

PP         PNP

The structure above can be exemplified as in below

ni kupwa

        at door

        „at the door‟

nudi kitnìkne

        in mosque

        „in the mosque‟

ku alafin

        on table

        „on the table‟

The structure of Koro-Ija prepositional phrase is described


              P            NP

              ni           N

              at          Kupwa
                           door                 PP

                                          P           NP

                                         nudi          N

                                         in          Kunike

2.3   Lexical Categories

      Awobuluyi (1978:1) defines lexical classes as “words

that behaves in similar ways in the sentence of a language

when we talk of lexical classes of words, we are talking about

their categories in language.

2.3.1 Nouns

      Stockwell (1977:48) defines noun      as symbols for

entities, abstract or concrete, countable or uncountable

(mass) animate or inanimate, human or non human, etc.

      Bamgbose (1967:8) defines as Noun as a word which

can occur independently or with qualifies in the nominal

groups. This means that Nouns can generally be classified

into the followings: Animate, Inanimate, Concrete, abstract,

countable and uncountable Nouns.

      Acoording to Awobuluyi (1978:7) any word functioning

as the subject of a verb or preposition in a grammatical

sentence in the language is a Noun.

      Examples of Noun in Koro languages is as follows

     /kubia/         -    „book‟

     /èkũmà/         -    „man‟

     /kúláye/        -    „food‟

     /kùgàsa/        -    „bag‟

     /mikũ-ĩ/        -    „rat‟

     /kàmágùrù/      -    „cat‟

     /èkúnkua/       -    „woman‟

     /èdé/           -    „cloth‟

     /èkú/           -    „husband‟

     /èkuma/         -    „wife‟

     /kùkópi/        -    „cup‟

     /kùuaa/         -    „stone‟

Types of Noun

     The type of Noun in Koro language would be classified

according to their functions and meaning. These Nouns are

discussed under the following sub headings; human, non-

human,   concrete,   abstract,      place   Noun,   countable,

uncountable, animate and inanimate Noun.

     Collective Noun

     These are Nouns that refer to a group of similar objects

or people in similar circumstance. They are also called “class

Nouns”. These Nouns are used to denote a collection of things

or persons.


Adi amukuli

              bunch key

              bunch of key

Kujie emaga

              flock sheep‟s

              a flocks of sheep‟s


              People players

              A term of players

Adi she

           Shemm bee

           Swarm of bees

/kùye/           -    Audience

/atoni.edefuvogi/ -    Police

Abstract Noun

     These are means that relate to ideas as opposes to

concrete objects. They denote qualities abstracts noun

material Nouns. They refer to notions such as quality, state or

action. They are intangible so they cannot be discerned with

the senses of small, touch and taste e.g

     /kúneó/     -    Fear

     /ògée/      -    Anxiety

     /rídúnyán/ -     Sadness

     /kumóñ/ -        Joy

     /ègya/      -    Love

     /osúnsún láfía/ - Peace

     Concrete Nouns

     These refer to tangible objects which can discern with

any of the five senses.

     Compound Noun

     This is a combination of Noun as base (s) with a

preposition (plus or minds an article) and which may be

linked by hyphen.


     /kàcíi-kalagíéwo/     -            Chalk-board

     /etorinkakun/         -            Gentile –man

     /kudiayĩrĩáwã/ -      Class room

     /èkúmariua eyàkúsà/ -              Boy friend

     /kùdí àwa kùpíp/      -            Book shop

     /kùgàsà kulaayírala/ -             School bag

2.3.2 Pronouns

     Pronouns constitute a heterogeneous class of items with

numerous subclasses. Despite their variety, there are several

features that pronouns have in common, which distinguish

them from nouns.

Personal Pronouns

     Personal pronouns take the grammatical slots of specific

names of persons, places or things. As indicated in the table

below, the are both subjective and objective personal



  Singular               Subject                  Object

1st person               /mi/(I)                    (me)

2nd person             /èwo/ (you)              /èwo/ (you)

3rd person       /eyç/çyç/nu/ (He/She/it)   è/è/nu/(him, her, it

    Plural               Subject                  Objects

1st person              /ètu/ (we)             /dúkàtú/ (us)

2nd person             /èwo/ (you)              /èwo/ (you)

3rd person              /là/ (they)             Èla/ (them)

Reflexive and Emphatic Pronouns

    They have ending “self in their singular from and

    ending” selves in their plural form. As the nature

    implies, these pronouns reflect another nominal clement

    of the sentence, usually the subject with which it is in

    co-referential relation i.e it replace a co-referential NP

    normally within the same finite verb.


    Reflexive Pronouns

    /èmíté/     -    myself

     /èlate/    -    themselves

    /ètute/     -    ourselves

    /núwété/ -       yourself

    Emphatic Pronouns

    /Nìyete/    -    she herself

    /èyçte/     -    he himself

    /nujete/    -    it itself

Relative Pronouns

     A relative pronoun is used to introduce a clause that

     modifies the noun which occurs earlier in the sentence.

     They play dual roles, both as pronouns and as

     connectives word which preceded it and to which it

     refers:     Example     of   Relative   Pronoun     in   Koro-Ija

     language are the followings:

            /èyá/        -        who

            /èyá/        -        whom

            /màana/      -        that

            /elaya/      -        whose

            /káyii/      -        which

Demonstrative Pronouns

     This      class   has   determiners     as   well   as   nominal

functions. It also displays number contrasts. The general

meanings of the two sets of demonstration pronouns can be

stated as near and distant. “This and “That” as singular

   “These” and “Those” are plurals. Demonstrative pronouns

   have several uses. They function to indicate contrast as in.

          They have number contrast (singular & plural) and

   function both as determines and pronouns.

          Singulars                          Plurals

          /kùkʔ/      -     This             /alà/ -         These

          /màána/     -     That             /εla/     -     Those

   Possessive Pronouns

          These show possession and have two forms. A form

   functions as an adjective and it referred to as pronominal

   adjective, which other one is a pure pronoun and function as


          Singular                           Plural

               Adjective        Pronoun       Adjective        Pronoun form
                 form             form          form
1st person    /mi/ (my)       /umi/ (mine)   /tu/ (our)       /átu/ (ours)

2nd person    /wʔ/ (your)     /wʔ/ (your)    /wʔ/ (you)       /kuwʔ/ (yours)

3rd person    /ed/ (his)      /e/ (his)      /ala/ (their)    /álalá/ (their)

              /e/ (her)       /e/ (her)      /ala/ (their)    /àlalá/ (theirs)

              /nu/ (its)

2.3.3       Verbs

     Awobuluyi (1978:45) described verbs as words which

express actions event and processes.

     It is evident that verbs are identified manly by their

functions in constructions and their main function according

to Awobuluyi is predication. A verb is a word or group of

words that expresses an action.

     Examples of verb in Koro-Ija language:

     /jĩ/       -     ‘kick‟

     /gbẽ/      -     „slay‟

     /riho/    -     „length‟

     /tè/       -     „cook‟

     /ribvo/    -     „play‟

     /ríwá/     -     „dance‟

     /gé/       -     „write‟

     /eláa/     -     „sleep‟

     /ètũmá/    -     „walk‟

     Iyons (1975) defines the verbs as a word belonging to

that part of speech that characteristically is the syntactic

nerve of a predicate and expresses an act; occurrence or

mode of being which in various languages is inflected for

agreement with the person and number of the subject for

tense, moral or aspect.     Tenses in Koro-Ija Language

       Tenses are the forms of verb that show the time

(continuous or completion) of an action or state, e.g present

tense, past tense, past progressive tense, past perfect tense


       It has been noted by many scholars. See Banjo (1969)

many Nigerian languages do not have tense markers as found

in English language.

       However, Koro-Ija language has distinct tense markers

similar is done by prefixing an item as determined by the first

phoneme of the beginning of the second syllables of the form.


  Present Tense            Past          Present continuous

 jʔ (Go)             èjʔ (went)          èjóo (going)

 Rivʔʔ (play)        Ruvʔʔ (played)      Ruvʔʔ (playing)

 wíi (sweep)         èwìi (swept)        òwìì (sweeping)

 gun (sun)           ègun (saw)          ogun (seeing)

 sunsun (sit)        èsunsùn (sat)       èsúnsun (sitting)

 káso (cry)          kàso (cried)        kàso (crying)

 zhʔʔ (laugh)        Rìzhʔʔ (laughed)    rizhʔ(laughing)       Aspects in Koro-Ija Language

     It is time that sometimes the different between tense

and aspect can constitute analytical problem in some

construction. As pointed out in Iyons (1968), the two are

distinct systems. However, especially when see the two as

perfectives, (tense) and imperfectives (aspects). For example,

they used to be an assumption that some Nigerian languages

do not show aspectual Banjo (1969).

     Perfective Form                   Progress Form

     /re/       -       have           /mI/      -     form

     /ekaa/     -       has            /eze/     -     am

     /màkáà/    -       had

2.3.4       Adverbs

     An adverb modifies or qualifiers as verb as its major

grammatical assignment. It also tells more about an adjective

or another adverb.

     Adverb generally precede the adjective or the verb

phrase they describe, since most verbs as well as attributive

adjectives occurs in the middle position in a sentence

nucleuses the adverb will normally in the middle or the final

position the nucleus.

     The main function of adverb is to modifiers verbs, an

adverb therefore modifies a verb, an adjective, another

adverb, a preposition or even noun, altering in some ways it

meaning or range.

        An adverb modifies or qualifies a verb as its major

grammatical assignment.

        Types of Adverb

        Adverbs are different types which depend on the context

of usage. We have the following forms of adverbs in Koro-Ija


Adverbs of Time

        This describes the time when an action occur or takes



        /kuje/      -   Tomorrow

        /muẽ/       -   Yesterday

Adverb of Concession

        This adverb admits the fact concerning an action.


        /mànáré/ -      usually

        /kùtata/    -   /regular/


     This expresses the extent or limit of a thing. Examples:

     /PÍÌ/        -   Quite

     /kumaʒũ/ -       Quickly

     / PÍÌ PÍÌ/   -   Very

Adverbs of Manner

     This type of adverb tells us how an action occurs:

     /òsára/      -   Quickly

     /wʔtέyὲ/     -   gently

     / PÍÌ PÍÌ/   -   silently

     /múgʔ/       -   seriously

Adverbs of Reason

     This shows the cause of an action why an action take



     /dũmu/       -   because

     /tũ/ -           since

Adverbs of Frequency

      This expresses or indicates the number of occurrences

      /kùtata/           -        regular

      /òkwàkekwàkè/ -             seldomly

      /okwàkèkuàké/           -   rarely

      /kùtata/           -        regularly

Adverbs of Condition

      When the occurrence of an action is tied to another‟s



      /ń/         -      if

      /ńweja/     -      unless


      Everyman‟s Encyclopedia (1977:76) defines adjectives

as a part of speech used with a noun or substance, to express

its qualities or attribute.

      More information about a noun or a pronoun in a

sentence Smith (1955:43), according to Awobuluyi, (1978:30)

any word or grammatical combination of words which

qualities a noun is a qualifiers, in other words, an adjective

qualifies a noun.

     Adjective are traditionally described as word that are

used to qualify noun. That is, they amplify the meaning of

noun, Adegbija (1987:100).

     The followings are some of the adjectives in Koro-Ija


     /tukúrí/        -      small

     /tá/             -      few

     /núka/           -      plenty

     /okutakata/     -      large

     /katita/       -      long

     /kùtákátá/      -      big

     /kòsísá/         -      new

     /òpĩ/            -      hot

            Comparison of Adjectives

            Adjectives have three degrees of companies (positive,

   comparative and superlative).


       Positive              Comparative                 Superlative

Chákátá (big)           chákátá (bigger)          Chákátá-zin (biggest)

Sára        (fast)      ésã sara (faster)         Èsán-ansara-zin (fastest)

Títńe (short)           esã títńe (shorter)       esã títńezin (shortest)

Chʔ (tall)             esã choon (teller)        esã chon-zĩ (tallest)

Emirĩ (heavy)           easa emìrín (heaver)      esã emirĩzĩ (heaviest)

Za (thin)               esã za (thiner)           esã za-zĩ (thinnest)

Jĩni (small)            esã jĩni (smaller)        esã jĩni-zĩ (smallest)

ʔnʔmʔ (beautiful)       esãnʔmʔ             (more esã-nʔmʔ-zĩ              (most
                        beautiful)                beautiful)

            They     mark   the   superlative   with   prefixation   and

   suffixation while they mark the comparative with prefixation.

   2.3.6 Preposition

            Smith (1965:46) defines a preposition as any word that

   relates a noun to a verb in terms of direction or location.

     Microsoft Encarta (2002) defines preposition as “a words

that combine with a noun or pronoun to form a phrase. A

preposition relates a noun to verb in terms of location,

direction, state, condition etc. i.e it shows relationship

between two independent objects.

     A preposition is defined as “a word which expresses a

relation between two entries.

     QUIRK and GREENBAUM, (1979:143) the entities can

be a noun and a verb, pronoun or nouns, the word

“preposition” comes from the Latin language and means “

something placed before” a noun. It governs a noun or a

pronoun in a sentence, such a noun or pronoun is known as

object of the preposition.

     Examples of preposition in Koro-Ija language are:

     /Nachĩ-ĩ/         -     Among

     /núshá/           -     beside

     /nì/              -     over

     /nijã/            -     on

     /nìme/            -     in

     /nímʔ/           -     at

     /nìwẽ/           -     inside

     /míchá/          -     outside

     /Nìcháshĩhĩ/     -     below

2.3.7 Conjunctions

     A conjunction is a word or group of words that joins

words or groups of words together. Conjunction essentially

performs a linking function to show a kind of relationship

between them.

     Types of Conjunction

     There are two major types of conjunction in Koro-Ija

language, namely, co-ordinating conjunctions and sub-

ordinating conjunctions.

Co-ordinating Conjunction

        These join words, phrases or two main clauses



        /ni/    -     and

        /na/      -    with

Co-ordinating Conjunction

        These are words used to relate minor or dependent

        clauses to major clauses.


        /ýweja/        -      unless

        /ũ/            -      since

        /ń/            -      if

2.4   Basic Word order in Koro-Ija Language

      Every language has a basic order. Greenberg (1966:74)

describes word order as the manner the subject, verb and

object co-occur many simple declarative sentence. According

to Lyons (1968:203), „the sentences may be regarded as a

combination of morphemes which occur in a particular order

relative to one another‟s; six different forms of possible basic

word order are identified by Greenberg (1966:76). They are as

listed below.

Subject verb object          SVO

Subject – object - verb      SOV

Verb – subject – object      VS0

Verb – object – subject      V0S

Object – verb- subject OVS

Object – subject – verbOSV

     According    to   Greenberg   (1966:76)   only   the   three

normally occur in dominant orders. These are SVO, SOV and

VSO. The other three do not occur at all or are excessively

rare. It should be noted that no language rigidly keeps to an

order. This is because the order or words might change as a

result of transformation.

     As in standard Yoruba, Koro-Ija operates an SOV word

order. SVO languages are prepositional likewise Koro-Ija as

exemplified earlier under preposition phrases.

     Koro-Ija operates and SVO word order but as earlier

said, we can determine that by knowing the classes of the

words in the language. Examples can be shown below.

Ejçkob gé kalagìe wó

              „Jacob write a book‟

              S        V           O

Ç yç kulayç

              He eat food

              S    V       O

              „He ate food‟

Danladi ewo kwuin

              Danladi (pst) kill rat

              „Danladi killed the rat‟

Mi duani mite

              I do (pst) myself

              S     V              O

              „I did it myself‟

Rukayah nupia ku alafun

              Rukayah write on table

               S               V       O

              „Rukayah writes on the table‟

2.5   Sentences

      Sentence is described as a construction that has a

subject, predicate and object. It is a construction that has its

constituent NP subject with Infl and a VP object.

      A sentence can be defined as a unit of language that is

made up of one or more words. In other words, a sentence is

meaningful way of bringing a group of words together. A

groups of words must contain a finite verb for it to be a good

sentence in English.

      The sentence is defined as “the largest unit about which

grammatical statement are to be made (Halliday 1956, in

Kress 1976:37).

      According to Radford (2002:55) sentences are built up

out of sets of constituents, each of which belongs to a specific

category‟s   made   up   of   structured   sequences   whereby

phonemes are grouped together into word, words into phrases

and phrases into sentences.

      I will briefly look at the sentences as a unit. Three

sentence types are recognized in the language.

2.5.1 Simple Sentences

     A   simple       sentence          usually     contains   one   main

independent clause, without a sub-ordinate clause at all.

However, though the idea may not be modified by any

number    of     modifiers        and    the      subject   may   also   be

compounded in nature.

     A simple sentence is defined as a sentence that

described one event or state of action.


Ç yç kulayç

              He eat food

              „He ate the food‟

Danladi wí kudi

              Danladi sweep room

              „Danladi swept the room‟

mi duani mute

              I do (pst) myself

              „I did it myself‟

Ç yç kulaye

        He eat food

        “He ate the food‟


               NP             I1

               P         I1          VI

                ç       TNS    V           NP

                               yç          N1

(ii) mi duani mite                        Kulaye

    I do (pst) myself


                 NP               I1

                 I     I                 V1

                      TNS          V           NP

                                  do           N1



2.5.2 Compound Sentences

      A compound sentence as its name implies, is a

combination of two or more simple sentences, main clauses

joined together by a co-ordinating conjunction or a correlative

conjunction. The main clauses of a compound sentence may

also be joined together by a colon (:), a comma (,) or a

semicolon (;).

     A compound sentence is described as a multiple of

simple sentence joined together by the use of conjunction.

     SNP – INFL VP (conj‟s)2


ègún sì rìgén atorinyenla nìgè nikunayen

           I see village head teacher and his wife

           „I saw the village headmaster and his wife‟

Danladi eyin ònùnùgàma lara kùdi

           Danladi knock gage enter room

           „Danladi knocked the gage and he entered the


     Danladi ègyá niran àmá ezana èyànkúhá éébà

     Danladi love Niran but marry girl another

  NP                I1

                                     àmá    NP            I1

  N1           I          VP

                                             N            VP
  N        TNS            V1

                                            Spce          V1

Danladi             V          NP

                                                    V            NP
                   ègyá        N1

                               N                   ezaa    D          N1

                           Niran                                      N


2.5.3 Complex Sentences

     This is traditionally defined as a main clause and a

number of subordinate clauses. A complex sentence has an

embedded sentence in one phrasal category.

     Quick   (1972:342)   defines    complex    sentence   as   a

sentence which contains more than one clause.

     According to Yusuf (1997:63) the complex sentence has

a sentence embedded more of the phrasal categories. The

complex sentence has a main clause with one or more

embedded or sub-ordinate clause and as stated earlier the

embedding could be in the NP or VP.


E yana emana ekumi la akekula age

          That is the boy that steal (PS) pen

          „That is the boy that stole my pen.

ç káayí dumu èyá mu agô

          He failed because he (neg) not serious

          „He failed because he is not serious‟

Olu àyá wèé náyè 1974 èrún wúwàyçç yçnà

          Olu who has born 1974 celebrate birthday today

          „Olu who was born in 1974 celebrated his birthday



spec         N1

        N1           CP

        N     spec            C1

       Olu    WH          C          IP

              àyá             spec        I1

                                      I               VP

                              TNS     beten           V1

                                    wèé         V           PP

                                               náyè    P         NP


                                                            N          VP

                                                           1974        V1

                                                                  V         NP

                                                             èrún           N1

                                                             spec                ADVP
                                                           ewan        wuwayçç    Adv

                               c                                                 yçnà
                     CHAPTER THREE

                     THE NOUN PHRASE

3.0   Introduction

      This chapter focuses on the noun phrase of Koro-Ija

language, especially; we are going to examine the position of

noun phrase in a given sentence. Also, functions performed

by noun phrase are discussed. Our analysis are carried out

within the framework of Government and Binding Theory

which is otherwise known as Principles and Parameters


3.1   Noun Phrase

      According to Stockwell (1977:55), noun phrase is a

cluster of words in the surface strings of which the nucleus is


      Yusuf (1997:8) defines noun phrase (NP) as the category

that codes the participant in the event or state described by

the verb. This NP‟s is headed by the noun or pronoun. It is by

virtue of the headedness that phrase is called the noun

phrase. However, Yusuf (1998:34) states that:

      “Noun phrase can contain indefinitely any number of

the satellites, whatever it may contain it has to have a noun

head, noted technically as N0 but which as we have repeated

will be coded plan N”.

      Collins (1990:212), described Noun phrase grammatical

structure based on the multiple function.

      In discussing the noun phrase in Koro-Ija language, we

will look at how NPs are generated and categorized. Various

linguists have defined noun phrase in various ways. The

noun phrase in can be found in different position, object

position, in the subject position, object of preposition etc.

      However, it consists of the noun and its head which is

discussed below.

3.1.1 The Head Noun in a Noun Phrase

      The head is the obligatory part of the noun phrase

around which other constituents cluster and it also dictates

concord with other pasts of the sentence. This means that the

head can be single word as we have in Koro-ija language


È yantúkwán

           Det girl

           „The girl‟

E kuma

           Det man

           „The man‟

E yákúma

           Det boy

           „The boy‟


spec        N1

Det         N


È      yantukwan
                         spec         N1

                         Det          N

                          È          kuma

3.1.2 Position of Noun within the NP

     Structurally, nouns come first in Koro-Ija noun phrase

and the satellites of the noun follow the noun in NP. The

satellite could be determiners, prepositional phrase and soon.

The structural position of NP in Koro-Ija may illustrated as

shown below.

     NP – spec N1

     N1 – N, pr (AP), (PP), (Conj), (Det).

     Also, there are conjunial noun phrase in Koro-Ija

language which join together with conjunction element.

     The following examples gibe the structural types of NPs

in Koro-Ija language.

     Examples include:

Kuma in kunayen

           Man and wife

           „The man and his wife‟

Atóchin nì funmì

           Preacher and friend

           „The preacher and my friend‟

Emallami ni Audu

         „Mallam and Audu‟

Kawa ni tonìguma

         Doctor and patient

         „The Doctor and the patient‟

Kaakumma ni kilegun

         Old man and sea

         „The old man and the seas‟


       spec              N1

                N       conj            N

              Kawa       nì         toruguma

              Doctor    and          Patient


    spec                     N1

               N          conj             N

           Atochin           ni          Funmì

           Preacher       and            Friend

3.1.3 Co-occurrence of an NP with Adjectives

     Examples include:

yankusha ônômo

            girl beautiful

            „beautiful girl‟

kilagiewó narenômô

            book interesting

            „interesting book‟


   spec                    N1

                N                        AP

          yankusha                       A

               girl                  ônômô


spec                  N1

           N                        AP

       kilagiewö                    A

         book               narenômô


3.1.4 Co-occurrence of an NP with Determines

     Structurally, both Nouns and determiners come first in

Koro-ija language and determinations in Koro-ija include both

post and pre-modifiers.


ùgàsà mi

           bag my

           „my bag‟

ùgàsà na

           bag the

           „the bag‟

kilagewoo atu

           book your

           „your book‟

E kunma

           the man

           „the man‟

A wankwsha

           the girl

           „the girl‟


spec                   N1

         N                        Det

       ùgàsà                          mi

       bag                        my


        spec                     N1

                   N                       Det

               kilagewôô                   atu

                 book                      your

3.1.5 Co-occurrence of an NP with Preposition


níchaa kudi

          outside room

          „outside the room‟

kukwo niyan kupia

          on (Det) table

          „on the table‟

Na alayenrala

          In market

          „in the market‟


spec             P1

          P              NP

       Nícháa            N1

       outside           N




Functions of Noun Phrase

     In Koro-Ija language, functions that, the noun phrase

performs include:

Noun Phrase as Subject of the Sentence

Adamu yìn núnùdi

          Adamu knock gate

          „Adamu known the gate‟

Ekue èlà nudi

          Old woman sleep room

          „The old woman sleeps in the room‟

Yankuma egben eyakusha

          boy slap the girl

          „The boy slapped the girl‟



  NP                   1                      VP

 N1     TNS                  AGR        V1          NP
                   + PAST

 N                                      V            N1

Adamu                                   yìn          N



       spec                            I1

       NP                       1                   VP

       N1        TNS                 AGR     V1                 NP
                            + PAST

       N                                      V          spec          N1

                                            egben        Det           N

                                                          è          yakusha

3.2.2. Noun Phrase as an Object of a Verb


Sadiq egben atoyinrala

              Sadiq slap teacher

              „Sadiq slapped the teacher‟



  NP               I                          VP

 N1     TNS                AGR         V1             NP
               (+ PAST)

 N                                     V               N1

Sadiq                                 egben            N

                                      slap         atoyinrala


3.2.3 Noun Phrase as Indirect Object of a Verb

     NP as indirect object of a verb, the indirect object is the

person for whom or to whom or they thing for which an action

is performed.


Eyunmukuma eha eyantunkwa naa akibi

           (Det) brother give (Det) girl her money

           „my brother gave the girl her money‟

Etoyinrala, eyinrin yankuma na ebiye

           (Det) teacher show boy his talent

           „The teacher showed the boy his talent‟



                                  I                   VP

                            TNS                                  NP
 Det              N1                   Agr      V1


 è                N                             V          N1

               toyinrala                    eyinrin        N          spec         N1

                                                       yankuma        Det          N
                teacher                       show

                                                           boy        na          ebiye

                                                                      his         Talent

Noun Phrase as an Object of a Preposition

Ela kuyoyo ni punudi

            she lying against wall

            „she is lying against the wall‟

     spec                          I1

     NP                     1                     VP

     N1      TNS                 AGR      V1                     NP
                        + PAST

                                           V                     PP

     Ela                                 kuyôyô          P1            NP

     she                                  lying          P             N1

                                                         ni             N

                                                       against        Punudi

Wantukwa tiyage larila nudi

          girl write outside room

          „The girl is writing outside the room‟


  spec                      I1

                    I                    VP

                           Agr                       NP
  N1        TNS                   V1


   N                                          spec

wantukwa                         tìyágè                    P1           NP

                                                            P           N1
  girl                           write

                                                          larìla         N

                                                      outside           nudi


Noun Phrase as Complement of Preposition


    Suleman ye nuku kusha

    Suleman eat with spoon

    „Suleman ate with the spoon‟


  spec                     I1

                   I                  VP

                          Agr                     NP
  N1       TNS                  V1


                                           spec               PP
  N                             V

Suleman                         ye                      P1          NP

                                                        P           N1
Suleman                         eat

                                                       nuku         N

                                                       with        kusha


Noun Phrase as Subject of a Sentence

     Examples include:

Sadiq èrè kawa

           Sadiq is doctor

           „Sadiq is the doctor‟

Adamu ere etôyinrala

           Adamu is teacher

           Adamu is a teacher

Musa etö edìí

           Musa person drive

           Musa is the driver



  NP               I                    VP

 N1     TNS               AGR     V1          NP
               (+ PAST)

 N                                V            N1

Sadiq                             èrè          N

                                  is         kawa


3.2.7 Noun Phrase as Appositive in the Objective

     An appositive is a noun which renames the same person

or object in the subject position and which immediately

follows the noun it renames.


tukwan egun Mrs Ali eshiriche atoyinrala

           woman see Mrs Ali head teacher

           „The woman saw Mrs Ali the head mistress‟

Eshiriche atorinyala eta Rukayah ehinche egama awa

           head teacher made Rukayah head girl

           „The principal made Rukayah the head girl‟


 spec                     I1

                  I                   VP

                         Agr                        NP
  N1      TNS                   V1


                                           N1                   NP
  N                             V

tukwan                         egun                      Det            N1

                               see      MMrs. Ali    eshinrinche         N

                                                         head        atorinyala


    3.2.8 Noun Phrase as Appositive in the Subject Position


    Danladi kumatôrôgô ere tomachin

                     Danladi man Koro is nice

                     Mr Danladi the Koro man is nice


                                             I                   VP

                        NP          TNS
                                                     AGR   V1           AP
                                          (+ PST)

    N1             N1         N1

    N              N          N
                                                           ere        tomachin

 Danladi      Kuma       tôrôôgô
                                                           is           nice

Mr Danladi     man           Koro

Embedding in NP

     Embedding here usually introduced by a WH word like

who, what, which or that lexical items are traditionally

referred to as relative pronouns.

     The embedded clauses are closer than others while

behave his mere parenthetical information.


     Kusôô nile mague kalagewôô

     house where I buy book

     „The house where I bought the book‟


spec           N1

        N1             CP


       house    spec                C1


                nile            C              IP


                        spec                             I1


                         N1                         1               VP


                            P            Tns            Agr
                                                              V1            N1
                                                              V             N

                                                              gue        kalagewôô

                                                              buy          book

3.4   Noun Phrase with Post Modifiers (IN) with


yankuma eta nikularuro

           boy is Jean

           „The boy in Jeans‟

tunkwa na wan

           woman with baby

           „The woman with the baby‟

wantukwa nature kunnande

           lady with belt

           „ladies with belt‟


  spec                          I1

  NP                     1                VP

  N1      TNS                 AGR    V1              PP
                     + PAST


yankuma                                        P1            NP

  boy                                          P             N1

                                               eta           N

                                                in        nikularuro


                       CHAPTER FOUR


4.0   Introduction

      This   chapter    will   examine   the   transformational

processes such as focus construction, relativization and

reflexivization, in Koro-Ija language.

4.1   Transformational Processes

      Transformational is define as the process by which the

structure of one sentence is changed to another structure. It

is a king of device used by a speaker of a language to express

his meaning in a different way either for stylistic purpose of

emphasis. Transformation performs a lot of operations.

      Tomori, (1977:64) Citing Allen and Buren (1991:36)

describes transformation as underlying principle operating on

a given string with a new derived constituents structure,

identified in the literature as with syntactic process under

laid by movement transformational processed attest in Koro-

Ija language.

     According to Malmjaer (1991), transformational rules or

process consist of two parts of a structural analysis (∫1)

specifying the input to which the rules applied and structural

change (∫c).

     Transformational processes are ways in which the basic

sentences      transform     into       surface   form.   However,

transformational rules are applied to the deep structure of a

sentence of derive surface form.

     Radford (1998:401) defined transformations as the

process where deep structure and surface structure are

interrelated by a set of movement rules.

     Yusuf (1992:138), defined transformations as the way

we relate some sentences to some other basic sentences.

Cleaning that some sentences types are formed or derived

form the basics. An active sentence can be changed to passive

one or a simple declarative sentence to interrogative through

the use of transformation.

     Sells (1985:15) a transformational grammar takes a

lexicon and phrase structure rules and transformation into

new structures.

     Yusuf (1997:67) however explained that the syntactic

level is made up of two subcomponents known as the Deep-

structure and surface structure.

     The deep-structure is derived by the base rules.

Categorical   rules,   strict   sub-    categorization,   selectional

restriction and the phrase structure rules. He further

explains that transformation operates on the D-structure to

map it into the surface structure.

     Cook (1988:21) described the principle movement as a

transformation that has subsumed many separate rules

previously knows as transformations. Radford (1989:419)

surface structure is general from the deep structure by the

application of movement transformation called move alpha.

     Cook, (1988:31) transformational process is represented

in a tree diagram know as the T-model as shown below.

                              D- Structure



                PF Component               LF Component

4.1.2 Movement

      Movement is described as the major syntactic process in

transformation. This is a process whereby an items is moved

form its original site or extraction site or landing site.

      Movement also means an operation by which a word or

phrase is moved some element is moved from it based basic

location in linear order as generated by the phase structure

rules and adjoined into some other category. (Yusuf 1997:74)

movement is a major syntactic process where an item is

moved    from    it    original   site     to   another   site   and   the

transformation        that    involve    movements        are    focusing,

relativization, passivization, affix-hopping and relexization

(Yusuf 1992:138). But this research word shall focus on

transformations like, focusing, passivization relativization and


      According to Radford (1985:401), movement in move

alpha involves moving an NP, INFL, VP and WH phrase. These

types of phrases constitute the types of movement in

Government and Binding Theory. The moved constituents

always move from a lower to a higher position in any given

structure, never from a higher to a lower position.

      Movement theory within the GB theory involves three


      These are:

Extraction site

Landing site

Intervening gap

      According to Yusuf (1997:128) extraction site explain

the point where a constituent is moved from NP, WH or INFL

lading site, explains where an element is position. The

movement could be either by adjunction or substitution.

Intervening gap, explains the position that is left empty

through    the   introduction     of   the   co-indexation   (ti)   co-

referential (ei) items.

4.2   Focus Construction

      Focus construction is one of the transformational

processes attested among natural languages. What makes it

universal is the fact that normal for a speaker of a language

to want to emphasize a specific aspect of his message while

communicating with his/her interlocutor. This speaker does

employ special mechanism called prominence to the aspect of

important in his message.

      According to Stockwell (1977) defined focus as a way of

introducing special marking into the surface structure of the

element or constituent is being focused.

      Focusing construction according to Ore Yusuf (1989:57)

and many other scholars in linguistics absence that focus is a

kind of emphasis that is syntactically mark through a

movement transformation in standard Yoruba and many

other Nigeria languages.

     To show the „derived‟ focus sentences form the basic

sentence. It is necessary to have normal construction that is

basic as the un-marked sentence while the derived sentence

is referred to as marked sentence.

     Focuses construction is a kind of emphasis that is

syntactically marked through transformation markers.

     In Koro-Ija language any part of the sentence can be

focus i.e subject-NP, object NP, direct and indirect object-NP.

     Focus markers are to be examined as they occur within

the subject NP and to her constituent of a sentence.

4.2.1 Subject- NP Focusing

     In focusing NP of a sentence, the subject NP must

maintain its syntactic natural position and the focus particle

will be inserted immediately after the subject and follow by

presumptive pronoun. The examples of this in Koro-Ija

language include:

     Basic Sentence

Ade êyë alaàbörô

          Ade eat rice

          „Ade ate rice‟

          Derived form

          Ade yç èyé alaàbörô

          Ade foc eat rice

          „It was Ade that ate rice‟


spec              F1

NP           F                 IP

N1          yç         spec

                                       I                  VP
N           FOC

Ade                       TNS                Agr    V1           NP

Ade                                                 V            N1

                                                    èyé           N

                                                    eat        alaàböro


4.2.2 Object-NP Focusing

     In focusing object NP in Koro-Ija language the objects

and NPs will come after the verb in the basic sentence. This is

the focusing of an object NP involved the fronting of the object

and then the insertion of the focus marker. The examples of

this in Koro-Ija language are illustrated below.

     Basic Sentence

Abibah ègwè kugasa

           Abibah buy bag

           „Abibah bought a bag‟

           Derived form

           Kugasa kuwo Abibah ègwèna

           Bag „foc‟ Abibah buy

           „It was bag that Abihah bought‟

           Basic Sentence

Ejubrìl èyùn kùkóló

           Ejubril kúck ball

           Jubril kicked the ball”

         Derived form

         Kùkóló kwo Jubril èyùnrin

         Ball „foc‟ Jubril kick

         „It was ball that Jubril kicked‟


 spec                    F1

 NP               F                    IP

 N1              kwo            spec                  I1

  N                             NP                          I1

kugasa                            N1   TNS            AGR
                                             + PAST              V

 bag                              N

                              Abibah                         buy


4.2.3 Indirect Object –NP Focusing


Emallam eha mi kalagiewoo alàyínrin

          Mallam give me book class

          „Mallam give the book to me in the class‟

          Derived Sentence

          Alayinrin kwo Emallam eha mi kalagiewo

          Class (foc) mallam give me book

          „It was in the class that mallam give me the book‟

Audu eyinrin yànkúma na ebiye

          Audu show boy his talent

          „Audu showed the boy his talent‟

          Derived Sentence

          Ebiye kwo Audu eyinrin yankuma

          Talent (foc) Audu show boy

          „It was the talent that Audu showed to the boy‟


   spec                F1


   N1             F                IP

   N             kwo

alayinrin                   spec                 I1

 class                   NP

                            N1              I


                       Emallam Tns               Agr    V1            NP
                       mallam                           V

                                                       eha       Pr            N1

                                                       give      P             N

                                                                 mi        kalagewôô

                                                                 me          book

4.3    Relativization

       According to Yusuf (1992), relative construction as

involving the insertion of a relative clause in front of its NP

antecedent in a matrix clause. A clause is relativized when an

NP within it is identical land therefore changed to a relative

pronoun with the antecedent NP of the matrix clause. Such

relative pronouns are moved form their original position to

position of the relative clause.

       According to Stockwell (1977:42) „A relative clause could

be a sentence embedded in the suitable structure as modifier

of    an   NP,   embedded   sentences   have   within   T1‟   WH

pronominal replacement for a deep structure and added

(Adjunct) information.

       Relativization is a syntactic process which prevents

unnecessary repetition which can bring about confusion,

though the introduction of relative markers (who, which, that

etc) these relative markers have antecedent that are related to

NP head.

     Stockwell (1977:59) defines relative clause as a sentence

embedded into a NP, and marked in some way as subordinate

to the particular noun for which clarity of reference is sought.

     Yusuf (1997:100), relative clause is a complex sentence

with some embedded sentences modifying an NP as added

(adjunct) information. Relativization is the sentence type

known as by the move- rule (Yusuf 1997:99).

     Relativization is a process whereby an embedded

sentence is linked with the main constituent with the aid of

WH relative pronoun. The various positions in a noun phrase

can be relativized.


     Basic Sentence

Ekunma ere nikale

           (Det) man is nice

           „The man is nice‟

           Derived form

           Ekunma ekaa eze awena nikale

           (Det) man who was kill nice

           „he man who was killed was nice‟

           Basic Sentence

E yankwsha egun la muen

           (Det) girl see them yesterday

           „The girl saw them yesterday

           Derived Sentence

           E yankusha ekaa egun la muen ekú ilá

           (Det) girl who see them yesterday asleep

           „The girl who saw them yesterday is asleep

           Basic Sentence

È tukwa larinnomo

           (Det) woman beautiful

           „The woman is beautiful

           Derived Sentence

           È tukwa ekaa ete kúláye larinnômô

           (Det) woman who cook food beautiful

           „The woman who cooks food is beautiful‟

           Basic Sentence

     iv.   Ali èrún-un ewa wuwayee yena

           Ali celebrate (pst) birthday today

           „Ali celebrate his birthday today‟


  spec             REL1

  NP         REL                IP

   N1       ekaa      NP                    I1

                                I                     VP
   N         who

                      Tns           Agr          V1          NP


  girl                                           V     Pr                Advp

                                            egun       P

                                            see        la         Adv1           Adjp

                                                      them        muen           Ad1

                                                              yesterday          Ad



 spec                  REL1

  NP            REL                 IP

  N1            ekaa          NP

                                            I                   VP
  N             who

Etukwa                             TNS            Agr    V1            Adjp

woman                                                     V            Adj1

                                                         ete            Adj

                                                         cook        Larinnômô


4.4   Reflexivization

      According to Yusuf (1990), Reflexivization is a process of

substituting another type of pronoun for plain pronouns. The

substitutes are reflexive pronouns. As their names indicate,

they refer (to reflect) and earlier NP (Noun Phrase) in the same



      i.     Sade Loves Sade

             Sade Loves herself

      ii.    He laugh at him

             He laugh at himself

      iii.   The thief killed the thief

             The thief killed himself

      These reflexives are nest subject of sentence. If they

were, they would not have an antecedent in the same

sentence     as   required    for         their   appropriateness   and

ungrammatically would result i.e herself killed the lion.

      Quirk (1972), Reflexivization as pronoun that ends with

self (singular) and selves (plural). These suffixes are added to

the determiner possessive (myself, ourselves, yourselves,

them selves).

        In this type of transformation process two identical

nominee co-referential. Relative pronouns show numerous

properties with noun phrase; their distribution is some what


        In Koro-Ija language, reflexivization is used in basic


        Examples include:

Emariam égyà Emariam

             Mariam love Mariam

             „Mariam loves Mariam‟

             Derived Form

             Emariam egya yëtç

             Mariam love herself

             „Mariam loves herself‟

             Basic Form

La dëç la

             they call them

       „they called them‟

       Derived form

iii.   La elëç latç

       they call themselves

       “they called themselves‟

       Basic Form

       Ekú ewon ekú

       their kill thief

       „the thief killed himself‟

       Basic Form




        NP               I                      VP

       N1      TNS              AGR      V1            NP
                     (+ PAST)

        N                                 V            N1

  Emariam                                egya         Pro

                                      loves           yëtç





        NP               I                     VP

       N1      TNS              AGR      V1           NP
                     (+ PAST)

        N                                V            N1

       Ekú                              ewon          Pro

                                      killed         çyçtç


                       CHAPTER FIVE

       Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.0   Introduction

      This chapter is set to summarize the research efforts of

the   writer   on    Koro-Ija     and   conclude   with   some

recommendations for further researchers.

5.1   Summary

      This research work has examined and discussed the

Noun phrase of Koro-Ija language. Genetically, Koro-Ija

languages belong to Benue-Congo sub-family of the Niger-

Kordofanian family of language. Both the language and its

speakers are popularly referred to by noun-native speakers as

Koro-Ija. But among themselves they are known as Rugô.

      This language is spoken as first language in the territory

of Tafa Local Government of Niger State and beyond. The

Koro-Ija people are predominately Muslims and their major

occupations include farming, trading and hunting.

      The data collection and data analysis of the language

were carried out through the use of Ibadan 400 word list,

frame technique and oral interview to ensure copious, ample

illuminating data to give our findings. The brief review of the

chosen framework and x-bar theory of syntax were finally

adopted for the analysis of the language.

      The     second   chapter     briefly    reviewed   the   sound

inventory, tonal inventory, and syllable structure and phrase

structure rules. Syntactically, Koro-Ija language exploits SVO

word order in its basic sentence and lexically noun and

pronoun       are   commonly     found   as    independent     lexical


      The third chapter of this work is center on Koro-Ija

noun phrase, the position of noun and its satellites,

modification of noun phrase and function of noun phrase in

Koro-Ija language.

      The fourth chapter of this work examined various

transformational process in Koro-Ija language. Such as

relativization, passivization, reflexivization and focusing.

      Finally, the fifth chapter is the summary, observations

in    the   study,      conclusion      of   our   findings   and

recommendations for further researches in the language.

5.2   Conclusion

      In our undying quest to understand the linguistic

phenomenon surroundings Koro-Ija language, we have made

an attempt at describing the syntactic process of noun phrase

in Koro-Ija language.

      Koro-Ija like other West African Languages is a tonal

language, which operate register tone. However, it is observed

that Koro-Ija language has an SVO word order.

5.3   Recommendations

      Despite the fact that, no research work has been carried

out on Koro-Ija language. This word has been able to produce

what we can refer to as pioneer work that can serves as

reference for further studies on the language.

     Thereby, recommended that government institutions

both Federal and State, should encourage programme to

device an orthography for the languages or more research

should be carry out for more information.

     Therefore,   we   recommend    that    further   linguistics

researches should be carried out on the aspect of semantics

pragmatics as well as lexicography for the language.

     Also, more research word should be done by authors so

as to produce textbooks and post primary studies.


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